The Stealth Cam P12 takes decent photos and video, and is reliable in the field, which I can’t say about other cheap cameras. Overall, I think the Stealth Cam P12 is one of the better low cost trail camera available right now.
If price is your biggest factor, you will inevitably end up considering either the Stealth Cam P12 trail camera, or the Moultrie A-5. They are similar in price, size, and specs, but after using the Stealth Cam P12 for a few weeks I can tell you that is where the similarities end.
When you are looking at the cheaper trail cameras, reliability, image quality, and battery life are all important things to factor into your decision. Stealth Cam got a lot of these qualities right when they designed the P12. In this review of the Stealth Cam STC-P12, I will show you exactly why it has earned my #1 recommendation as the best budget trail cam available today.
- (1) Image Sizes: 6MP (High), 4MP (Medium), 2MP (Low)
- Video: 15 Second Videos in VGA 640×480 resoultion
- Trigger Speed: Not Published by GSM (estimated to be between 1.5-2 seconds)
- Recovery Speed: Not Published by GSM (estimated to be 5-6 seconds)
- (2) Detection Range: 50 feet
- Flash Range: 50 feet
- Batteries: Powered by 8 AA Batteries (Alkaline or Lithium only)
- Size:0” Wide, 10.0” Tall, 3.0” Deep
- (3) Quick Set Knob for Easy Setup.
- (4) 2 Side Battery Compartments.
- (5) SD Card Slot: Compatible with 32GB cards or lower.
- (6) Internal/External LCD Status Display.
The P12 comes in a plastic clam shell package, which are always annoying to open. Inside is a basic mounting strap with a plastic buckle, an instruction book, a Stealth Cam sticker, and the P12 camera itself.
Ease of Use
The Stealth Cam P12 is about as easy they come to setup, with a simple two step setup process. First, you use the Enter and Arrow keys to name your camera and to set the internal date/clock, which provides the useful data on the data strips stamped onto each photo. Second, you turn the Quick Set dial to one of 4 pre-set image capture modes, and that’s it!
- TEST – Allows you to test and verify the positioning of your camera before leaving.
- QSET1 – 3 Image Burst Mode. Each image will be 6 MP, with a 30 second delay between images.
- QSET2 – 1 Image, at 6 MP resolution, and a 30 second delay.
- QSET3 – Records a 15 second VGA video, with sound, on a 30 second delay between recording.
- CUSTOM – Custom image resolution (6, 4, or 2 MP), custom delay time, and operational mode.
When you get to your scouting location, it’s a good idea to turn the Quick Set to TEST mode first. Now you can walk around the camera to make sure it’s being triggered properly, and there are now obstructions. I wish all trail cameras were that simple to operate.
The image quality is actually pretty good for a budget camera. Don’t expect frame worthy photos from this unit, and instead count on colorful and clear daytime photos. The camera does tend to oversaturate the green colors too far sometimes, but as long as the image is clear, that’s never bothered me.
Night photos are OK too, but you need to understand the Stealth Cam P12 only has a 50 foot IR flash range. I think the P12 may be best suited for placements in front of feeders or bait piles (if legal in your area). Night pictures are not as clear as on the Stealth Cam G42NG, but that camera also costs 3 times as much.
The trigger performance is what you should expect from a low cost trail camera. During my testing, it triggered at approximately 2 seconds. This really shouldn’t be a problem if you have it positioned in front of a feeder.
Some people will complain that 2 seconds is too slow and will give you a lot of pictures of deer butts or heads only. If you read my trail camera tips, you’d know the solution to that is to point the camera at an angle to where you think the deer will be walking. This way the animals are walking for a longer time in front of the camera as opposed to across its field of view.
You will get the best battery life by running Alkaline or Lithium AA batteries. Do not use rechargeable batteries because they aren’t powerful enough to get the Infrared emitters to flash.
With alkaline batteries, and using the base single image mode (QSET2), you should get 6 months plus pretty easily. Lithium batteries will extend life even further, with some users reporting 12 months and more of use on one set.
The Moultrie A5 has a comparable battery life, but unfortunately runs on C cell batteries, making it a bulky camera.
I found tons of customer reviews online, many of which are 4 star rated and above. That number of good reviews is nice to see, because we all know how sometimes “cheap” products don’t live up to expectations. One user was impressed with the build quality, commenting on the fact that his P12 had withstood multiple black bear attacks. Most users favorite features are the Quick Set dial, the long battery life, the picture quality, and of course the low price.
Pros & Cons
Pros – The Stealth Cam P12 is a well-built budget trail camera. For its low price, it provides very good day images and videos. The battery life is very good, and many people have found the P12 to be a reliable trail camera.
Cons – The trigger speed is on the slow side, but by using best practices you can get plenty of useful pictures and videos. The P12 would make for an excellent feeder camera if you can’t get over the trigger time. The other minor complaint is the green saturation in some of the pictures.