Tested by Michael Gibson
Being a self-confessed trail camera die hard I jumped at the opportunity to field test the Minox DTC 450 Slim trail camera. The camera was handed to me in perfect time for this years red and fallow deer rut.
Out of the box, this is not your standard looking trail camera. The camera is about 1/3 the thickness of a standard trail camera at just 2.7cm. The camera is camouflage and very discreet when on a tree.
The camera features a 12 megapixel camera capable of recording HD resolution video in lengths of 10 to 60 seconds. The powerful infrared flash has a range of up to 15 meters to produce reliable images even in darkness or in twilight.
New features include the silent shutter system of the DTC 450 SLIM ensuring an absolutely noise-free shutter release. The camera also has a shutter delay of less than 1 second and a battery life of over 6 months.
The integrated 2-inch front display permits convenient and easy setup and alignment of the camera. All data are stored on an SD card and can be read directly or transferred via USB port.
In the field
All these specifications are great. How did it fair in the field? I have used many different trail cameras over the years. This was the first time using a Minox.
The camera was extremely easy to line up with the use of the front display. A seriously handy feature that will get you pointed at the exact feature you are trying to monitor.
Daylight image quality is important to me as I use the cameras for wildlife photography as much as scouting. The Minox image quality was more than acceptable with images at a quality that they are more than suitable for print or social media.
The night images are fine for scouting. However, unless you are running a white flash camera I do not expect print worthy images from an IR flash. The night images were clear and detailed enough to determine stag and buck quality.
The noise free shutter release was evident as there was not one image where the deer were visibly looking at the camera. I have over a dozen cameras out at any one time and I would have to say this is the only camera I have seen so far that achieves this with both passive IR and silent shooting working together.
I loaded the camera with Sanyo Eneloop Pro batteries. The camera was out for three and a half months and took 800 images and was still running on collection. The camera was set to record 12Megapixel stills in bursts of 3. For the purpose of this review the battery life was not tested to failure.
I had the trail camera set over running water so I expected false triggers. All cameras experience these. To have something to compare against I had the camera set with another reliable camera of mine. Both cameras took a comparable amount of shots over the three-month period. Both cameras appeared to miss no game and even caught birds throughout the review.
The camera has plastic security rings that can be used to secure this camera to the tree with a python lock. These could be broken off like all security tabs that do not run through the body of the camera.
I have only backyard tested the video in order to have a review printed with the current model. The video is more than adequate and could be used online or in hunting videos. With all HD video the quality comes at the expense of the battery. With this in mind video sets should be set with smaller battery change windows.
This is an extremely discreet camera from both animals and human perspective. The camera with its slim line body is extremely hard to spot in the bush. The front display takes the guesswork out of lining the camera up.
I would not hesitate to put my money into one of these cameras. From the first field test the camera is a very discreet and reliable camera that can be left out for long spells when running on burst stills. I would use this camera in high human and animal traffic areas.