Nick Baker, NHBS Ambassador, has been trying out the Bushnell XLT Trophy Cam Trail Camera. Here are his initial impressions:
These Bushnell trail cameras are about as good as you can get for the money, and using them is rather addictive too!
The XLT (right) was the model I tested – the camera comes as an all-in-one small weatherproof box, which is both lightweight and easy to carry around and position. I’ve used mine for professional survey work such as attempting to identify bird nest predators as part of an RSPB Ring Ouzel survey, identifying the occupancy of Badger setts as well as simply leaving it up in the garden to find out who has been defecating on my lawn and messing up my flower beds (in the process identifying which of my neighbours cats use my garden – all six, it turns out!).
The camera shoots both still pictures (eg. left) and moving images(eg. below) and has a screen which allows reviewing of the images in the unit. All the image data is stored on an SD card and the unit is powered by 4-8 AA batteries.
Sensitivity and trigger delay are the only issues: making the camera less sensitive stops it being triggered by small movements – moths, mice, wind-blown vegetation etc. – but if the camera is triggered by an animal walking past quite close, then the one second delay means that by the time the trigger kicks in you might just get the tail end of the moment! This is easily overcome if you are setting it along paths or trails by making sure the camera looks down the likely pathway rather than across it.
All in all this is a fantastic good value entry-level trail camera – if you want to increase the picture quality and eliminate the ‘glow’ of the LEDs (some animals seem to be aware of the red glow produced by the 32 red LEDs) at night then the HD colour version is worth considering.
Roe Buck captured on a Bushnell XLT Trophy Cam Trail Camera by Nick Baker, 2011