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Blaze Video A280W Path Digicam Assessment


Trail Cameras are popular amongst animal enthusiasts, hobbyists, trackers, hunters, landowners, and professionals of other various types.

Whether you’re out searching for game, a rare sighting, tracking movement on your property or just in it for adventure and enjoyment, then Blaze Video will surely have a trail camera that suits your needs.

Having been active in the market for a few years now, Blaze Video have an assortment of cameras with a range of helpful features and additional accessories to make things more secure.

I’ll be taking a look at the A280W in this review, one of their premium level trail cameras.

Featuring a convenient Wi-Fi connection, decent camera, easy to use software, and a strong weather-sealed body, the A280W is a trail camera you should definitely consider.

Let’s take a closer look.

Blaze Video A280W Trail Camera Specs

The A280W comes with a removable aerial, strap, and USB cable. Not pictured is the comprehensive manual.

The Blaze Video A280W is a new generation trail camera (based on the original A280) with a built-in Wi-Fi connection for added convenience.

This allows you to set up your camera near your campsite, or access it remotely if you don’t wish to disturb it while adjusting your settings or reviewing your footage.

Pros

  • Tough and rugged build
  • Good quality camera
  • Wi-Fi compatibility with live view
  • Simple interface and menu system
  • The App is pretty good!
  • Great night clarity and visibility
Cons

  • Device screen quality could be improved
  • Anti-glare coating on screen would be appreciated
  • Short-range for Wi-Fi connection
  • Fixed focus
Photo & Video Resolutions:

Photo: 32MP / 24MP / 16MP / 8MP / 4MP / 2MP
Photo File Type: 72dpi – sRGB – JPG
Video (16:9): 2304 x 1296 @ 20fps / 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps / 1280 x 720 @ 30fps
Video File Type: H.264 – MP4

Photo and Video Settings:

Working Modes: Motion Detection or Time Lapse
Trigger Time: Approx. 0.1~0.6 seconds (0.1s while side motion sensors enabled)
Trigger Delay: 0sec.-60min
Photo Count (Single or Burst): 1~5 max
Video Length: 3sec ~ 5min max
Time Lapse Interval: 2 Seconds ~ 24 Hours

Optics and Sensors:

Main Lens: 6mm, F/1.6, FOV=70°, Auto IR-Cut
IR Flash: 100ft
PIR Sensitivity: High / Normal / Low
PIR Sensing Distance: up to 27m / 90ft (Below 77°F/25°C)
PIR Sensing Angle: Total 120° (while side motion sensors enabled) / Central zone: 60° / Left side: 30° / Right side: 30°

Device Specs:

Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.6 x 7.2 cm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.86 inch)
LCD Screen: 2.4″ Colour screen
Waterproof: IP66
Main Power Supply: 8×1.5V AA Batteries
Alternative Power Supply: DC 12V/1A, Plug 5.5×2.1mm, or Solar Attachment via plug (all sold separately)
Ports: Mini-USB, Standard size SD slot, External Power (DC 12V/1A, Plug 5.5×2.1mm)
Memory: SD, SDHC or SDXC (Max. 512GB)
Mounting: Strap & Tripod Base (1/4-20)
Operation Temperature: -20~60°C (-4~140°F)
Operation Humidity: 5% ~ 95%
Auto Stand-by: Auto Stand-by (Surveillance mode) triggers after 5 minutes of inactivity
Stand-by Time: up to 8 Months (Battery Dependant)
Low Battery Alarm: 8V (Low Battery); 9V (Night vision is unavailable in low voltage)

Wi-Fi Connectivity:

Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth: BLE 5.0
App System Requirements: IOS 9.0 or later; Android 7.0 or later

Individual Package Includes:

– 1x A280W Trail Camera
– 1x Mounting Strap
– 1x USB Cable
– 1x Antenna (Wi-Fi Version Only)
– Manual/Instruction Booklet
Note: Batteries/SD Card/Tripod Not Included

Build & Appearance

The latch on the A280W has a secure point for a padlock added security..

