PROS / It has unparalleled battery life.
CONS / Photos of animals 100 feet away or more appear blurry.
VERDICT / The PlotWatcher Pro is a well-designed, functional game camera with fantastic software, though, as a pure time-lapse camera, it doesn't work at night.
Unlike the other game cameras we've reviewed, the Day 6 Outdoor PlotWatcher Pro doesn't work by detecting movement. Instead, it is purely a time-lapse game camera.
You set the camera to take pictures once every five or 10 seconds. The photos are stored in video format. When you export the file to Day 6's GameFinder software, the software sifts through the thousands of images to find the ones with movement in them. The software then condenses the pictures with movement in them into a short video.
Capturing only time-lapse images is an entirely different philosophy from the norm when it comes to trail cams, and Day 6 Outdoors' argument for it is a compelling one. Because conventional trail cams only take pictures when their infrared detection circuits detect movement, they are limited by the length of their detection range. In contrast, the PlotWatcher Pro will watch an entire field. This means you'll capture distant animals on the PlotWatcher Pro that you wouldn't with a conventional game camera.
Trail cameras often have a time-lapse mode on them, but often the shortest intervals they will shoot is once every five minutes. In that time, an animal could come and go without ever being caught on camera. The PlotWatcher Pro can be set to shoot once every five seconds, so you won't miss any action.
The PlotWatcher Pro has no infrared flash technology, so it only shoots from dawn to dusk. Day 6 Outdoors' reasoning is that you can't hunt at night, so it is unnecessary to scout during a time you can't hunt. Plus, if you don't need to capture nighttime images with your game camera, the lack of a flash saves you battery power and memory card storage space.
There are downsides, however, to using the PlotWatcher Pro. In order to save time during the viewing process and to save space on the SD memory card, the camera stores its photos to video format. This results in footage of a lower quality than you get with other top game cameras, and wildlife can appear blurry, especially if they're over 100 feet away.
However, as a hunter, you'll still be able to identify the types and size of the animals on your property. With this camera, you can see patterns of wildlife movement that will help you choose the best spot to hunt.
The PlotWatcher Pro represents an entirely different breed of wildlife camera. It doesn't detect movement and it can't shoot video at night. However, it will help you identify when and where animals appear on your property, and you will capture more animal activity on it than on a traditional trail camera.