- Detection & Trigger - 8.5/108.5/10
- Images & Video - 8.7/108.7/10
- Battery Life - 8.5/108.5/10
The G42NG has become one of my favorite new cameras. If you can find it for a good price, I would consider it one of the best trail cameras for your money. It looks great, has a solid feel, takes sharp colorful pictures, doesn’t seem to miss much in its detection zone.
The Stealth Cam brand of trail cameras, manufactured by GSM Outdoors, has gained a strong following and built a good reputation for building quality trail cameras. The Stealth Cam G42NG is their top of the line no glow (black flash) trail camera. The G42NG is touted as being a fast triggering, high definition camera with super long battery life.
What’s great is, even though it is one of GSM’s top trail camera models, it is still one of the more affordable trail cameras available. I have been looking to add cameras to my fleet, and during my research, Stealth Cam kept coming up in forums. I saw a bunch of good reviews online for the G42NG so I decided to buy one and then do a hands-on review.
- (1) Image Sizes: 10 Megapixel, and 8MP-4MP-2MP, with a 16:9 widescreen format for larger Field of View.
- Video: HD, 5 to 180 seconds long with audio
- Trigger Speed: 0.5 seconds
- Recovery Speed: 5 seconds
- (2) Detection Range: 100 feet
- Flash Range: 50 feet, with 42 Black Flash IR Emitters for low light sensitivity.
- Batteries: Operate with 8 AA Batteries, (Alkaline or Lithium Ion only).
- Size: 4.0” Wide, 5.5” Tall, 2.5” Deep
- (3) SD Card Slot – Compatible with up to 64GB cards.
- (4) Quick Set Slider for Easy Setup Changes.
- (5) Battery Compartment Eject Button.
- (6) 2 Line Backlit LCD Status Display that can be seen externally.
Here are all my photos from unboxing the G42NG. It comes in a nice box and clam-shell packaging.
Ease of Use
Like other Stealth Cam models, the G42NG has a ”Quick Set” slider inside the housing for super fast, dead simple setup. There are settings 01, 02, 03, Custom, and Test. Custom allows you to use the LCD menu and buttons to select the exact functions you want to happen when the camera is triggered.
A nice bonus security feature is the passcode setting, which allows you to set a password that is required to operate the camera. If somebody steals your camera, at least it will be a useless brick to them!
Daytime Images – The daytime image quality on the G42NG is very good. Up close pictures are very sharp and the color is vivid, with very little washout. The Stealth Cam has a blur reduction feature they call Matrix, and there are several adjustments to the blur reduction within the setup menus.
The G42NG is compatible with 64GB memory cards, which is very helpful if you plan on taking up Stealth Cam’s claim of 1-year battery life.
Night Images – The night pics are pretty solid as well, the IR flash is very bright and will illuminate a pretty large area. This is due to the Retina low light performance system, made up of 42 black flash IR emitters and the sub 1-second trigger speed.
You will occasionally get some whitewash on near object night photos, this is probably due to the fact the camera has such good close range focus and bright IR flash.
The camera has a 10MP image sensor, and a 16:9 wide image format for a nice wide Field of View. This really becomes apparent when you compare 2 cameras pointed at the same spot.
Operational Modes – Other modes on this camera are the 6/9 image burst mode, HD video with sound, timelapse, and a manual point and shoot mode.
Image Info Bar – All images can be stamped with the standard time, date, temperature, and moon phase information, as well as a custom programmable camera name.
Geo Tagging – The G42NG also has a Geo Tagging function, that when enabled, will store the GPS coordinates in the metadata of each image file. You can use this information to help with trail camera photo management. You can create custom maps with images at their recorded Geo Tagged location.
The G42NG has an ultrafast trigger speed of just under 0.5 seconds. GSM calls the Reflex Sub 1-Second trigger. That fast of a trigger will drastically reduce the number of head and butt shots showing half a deer. The downside of the trigger circuit is the recovery time, which clocks in at a pedestrian 6.5 seconds.
Where most cameras have just one distance and angle, the Stealth Cam G42NG has three. On with a short wide angle zone, a medium zone, and a narrower longer distance detection zone. The result is a consistent detection zone, with a very large coverage area.
GSM advertises a “1 Year Battery Life” on this camera, which is pretty amazing. With that said, you will need a lot of batteries to power the G42NG, as it requires 8 Alkaline or Lithium AA batteries. It is important to note that you should NOT use NiMh rechargeable batteries in this camera. Just like most powerful trail cameras, this camera will not be able to take night photos with rechargeable batteries due to the power needed to fire the IR emitters. There is simply not enough juice to draw on
So far in my research, I have found many reviews on Amazon, and a handful from other stores. I know how frustrating trail cameras can be sometimes, and that number of reviews should inspire confidence. One reviewer commented that they owned 6 NG42 cameras and was the best scouting camera they had ever used. That user and several others even wrote about how they would be replacing other trail cameras with Stealth Cams.
Pros & Cons
Pros – I love the case design on the Stealth Cam G42NG, it almost looks like it was inspired by Star Wars. I found this game camera to be extremely easy to use. Once I got past the initial setup, there were very few button presses required to set the camera up for scouting again. I just used the slider to set the camera to what I needed, and off I go.
The trigger speed is top notch, as are the daytime photos. I really think the widescreen 16:9 images are the way to go for game camera manufacturers. Geo Tagging the GPS coordinates in the image metadata will be useful for organizing all the photos I pull from the camera over time.
Cons – The trigger speed is offset by the only average recovery time, and the G42NG takes a lot of AA batteries to achieve the long battery life. The biggest issue is the occasional over exposed night pictures. Making sure your firmware is up to date will fix most of the issues.