PlotWatcher Pro Performance

The information below will help you get the most from your PlotWatcher Pro HD Time-Lapse Video
Camera:

Settings

  1. Unless the toggle switches are set to “Time-Based” or “Custom”, the command set on the toggle switches will determine how the camera operates.  If the toggle switch for the “Start/Stop” function is set to “Time-based”, then the settings you have established on the LCD screen will apply.  If the “Mid-day Skip” and “Interval” switches are set to “Custom”, the settings you have established on the LCD screen will apply.
  2. The “Preview” setting on the “Power” switch allows you to preview the field-of-view that your camera is capturing.  This helps prevent you from aiming the camera incorrectly.
  3. If you press the “Page” button once, it will take you to a page entitled “Start Delay.”  This feature is designed to allow you to set the camera up so that it will remain in “sleep” mode (not recording video) for a defined number of days before it begins recording.  You can put the camera into sleep mode for up to 63 days.  This is useful if you are going to be away from your hunting area for a long time but want to capture the game activity that occurs the week or two before you arrive.  For instance, if you are going to be away from your hunting camp for 30 days, you can set the Start Delay to 16 days and when you arrive at your camp, your camera will have recorded only the previous 14 days of activity. 
  4. If you continue to press the “Page” button, you will see a screen entitled “Custom Interval Settings.”  On this page, you can define the time interval between time-lapse images taken by your camera.  This can be set as fast at once per second or as slow as once per hour.  (Make sure that the “Interval” switch is set to “Custom” for your selected interval to take effect.)  Most often, people use the 5 or 10 second interval for game scouting applications, but for short-term security applications, it might be wise to use shorter intervals.  If you are recording the construction of a building, it might make sense to use the setting that captures one image per hour. 
  5. If you change any of your settings on the LCD screen, make sure that you continue to press the “Page” button until you return to the home page so that all of your changes will be saved.
  6. Battery Life:  The PlotWatcher Pro is by far, the most battery efficient time-lapse camera on the market.  Typically, you can expect the camera to take about one million frames of video on a set of 8 AA alkaline batteries.  There are some factors that can increase or decrease this capacity like temperature, battery quality, level of illumination, level of detail in the image background (more detail creates larger files that require more power to store), etc.  However, below are some general estimates of expected battery life at the two most common time intervals used:

    Daily Hours of Video 5 Second Interval 10 Second Interval
    8 52-104 69-173
    12 34-69 46-115
    16 26-52 34-86


    (In freezing temperatures, you can expect about this same battery life if you use lithium batteries instead of alkalines.)
  7. SD Card Usage and Capacity:  Much like the battery life, the SD capacity if effected not only by the number of images recorded, but by the size of each image file.  The size of each image file is determined in large part by the amount of detail in the background of the image.  Therefore, there is not an exact number of days of video you can expect to record on an SD card, but the following table will serve as general guideline for what you can expect:

      8 GB 16 BG 32 GB
    Daily Hours of Video 5 Second 10 Second 5 Second 10 Second 5 Second 10 Second
    8 6-13 13-27 13-27 27-55 27-55 55-111
    12 4-9 9-18 9-18 13-37 18-37 37-74
    16 3-6 6-13 6-13 13-27 13-27 27-55

    (If the storage capacity of the SD card is exceeded, the PlotWatcher Pro will delete the oldest video file on the card and use that space to record the current day’s video and it will continue to do so until the batteries are depleted or the camera is turned off.)
  8. To protect your PlotWatcher Pro Time-Lapse Video Camera from the elements, bears and thieves, we recommend purchasing a CamLock Box and security cables.  We offer these in our online store that you can find here.