New trail camera reviews

2013 Bushnell HD Review

Discontinued model
     - Last update: 7/21/14

Quick Facts
Trigger Speed:
Recovery Time:
Detection Range:
Flash Range:
0.66 s
2.9 s
60 ft
50-60 ft
8 AA
5.5" x 4" x 2.5"

  • Very fast trigger & recovery speed
  • Superb battery life
  • Improved PIR detection capabilities
  • 1280 x 720 p video (with audio)
  • Overexposed daytime pictures if in direct sunlight
Trailcampro Analysis

This is the fifth generation of Bushnell Trophy Cams.  With each year, the cameras have continually improved and expectations for the 2013 version were no different.  The previous four years, we have placed Bushnell Trophy Cams at the top of the pedestal for camera traps in the $200 price range.

     In years past, the Bushnell Trophy Cam has been our favorite mid-range priced trail camera.  Offering top of the line trigger speeds, much improved recovery times, strong durability and excellent photos.  These were the trademarks of the Trophy Cam name.

     Our testing of the 2013 camera produced many of the same results as we had last year.  Detection circuit, Ease of Use and Battery Life all remain virtually the same.  After the recent firmware update, the night photos are even better than last year.

Detection Circuit    

     It is tough to improve much over the detection circuit of the 2012 Trophy Cam.  In 2013, nearly everything remains the same.

     The trigger speed is 0.66 seconds, which is actually a bit slower than last year, but not significantly so.  The recovery is 2.9 seconds.  This remains one of the finest recovery times on the market.

     The PIR sensor, which controls the detection zone, was improved for 2013.  The detection range is at least 60 ft in most cases.

     Overall, this is an excellent detection circuit without a weakness.  It can provide adequate coverage in any camera trap station you can think up.

Picture Quality    
The daytime photos have a tendency to be overexposed if in direct sunlight.  Color, clarity and focus are all strong but not elite.

     Under normal circumstances, the daytime photos compare equally or favorably to most of the competition.

     When the lighting is just right, the Trophy Cam HD excels.  Check out the pictures to the left and below.

     The color, lighting and clarity are perfect.

     As for the night photos, we were disappointed on all of our early results.  Our initial testing produced grainy, dimly lit pictures.  However, within 2 weeks of the release of this review, Bushnell has produced a firmware update that has corrected the night photos almost entirely.  Here is an example of how the firmware update fixed the night photos:

Trophy Cam HD pre-update
Trophy Cam HD with update

     We really like this firmware update and the results are noticeable.  The pictures now have a much better contrast.  The pictures on the top right are all from updated camera.  You can see the difference pre-update and post-update from the sample pictures on the right.  Feel free to email or call us for the update or visit Bushnell's website to get the update.  You can do it in just a few minutes over your home computer.

     It is always reassuring when a company improves a camera so quickly.  Bushnell and its trail camera team deserve a pat on the back for improving their camera so expediently.

     You can check out the video quality below.

Battery Life    

     Battery life has long been one of the biggest strengths of the Bushnell Trophy Cams.  This camera is no different.  Low resting current and low day and night power consumptions.  This camera is a rock star when it comes to battery consumption.

Resting Current Draw
Daytime Current Draw
Nighttime Current Draw
0.20 ma
425 ma
760 ma

ma = milliamps

     Operating on 8 AA
batteries, this camera will last a long time in the field.  With lithium batteries, you can expect anywhere from 8-12 months in the field.  With nimh rechargeable batteries, which have a self discharge, the camera will last 2 - 2.5 months.  Alkaline batteries do work in this camera, however, from their low tolerance for cold weather we always use nimh rechargeables or lithium batteries.  Depending on your preference, all three battery types will work.

     Please note: In Bushnell's owner manual they say that the camera does not work with rechargeable batteries.  That is absolutely false.  Nimh batteries work perfectly in all Bushnell Trophy Cam HD and HD Max cameras.

Ease of Use    
     You won't have a problem setting the 2013 Trophy Cam HD up.  The options are simple and user-friendly.  New for 2013 is hybrid capture mode.  When set to this, the camera takes a photo followed by a short video.  There is about a 2 second delay between the photo and the start of the video, so this works best when the animals are stationary in front of the camera.

     The Time Lapse on the HD is among our favorites.  It has more programming (timing) options than the competition.

     The case design is identical to the 2012 version.  It has no obvious flaw, and works very well.  Slate River Angle Mounts, Python Cable Locks and custom Security Boxes still work perfectly.

     Durability is still outstanding.  We have experienced minimal returns on this unit and in years past the Bushnell cameras had very low return rates.  All in all, the durability of the 2013 Trophy Cam HD is outstanding.

     We have had a tremendous amount of experience with the Trophy Cams, starting in 2009 with the first model, and they have been our #1 selling camera since their inception.  They have always offered the highest amount of value per dollar spent.  With the latest firmware in this camera, we believe the 2013 Bushnell Trophy Cam HD is still a tremendous value.  Quick trigger time, excellent recovery, top-notch battery life and durability to last.

     This camera is a workhorse, throw in a set of batteries and an sd card and let this camera go to work for you.
2013 HD Photos