XA7000i Review and First Thoughts

I’ve been using the XA7000i for about a month now, in two different states so I thought it may be helpful to give a quick review/update on my experiences so far.

First impressions out of the box:

  • It’s a big camera. Size wise, it reminds me of the older style cameras that ran on D cell batteries. I’m not sure why that caught me off guard, but it did. It’s not unmanageable by any means but it may make it more visible from a concealment standpoint.
  • It has a rugged build to it. The door is stout and closes much more securely than other models.
  • I really like the simplicity of the design. There are not a lot of buttons or screens. Just a couple buttons and 4 lights to tell you all you need to know.
  • The cheat sheet on the inside is helpful. The color codes for each light are listed on the inside of the camera which prevents you from having to remember what each one means or pull up a manual on your phone. That’s handy.

Setup was very easy. Mine was activated within just a few minutes. Honestly, a very simple process. So much so, I don’t even really remember much about it. A few steps and it was done. I activated it through the app which now has a way to scan the barcode. This makes it unnecessary to manually type it in and try to decipher if that’s an “O” or a “0” in your barcode. (you can still type it in manually if you so desire)

Cell service isn’t a challenge at my house in TN which is where I started using the camera. No surprise, all the lights were “green” and I started receiving pictures as expected. The true test was going to be taking it to Colorado.

There, I placed it in a location that traditionally does not have great cell service. I was going to be there a week so I figured I would know right away if it wasn’t going to connect well. To my surprise, all lights turned green when I turned it on, and the app actually shows 100% on the signal. My phone is Verizon where this is an AT&T version so it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, but Verizon showed 3 bars of service at the camera site.

Picture quality has been on par with what I have experienced with “M” Series cameras. I have not inspected any images from the card, but the thumbnails and high-resolution images meet my expectations and are in line with the other cameras I’m using.

Trigger speed is impressive. As you can see below, it caught two doves flying by and that’s not a fluke. I’ve received several images like this.

Temperature operating range was certainly tested. I looked online but couldn’t see what temperature limit the cameras are rated for but as you can see, it reached 118 on two straight days and was still sending pictures. I will say, I do think the extreme heat was tricking the sensor at times. I would get pictures of nothing during the hot times of the day and I noticed that fell off as the temperatures dropped.

Battery life will be tested as I have a 12v attached to it. I’m hoping to get a full year out of it but that may be optimistic. We’ll see.

To be honest, it’s hard to find much to criticize it on at this point. As I use it more, I may find some things I’d like to tweak, but for now, I like the simplicity and ease of use. I will for sure pick up another one in the Verizon version when it becomes available.

I hope that helps and feel free to reach out or comment here if you have any additional questions or thoughts that I may be able to answer.

Comments

  • Looks pretty good, Rocklock. I assume these are thumbnail pics? Thanks for reviewing it.

  • Thank you sir, I've been contemplating the new camera in either V or A . My redemption modem was ordered a V and they sent an A . Going to swap cameras in the morning and see which gets better signal on the same tree.
  • @donejones Yep, those are thumbnails. They are the same size (on the long end) as the thumbnails from the MVs.

  • Thanks for the review. I will be putting my cell camera out in a month or so. AT&T put up a cell tower two farms away. So I should get great service
  • So comprehensive! Thanks for taking the time to thoroughly review the new camera for us @RocklockHunter! We are glad you are enjoying it!

  • UPDATE

    I’ve had the X Series out for about 3 months now so I thought it may be good to revisit this tread since there are more of them in the field and we’re starting to hear some reports.

    The most common feedback that users have reported is “blank shots”, meaning images transmitted with no animals in them. I went back and reviewed a couple weeks’ worth of images and here is what I found on mine:

    • 78% of the daylight images contained SOMETHING in the image. Some were small, like a bird or chipmunk.
    • Nighttime wasn’t as good of an average at a pure 50/50 split. The challenge there is that the flash only reaches so far so I can’t be for certain something wasn’t out of range that I just couldn’t see.

    I have it set on "Low" PIR. FYI, I do not use "High" on any of my cameras, cell or not as I've always felt they were too sensitive.

    The Battery is still reading at 100% but I do have a 12V attached to it. I also switched it to 2 times daily which I have never used up until now. That will help conserve some battery as I won’t be back out there until September of next year.

    The Signal strength dropped considerably after the firmware update. It was reading at or near 100% prior to the update. Now it hovers in the teens and even as low at 7% one time. I believe that’s probably fairly accurate. The service in that area isn’t great and I was actually surprised when it read so high at first. That being said, it still hasn’t missed any check-ins.

    I still like the all-in-one unit, which I was on the fence about initially when they were announced. I also have an XV now as well that will get deployed in less than a month in a different state. They’re much more mobile (no pun intended) than the split units. That certainly has its advantages.

  • Thanks for the review @RocklockHunter

    So account for maybe 30 plus % blanks I guess. I was getting a few on the MV2 and the MV1, but that seems to have stopped for the most part. My current MV2 setup is working pretty good.

    I'm on the fence about purchasing an XV. If I had another M series camera to have control of my PIR, I'd probably go the MV2 route.

  • You know, @donejones I was thinking as I was typing that out that I don't know if that's consistent with my non cell cams or not. I'm going to pull the card on one of them on Saturday, I will compare the two and see. It's not in the same location so it's not apples to apples but it's something to compare at least.

  • edited September 11

    I formatted the camera Sat. My last 112 pics over 3 days have 0 false triggers on the MV2/M50i
    1 min delay time. High PIR. I even have one weed thats entered the side of the field of view. 95 to 97 degrees daytime temps

    My theory is when this field was mowed 6 weeks ago, the grasses were lower, the hot spots of sun brightness and shadows created the false triggers. Bright hot spots on the ground and the edges of the shadows more distinct. Now its back to a filtered effect through the higher grasses. The taller grass height doesn't have any bright spots. And the shadow edges are broken up.


    I had false triggers on my MV1/A40 when I had it connected because the bright sun would create reflections off the leaves.

    I think everything will get better as the sun angle gets lower and the heat fades.

  • Without a doubt. When the shadows get longer, the hot spot images go away. I get them quite a bit from a couple setups where the camera is high in a tree. By September they are gone.

    I'm not sure if I consider that a false trigger or not. Technically, the camera is catching a temperature change which it is designed to do. I guess I see it both ways.

  • edited September 11

    A lot of things to pay attention to setting one up. I've even wondered if the sun shining on the camera housing triggers it sometimes.

    Probably not considered a false trigger until one takes hundreds lol. Glad I haven't encountered that.

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