Reconyx Hyperfire HC550 Review

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This is a discontinued camera. You can shop new Reconyx Cameras here.

Reconyx HC550 Review

Model # HC550 | Reconyx HC550 Owner's Manual


  • Exceptional detection circuit
  • Good battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Unparalleled durability - Made in the USA


  • 25 ft. night flash range
  • Blurry night photos
  • Expensive

Trailcampro Analysis

The Reconyx HC550 is a white LED trail camera. Instead of the traditional incandescent flash, Reconyx put a white led flash to produce the same color night photos.

As you will read below, the HC550 has the same detection circuit, case design, and nearly all other functions as the popular Reconyx HC500 and HC600 models. The biggest difference is the white led flash.

Picture Quality:

Photo resolution: 3.1 mpxl | Video Resolution: None | Flash Type: White LED

As with any camera, we give you our opinion of the photos, but your needs are different than ours. If you disagree with our rating of the photos, the sample photos on the right will help you decipher the quality for yourself.

For years, Reconyx photos have been some of our favorite for overall photo quality. The HC550's day photos have vivid color but we have noticed more blur in day photos then we have ever noted in the HC500 or HC600.

The night photos, to be quite honest, are disappointing. The 25-foot flash range rating we gave the camera is really only if the animal is in the center of the photo. On the edges of the photo, the flash range might be closer to 15 feet.

While the night photos are color, they are still very dark and don't give the big, bold color photos we have accumulated from past incandescent cameras.

The most concerning note is the white led is so bright (much brighter than an incandescent flash), we have multiple photos of animals turning and running when the flash goes off. Maybe it is more noticeable in this camera because the HC550 is taking photos so much faster than any of the incandescent cameras, but it is worth noting.

The only scenario that I can see the cameras night photos being useful is if you are doing a large cat study (Leopards, cheetahs etc.) and you need color night photos to I.D. specific animals at night. In order to be effective, you will need to be within 15 ft of the animal.

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Battery Life:

Resting Power (on): 1.8 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 1.44 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 7.85 Ws

Battery life is a strong point in all Reconyx cameras. The numbers on the HC550 are incredible considering this is a white LED trail camera. Resting draw, daytime consumption, and nighttime consumption are all top of the line.

This camera will work with alkaline, lithium or NiMH rechargeable batteries. We recommend the rechargeables for their consistent battery life in both warm and cold weather and overall cost savings.

Detection Circuit:

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.20 s. / 1.12 s. | Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: None | Detection Range: 60 ft.

As with all Reconyx cameras, the detection circuit on the HC550 is the best on the market. The trigger time is a scorching 0.207 seconds and the camera recovers right at 1 second. In other words, this camera will take pictures of an animal every second as long as it is moving in front of the camera.

The detection range is 60 ft. and the detection zone is slightly less than the field of view. Overall, this detection circuit is top-notch and will result in the maximum number of photos being taken at the given camera trap station.

Quality of Design:

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

This is another strong suit of Reconyx cameras. The case design of the HC550 is flawless. The HC550 measures in at 5.5" x 4.5" x 3."

The programming is extremely easy to use. 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 for future use.

The only knock on the camera is the battery meter reads the battery life incorrectly.

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.

Our return rate on these and all other Reconyx cameras is virtually non-existent.

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Manufacturer Specifications

  • White LED 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
  • 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.

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    Reconyx HC550 Accessories

    Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the HC550.

    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 HC550 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 HC550, but most people use a second card. 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.