Reconyx Hyperfire HC500 Review

Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:

In Progress

Why Reconyx?

If you appreciate American engineering and manufacturing as much as we do, the HC500 delivers unmatched reliability, exceptional speed, clear pictures, and easy programming. In today's news cycle, everyone is complaining about the lack of American-made products. Well, here is your chance to buy one of the top-rated trail cameras on the market and a product that is proudly made in the U.S.A.

Reconyx HyperFire HC500 Review

Model # HC500 | Reconyx HC500 Owner's Manual


  • Super fast trigger speed
  • Near-instant recovery time
  • Unmatched battery life
  • Setup is user-friendly
  • Incredible durability


  • No video capability
  • Night pictures lack flash range

Trailcampro Analysis

We have been reviewing and testing Reconyx game cameras for many years now. Their attention to detail, incredible speed, picture quality, and durability have rightfully placed Reconyx at the top of the trail camera mountain.

When you buy a Reconyx, you are getting an American made (Holmen, Wisconsin) manufacturing marvel. Just hold the camera and you can instantly tell this was made by folks who take great pride in their work.

We have an old Reconyx RM45 that has been on a farm in northern Missouri for ten years now. It works as well today as it did ten years ago. Don't let the sticker shock of a Reconyx camera scare you away, these cameras are built to last. Read the rest of our Reconyx HC500 reviews to find out whether this camera is worth the price tag or not.

Picture Quality:

Photo resolution: 3.1 mpxl |Video Resolution: None | Flash Type: Red Glow Infrared

The difference from the HC500 to the HC600 is the glow that is produced from the infrared emitters. The HC600 is completely covert, you will not see a red glow. The HC500 produces a faint red glow that is visible only when looking directly at the camera or close by.

The day pictures are crystal clear, with almost no blurring. The colors are rich and vibrant and in our opinion, the best on the market. The lighting, clarity, and color are exactly what you would want.

The night pictures are clear and have minimal blurring. Lately, they seem to not have as much flash range as the HC600. This is very strange as the HC600 is no glow and this camera, the HC500, is red glow.

The only fault you can really find with the camera is it doesn't have the "traditional" video option. What it does have is "near-video." Aka - the camera takes nearly 2 pictures per second.

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Battery Life:

Resting Power (on): 1.66 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 1.15 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 2.3 Ws

The HC500 uses 12 AA batteries. The total power consumption for both day and night photos is tiny. This is a testament to quality engineering.

Reconyx cameras work well with the Tenergy Nimh Rechargeable Batteries but, we have noticed that the battery meter on the Reconyx cameras has been spotty and incorrect quite often.

Lithium batteries will give you the longest battery life and the best night picture quality. If this camera were to take 35-day pictures and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, this camera could last an unbelievable 20.5 months in the field (with lithiums).

Detection Circuit:

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.29 s. / 0.9 s. | Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: None |Detection Range: 60 ft.

With a 0.29-second trigger speed (about the time it takes you to blink), you won't miss a thing. Even better, the recovery time (time between first and second picture) is nearly instant. You get roughly 1 picture per second if there is movement in front of the camera.

This is one of the fastest detection circuits on the market. Since this camera does not take videos, we could not calculate a video trigger or recovery time into the rankings.

The detection width matches the field of view perfectly. As a whole, this detection zone is nearly perfect. The detection range consistently hits 60 ft., which is average by today's standards.

Quality of Design:

Dimensions: 5.5" x 4.5" x 3" |Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: None

The camera measures in at 5.5" x 4.5" x 3." As soon as you start the camera up for the first time, you realize this isn't your same-old game camera. This is the real-deal. Instantly, it asks for the year, date, time, what type of batteries you are using and so on. All this information is then saved.

The buttons are crisp and you immediately realize the quality in your hands. The clamps on the camera are strong and snap loudly, letting you know the camera is securely shut. This is manufactured in Holmen, Wisconsin and their attention to detail is world-class.

Two negative items knock the quality of design rating. The camera does not take videos, only pictures. Also, the battery meter does not accurately measure all types of batteries.

Enjoy our Reconyx HC500 reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.

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Additional Resources: Reconyx

Manufacturer Specifications

  • Red glow IR flash
  • 3.1 mpxl pictures
  • No video
  • Time Lapse: 1, 5, 15, 30 or 60 minute settings
  • Photo Stamp: Time, date, temperature, and moon phase
  • Picture + Video: No
  • Temperature Range: -20° - 120° F.
  • Field of View: 42°
  • Start/stop time: No
  • Password protection: Yes
  • SD Card Overwrite: No
  • PIR Settings: Low, Med, or High
  • Flash Settings: High Quality, fast shutter, max range, Red Glow Infrared
  • Requires 12 AA batteries
  • Accepts up to 32 gig SD card

trail camera warranty

Buy your next trail camera or accessory from us and we will protect your purchase with our 90-day return policy and our exclusive 2-year warranty.

Most manufacturer warranties are only one year. In our opinion, that isn't good enough. Our customers get a two-year warranty, directly from us.

Trailcampro's 2 Year Warranty

If the trail camera you purchase from us goes defective within two years of your purchase, we will quickly replace it.

We strive to make the warranty process as quick and easy as possible. Simply fill out our warranty form.

Trailcampro's 90 Day Return Policy

We believe you have the right to return any game camera that does not meet your expectations within 90 days.

Our return policy lets you field test products, at no risk to you!

  • Buyer's remorse? Return the camera to us for a full refund (minus shipping).
  • Purchased the wrong camera? We will ship you the right camera.
  • Something wrong with the camera you received? We will replace it at no cost to you.

Want to talk to a trail camera expert? Contact our friendly staff.

Read our Customer Testimonials to find out what our customers have been saying about us!

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    Reconyx HC500 Accessories

    Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the HC500.

    Energizer Ultimate Lithiums | 12 Pack


    - There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.

    Reconyx Hyperfire Security Case


    - Use this to protect your new camera from bears and thieves. It provides much-needed peace of mind when leaving your camera out in nature.

    6 Foot Python Cable Lock


    - Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The HC500 has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.

    Extra SD Cards

    Start at $5.95

    - SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the HC500, but most people use two SD cards. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.

    Verified Customer Reviews

    We ensure that every customer review comes from one of our real customers and not someone who works for the competing trail camera manufacturer. These are verified customer trail camera reviews that you can trust.

    We would love your feedback if you purchased this trail camera from us. We want your honest feedback, these reviews are a vital part in helping consumers choose the right game camera.