Trail Camera Shootout Archive

      Many people think the Trail Camera Shootout is the cumulative ranking for everything a camera has to offer.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  The Shootout is a great way of identifying a cameras "real-life" detection circuit.  How well does the detection zone synch up with the camera's lens?  Does a particular camera have a detection zone so wide it snaps the picture before the subject has walked into the field of view?  How fast is the trigger? The Shootout is designed to test all the cameras under the same conditions to determine how the detection circuits rank.

     The Shootout does not take into account battery life, ease of operation, picture quality and many other factors.


How it works:
     Cameras are attached to the trailer at a height range equivalent to the core vertical range of the human torso.  This gives all cameras an equal chance of detecting motion created by an adult human.  Cameras are then individually tested and adjusted for exact perpendicular alignment to the mounting surface of the trailer.  Once all cameras are aligned and aiming along the exact same plane, the trailer is adjusted for perfect alignment parallel to the lay of the land at the testing location.

      While there are different schools of thought regarding how a trail camera should function, we believe a camera should come as close as possible to replacing a human in the field.  Specifically, we look for cameras to monitor as large an area as possible and capture as many photos of anything which enters that area as fast as possible.  With this in mind, we developed the original Trail Camera Shootout.

     The shootout tests the combined abilities of a camera’s trigger speed, detection width & detection range.  The test area is established by setting cones at 10’ intervals from 10 to 100 feet from the cameras.  A human test subject walks in front of the cameras twice at each distance- once from the right and once from the left.  This process averages out any inconsistencies created when detection sensors are mounted incorrectly.

     Photos are judged and awarded points based on how quickly each camera detects motion and ultimately captures a photo of the test subject. Photos are divided into 8 vertical zones.  If the test subject appears in the first zone of the leading edge of the walk path, a camera receives the maximum score of 8 points. Cameras which record an image of the test subject just as he is about to exit the picture are given a low score of just 1 point.  If no photo is captured, a camera receives 0 points.

     An extremely valuable test criteria which doesn’t factor into the scoring for the Shootout, but is readily apparent during the test is Recovery time.  Recovery time defined is the amount of time which elapses between triggered photos.  Some cameras are able to snap photos one after another with virtually no lag time between pictures.  Other cameras are incapable of capturing photos any faster than 1 a minute.  Cameras with quick recovery times captured multiple photos of the test subject as he made his way across the test area.  Where applicable, we document all cameras which captured multiple photos.

   As the ambient temperature approaches the body temperature of the target species, most cameras become less effective at detecting motion.  You can expect many of the cameras in this test to perform better in the colder temperatures during most hunting seasons.

2014 Spring Trail Camera Shootout

Rank
Model
Score
1
Bushnell Trophy Cam 11-9636c
152
2
Cabela's Black IR 8 MP
142
3
Bushnell Trophy Cam 11-9678c
138
4
Scoutguard SG560c
134
5
Cabela's IR 8MP
133
6
Scoutguard SG565
129
7
Bushnell Trophy Cam 11-9676c
128
8
Reconyx HC600
111
9
Browning Dark Ops
89
10
Stealth Cam G30
86
11
Primos Supercharged HD
85
12
Reconyx HC500
85
13
Primos Ultra 46 HD
84
14
Browning Spec Ops XR
82
15
Browning Recon Force XR
76
16
Spypoint BF10 HD
74
17
Spypoint Tiny W3
74
18
Eyecon Mantis II
74
19
Browning Range Ops XR
72
20
Browning Strike Force
70
21
Eyecon Jag
69
22
Moultrie M-880i
60
23
Moultrie M-880c
59
24
Bushnell Natureview 11-9439
59
25
Moultrie Trace Premise
57
26
Moultrie A-5
46
27
Moultrie M-550
40

 

2013 Fall Trail Camera Shootout

Rank
Model
Score
1
Uway UM562
120
2
Scoutguard SG560
118
3
Bushnell HD Max 11-9576
103
4
Uway Panda Wireless
102
5
Reconyx HC600
100
6
Covert MP6
98
7
Scoutguard SG565F
97
8
Buckeye X7D
95
9
Moultrie M-990i
95
10
Reconyx HC500
94
11
Moultrie M-880
94
12
Moultrie D-555
93
13
Covert Special Ops - Code Black
92
14
Bushnell HD 11-9537
91
15
Cabelas
91
16
Browning Range Ops
88
17
Bushnell HD 11-9547
87
18
Spypoint Live 3G
85
19
Moultrie D-444
84
20
Wildgame Innovations Lights Out
80
21
Spypoint BF-10
76
22
Stealth Cam Unit Ops
74
23
Wildview X8IR
71
24
Stealth Cam Professional HD
67
25
Wildview TK30
65
26
Spypoint Tiny W3
61
27
Cuddeback Attack IR
56
28
Covert Red 40
53
29
Browning Recon Force
53
30
Primos TC35 Ultra
44
31
Browning Spec Ops
43
32
Uway MB500
42
33
Cuddeback Ambush
29

 

2013 Spring Trail Camera Shootout

Rank
Model
Score
1
Covert Special Ops - Code Black
129
2
Scoutguard SG560C
110
3
Scoutguard SG565
103
4
Uway UM562
94
5
Stealth Cam Skout 7 ZX7
92
6-T
Barska 562
87
6-T
Buckeye X7D
87
6-T
Reconyx HC500
87
6-T
Reconyx HC600
87
10
Reconyx SC950
86
11
Wildview X8ir No Glow
85
12
Covert MP6
80
13
Barska 552
79
14
Wildgame Innovations Lights Out
76
15
Stealth Cam Unit X Ops Black
75
16-T
Moultrie M-990i
73
16-T
Spypoint Tiny Wireless2
73
18
Browning Range Ops
72
19
Moultrie D-555
70
20
Moultrie D-444
69
21
Wildview TK-30
68
22
Moultrie M-880
67
23-T
Browning Recon Force
61
23-T
Browning Special Ops
61
25
Spypoint HD-12
58
26
Covert Red 40
56
27
Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Max
51
28
Bushnell Trophy Cam HD
46
29
Cuddeback Attack IR
45
30
Primos Truth Cam 35 Ultra
42
31
Uway Panda Wireless
32
32
Primos Truth Cam Blackout
31
33
Eyecon Storm
30
34
Cuddeback Ambush
25
35
Eyecon Black Widow
20
36
Uway MB500
6