2012 Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Review

     -Last update 2/10/13  -  Discontinued

Quick Facts
Trigger Speed:
Recovery Time:
Detection Range:
Flash Range:
0.596 s
2.9 s
50 ft.
70 ft.
5.5" x 4" x 2.5"

Trailcampro Star Rating

4.2 Stars
2012 bushnell trophy cam hd review

More Bushnell Reviews

  • Lightning fast trigger and recovery speed
  • Improved night flash
  • Long battery life
  • 1280 x 720 p video (with audio)
  • Easy to operate
  • Adjustable night flash
  • "White out" on close objects if flash set on high
Trailcampro Analysis

     For the last several years, the Bushnell Trophy Cam has been one of the best, if not the best, valued trail cameras under $200.  Why mess with a good thing?  Well, Bushnell cut both the trigger and recovery times in HALF, making this the second fastest responding trail camera on the market.

Detection Circuit       3.9 stars
     The detection circuit on the new Trophy Cam really stands out.  The trigger speed is 0.596 seconds (80th percentile of trail cameras) and the recovery time is down to 2.9 seconds.  This is easily best in class for sub $200 cameras.

     The detection range is 50 feet and the detection zone covers a large area making the camera suitable for any possible game or security application.
  The biggest knock on this camera is the detection range maxes out at 50 ft.  If this were increased, the detection circuit would be rated significantly higher.  As it is, the detection zone brings down the overall rating of the detection circuit.

Picture Quality       4.5 stars

     Along with the improved detection circuit, the 2012 Trophy Cam HD sports an enhanced night infrared flash and excellent day pictures.

The night flash is adjustable to low/med/high.  As you can see from the sample photos, the night pictures are plenty bright.  Now, this is a double-edged sword.  With a longer shutter speed also comes the risk of blur from moving objects at night.  Objects within 10 feet experienced severe "white out."

     Setting the camera on medium or low will shorten the shutter speed and darken the night pictures gradually.  This is ideal for camera trap setups that require having the camera close to the animal you are intending to photograph (i.e. fox dens).  This will also lengthen the battery life of the camera.

     Keep in mind, this is a red-glow infrared camera.  The infrared LED's will faintly glow red for a split second when taking pictures at night.  Trespassers and/or thieves can see this if looking directly at the camera.

     Day pictures on the Trophy Cam HD have excellent color and are exceptionally clear.  Also, another improvement in 2012 Trophy Cam is every picture is now stamped with temperature and moon phase.

     The video quality is some of the best in recent history.  The audio is sensitive and will pick up sounds from a distance.  This is great for both security and wildlife.  The video is shot in 1280 x 720p.

     One note on videos.  The videos are put in an .avi file but it is not a true .avi file.  A Mac computer will not play the videos on its own.  However, you can download a free DIVX player (just google "free divx player) and it will work on your Mac after that.

Battery Life    
  4.3 stars
     Anyone who knows us at Trailcampro, knows we place a huge emphasis on battery life.  The 2012 Trophy Cam HD once again, does not disappoint us.

     The low resting current and low nighttime power consumption stand out in the below battery statistics.  The daytime photos are also very good, in the 90th percentile. 

     Overall, these are excellent numbers and will result in battery life of 2-4 months.
  In situations that don't require many photos, this camera could last upwards of 6-12 months.

Resting Current Draw
Daytime Power Consumption Nighttime Power Consumption
0.19 ma
403 ma
685 ma

ma = milliamps

     You will find that you can experience the best battery life if you combine the Trophy Cam HD with Tenergy Nimh Rechargeable batteries.  With these batteries, you will get the same battery life in cold winter months as you will in warm summer months (alkaline batteries fail quickly in the cold).

     Please note: In Bushnell's owner manual they say that the camera does not work with rechargeable batteries.  This is absolutely false, and is only in there because Bushnell has a deal with Energizer Lithium so they are promoting them.  Nimh batteries work perfectly in all Bushnell cameras.

Ease of Use    
       4 stars
     As with most modern cameras, the Trophy Cam HD is easy to setup and quite user-friendly.  This is the same setup menu the Trophy Cams' have had for the last several years.  However, the improvement is that you can now adjust the intensity of the infrared flash.

     This is still an excellent case design.  It is simple and has no obvious flaws.  The durability of the camera, to date, has been excellent.  The warranty rate is minimal.

     To sum it up, the 2012 Bushnell Trophy Cam HD is an unbelievably efficient and effective game camera and is at the top of the food chain for trail cameras under $200.  This camera is, without a doubt, worth the $30 price difference from the 2011 Trophy Cam.
Trophy Cam HD Photos