MINOX DTC 400 SLIM - Wildlife Camera Sets New Standards for Concealment
With the new MINOX DTC 400 SLIM Wildlife Camera, no more having to mess with trail cams the size and weight of a car battery.
At only about one inch thick, the DTC 400 SLIM slides nicely into my daypack and loaded with six AA batteries weighs about the same as a Kindle. If you've had wanderers on your property, you'll appreciate how inconspicuous this unit is once mounted. It is slightly curved so it fits every tree trunk neatly and snugly. Combined with its camouflage housing, the result is the unobtrusive presence you want and need in an effective trail camera.
MINOX is probably best known for its micro cameras—tiny devices that look like something James Bond would have stowed in his tuxedo. The German company has been around for the better part of a century manufacturing quality glass, and it has, at long last, entered the tactical riflescope realm with a complete line of scopes. The most interesting to me is the ZP8 1-8x24 mm.
Beyond its 8X magnification range, MINOX put an innovative reticle into the ZP8. Called the MR10, it combines an illuminated, mil-based reticle in the first focal plane with a red dot at the center of the crosshair in the second focal plane. Using the company’s Complete Combat Reticle (CCR) technology, the red dot comes on when the magnification ring is turned slightly to roughly 1.1X and stays on until the power is increased beyond 2.5X, at which point illumination switches to the first-focal-plane reticle. This allows for easy target acquisition and engagement at close range using the red dot at low magnification, and seamless transition to more distant targets using the reticle, all by simply turning the magnification ring.
This huge, precise optic is a wonderful example of the increasingly popular battle-scope configuration. With an impressive 8x power range, the MINOX zooms from extreme wide angle (too wide, we thought) up to useful magnifications for precision work out to 500 yards. The exposed turrets are tight, and the first-plane reticle has an innovative illumination feature that lights either the center crosshairs or the entire reticle, depending on magnification. Built on a 34mm tube, the 25-ounce ZP8 is lighter than it appears.
On hunts during the most challenging lighting conditions, the ZE 5is 3-15x56 SF tested very well.
With so many camera trap makes and models now available, advances in technology and (in general) a reduction in price, camera trapping has become a pastime for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Here I have a more detailed look at some of the makes and models on the market, features to look out for and how best to set your camera trap up.
Camera trapping can be phenomenally satisfying and a really enjoyable pastime. The buzz when you remove your SD card and flick through the images is something I will never tire of, as there is frequently a surprise waiting. Camera traps, or trail cameras as they are also known, have gone from expensive scientific kit to garden toy in a very short space of time. Increasingly they are being used for scientific and professional ecological monitoring but their affordability, durability and technological advancement have made them just as rewarding to use at home or on your local patch. In this article I will generally focus on the more affordable models rather that the higher priced scientific ones such as Reconyx.