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on July 31, 2013
Bought camera March 31st; writing this July 31st; Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam Bone Collector Trail

Camera; $149.99;

Bought to capture video of varmints raiding my garden at night and destroying my freshly planted seedlings. Placed camera in various locations to view my 18 foot long 4 foot wide raised bed garden.

After a few days of using this camera and after finally stuffing in enough masking tape to hold the batteries so that they don't lose contact causing it to lose its date/time settings when it is moved; while checking the camera several times each 24 hour period.

Opinion of this camera:
This camera is an enigma:
1. One that is puzzling, ambiguous, or inexplicable.
2. A perplexing speech or text; a riddle.

It, in fact, does capture insects and small animals within 6 feet during daylight and night. It makes good video. On high sensitivity (which is the only way I used it), the motion sensor (sometimes) picks up motion that is outside the frame or activates so slowly that whatever was in the frame has already passed through; so that whatever passed through is missed.

At night is when it becomes a real enigma. The activation response time is very slow, even when set on highest sensitivity. At 10 to 18 feet, the infrared beam seems to be almost like a wide spot beam but will sometimes pick up activity on the edges.

Mounting this camera on anything other than a tree is very difficult; I finally built a pivot arm to strap onto a pole and used a long bolt & nut to make it easier to position the camera.

What did I expect? I expected that day or night, from 20 feet away, which puts the 18 foot raised bed garden fully in the frame, that I would capture video of squirrels, birds, possums and cats. It didn't work out like that for me. For nighttime surveillance, I had to move the camera to the end of the bed and still the results are problematic. From this position, I had cats and possums, (verified by the scat and diggings), which were not detected by the camera. Thats an 18 foot bed with 2/3's of it in the frame. same result from 20 feet away with the 18 foot bed in the frame. (I'm wondering if the animals have developed a new stealth technology?) Even in daylight, it missed a visually verified cat intrusion thus: enigma.)

At random critical times, when you know there was activity and you are really curious about the results, the camera will begin to make zero length files and will continue to make them with each activity until you start to unlatch the camera at which time it will record the unlatching process. enigma !!! This happens day after day.

For me, and my first game cam, this has been a total frustration. A friend who has one of these and two other cheaper camera's for capturing deer video, says he likes his two cheaper cameras better.

Finally, this camera does not have a playback function. Not a problem for me but if you are going to the woods with it, you better have a lot of practice with it before going.

For my needs, I give this camera one star.
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on September 28, 2013
I bought this in July of 2012 and it is now September 2013, a little more than one year later. The display quit working so I am unable to adjust the settings and it quit taking pictures after replacing the batteries only 3 days later. I contacted Bushnell and was instructed to return the camera for inspection and possible repair. This of course was at my own expense. When they returned the camera there was a note that stated "unable to duplicate problem". So nothing was repaired. I placed new batteries inside and sure enough it seemed to work. 2 days later (being outside in the metal protection case attached to a tree) I checked it and the problem returned. I cannot see the display and it quit taking pictures only after 1 day. I am VERY frustrated and upset at Bushnell's repair service. If they duplicated the same scenario that caused the problem in the first place (placing it outside for a couple days) they might have been able to duplicate the problem themselves. I don't want to spend more $$$ sending it back, it would be cheaper to buy a less expensive camera from Walmart or any other store that sells less expensive cameras. This one cost me $145 plus the cost of returning it for Bushnell to do nothing. I have 4 other Bushnell cameras that are still working so I may have purchased a lemon.

2015 UPDATE - 3 years has passed since I purchased this and 4 other Bushnell Cameras and I now have NONE!! They all have quit working, the display dies or it just quits taking pictures. These are definitely not built to last. I am trying Browning Cameras now. Watch for reviews. I don't post reviews too quick, I like to try the product for a while before posting a review to determine lasting quality.
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on November 26, 2013
First off, I am an experienced trail and digital camera user and I have owned this Bushnell camera for 7 months. It worked great the first 2 months. Crisp, clear pictures. Reliable triggering. Long battery life. Then it began overexposing daylight pictures, slightly at first but gradually worsening. Within 3 months every picture taken on clear bright days looks like whiteout in a snowstorm. The camera is pointed at an empty field with a barn in the distance. The sun is behind it at all times. Nothing in the scene to trick it. Even my "cheap" trail cameras have no trouble exposing this scene. So I sent it to Bushnell for warranty repair. Four weeks later they finally send me a ticket number then another week later return the camera claiming no problem found. So I set it up again, same location, same conditions. And, sure enough, same overexposure problem. So I dig a little deeper and look at the picture data. Every picture is tagged ISO-100 f/2.8 regardless of day, night, or lighting. Assuming the camera should record accurate exposure data in the first place, this sure looks to me like an autoexposure problem. So I email Bushnell tech support, send sample pictures, and their recommendation is... point the camera in a different direction. Sorry, not good enough. I write back and they suggest sending it in [again] for repair. It is now 7 months AP (after purchase) and I've been able to use the camera maybe 3 months total. My cheap trail cameras by the way have been working flawlessly. So back it goes to the repair center. I will post an update when it returns. Until then, call me disappointed... Disappointed with the camera, disappointed with Bushnell.
UPDATE 12/16/13: I guess the 2nd trip to the repair center paid off because Bushnell fixed the problem... not by repairing my defective camera but by sending a brand new replacement Trophy Cam HD. Thank you Bushnell!
UPDATE 2/4/14: Trophy Cam HD working fine. Very happy with it.
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I searched and read so much before to decide to get this model and brand trail camera for scientific research purposes. Inserted the brand new batteries ad SD card as directed by the manual, and no hope. The LCD does not show any information. The unit regardless what button is pressed or mode is selected, does the same thing; it blinks a red LED when something moves in front of, no image is captured and nothing is shown on the screen.

