You are reading the 2015 HD Wireless Review. This is a discontinued model. Here is the newest model - 2016 Bushnell Aggressor Wireless
This cellular trail camera has one glaring weakness. Night pictures. The flash range is non-existent. Everything else is solid, but without the ability to take quality night pictures, we can't give the HD Wireless our recommendation. - TCP Staff
Read our full review below.
Bushnell HD Wireless Review
Model # 11-9599c | Bushnell HD Wireless Owners Manual
- Fast trigger speed
- Good battery life
- Solid daytime photos
- Poor night photos
The Bushnell HD Wireless is the first cellular game camera produced by Bushnell. The HD Wireless hooks up to AT&T cellular reception and sends the photos to Bushnell's website. From their website, you can log on (via your personalized account) and view the pictures.
As with any cellular game camera, there is a lot to cover in this review. Let's get started.
Quality of Design
Dimensions: 7" x 4.5" x 3" | Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: 6 Volt
Ease of use is a very important category for any cellular trail camera. We will go through some of the basics at the beginning and then get in-depth look at the cellular aspects a little later.
The case design comes from the 2013 Bushnell HD Max. This is a solid case design that has functioned well for several years. However, the latches can be tough to open, especially with cold hands. There is a bracket on the back for a Python Lock and a threaded insert on the bottom for a Slate River Mount.
A very interesting tidbit is the HD Wireless is only given a 90 day manufacturer warranty from Bushnell. All their other cameras come with a 1 year warranty, but their lone cellular unit is the exception. We still offer a 2 year warranty on this camera (like we do all our cameras that are purchased at retail price).
Setting the Bushnell HD Wireless Trophy Cam up for cellular transmission is refreshingly simple. On the inside of the camera are the full instructions. You need to register the camera at www.wirelesstrophycam.com and follow their instructions. You will need the camera with you when you do this.
At this time, you will need to select the plan you wish to pay. Below are the standard options (left) and to the right are the options if you want to buy a full resolution image. You can change these at any time and there is no contract with these plans.
You still need good AT&T reception to make this camera send photos properly. A minimum of 3 bars is recommended, but just like anything else, the camera will be more consistent the better the reception is.
Once your camera is up and running, your main screen will look like the screenshot below:
From this screen, you can view the pictures the camera has taken (pictured bottom left), check on the location of the camera, check on battery life or even change settings (pictured bottom right)
We really like the ability to change the settings and check on the cameras status from the convenience of your computer.
It is not a secret that we do not like having the pictures hosted through the companies own website. We prefer dealing direct with the cellular provider and having the photos sent directly to your email or phone. The plans through the manufacturer tend to be more expensive and you have no leverage going forward. You are locked into whatever options they give you. With that being said, the advantage to Bushnell's website is being connected to the camera at all times. The ability to change plans, adjust settings and get a full resolution image are quite convenient. The initial setup process is all pretty intuitive and quick. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to this type of service.
Overall, the cellular setup is both easy and convenient going forward. It can be a bit more expensive, but the convenience of adjusting settings on the fly can be worth it. Bushnell also has a phone app for this service, so you can check the pictures directly from your phone.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.66 s. / 42.8 s. | Detection Range: 50 ft.
The 0.66 second trigger time is the second fastest trigger time for current cellular cameras. The camera can also recover in roughly 42 seconds (this can vary at times). These times are fast, considering the camera is transmitting an image in between pictures being taken.
The detection range on this unit is shorter than other 2014 Bushnell trail cameras. We believe this was done intentionally as the flash range won't reach out far enough and you would end up with a lot of empty photos.
We have received quite a few empty pictures from the HD Wireless. This could be a result of the detection zone being too wide or the camera "false triggering."
Overall, this detection circuit is pretty good, for a cellular trail camera. The trigger and recovery are both very good. The empty pictures do bother us, but we expect a certain number of them with any camera.
Photo resolution: 8 mpxl | Flash Type: No Glow Infrared
Picture quality on cellular cameras is a bit tougher to judge. The images the camera sends to the website, are not full resolution images. You get a small thumbnail, that enlarges to 320 x 240. You do have the option of paying $7.99 (for a 10 pack) that Bushnell says "grants 10 high-resolution photo uploads." These uploads are really expensive, but they do give you the option of getting the full resolution image. This is the only camera that can send you the full resolution images, via cellular transmission.
Daytime pictures are very typical with what we see from most Bushnell cameras. Most of the pictures are really good, but there is a struggle with pictures that are in direct sunlight (they tend to wash out).
Night pictures really struggle with clarity and flash range. If an animal is close to the camera, you will be fine. If it is 30+ feet away from the camera, you may only see a silhouette of the animal. The pictures also have quite a bit of white noise and graininess.
Below are many of the pictures pulled from the camera or the upload website.
Keep in mind the original transmitted image will be a compressed file of the larger image. It will be grainier and much smaller as to allow for easier transmission to your Bushnell account.
Resting Power (on): 1.2 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 38.5 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 41.13 Ws
As cellular trail cameras go, this battery data is excellent. Low resting current draw and very solid picture consumptions make the HD Wireless a very efficient unit.
We recommend lithium batteries with all cellular game cameras, this unit is no exception. Battery life depends greatly on the amount of pictures being taken, but with 12 lithium batteries you can expect the HD Wireless to last multiple months in the field.
Bushnell HD Wireless Reviews Conclusion
To sum up the Bushnell HD Wireless, I think our tech guy, Charles, said it best; "I like everything about it except the night pictures." The camera detects quickly, it is battery efficient, the cellular setup is a breeze and the user interface on their website is excellent. The big drawback that really sticks out is the poor night pictures. From talking to Bushnell, there is not a plan to change that going forward. This camera will remain this way through 2016.
The 90 day warranty Bushnell puts on this camera scares us a bit, however, that really isn't a problem for you as our customers still get a 2 year warranty from us.
In our opinion, this is a very viable cellular trail camera option. From the lack of night picture clarity, this isn't a model we would recommend for security. However, for wildlife purposes that don't require big flash range, this is a very good option.
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