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Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Game Camera Review

December 22, 2012
Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Reviewing a Bushnell game camera is not new for me. With the Trophy Cam HD, this is the third one since June 2006. As technology has advanced, Bushnell has continually enhanced the features of their game cameras since they were first introduced 8 years ago. When the Trophy Cam HD (#119437) arrived for this review, my initial response was 'wow'. It is surprisingly small and light. Specifically, it measures 5.5" tall, 4.1" wide, 2.8" deep and only weighs 8.7 ounces without batteries.

Releasing 2 latches on the right opens up the Trophy Cam HD. The back of the case is the battery compartment that uses AA batteries. It will operate on 4, but holds 8 (the bottom 4 are backup for extended time). Lithium batteries have the longest life, alkaline are good and rechargeable NiMH are not recommended due to lower voltage; a $2 off coupon on Energizer Ultimate Lithium 4 or 8-pack of batteries is included. Bushnell states there is up to 1-year battery life (depends on temperature and number of images per day). There is an external 6V connector as an optional power source.

The front half of the case contains all of the electronic components, control buttons/switches and ports. A sliding switch is used for on/off/set-up controls. Six push buttons control all of the functions (up, down, left, right, ok, menu) and have a secondary function (up = video mode, down = photo mode, right = manual shutter/shot, ok = playback/replay). The 1"x1.3" (approx) LCD screen used for viewing the set up parameters is located right above the buttons. The SD card slot, USB port, DC port and A/V port are all located on the bottom.

Article Video

The Trophy Cam HD has the ability to take still images or videos, enhanced with additional capabilities. There are three resolution choices for still images...3, 5 or 8 MP with images saved in .jpg format. Videos can be saved in three formats (720p HD, 4x3 Full Screen, 16x9 Wide Screen) with a choice of video length from 5 seconds to 60 seconds. Plus, this game camera also has a built in microphone to record sound in video mode. Images and videos can be stored to the 32MB of internal memory (holding about 20 photos @ 5MP resolution) or to an SD/SDHC card up to 32GB (high speed recommended).

For use at night, the Trophy Cam HD has 32 IR LEDs that give sufficient output to reach out 60 feet (this exceeds the PIR sensor range of 45 feet). A day/night auto sensor in the middle of the LED panel further helps to control functioning.

To help get the best set up possible, there is a red LED that flashes to show the detection zone. The red LED is located in the middle of the LED panel. This is a really nice feature and does help make sure your camera is pointed in the direction you want.

Article Photos

Bushnell Trophy Cam HD (front)

Field Scan 2X with Live Trigger is one of the best new features. It is ideal for monitoring a field or food plot beyond the normal trigger area. When this feature is activated, the Trophy Cam HD will record a picture or video without being triggered based on two user-programmed time frames (i.e. 6am-8am and 5pm-6pm). You can set the interval between videos to 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes (photo intervals are the same with the addition of a 1 minute interval). Think of this like 'time lapse' photography. The Trophy Cam HD will still trigger for close up photos/videos in addition to the Field Scan feature.

Other New and Improved Features

* Auto PIR Sensitivity monitors ambient temperature and adjusts trigger accordingly (more sensitive on hot days and less sensitive on cold days)

Fact Box

SpecificationsBushnell Trophy Cam HD
Maximum Pixels8 MP (3264x2448)
Lensf = 3.1
Field of View45°
LEDs32
Maximum IR Flash Range60'
Memory Card FormatSD or SDHC
Memory Card SizeUp to 32GB
Internal Memory32MB
Picture Resolution3MP, 5MP, 8MP
Video Size1280x720 (wide) 640x480 (full) 320x240 (full)
Video Speed20-30 fps day 15-20 fps night
PIR Sensitivity SettingsLow/Normal/High/Auto
OperationDay/Night
Trigger Speed **.6 sec
Trigger Interval1 sec - 60 min programmable
Video Length5-60 sec programmable
Power Supply4AA (+ 4AA emergency power)
User InterfaceLCD Display
InterfacesA/V out, USB, 6V DC external
Mounting76" Strap, 1/4x20 Mount
Operating Temperature-5° to 140° F
Image StampingName, Temperature, Moon Phase, Date, Time
Height5.5"
Width4.1"
Depth2.8"
Weight w/o Batteries8.7 oz
Optional Security BoxYes
Warranty24 months
MSRP$323.95

* Hyper NightVision increased range, brighter output, better coverage

* GPS Positioning user input latitude/longitude for embedding into photos; then mapping programs like Google Earth can display on a map

* Multi-Flash Mode prevents overexposure at close range at night

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* Capture Number determines how many pictures taken when triggered in camera mode (1-2-3) and also how many photos during time interval of Field Scan mode.

* Advertised Trigger Speed - .6 seconds

The Trophy Cam HD comes with a USB cable, A/V cable and adjustable web belt. The USB cable can be used to make a direct link to computer, PC or Mac.

The bottom of the Trophy Cam HD has a standard 1/4x20 mount which is compatible with a wide variety of mounting accessories such as a tripod or the Bushnell Deluxe Tree Bracket.

For bears, theft or vandalism, Bushnell has a Bear Safe Security Case. This is an all-metal 18-gauge steel container designed specifically for the Trophy Cam HD; the bottom is even cut out for the microphone, to gain access to the external power supply port and still use a standard mounting bracket. The Bear Safe Security Case comes with its own special keyed padlock.

Bushnell offers two free software programs to use with the Trophy Cam HD. First is "BuckScore" which allows users to estimate antler size of whitetail deer from photos. Second is "Scouting Assistant's Field Scan Time Lapse" which let the user watch days of time-lapse images in minutes and at variable speeds of playback.

Customer service from Bushnell is excellent. For this review, I posed 5 technical questions via email and received a response to all questions within 4 days. A functional question was asked via telephone call; I had the answer right way. It was difficult coming up with a question to ask because the manual is very well written and easy to follow.

Bushnell Trophy Cam HD features I like the best:

* the small size and light weight

* the PIR sensor can trigger the camera at an angle, not just straight ahead

* the ability to access the controls, SD card and batteries while still strapped to a tree

* flexibility from the user controllable settings

The Bushnell Trophy Cam HD has an MSRP of $323.95 and comes with a two-year warranty. For additional specifications, refer to the Game Camera chart.

 
 

 

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