Stop Using Alkaline Batteries in Trail Cameras

Posted by Nick Hartman on

Forgive me, I'm about to go on a rant.

I hate alkaline batteries. They make my skin crawl. If I see one around the office, I immediately throw it away. Have you gone a few weeks without a headache? Put an alkaline battery in a trail camera - it will solve that!

I know many of you use alkalines in your trailcams, maybe even some of you haven't had issues with it. Just wait, it will happen. 

We deal with 100's if not a 1,000's of trail camera warranties every year. 50% of the problems are caused by inadequate power supply. Which simply means, you put "brand new" alkaline batteries in the camera and one of the batteries was dead right out of the package and now the camera doesn't work.

Alkaline batteries are unreliable (even when new), don't work well in hot temps, don't work well in cold temps, don't supply high-end or cellular cameras with adequate power, don't work well in video mode, and subsequently put out less power with every picture it takes.

If you enjoy a clear mind and hate headaches.... Use Lithium batteries!

Heck yeah, they're expensive. Hurts when you hit the "buy button." I get it, I understand why you would be hesitant. However, if you switch to lithium batteries, I guarantee you will never buy alkalines again.

Lithium batteries  work well in hot weather, work well in cold weather, work perfectly in low-end cameras, high-end cameras, cellular trail cameras, work well in video mode, and keep the same power output from the first to the last picture it takes.

lithium batteries for trail cameras


I have two main missions in my trail camera career.

  1. Eradicate all alkaline batteries from the trailcam world.
  2. Stop the megapixel marketing gimmick.

I need you to spread the word and help me end this crisis. Friends don't let friends put alkaline batteries in trail cameras.

Sorry for the rant, I promise next blog post will be more positive! :)

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Best Game Cameras for Video

Posted by Nick Hartman on

With our 2016 Video Contest in full swing (ends November 1st if you haven't entered), I thought it a good time to talk about the best video trail cameras out there right now.

First and foremost, a good video game camera must have high-resolution video. Without that, it shouldn't be mentioned in a post like this. While most trail cameras produce video, and good video, to be considered high-resolution, the camera needs to record in 1920 x 1080 (with audio).

Here are my 3 favorite video game cameras.

1. Reconyx Ultrafire XR6

For any video lover, this is a no-brainer. I can sit and watch XR6 videos all day long. Here is our current XR6 playlist, which at the moment contains 37 various videos.

This video quality from the XR6 is unmatched. Crystal clear, great color and incredible depth to each video. This camera is flawless, from a pure video perspective.

The XR6 has unmatched durability as it is made in the USA.


2. Browning Recon Force Platinum

The Recon Force is a clear-cut #2 choice. Great videos, good detection speed - just a great video trailcam.

The Recon Force has everything you want from a budget-friendly video camera. With that in mind, it won't have the long-term use that an American-made trail camera will.

The good news is it is still covered under our 2-year warranty - so you know it will be fully operational during that time period (we guarantee it).


3. Bushnell Aggressor

Of my 3 favorite video cameras I'm listing, the Aggressor is the best of the bunch if you plan on using the gamecam for pictures and videos. The other two aren't nearly fast enough for normal picture taking, they are video-specific cameras.

The Aggressor takes high-resolution videos, with quality that isn't as high as the XR6 & Recon Force, but not far behind either. It is more versatile though, as it is super fast in picture mode. In video mode, not so much...  

As a video trail camera, it is not in the same league as the first two cameras, but as a versatile, all-around picture and video trail camera - it does a stand-up job.


Want to check out all the videos from our current video contest? Click play on the video below, and it will automatically play every video. Our customers have taken some great videos this year!


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Trail Camera Videos

Posted by Nick Hartman on

You know I like to hook up my blog readers with tidbits of info and sales that only you are aware of.

Here ya go

I'll take early entries from any of my blog readers.

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Cellular Trail Cameras & Wireless Security Cameras

Posted by Nick Hartman on

Thanks for coming back to read Part 4 of my favorite trailcams.

Wireless Security Cameras & Cellular Trail Cameras

In part 4, I want to talk about the growing field of cellular cameras, why they have become so popular, and which one is the best bang for your buck.

Cellular cameras aren't new - we have been selling and reviewing them for around 7-8 years now. However, they have evolved quickly and 2016 is the best year yet for cellular technology. Nearly every cellular trail camera we now have is easy to setup, user-friendly, and reliable.

While you may think that the majority of people use trail cameras to scout wildlife, there are a surprising number of people who use these as cellular security cameras. Instant notification is sometimes your only defense against trespassers, thieves, and vandals.

Security picture from cellular camera

Every week we have customers call and email us with their security camera success stories. While we love seeing great shots of wildlife on trail cameras, by far, the most rewarding pictures and stories we receive are from customers who were able to prosecute criminals for stealing, vandalizing, and threatening their safety.

