Bushnell is undeniably one of the leaders in hunting optics industry. They have been in the field for more than 65 years and it shows in the quality of their products as well. When it comes to trail cameras, Bushnell has wide range of trail camera models as well as trail camera accessories in their offering.
However, Bushnell’s selection only includes couple of models that can be considered somewhat affordable (Bushnell Trophy Cam Standard and Bushnell X-8). Therefore the newest offering from Bushnell; Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential, is more than a welcomed addition for us price conscious customers.
Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential is a 6 megapixel trail camera that also records 720x480p video clips with sound. This camera is a great example how the amount of megapixels doesn’t necessarily correlate with the image quality. Even though the 6MP image resolution might seem modest for some, this camera produces exceptionally good images during daytime.
The low glow infrared flash of the camera consists of 32 powerful LEDs and has range up to 60 feet (and even past that). Thanks to this powerful flash unit the nighttime shots are well illuminated throughout the picture area. The night images are sharp, and surprisingly there is very little whiteout even if the object happens to be near the camera.
There is lot of variation in the quality of nighttime images though, and Trophy Cam Essential seems to have difficulties dealing with moving objects during night time; moving objects tend to lead to blurry images.
Trophy Cam Essential’s hyper passive infrared sensor detects heat and motion well beyond 50 feet. The trigger speed of the camera is 0.8 seconds and it recovers and is ready to shoot again in 5 seconds. Trigger interval is programmable so this trail camera is also capable of time-lapse shooting.
This Bushnell model is powered by 8 AA batteries and the manufacturer claims that it can take up to 20,000 images on one set of batteries. In practice that means a battery life even up to one year, depending the weather conditions.
Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential Features
- 6MP images
- video clips with sound, up to 60 seconds (720x480p)
- low glow IR flash with range approx. 60 ft
- adjustable pir sensor (Low/Med/High/Auto)
- programmable trigger interval 1-60 minutes
- Field Scan 2X feature allows you to run time-lapse and a live trigger modes simultaneously
- picture info bar shows time, date, temperature and moon phase
- LCD status display
- supports SD memory cards up to 32GB
- adjustable web belt and ¼” -20 socket for tripods and tree mounts
- weatherproof case
- Python® cable lock compatible
- powered by 8 x AA batteries, takes up to 20,000 images on one set of batteries
The daytime image quality is superb. Images are plain beautiful, vivid and sharp. Daytime image quality is easily as good as in Browning Strike Force, another trail camera with spectacular daytime image quality.
The 8 AA batteries keep Trophy Cam Essential running almost for a year. That’s a solid battery life and definitely one of the strong points of this model.
The detection sensor works really well. Trigger speed is not the fastest possible but most likely you won’t miss a shot with this 0.8s trigger either. Bushnell’s Field Scan 2X feature is a nice feature since it allows you to run the camera in time-lapse mode and in live trigger mode simultaneously.
The only big downside of Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential is the night time image quality. The camera takes nice images when the objects are perfectly still. But when there are moving objects you will, more often than not, end up getting blurry images.
If the quality of night time images isn’t your top priority, then Trophy Cam Essential is a solid choice for you. It is also a safe choice for monitoring game feeders where the objects are most likely still and in that use you should end up with some nice night time images as well.
Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential is a welcomed addition into this price category. The price is currently around $110, so purchasing this model shouldn’t empty your wallet completely.