Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate 61/100

MSRP: $249.99 Manufacturer: Stealth Cam

Review

Published:
Updated:

Intro

The Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate trail camera is our most expensive non-cellular camera. At a whopping $249.00 MSRP price tag, this trail cam is more costly than many cameras with mobile connections, but the daytime images and videos are stunning. The camera is capable of 4K HD videos at 30 FPS even at night, but it requires 12 AA batteries. The DS4K Ultimate cam provides excellent low-glow infrared illumination for nighttime imagery, and the camera can take up to nine 32MP pictures per trigger.
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate Mounted - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate Mounted
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate Side - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate Side
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate Latch View - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate Latch View
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Packaging - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Packaging
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Bottom - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Bottom
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Packaging Back - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Packaging Back
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Front - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Front
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Front Side - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Front Side
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Side - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Side
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Back - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Back
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Accessories - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Accessories
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Open - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Open
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Battery Tray - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Battery Tray
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Powered On - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Powered On
Camera picture: Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Screen - Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate - Screen

Pros

  • Image Quality
  • 4K Videos
  • Adjustable Burst Interval
  • Good Locking System
  • Excellent Battery Life

Cons

  •  Expensive
  • 12 AA Batteries
  • Sensitive Sound Mic 

Camera Ratings


Detection Range: 14/20

After disappointing detection results at our first location, we have moved the camera to another area where the camera is performing much better, and we are getting results closer to the advertised 80 feet.
Cougar by Lake
Elk in the water
A Coyote from DS4K Ultimate
Limited Detection Range

Speed: 7/10

The video trigger performs well, but the DS4K ULTIMATE is limited to a three-second delay between triggers.
Big Bull Elk by Lake
Three Black Bears

Accuracy: 4/10

When the camera is placed in an open area with taller grass, it is very prone to false triggers. We have also observed instances of detection occurring outside of the camera's field of view. Specifically, when an animal enters the area horizontally, the camera begins recording before the animal even enters its view.
False Trigger
False Trigger #2

Battery Life: 5/10

The DS4K Ultimate camera has been deployed for about four months and has already captured 2,806 (20-second) videos. The battery status is showing 57%. Update: It turned out the battery metering was not functioning correctly with lithium batteries, and the batteries died shortly after. Considering this model uses 12 AA batteries, we expect better results. 

Daylight Images: 8/10

The daytime videos are beautiful and one of the best we have seen. The colors are clear and vibrant but not over-saturated. Unfortunately, still photos could be better when the camera is set to picture mode. 
Elk Pool Party
Elk by Lake
Elk Pool Party 2
Young muntain lion
Two young black bears
Three Elk Bulls
Elk Pool Party 3
Two Coyotes by Lake
Western Coyote
A herd of elk
Two Elk Calves
Mule deer with offspring
A Herd of Elk Grazing
Three Young Bucks

Lowlight Images: 8/10

Just like the daytime images, the low light images are quite good, with only a slight increase in ISO grain.
A Pair of Bobcats
Two Fawns

Night Images: 7/10

While the DS4K ULTIMATE game camera has powerful IR illumination, the IR flash is visible to human eyes and may also spook some animals. In addition, all photos and videos are considerably overexposed, resulting in blown highlights and some loss of details. 
Crazy Spike Elk
Bobcat at night
Spike Elk
Mama bear with yearling cub
Spike Elk Bull
Elk bull growing entelers
American Badger

Design: 8/20

At first glance, you can quickly tell the DS4K Ultimate trail camera is a high-quality unit. The finish is top-notch, and the paint color blends in really well. In addition, the one-piece latch is a massive upgrade from other Stealth Cam models. Also, the backside of the camera is designed to provide some angle mounting flexibility, which we like. As per the inside, the battery tray is easily accessible, and the buttons and screen are easy to read. However, we have noticed some screen flickering. Considering the size of this cam, the screen could definitely be bigger. A minor drawback is the 128GB memory card limitation. A typical 20-second long 4K videos are about 150MB, and therefore, the memory card will fill up quickly. Comparable models from other manufacturers offer 512GB memory card options. 
Windy Mic

Verdict: 61/100

The DS4K Ultimate is an excellent trail camera, producing the most stunning daytime images and well-deserving of the "ULTIMATE" name. While the DS4K does require 12 AA batteries, the battery life is also very impressive. Since the camera has no continuous recording option (Smart IR), a quicker than 3-seconds in between triggers would be desirable. The camera is listed at a whopping $249.00 MSRP but often could be found at a significant discount and is definitely worth the investment. We have already acquired two additional units. Unfortunately, reliability is an ongoing issue with all Stealth Cam cameras. One of the new units stopped working after being deployed for only a few weeks. This is the fifth of eight recently tested Stealth game cameras we had to return. We are currently dealing with a warranty replacement, but Stealth Cam support is nonexistent, and we have been waiting for over a month to receive a replacement. 

Pro Tip:

Due to ongoing reliability issues and poor customer service, we cannot recommend any Stealth Cam products at this time. 


Alternatives:

Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow or the Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 are both excellent alternatives at this price point. The new Camparkcam TC06 should also be considered. The image quality is quite comparable, and the camera is significantly cheaper.

Buying Options:


Disclaimer: Ratings and reviews on our website reflect our experience with the product at the time of the review. Therefore, our ratings and opinions may change as we continue to use and test the product's performance and reliability over an extended period. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more about us.

User Reviews

April 14, 2023, 10:38 a.m.
Anonymous 1/10

The camera takes pictures non-stop all the time, without movement in front of the camera, until the battery is empty. Lousy quality.


Jan. 24, 2024, 1:43 p.m.
Anonymous 1/10

"5 stars for the great videos" TY shame the camera is un-reliable at such a high price. and a 1 star for the poor un-reliable camera keep failing.


Got this cam? Please share your review!

Specs

Official specs from the manufacturer.
Name:
Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate
Manufacturer:
Stealth Cam
Model:
STC-DS4KU
Model Year:
2021
Series:
DS4K
Flash Type:
Low-Glow IR
Max Pixels:
32
Max Video:
2160p
No. of Sensors:
1
Detection Range:
100 ft
Flash Range:
100 ft
Field of View:
52 degrees
Trigger Speed:
0.20 second
Min Delay:
3 seconds
Max Delay:
60 minutes
Max Card Size:
128 GB
Cellular/Mobile:
No
WiFi:
No
Bluetooth:
No
Live View:
No
MSRP:
$249.99
Warranty:
12 months
Country of Origin:
N/A

Questions & Answers

12 AA lithium ion batteries seem to only last two or three days. Very expensive to replace. Are there any options to help conserve the batteries? I do not gave the cellular option enabled.

this camera is junk. Mine stopped working a couple of weeks after setting up.
While we had the same issues, and the warranty process was unpleasant and long, we managed to have our camera replaced under the warranty. We recommend that you reach out to Stealthcam support. Good luck!


Photo & Video Samples

Herd of Elk
Day picture: Herd of Elk -
More Photo & Video Samples

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