Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Review
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- Multiple options for reviewing images and videos
- Records full HD video
- External power compatible
- Light sensor often misfires at night and in low-light conditions
- Nighttime images and videos are washed out
- No SD card included
Welcome to our review of the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Trail Camera with Night Vision. Bushnell is pretty well known for high quality trail cameras, especially with its Trophy Cam lineup. Let’s take a look at this one, and see how it stacks up.
How Well Does the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Detect Movement?
The Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD has an excellent detection circuit, with an adjustable PIR sensor that provides detection range of at least 60 feet most of the time. The detection field is roughly the same width as the field of view of the camera itself, and the 0.6 second trigger speed and 2.9 second recovery time ensure that you’ll catch wildlife on camera when they come in range. Unfortunately, the light sensor quite often misfires during night hours and in low-light conditions, leaving you with quite a few empty frames when you download the images.
The adjustable PIR sensor lets you set the camera to various sensitivies. You can set it to Auto, Low, Normal, or High. When set to “Auto,” the camera automatically adjusts the sensitivity based on ambient temperature. This is a nice feature when you expect the weather to change significantly between times that you check the camera.
How Reliable Is This Field Camera?
Bushnell’s Trophy Cam field cameras have been known for reliability for years, and the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD is no exception. I’ve had this camera running for months alongside my feed plot, and it hasn’t let me down yet. This puppy’s seen rain, snow, sleet, hail, and everything else you can imaging, but it keeps on ticking.
What Is the Image Quality Like?
The image quality from the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD is quite good, a considerable upgrade from the model of the Trophy Cam HD a few years back. Daytime images are crisp, clear, and full of contrast, with excellent focus that rivals more expensive field cameras. Nighttime shots are a bit washed out, but are still quite usable and clear. It’s important that you keep the camera firmware upgraded, since Bushnell makes improvements to the focus algorithm from time to time and the camera is much better at capturing moving subjects with the latest firmware. You’re still going to see a bit of blurriness if the animals are in motion, but that’s to be expected within this price range.
Every image and video captured by the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD is stamped with the date, time, temperature, and moon phase. If you set the GPS coordinates of the camera, you also get geotagging embedded in the images, allowing you to track your images in Google Earth, Picassa, and other geotag-enabled software.
What Picture-Taking Modes Does This Camera Offer?
The Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD features several picture-taking modes, including the obligatory still shot and video recording capabilities. When recording video, you can 720p HD video, and the camera will record video for up to 60 seconds. With still shots, you can select resolutions up to 8MP, but you should be aware that the camera’s sensor is truly just a 5MP sensor, with software extrapolation to bump the image quality up to 8MP.
The most unique feature to this field camera is the Field Scan 2X mode. This allows you to monitor your food plots or field edges with time lapse images or video. In this mode, the Tropy Cam will take a photo or video clip automatically at your choice of intervals during certain hours that you set, without requiring an animal to trigger the camera. The camera’s motion sensors still work, so if an animal wanders within range of your camera in between your Field Scan intervals, the camera will capture an image or video just like it normally would.
How Many Pictures Can the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Store?
One of my complaints about the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD is that it does not come with an SD card. Then again, almost no field cameras come with SD cards, anymore, so maybe I should quite whining about it. Anyways, how many pictures you can store depends on the size of the SD card you install and what image quality setting you use. The Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD supports SD cards up to 32GB. That should allow for weeks of photos on the card, but bear in mind that video will fill up the card faster, so you should check it more often if you have it recording video.
How Is the Battery Life?
Battery life on the Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD is quite good, especially if you use lithium batteries. I was able to go a full year on a single set of lithium AA batteries, but standard alkaline batteries will only power the camera for about 6 months. One nice feature of this field camera is that it has a DC port for plugging the camera into external power. If you have power coming near the camera, you can just plug it in and not even bother with batteries.
Is This Field Camera Easy To Use?
The Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD is exceptionally easy to use, because the menu is very intuitive and the camera comes with an excellent instruction manual. When the time comes to review your images, this particular model has a number of options. Perhaps the easiest is to remove the SD card and view the images on your computer, but you can also view the images on the LCD display. You can also plug a USB cable between the camera and your computer, or use the TV Out port to view the pictures and video on a television or monitor.
Mounting the camera is also easy, and there are a couple of options. The camera has a tripod mount built into it, and it comes with an adjustable web belt for mounting the camera to a tree trunk. Optional accessories including a “Bear Safe” metal camera box and a deluxe tree bracket are also available.