Stealth Cam STC-P12 Review – Trail Camera
- Simple setup dial with 3 presets
- Python-lock compatible
- Beautiful daytime image quality
- No camera ID information stamped on images
- Slow trigger speed
- Blurry nighttime pictures
Hello, and welcome to our review of the Stealth Cam STC-P12 field camera. This is a 6MP trail camera that operates on 8 AA batteries (not included), and uses SD cards (also not included) to store the pictures. It’s designed to fit into the budget trail cam niche, and can often be found for well under a hundred dollars. How well does it perform in the field, though? That’s what I set out to find out!
How Well Does the Detect Movement?
I tested the P12 for about 3 weeks, in an area that I knew had a fair bit of small and medium game traffic. This same area was also covered by another, more high-end trail camera. The P12 seems to be prone to false positives, getting triggered by such mundane things as blowing leaves and the sun coming up. The manual even warns that sunrise can often trigger the camera, but my other cameras don’t suffer from that problem.
When the camera did register movement, the slow trigger speed (more than a second) resulted in either missing the critter altogether or only catching the hind end of the animal. Now, when I threw out some corn for the deer, I did manage to pick up some great shot of some does and a good-sized buck feeding off the corn I’d left behind.
Bear in mind, this is a budget camera, so it’s not going to be as efficient at catching wildlife as more expensive models. With that said, the detection range is quite good compared to the field of view, so at least the camera tries to pick up pictures of creatures within its field of view.
How Reliable is This Field Camera?
I’ve had the P12 set up for several weeks, and it has worked reliably as far as actually taking pictures. It hasn’t mattered what the weather conditions were like, the camera would reliably snap shots whenever it detected motion within its field of view. Sometimes on a particularly snow-driven night, it would false trigger on the blowing snow, but even those times were pretty rare—blowing leaves seemed to be more of a problem than the white snow.
I’ve heard from friends who have had this model set up for more than one or two seasons, and their cameras have worked reliably since setting them up. For a camera under a hundred bucks, that’s pretty impressive durability.
What Is the Image Quality Like?
Daytime images on this field camera are quite good, with excellent color and contrast. The daytime images are in good focus, and while the camera is not an HD camera, it still captures some excellent daytime shots.
Night shots with the P12 are also good quality, but not as good as daytime. The flash range, illuminated by a dozen infrared LEDs, is around 40-50 feet, and the pictures have blurry or soft edges, especially the legs of animals. For the price point, though, the P12 generates some fine looking night shots.
All of the images taken by this trail camera are stamped with the time, date, and moon phase information. It would be nice if the camera would also stamp a camera ID on each shot, but that does not appear to be an option.
If you opt to shoot video, you’ll get decent video quality during either day or night times, but will notice a lack of focus at night resulting in some blurriness. That’s really to be expected at this price point, though.
What Picture-Taking Modes Does This Camera Offer?
There’s no time lapse mode with the P12, but it does offer burst mode with choices from 1 to 6 images per burst, and a 5 second recovery time. The camera also features quite a few different options for setting the trigger delay: you can set trigger delay between 5 and 120 seconds.
Quality of the pictures can be set to High (6MP), Medium (4MP), and Low (2MP). Of course, the lower the quality you choose, the less detail you’ll be able to see in your pictures, but the more pictures you’ll fit onto your SD card. I kept my camera set at High quality, with a 32GB SD Card, and never managed to fill up the card.
You also have the option of video recording in VGA 640×480, with options to set your length between 5 and 30 seconds. Video quality is not the greatest, since it’s just VGA, but it is good enough to see the traffic patterns and sometimes capture a scurrying raccoon.
How Many Pictures Can the Store?
The P12 does not have any on-board storage, so how many pictures the camera will hold depends on the size of SD card you install in the cam. The camera will handle SD cards of up to 32MB, which should hold enough pictures or video to last you for several weeks, even in a busy animal trail area.
How Is the Battery Life?
This camera operates on 8 AA batteries, and I was pleasantly surprised at how long the batteries last. Moderate use over a period of 3 weeks, and the camera still shows the batteries have a full charge.
Is This Field Camera Easy to Use?
Programming the P12 is probably the easiest of any trail camera I’ve ever used, since it uses a simple dial to set the shot mode. You get 3 presets, or you can set up your own custom mode. The settings are easy to understand, and the camera is versatile enough that you can set it up to your particular recording needs.
Summary of the StealthCam STC-P12 Trail Camera
Thanks for reading my review of the StealthCam STC-P12 camera. This is an excellent budget camera with some very useful features. The picture quality during the daytime is stunningly beautiful, and even the nighttime pictures are good for the inexpensive price tag on the camera. The camera is easy to use, and is solid like a rock in terms of reliability. Take a look at Amazon.com’s price on the Stealth Cam STC-P12 if you’re interested.
Stealth Cam P12 Trail Camera Review • Advanced Hunter
Detection & Trigger – 6.0/10
Image & Video Quality – 7.0/10
Battery Life – 8.0/10
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.