The latch on the A280W has a secure point for a padlock and added security.

The Blaze Video A280W has definitely been designed and built to purpose – it is rugged, chunky, and built to endure the elements.

The hardened and weather-sealed body should be capable of withstanding anything from rain, ice, snow, dust, sand, and mud.

Not only that, but the A280W can also withstand extreme temperatures ranging from as low as -20 (-4°F) all the way up to a toasty 60°C (140°F)!

Equipped with 36 InfraRed globes and 3 PIR (Passive Infrared) sensors, the A280W is ready for tracking day and night. Just hitch it to a post, tree, or secure it low to the ground and leave it to do its thing!

Blaze Video have made the A280W available in 3 camouflage patterns to suit your preferred location – a light woodlands grey, a soft bark brown and a dark military-style green.

Two main strap points are available on the Blaze Video A280W which makes for great securing capabilities.

Two main strap points are available on the Blaze Video A280W which makes for great securing capabilities.

It features a large clasp on one side with a ring to padlock it closed (to prevent any sneaky koalas or dingbats from accessing the device), chunky hinges on the opposite side, and a 1/4-20 tripod mount on the base.

On both the upper and back sides of the A280W are the strap mounts and a full-width hole for additional securing of the device.

The 3 PIR sensors on the front of the A280W provide a full 120° of detection range. They can detect heat energy up to 27m / 90ft away and trigger the camera using the predetermined recording mode and settings.

Ergonomics & Handling

Big chunky latch and buttons on the Blaze Video A280W makes for ease of use even when wearing thick gloves!

The big chunky latch and buttons on the Blaze Video A280W make for ease of use even when wearing thick gloves!

It’s a good-sized device, and it’s chunky enough to handle with thick winter or hunting gloves if need be (unlike a tiny action camera!). Flicking open the body is easy, and the buttons are suitably sized and spaced to use while wearing the aforementioned gloves.

It’s not too heavy, so it should be suitable to mount to almost anything!

The software found in the Blaze Video A280W (and I assume the rest of the range too) is intentionally simple and straightforward to navigate. You won’t find any over the top graphics, deep hidden menus, or tiny arty fonts within this system.

One of the things I would ideally prefer on a device like this would be an anti-glare coating on the screen and brightness adjustment. In harsher conditions the reflection can be a little annoying, especially depending on how it’s mounted.

But really, that is just a fussy detail – with how infrequently you’ll need the screen in general (especially once mounted), it’s something that you probably won’t care for, and if anything, the App will probably solve that as well!

Internal Software and Capture Modes

The interface on the A280W is simple and straightforward to use

The interface on the A280W is simple and straightforward to use

As I previously mentioned, the software is simple to navigate. You literally use just the MENU or OK button to access and modify any number of the features, and the arrow keys are simple to move about the menu.

If you’re unfamiliar with photography modes and settings, this is where the device may get a little confusing. The default settings that Blaze Video have applied will get you off to a good start if you want to hit the ground running.

The A280W can only be used in two main modes:

  • Motion Detection: This will trigger the camera to record video or take photos (at your settings) once it detects movement.
    • Great for security, watching for game, or detecting your cheeky teenager climbing out the window at night.
    • You can set the camera to take up to 5 photos or videos (from 3 seconds up to 5 minutes each file) immediately after detection.
    • Upon motion detection, recording can be either be started immediately or delayed for any preferred amount of time (up to 60 minutes).
    • By default, the camera will wait 10 seconds after detecting motion before recording.
  • Time Lapse: The camera will record video or take photos periodically according to your “Timelapse Interval” parameter.
    • Take a photo or video automatically from the moment you set it, until the moment you disable it (or battery/memory depletion).
    • Photo or video intervals can be set to anywhere between every 2 seconds all the way up to every 24 hours.
    • Completely up to you how frequently and long you wish to record footage (up to 5-minute files).
    • Video Looping will allow continuous time-lapse even when the memory card is full as earlier footage will be overwritten.

