If you’re out hunting and scouting or enjoying the outdoors, you may want to record your adventures with the help of a rugged and durable video camera. Most video cameras are a bit delicate and cumbersome to use in rough conditions, especially if you’re recording while hunting or in tough weather conditions; except probably action cameras.
In such a scenario, a monocular camcorder like the Bestguarder WG50 (Check current price) can be an ideal choice. It has very high zoom capability and with added camcorder function and durability, I’d highly recommend it. It also comes with an IR night vision – an added feature. In this post, I’ve tried to give an honest Bestguarder WG50 review so that you can make an informed decision if you’re looking to buy it.
Things to Consider Before Buying a NightVision Monocular Camcorder
First, let us see some factors that we must consider while buying a monocular for outdoor video recording.
Ruggedness and Durability
When you’re out hunting or game scouting, you need a monocular that can withstand the stress and shocks of rough use. You won’t be at home or indoors shooting a family video in familiar, more comfortable surroundings. There will be a need to carry the camera in the wilderness or even extreme weather conditions. You need something that is tried and tested for rough conditions.
This is a no-brainer. For recording subjects from a distance, particularly while hunting, you need good magnification; good zoom capability that will not cause the picture to appear grainy. This is an important point you must look for in your while choosing a monocular.
Effective Night Vision
Ever tried night-time hunting under the light of the moon? Or are you an amateur paranormal investigator? Or do you just like to record nature and animal kingdom in the dark? Whatever your purpose of shooting videos, having an effective, working night-vision is a must for these activities. Most video cameras do not have night vision, so you won’t be able to film videos at night. Hence having a rugged and durable monocular camcorder with effective night vision is an almost necessary advantage.
Can Act as a Surveillance Camera
Sometimes, you may have to let the camera record videos by itself or as surveillance. Or if you’re hunting, not every time can you expect the game to be lurking in close proximity in direct view. So you need a camera to record any activity that you might have missed when you’re away.
Bestguarder WG50 Review
After a lot of comparisons, testing, and research, I consider Bestguarder WG50 as a high-quality monocular with night vision in the market today.
As compared to other high-end camcorders in the market, it is a rugged and sturdy monocular-cum-video camera that comes with the night vision feature. The Bestguarder WG50 has a rubber-coated rugged and water-resistant housing which makes it possible to use it even in extreme weather conditions. It is very portable and can be carried with you wherever you go and shoot on-the-go. It has a strap through which you can slip in your arm for a steady grip. It can also be mounted on a tripod if you plan to record at a particular place.
Optics and Zoom
During the daytime, the picture and video quality are pretty good, almost comparable to HD quality. Photo quality can be adjusted to 2592*1944, 1600*1200pixel,640*480pixel; while video is 1280*720pixel @30 fps and 640*480pixel @30 fps. So for capturing video while hunting during the day, you get a picture quality just like any other HD video camera. No compromise in that. One thing to keep in mind is that for the lens to focus and the picture to appear sharp, you need to rotate the lens manually until it appears sharp. The Bestguarder WG50 has an optical zoom of 6x, while a digital zoom of 5x. With a zoom of 6x, it can capture objects up to the required distance.
How Good Is the Night Vision?
Personally, for me, night vision is an add-on feature that is of a lot of importance in a monocular. You might find other cheaper monoculars without night vision capability and better picture quality. But what if you want to hunt or observe at night? The regular monoculars will not be able to record anything in dark night conditions.
Bestguarder WG50 has one of the best digital night vision. Not the traditional Gen I,II, III LLL night vision. While the LLL night vision can take black & white images and videos at night from 40m/135ft distance, the digital night vision is capable of taking black and white videos and images at a distance of 350m/1150 feet.
The Infrared Illuminator can be turned off for daytime use of the camera. Though you might not get HD-like video quality with the night vision as compared to that without night vision at daytime, with the IR Illuminator setting set to the highest you can get quite a good night vision image.
Some additional features of the Bestguarder WG50
- Bestguarder WG50 is a tripod mountable monocular. It has two tripod jacks, one at the side and another at the bottom. This helps in surveillance use and makes taking videos much easier. There is no need to carry the camera all the time.
- It has a built-in Infrared Illuminator for night vision up to a 1150 ft/350m viewing distance. Which is excellent when you compare with the other hunting video cameras in the market.
- It uses an IPX4 standard waterproofing technology. Helps a lot when it is raining or the camera gets wet due to exposure to water.
- It can be fitted with an external micro SD card of 32 GB capacity for increasing the storage space in the video camera. However, the micro SD card does not come with the camera package when you buy it. You need to buy it separately.
- It can be used effectively for infrared live surveillance being connected to a laptop with USB. So if you’re playing a waiting game in the woods, all you have to do is connect the camera to a laptop with a USB.
Pros and Cons of Bestguarder WG50
- The rugged and waterproof body makes it suitable for external use.
- Uses digital night vision for recording at night. Digital night vision with the help of an IR illuminator is responsible for a much clearer image.
- A highly portable video camera that makes it perfect for game hunting and paranormal investigations.
- Reasonably priced, with a lot of useful features.
- The battery can drain pretty fast. Especially if you use the highest setting of the Infrared illuminator at night. For this reason, you should select a bit lower setting. It will be more than enough, giving the optimum video quality at night. The topmost IR setting is not required, really. Another option is to use 4 AA alkaline batteries like Duracell instead of zinc-carbon or Ni-MH batteries.
- There have been concerns about the picture quality with the night vision. Some users say that the picture quality at night is not HD quality. It must be kept in mind that HD quality is observed during day time. For night vision, the focus is more on the picture quality, rather on how well and how far you see the object or animal.
- With the rugged design and the extra rubber coating, it can be a bit heavy to carry.
- It does not have a power focus. Better focus has to be achieved by manually rotating the lens.
For the price it is offered at, I think the Bestguarder WG50 is a very good bargain. It is ideal for hunting, scouting, camping, ghost hunting, and other activities associated with the wilderness. This video camera has been made keeping in mind the requirements of using a camera in such conditions. H.