2014 Spring Trail Camera Shootout

      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.  Check out our trail camera star ranking system if you'd like to see the cumulative rankings for all cameras.


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.

 
The temperature was 80º when we performed this test.
 
   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.
  


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