The size of the footage which you’ll receive from either of these two modes is completely down to your choices and needs. Photo quality ranges from 2MP up to 32MP, and the recordings are either 720p, 1080p, or 1296p.

For both of the main modes, you can elect to have just photos or videos, or have both captured at the same time.

You’ll find that the exposure settings are always automatic (understandably no manual option), and switching to night mode is also automatic based on lighting conditions.

You can easily and quickly review your footage within the Blaze Video A280W internal software

You can easily and quickly review your footage within the Blaze Video A280W internal software

If you’re after continuous recording even with a full memory card, another setting you can enable is Video Looping. Much in the same way vehicle dashcams work, the earliest footage will be overwritten to make room for newer footage.

Footage can be reviewed either on the screen, through the Wi-Fi connection on your phone (App), via USB cable from the device to your computer, or by using the SD card in another device.

TrailCam Mobile App

The TrailCam App does everything you need when utilised with the A280W

The TrailCam App does everything you need when utilised with the A280W

The App in which you’ll be required to use if you wish to utilise the Wi-Fi connection on the Blaze Video A280W is called TrailCam Mobile.

It’s fairly simple to use and understand, and the connection is very easy and seamless.

Just switch on the A280W and stay within 10m of the camera, enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your mobile device (IOS 9.0 or later; Android 7.0 or later) and click the Wi-Fi Camera button.

It then runs through the process by itself and connects.

This provides you with all the settings you can adjust on the A280W itself, a Live View feature (with a manual recording button), Status snapshot of your device, and the ability to download footage to your mobile device.

TrailCam Mobile also allows you to connect to multiple Blaze Video Wi-Fi (and Cellular if available) Trail Cameras and will list them all (along with their status snapshots) conveniently for you.

Image Quality

Rainy weather and heavy cloud cover doesn't affect the performance of the A280W's inbuilt camera

Rainy weather and heavy cloud cover doesn’t affect the performance of the A280W’s inbuilt camera

Blaze Video state that this camera features an all-new innovative and ultra-clear imaging technology.

You can also automatically imprint different details onto the images themselves to easily identify when, where, what conditions, and a label of which camera (if multiple) you’re viewing footage from.

Along with automated camera settings (other than a fixed aperture of f/1.6), the camera on the A280W also includes software noise reduction and blur reduction to help improve image quality in all conditions.

The optical focus seems to be also be fixed, so anything that gets up close may be out of focus. So be strategic with your placement!

  • Photo Resolution (72dpi – sRGB – 24 Bit – JPG):
    • 2MP: 1920 x 1080
    • 4MP: 2560 x 1440
    • 8MP: 3840 x 2160
    • 16MP: 5120 x 2880
    • 24MP: 6656 x 3744
    • 32MP: 7680 x 4320
  • Video Resolution (H.264 – MP4):
    • 720p: 1280 x 720 @ 30fps
    • 1080p: 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps
    • 1296p: 2304 x 1296 @ 20fps

With the Wi-Fi and Cellular versions of their trail cameras, you can also live-view the camera and manually capture footage and videos too. Depending on the distance and level of interference between your mobile device and the trail camera, this is a rather seamless process!

Since there has been intense rain and storm conditions, including flooding, all around me at the time of writing this article, I have opted to instead utilise my dog in my backyard to give you these examples of imagery.

Sorry, no wild dears, pigs, yetis, wolves, or rule-breaking teenagers featuring in this article.

Low Light Performance

Even with street and house lights affecting clarity and shadows, the A280W performs well at night

Even with street and house lights affecting clarity and shadows, the A280W performs well at night

You’ll find the A280W holds its own in the dark, especially with how well the 36 Infrared LEDs function as a static light or a flash, all without startling any of the creatures (or teenagers) which you’re capturing wandering around in the dark.

The 3 PIR sensors work pretty well, but for cold-blooded creatures (like a snake, lizard, or ex-partner) you might want to utilise the Time Lapse mode instead of as the PIR sensors work based on heat signature.