The unit is an expensive brick that cannot be setup and does not deserves one start. On their website there is a software update that is supposed to be installed on this model.

The update did not worked neither as the unit never engaged into the mode that retrieves the files (no yellow LED). It is expected to receive sometimes a defective unit regardless of the brand. However, this unit does not even turn on the screen. Something so easy and fast to notice that makes me loose any trust on the Bushnell quality test area. What other productive area is this careless? This is my first Bushnell product and certainly I am not willing to expose myself to another case like this anymore. At one week from my overseas expedition I have no trail camera despite spending the funds for it.

I hope other customers have better luck than mine. That is the problem.., it is matter of luck if these units work and not a result from a serious production.

UPDATE

Amazon responded greatly. Bushnell takes several weeks to check it. But amazon, accepted it back, gave me a postal sticker to ship it back for free, got my refund in the same day and then I bought another camera since is what my boss wanted. The result is great and by now we have several cameras. The defective camera was my first one but all the rest have been great. Comparing it with other cameras this has a very fast trigger and a small size. Another issue to know is that despite I got them all of the same model, they came with slightly different camo patterns. Nice!!!

All in all, I recommend this camera but having amazon backing you up.
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on November 20, 2013
For two years an 8MP has been watching a road for critter traffic in 3-month epochs. With its rectangular outlines, it's hard to camouflage, and at night the baleful red glow of the "IR" flash is a dead giveaway. Its performance is erratic. It will take up to 2046 still photos (a little less than 3 GB on a 32-gig card), and then quit. It's done this twice, omitting about 11 weeks from the photographic record. It works fine on new batteries, but over some weeks begins to record blank files ("Windows cannot read photo because the file is empty") and toward the last month these amount to one blank for each good photo. It has taken some fine daytime photos at about 40 feet distance, and the nighttime B&W shots allow good critter ID though at far less detail. Though hard to see even when you know it's there, one trespasser spotted it and is recorded grumpily reaching out for it (thanks for leaving it unmolested, trespasser). After some frustrating hours of lockups in reading and uploading files from the SD chip, it's worth doing a file scan-and-repair (in Windows 7 at the moment) on the whole chip to fix corrupted files before the upload operation. Unknown whether that's a fault of the chip or the camera.
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on May 26, 2013
My dad uses this to spy on wildlife in the backyard. Even at the lowest setting, it was still entirely too sensitive, going off at everything little thing. Over 400 photos in just a ten hour period. So, because the photos and video are a really great quality, I'm giving this two stars. However, due to sensitivity, and it just randomly stopped working, I returned it to Amazon and won't buy another. We've been through four Bushnell cameras, and all four have not worked longer than five months. Disappointing to say the least. It's too bad, too, because we loved the quality of video.
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on September 11, 2013
We just bought a large piece of property of which most is forest and we wanted to know what the deer population was on the mountain. The first time we used this camera we left it attached for several days, after downloading the pictures we were amazed at the quality of the color photos and the clarity of the night pic's. The deer didn't seem to mind it's location and came right up to the camera. I would recommend this to anyone first starting out to use a trail camera. It is easy to use, follow the operating instructions, and you will get the information you are seeking from your sites.
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on March 21, 2014
I have had a bunch of brands. The best is the reconyx, but they are spendy. Tried moultrie, the D55 has been returned 4 times and still only works in the summer. The luepold brand was even worse and in consistent. Had a 79 $ wildgame and took it back, I got this on a deal of the day and could not be happier. In a Minnesota winter it takes great photos and runs on the coldest days with regular batteries.the first night I put it out it got down to -10 and the camera took 1800 shots because the sensitivity was set to high. Which is really impressive, but it was all because of snow flakes not animals. I lowered that and it takes an appropriate amount and is very reliable. Great camera at a great price. I paid $125 I think.
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on February 26, 2013
The motion sensor sensitivity seems to be either too sensitive or not sensitive enough. On one setting, the slightest movement will sent it off and on another it seems like it won't do anything. However, this only seems to be the case when the subject matter is moving at a certain pace. Deer running past it either won't set it off or are out of frame before it takes the shot. Finding the sweet spot is a matter of trial and error. In the daylight, the sensor doesn't seem to be that fast. An animal can walk in front of the camera and there is distinctive motion blur. This likely has more to do the the optics than the sensor, but it's an issue. The infra-red shots seem to be better though not perfect. Adding addition infrared floods to the area helped significantly. The 8MP doesn't make that big a difference. The sensor/optics are poor enough that even at 8MP most shots are mediocre at best. The video is good and has become the default way I operate the camera now. It's easier to see where game is coming from and going to. Compared to other field cameras I've used, this one is much better but still a long way off from what I would like.
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on September 13, 2012
The camera takes really good pictures when they are readable. Unfortunately, every 20 shots there is one that is totally blank....this is set on the 3 continuous shots mode. My 32 GB card is brand new out of package so am guessing it is not the card. When I want it to take more shots than this, it gets worse. Does its job but if you want to make sure you get every single shot, maybe this is not the camera for you. I was certainly disappointed to find so many unreadable shots. Maybe I am expecting too much from the camera but I was looking for true surveillance and am left wondering what was on those unreadable pictures. As I said, the shots that you can read are quite good during the day or at night but it is the blank ones that make me wonder what I missed. Also if there is a tree branch blowing in the wind, it will continue to capture its every movement so be sure you don't set it up where you will waste tons of shots because of a breeze.
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