by Ron Spomer - Wednesday, August 6, 2014
With Bushnell’s new Trophy Cam HD Wireless you can be Bond, James Bond, master spy of the whitetail woods. Or anyplace else.
Thanks to this camera’s wireless connection to cell service, you have instant phone or computer access to the thumbnail still images it captures. If the camera photographs a buck on your Iowa deer lease at 7:59 a.m., you can be looking at it in Oregon at 6:00 a.m. the same day. (No joke; remember there is a two-hour time difference from the Central Zone to the Pacific Zone.)
Think of the ramifications. No more disturbing the area to retrieve your camera. No more waiting for days or weeks to access the memory card of images. No more long-distance trips to see what your camera has seen. High-definition video and full-size images from 3 to 8 megapixels are still stored on an SD card in the camera, but you have instant access to the smaller, complementary thumbnails.
And, as they say on late-night TV ads, “That’s not all!” You can manage your camera—or multiple cameras—online via phone, tablet or computer. Check the battery level and remaining memory capacity. Reset the number of captures per triggering event, the motion sensitivity, delay interval and more. When a thumbnail you like is sent to your phone or computer, you can download it, order a high-resolution copy, delete it or share it on Facebook. You can even view your camera’s location on an automatically generated map that also lists its precise latitude and longitude. Nice feature if someone “borrows” the unit.
No service contracts with phone companies are needed. The wireless transmission operates on the AT&T system (you can check service coverage on Bushnell’s website), but you buy prepaid plans directly through Bushnell from the convenience of the same website or app that controls the camera. Bushnell’s data plans vary from $9.99 to $59.99 per month and 1,000 to 10,000 thumbnail uploads per month. In addition, you can buy credits for receiving high-resolution uploads at less than $1 each.
This flexibility lets you budget for prime time. During the offseason, remove the service plan or use just a maintenance plan that keeps you connected for just $6.99. Then upgrade to get thumbnails as hunting season draws near. Regardless of what you do with the cell service, the Trophy Cam continues working as a traditional digital trail camera, storing 1280x720-pixel videos and 8 MP images on SD cards of up to 32 GB. When you’re not using the wireless feature, a 2.4-inch color screen lets you view images and videos quickly right on the camera.
Like 007’s wristwatch, the Trophy Cam is loaded with features. Bushnell’s No-Glow black LEDs—32 of them in all—allow for covert operations and night photos, and they work with the cam’s Hyper PIR sensor for a range of up to 60 feet. Low, medium and high flash settings permit adjusting the cam to the lighting conditions and conserving battery power.
Trigger intervals are programmable from 1 second to 60 minutes, and you can set the cam to capture from one to three images per triggering event. Images are auto-stamped with date, temperature, barometric pressure and moon phase at time of capture. The Field Scan mode automatically takes images at your choice of intervals during two periods each day (say, every 5 minutes for an hour at dawn and every 15 minutes for two hours near sunset) while still capturing triggered events.
The Trophy Cam will record high-definition video in your choice of full-screen or widescreen with sound. You can program the cam to record video clips of 5 to 60 seconds in length. To make sorting videos and images by location easy, the cam can be set to automatically geotag each captured event with GPS coordinates.
The cam operates on four to 12 AA batteries. A full set lasts up to three months or thousands of images. Power options include a 6-volt DC connection and a solar panel.A huge bonus for anyone younger than 30 is this unit’s ease of setup. Load batteries and SD card. Register online. Mount in the field and start capturing images. Thumbnail uploads are free and unlimited for the first 30 days. You’d need a drone on station 24/7 to beat the performance of the $599.99 Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Wireless.
Type: wireless trail camera
Data Capture: 8 MP images, up to 60 seconds 1080x720p video w/sound
Data Storage: SD card
Sensor Range: 60'
Flash: 32 No-Glow black LEDs
LCD Display: 2.4" color
Power Supply: 4-12 AA batteries; 6-volt D/C connection and solar panel available
Options: prepaid data plans, geotagging, shutter-speed adjustment, Field Scan time-lapse, flash settings
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