As you can see in the example photo I’ve provided here, my dog Jasper is lit up nice and bright by the IR LEDs and his eyes glow like the little demon dog that he is.

Focus is fixed so depending on how far or close the subject is, they may be out of focus.

Overall Performance

The A280W has a quick and sharp camera, multiple PIR sensors, and lots of IR LEDs

The A280W has a quick and sharp camera, multiple PIR sensors, and lots of IR LEDs

The device takes around 2-3 seconds to activate once you turn it on, and it will start your predetermined recording modes immediately once you click ‘Start’. If you set up the camera and leave it running without activating your capture mode, it’ll automatically do so for you after a certain timeframe.

Connecting via the App once the device is on is a pretty smooth process, and using the App to modify or view things on the A280W is quick and effortless. The only drawback to utilising the Wi-Fi is that the range is limited to only 10m (32ft).

The battery life is quite decent in the Blaze Video A280W. It makes for a great security camera for your rural (or suburban) home, farm, or country property. Hide it on a tree and track wild animals for weeks through your favourite grounds, or capture a time-lapse of continuous sunsets from atop your favourite location.

With how quickly the camera will trigger recording after detecting motion (0.1~0.6 seconds), you’re certainly not going to miss anything – unless you set the delay for too long!

The PIR sensors work great, and with the 3 sensitivity levels you can tune how close or far you want it to activate, either reducing false-alarms or decreasing the amount of potential missed opportunities.

Based on the 64Gb SD Card I equipped my Blaze Video A280W with, it guesstimates approximately 20,272 32MP photos will fit (or 121,635 2MP photos) – that’s a lot of footage!

Alternatives and Extras

Blaze Video have a trail camera suited to your needs and budget

Blaze Video have a trail camera suited to your needs and budget

Blaze Video have a range of Trail Cameras sitting at slightly different price points and containing different levels of features, connectivity, and quality. All of which are still decent products, it’s just a matter of selecting one that fits your needs and budget.

For a larger distance of connection via the dedicated app, Blaze Video also have a 4G Cellular version! But note that this only works within the USA on two particular common cellular networks.

All of their cameras have bundle discounts as well, so if you’re after more than one, you can save money on each individual camera.

If you plan on setting up your trail camera and are worried about battery life or its security, Blaze Video also offer various accessories to help in these familiar situations.

You can easily add a solar panel, extra security case, locking cable, and extra mounting options to your package via their website. This will help the longevity of your recording, and add further resistance to the theft or removal of your camera.

Although if somebody removes the tree in which it’s attached to – I’m sorry they don’t provide any security for that.

Value for Money

The Blaze Video range of Trail Cameras are all great value

The Blaze Video range of Trail Cameras are all great value

The Blaze Video A280W is fitted with a decent quality camera, 3 PIR sensors, an easy to use interface, a well built and equipped body, and very handy Wi-Fi capabilities.

It currently rings in at US$149, and I feel it is competitively and fairly priced within the Trail Camera market.

If you’re after more than one, Blaze Video have bundle options as well which knock down the individual camera price big time too! Great for multi-camera monitoring of property, or multiple locations in which you’re sure game is currently wandering through, but without hurting the wallet any more than it should.

Blaze Video A280W Trail Camera Review | Conclusion

The Blaze Video A280W does what it is tasked to do very well

The Blaze Video A280W does what it is tasked to do very well

For a trail camera, the Blaze Video A280W is a great piece of kit. Rugged, tough, and with decent power efficiency. The camera quality is decent, sharp, and reactive.

It may not have the photography and focus performance of a traditional camera, but for the purposes of tracking and capturing candid photos of wildlife in their most undisturbed state, or for the security of your property, this camera will do the trick and still give you great results.

If there is anything else you’d like to see or learn about the Blaze Video A280W, just hit me up in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!

Also, if I get a chance to drag this camera out bush and capture anything interesting, I’ll make sure I update this review with the photos to prove it!

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. 

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