2011 Bushnell Trophy Cam vs. Moultrie M-100

     This is quickly becoming one of the more popular questions of the year; "What are the pro's and con's of the Bushnell Trophy Cam and the Moultrie M-100 and how do they compare?"

     These are both very comparable trail cams with just enough distinct differences to set them apart.  So lets start to break them down!

History and Background


     The Bushnell Trophy Cam came out in the spring of 2009 and was immediately the #1 selling trail camera and really has been ever since.  The Bushnell is a small camera, with a solid detection zone, outstanding battery life and a 2 year warranty, it has been the gold standard for $200 cameras ever since.  In fact, for companies wanting to compete at this price point, they are almost immediately compared to the Trophy Cam, and rightfully so.

     Like most cameras, it hasn't always been smooth sailing; there were a few short periods in time when it seemed like every other Trophy Cam had a warranty issue.  Thankfully, most of those problems were fixed and the early returns of the 2011 models have been outstanding.

     On the other hand, the Moultrie M-100 is a brand new model as of the spring of 2011.  It has stood out because of it's best in class infrared night pictures, excellent day pictures, solid trigger speed and it comes with a 2" internal viewing screen.

     However, it does not have a track record and has not been around the last 3 years to diagnose and fix bugs.  The good news is, the M-100 is a huge upgrade from any past or current Moultrie trail camera model.

     By far, the 2011 Trophy Cam is the best camera Bushnell has ever made.  With 3 years of experience behind this model, it is the clear winner for this category.

Advantage: Bushnell Trophy Cam

Protection from the Elements


     For trail cameras, protection from the elements is key as they are expected to survive and thrive in any type of ecosystem.  Luckily, both the Bushnell and the Moultrie have excellent case designs and are both considered weather-proof.



Bushnell Trophy Cam
Moultrie M-100

Advantage: Toss-up

Programming


     Programming a game camera should be both easy and intuitive.  Fortunately for both the Trophy Cam and M-100, they are both extremely user-friendly. 

     In fact, if it was just based on getting the cameras operational and programmed, it would be a tie.  However, there is a slight edge to the Moultrie for one reason; the M-100 comes with a 2" viewing screen that can be extremely valuable when setting the camera up on a tree.  It has a test or "live" mode that shows you what the camera sees (via the screen).  This ensures you get the camera set up right the first time.

Advantage: Moultrie M-100 (slight)

Detection Circuit

     As you already know, the detection circuit consists of trigger speed, recovery time and detection zone (width and range).


Bushnell Trophy Cam
Moultrie M-100
Trigger Speed
1.344 s
1.648 s
Recovery Time
5 s
30 s
Detection Range (from 2011 Shootout)
110 ft.
70 ft.
Detection Width
Wide
Wide

      Both of those detection range's are inflated from what you should consistently expect.  Normally, the detection ranges vary between 50-60 feet.  In either case, the first thing you notice is the Moultrie has a pretty slow recovery time.  Also, the detection range greatly favors the Bushnell.

      Out of the 19 camera traps in the 2011 Trail Camera Shootout, the Trophy Cam came in second place while the M-100 came in eleventh place.  This is a clear and distinct advantage for the Bushnell.

Advantage: Bushnell Trophy Cam

Day Picture Quality

     Below are three pictures from each camera.  The first thing you will notice is the Moultrie shoots in a different dimension (16:9) than normal cameras (4:3).  As for the pictures, there is little difference between them as for clarity and color.

Bushnell Trophy Cam
Moultrie M-100


Advantage: Toss-up

Night Picture Quality

      This one is a bit easier, as you can see in the pictures below.

Bushnell Trophy Cam
Moultrie M-100

      As you can see from the pictures, the Moultrie M-100 is the clear winner.

Advantage:  Moultrie M-100

Battery Life

     Both cameras operate on 8 AA batteries (the Trophy Cam Black Flash models use 12) and are compatible with Tenergy Nimh Rechargeable Batteries.  Where they stand apart is in their battery draw.  The M-100 pulls a large amount of energy for every picture it takes (very small amount for "down" time) and it holds that draw for 15 seconds.  This drains the batteries rather fast.  On the other hand, the Bushnell uses much less energy on the pictures and because of this, it's battery life expectancy is much longer.

     On average, a Trophy Cam will last 2-3 months in the field, while a M-100 will last 1 month.

Advantage:  Bushnell Trophy Cam

Warranty

     Every camera we sell comes with a 90 day no questions asked return policy.  Beyond that, all warranties would fall to the manufacturer.  In this case, the Moultrie comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty and the Bushnell comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty.

Advantage:  Bushnell Trophy Cam

Trailcampro Analysis

     After reading all the above comparisons, you can really see why this will be a big debate in the trail camera community.  Both cameras offer excellent values for the $200 price range, but they are also both different enough to offer distinct advantages for particular situations.

     If night pictures and having a built-in viewer (Bushnell has an option for a built-in viewer for $249.95) are at the top of your priority list, then the Moultrie M-100 is perfect for you. 

     If increased battery life, a better detection circuit and a longer track record suit you, then the Bushnell Trophy Cam is what you are looking for.

     Overall, you can't go wrong with either camera.  Forced to pick one over the other, we would give a slight edge to the Bushnell Trophy Cam as greater importance can be placed on battery life (for financial and convenience reasons) and the better detection circuit (more pictures of game).  In the end, you have to decide what is best for your situation.