Ltl Acorn 5310WA Review
The Ltl Acorn 5310WA camera trap is a camera trap with a difference – a wide angle lens.
The 5310WA is the ‘big brother’ of the more basic 5210a – so what’s the difference, and what does this model have to offer?
The picture quality of the Ltl Acorn 5310WA is unchanged at 12MP, and is among the best and highest quality available. It is certainly the stand-out feature of the camera.
Add to that the wide angle lens, and you get something altogether a bit different.
An example day-time image, showing a squirrel in the centre (click for full-size image)
The wide-angle lens gives a huge 100 degree field of view, almost double what the standard lens offer. This means that the animal will almost always be in shot when the camera triggers, and reduces ‘blank captures’; i.e. when the camera has triggered too late and the animal has moved out of the field of view.
Its also great if you want to monitor as large an area as possible, such as a large garden, and if you are monitoring for security purposes.
It does have a drawback however; notice the blur around the edges of the picture. Although the centre is clear and crisp, there is a clear blur around the outside, and it is slightly under-exposed. This is due to the size of the lens.
A night time shot with a fox; the blur is less obvious. Note that this image was taken with the brighter white LEDs (click for full-size image)
The night time images are still very good and the blur is hardly noticeable. Note that a no-glow LED version will be about 30% as bright as the above image, which was taken with the standard white LEDs.
We compared a standard lens to a wide angle lens directly, so you can clearly see the difference in the field of view;
These pictures were taken at almost exactly the same time by two different cameras
The video quality is a step up from the 5210a, with 1280 x 720 video resolution available at 20fps.
That said, the video quality still isn’t great, and is no where near as good as the Bushnell camera trap’s video which is the same resolution.
Take a look below; both daytime and nighttime footage (be sure to turn the quality to 720p).
If you do want a camera trap with good video quality, then this may not be the one for you. The Ltl Acorn 6310WMC is the latest model which takes a lot of the 5310WA’s best features but also adds much improved video quality.
Externally, the Ltl Acorn 5310WA isn’t too different from the 5210a.
A Ltl Acorn 5310WA, with standard or ‘White’ LEDs
The sensors are the same, with one main sensor in the centre and two ‘prep’ or side sensors just tucked underneath.The Ltl Acorn camera traps in general do something a little different to the majority of other camera traps on the market by having these prep sensors.
This is actually a completely separate sensor to the main sensor in the middle of the camera, and acts to ‘arm’ the camera as wildlife approaches, so the camera is ready to take a picture when the animal is in the centre of the shot.
It also inadvertently serves another function; breaking up the cameras outline when on a tree or fence post, helping it to blend in further.
The camouflage on the Ltl Acorn 5310WA is generally very good – we’ve actually had people walk within inches of our camera traps and be completely unaware of them.
The camera lens sits right in the middle of the camera, and this leads us to one of the differences with the 5310WA. You’ll notice that when compared below, the Ltl Acorn 5310WA’s lens opening is much bigger to accommodate this wide angle lens.
The 5210a (top) and 5310WA (bottom)
The second thing you’ll have no doubt already noticed is that you get a lot more infrared LEDs with the 5310wa – 44 compared to the 5210a’s 24. That means significantly brighter night time imagery.
The 5310WA employs the same excellent ‘backpack system’ as the 5210a, meaning that the camera is actually in two parts.
A Ltl Acorn 5310WA without its backpack – revealing the screen and controls
This makes it extremely easy to strap up and change the settings quickly as we mentioned in our review of the 5210a, but it does still have the same potential drawbacks – it is slightly fragile, especially if there is livestock around.
Livestock love to rub up against camera traps, sniff them, chew the strapping etc and ultimately this can lead to damage. Our top tip is still to never place your camera trap where livestock could reach it.
Colour screen and settings
All Ltl Acorn camera traps come with a colour screen (in this case 2.36″), which can be a very useful feature. It can be used to view images and videos in the field, though it is sometimes easy to miss animals at a distance or small animals. We’d always recommend checking images on a tablet or computer however.
The settings are easy to understand and easy to change, giving you good flexibility.
One major plus-point for the Ltl Acorn camera traps in general is they have two ‘timer’ functions. You can set the camera to only be active during set periods of the day or night, to the minute.
This is an extremely useful feature if you want to put your camera trap in an area with high human daytime activity and don’t want your batteries wasted or SD card to be filled with unwanted captures.
Bottom trap door
This is unchanged from the Ltl Acorn 5210a; to turn the camera to off/on/test, you need to access the switch at the bottom of the camera. This is also where 4 of the batteries are housed, as well as the SD card.
These cameras are among the most affordable available, and that does show a little in this area. The switch could be sturdier, and the trap door itself isn’t massively strong, but it does the job. We’ve never had any major water ingress problems or snapped trap doors with our own Ltl Acorn cameras.
Please note that you do need to have an SD card inserted for the camera to turn on.
The battery life of the 5310WA is generally very good, though it massively depends on which make of battery you use (tip; avoid Duracell), how active the camera is and whether you’re capturing video or picture. Set to picture mode, the camera will run for about 4-6 months, depending on how many pictures its taking a day.
If its taking about 10-20 then it should be fine, but if its taking 50+ a day then the batteries will drain much faster.
The screen does have a small battery indicator though it’s wise not to trust it – you can’t turn the screen on without detaching the camera backing, which houses the other 4 batteries. That means the indicator is only showing the power from 4 batteries rather than 8.
We’ve also found that the indicator seems to default to showing two bars out of three of battery at times, even if the batteries are brand new or almost flat…
The Ltl Acorn 5310WA is a great little camera trap that offers quite a lot more than the 5210a for just a little more expenditure.
The upgrade to 44 LEDs alone makes it worth it as these offer considerably brighter nighttime pictures.
The video quality is a little disappointing, but still an improvement on the 5210a.
The wide angle lens offers something quite unique and could prove to be very useful, though it is very much down to personal preference.
All in all, the Ltl Acorn 5310WA is a great camera trap at a very affordable price.
If you want to get your hands on the Ltl Acorn 5310WA, they’re now available on the non-profit NatureSpy Shop for a great price with free P&P in the UK and dedicated email support.