Of course, the majority of folks are using these cameras to get pictures of wildlife sent to their phones. Luckily, many of the cellular trail cameras now have an easy app interface for that smartphone you are always carrying around! Those that don't, can still text or email you the photo directly from the cell camera.

Picture from cellular trailcam

Top Rate Cellular Trail Camera

So, which cellular camera is my favorite? That's really tough, as every company right now produces a quality cell camera. This has not always been the case.

For overall performance, my favorite cellular trail camera this year is the Bushnell Aggressor Wireless.

It is the fastest (0.29 s. trigger speed), has the longest detection range (110 ft.), works with a 6-volt Solar Panel, has two-way communication (send commands to the camera with your phone), takes excellent pictures, and is easy to setup.

Bushnell Aggressor Wireless Cell Camera

The app the Aggressor Wireless uses is great for changing settings and checking pictures. Overall, this camera is incredibly impressive and at the same, or lower, price point as other cameras - $399.95.

The downside to this camera is it needs a bit more cell strength to work, especially compared to cameras like Covert and HCO.

More 2016 Cellular Cameras

The Aggressor Wireless is not alone, though, there is a crowded field of cellular cameras that are worthy investments. Here are a few more and their highlights:

  1. Stealth Cam GXW Wireless - The only camera that can send videos and pictures.
  2. HCO Spartan Red Glow - Great night images and is our most affordable model ($379.95).
  3. Covert Blackhawk - Probably the best Verizon trail camera we have. Their app is extremely useful as well.
  4. Reconyx SC950C - $1,200 scares a lot of people away, but it will last a decade and can send multiple photos at a time. This is the ultimate security camera.

If you have questions on cell cameras or would like to try one out for yourself, give us a call - 1.800.791.0660 - or email -

Here are a few pictures sent to us by various cellular trail cameras. Enjoy!

Deer at night on cellular trail camera

Coyote trailcam photo

Monster whitetail on Bushnell trail camera

Whitetail fawn

Covert cell camera photo

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Reconyx Trail Cameras - Hyperfire HC600

Posted by Nick Hartman on

My favorite trailcams, Part 3.

Reconyx Hyperfire HC600 Trail Camera

To be honest, I should have started my recent game camera series with this camera. The Reconyx HC600 and HC500 are the gold standard for picture taking trail cameras.

The Hyperfire HC600 was technologically so far ahead of its time that 5 years after it was released (2011), it is still our highest rated trail camera  (of the wildlife cameras).

Coyote and badger square off

By now, if you follow trail cameras at all, you know that the only real negative the HC600 has is that it does not take videos - only pictures. Outside of that, this game camera is practically flawless, 5 years after it was released! Most trail cameras last a year before the manufacturer decides to revamp them for the next year to "create excitement." Reconyx spends YEARS just in R&D on their new models. Hence, the reason their cameras come out with technology that takes everyone else YEARS to catch up to.

Italian bear in the Dolomites

This isn't without one big, obvious sacrifice. Price.

The HC500 is their least expensive model ($449.95) while the HC600 costs $549.95. Not cheap, not cheap at all.

Whitetail deer in snow

These aren't "throw away" cameras if something goes wrong, though. If you bought the very first HC600 or HC500 that came off the assembly line in Holmen, Wisconsin, they could still fix anything that goes wrong with that camera now, or in the foreseeable future.

Listen, nobody is denying that you can go out and buy 3 or 4 other cameras for the price of one Reconyx HC600. I'd even say if you just need a camera for a couple years, need to cover multiple spots on a small budget, or place game cameras in areas thieves roam - you would be better off purchasing less expensive models (of which there are plenty of really good options among our top selling trail cameras).  

However, if you want to buy a high-quality trail camera that will last a decade or more - a camera that doesn't miss a single photo opportunity - Reconyx is your only option.

Two bears fighting at night

Furthermore, every news outlet in this country is talking about the loss of American manufacturing and "what we can do to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA..."

This isn't rocket science, there isn't a magic formula. Do you want to bring back American manufacturing jobs? Buy American-made products. Pretty simple. Specifically, in the case of owning a Reconyx trail camera, you not only support American workers and products, but you get the best product in the industry.

I'm not making a statement that you should ONLY buy Reconyx.They are not practical and are out of the price range for some folks - and I don't blame you. However, if this doesn't take food off your dinner table, and you have a need for a spectacular trail camera that will last for years (and you promise me it won't get stolen!), the Reconyx HC600 & HC500 won't let you down. If it does, we have a 90-day return policy and we will give you a full refund.

If you don't believe me, then take a glance at all the pictures our customers sent in from their Hyperfire cameras.

Mountain lion - photo from Reconyx camera traps

Bobcat on Reconyx game camera

Mountain lion stalks prey

Wolverine on Reconyx trail camera

Fox in the snow

Clear infrared night picture

Bonus Material

If you're still reading and enjoy cool technology, check out the new Reconyx Microfire MR5

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