Every January we send our CEO (Rich) and our tech guru (Charles) to the ATA Show to scope out all the new trail cameras coming out in 2018. Here are some quick blurbs...
PLEASE take everything with a grain of salt. I am a highly skeptical/conservative person by nature, so I urge you to remember that having prototype cameras and fancy marketing does not mean that the production cameras will match the hype. We will test everything when it is actually released and while we do test companies prototype cameras to provide the manufacturer feedback, we do not publish test data on prototypes. We only publish information from production cameras.
So even if you ask how testing is going on prototype cameras, we won't tell you. :)
Browning Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: In my opinion, there has been no better run camera company than Browning the last several years. They have hit the nail on the head in regards to price point and performance. With that being said, they have gotten to the point where they have WAY too many models. For the life of me, I can't understand why companies (not just Browning) feel the need to have 20 different models when they could easily condense that down to 3-5 (insert angry face emoji).
I'm not going to go through all the different models, because I'm still annoyed by it, but they do have two interesting additions... The Browning Recon Force 4K Extreme (4K video @ 60 frames per second) looks to be a high-performance video trail cam that I imagine will knock our socks off in video quality.
The other notable improvement is dual lenses in the new Dark Ops XD Pro and the Strike Force XD Pro. One lens does day pictures and the other does night pictures. This is normally done to improve night pictures and I can't wait to test that.
Outside of those two items, everything else just looks like minor tweaks.
ETA: March (4K is July)
Bushnell Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: The only new thing they have is a 4G/LTE cell camera to release, the Bushnell Impulse. Supposedly, it will have both cellular capabilities and bluetooth connectivity for programming. It is also capable of providing you with a live camera view and active GPS.
I sure hope those last two things are true. Customers have been clamoring for GPS and Live View for years. I'll remain skeptical until I see it - seeing is believing!
One thing I already don't like is that the Impulse has an internal antenna just like the old Bushnell Wireless. This was a huge problem for that camera so I don't understand why they kept it? There will be no option for improving reception with a booster antenna either.
Covert Scouting Cameras
Quick Hits: Covert is adding 4G/LTE cameras to replace their 3G cameras. The Covert Blackhawk LTE (Verizon) and the Covert Code Black LTE are expected out in February.
They are supposed to be able to send videos, as well as pictures. Look for improved battery life and transmission times.
It looks like they still have the Maverick and Viper cameras but are adding a camera called the Covert Ice Cam.
ETA: February - March
HCO Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: Their new 4G Verizon camera is already out. Nothing new to report.
Moultrie Game Cameras
Quick Hits: Moultrie kept most of their 2017 games cameras around with minor updates and name tweaks. I.e. the M-40i is now the M-50i.
I'm most disappointed that there are no updates to the Field Modem and Moultrie still does not have a self-contained cellular camera. However, their 2017 trail cameras were really solid so I'm happy they didn't do a major overhaul to cameras that already worked really well.
They do have a new wireless/bluetooth camera call the Moultrie M-BTi. Setup is done completely on the app and comes equipped with no glow IR, 1080p video, and 0.5 second trigger speed. I'm still not quite sure on what the overall market it for hotspot wifi/bluetooth cameras, but I do think they are pretty cool and could lead to really progressive products in the future.
Primos Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: Primos' Proof cameras are still around and appear to have no updates. This is unfortunate as Primos won the award for most warrantied trail camera in our office last year. They really are great cameras, when they work. Which seemed to be less and less as 2017 went on.
Primos is releasing a cell camera for next year called the Proof Cellular. It is cheap - $199 - and is supposed to be extremely easy to setup.
Reconyx Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: The big news is Reconyx has a new camera, called the Hyperfire 2.
Pictures + videos (unlike the current Hyperfire cameras) but most importantly, Reconyx swears the night pictures on this camera will be amazing. So amazing, that we (by "we" I mean Charles) are building a machine to measure blur on night images. Please don't ask me for an ETA on that machine, Charles is the smartest person I know, but also the most meticulous (really, really slow).
ETA: February (fingers crossed)
Jamie's Beard Game = #STRONG!
Spypoint Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: Spypoint is coming out with another cell cameras, the Spypoint Link-Dark. This will be a no glow camera somewhere between the Link-S and the Link-Evo.
Also, if you haven't noticed, Spypoint's app has antler recognition software. This software automatically sorts all the antlered bucks the Link camera has taken. Works surprisingly well and is pretty cool!
Outside of that, nothing new to report.
Stealth Cam Trail Cameras
Quick Hits: Everything looks the same with the exception of a new camera called the Stealth XV4. It advertises really crisp night photos.
New Trailcam Companies
Hawk - New to the camera world, they have a tiny new camera called the Hawk Ghost. It is super small, uses 4 batteries, is controlled by an app on your phone, and is supposedly waterproof down to 1 meter. This could be an interesting camera as they hired an engineer we have worked with before and he is one smart dude (but not as smart as Charles - nobody is ;) ).
Big Tine - They have a camera called the Big Tine IADG. I have almost no information on this one. I can tell you it has a viewing screen, accepts 8 AA batteries, and 0.5 second trigger.
Stealth has a G45NGX for 2018 it is to accept up to a 512GB SD Media Card! So there is more than just their XV4! But their Change to their G42NG for 2017 which was a decent Vid & Pic Camera is Now only a Decent Pic Cam… I have 1 2015 & 2 2016 which are decent cams fo I got 2 More for Xmas 2016 and both had Flickering during all Day Time Videos. They Sent me 2 Refurbish that had an issue cease in one Sensor Lens & other a Cut thru that same lens. So they Sent me 2 New Ones and they had the same Flickering even when it was suggest I needed to make the Time delay Longer and it did not help. So I gt 2 new G45NG’s decent cams but again when Manufacturers attempt to Tweak what is a decent cam and makes them worst Moultrie has as others and then Stealth did… It is SAD!
I believe that is accurate. They are advertising it as 1080p video so that could put it on par with the Extreme cameras.
I too want the P120i to be a success. I really like the idea of wide angle, it just hasn’t caught on with consumers yet.
Thanks for the insight. Will the Browning XD Pro cameras be more geared towards photos than video?
I agree about Browning having too many camera models. The risk of this to a company is that too much choice results in a customer having indecision and then not buying anything at all.
I’m looking forward to seeing Moultrie’s P120i tested. I thought the P180i was a little over kill but the 120i looks to be spot-on. Maybe third time’s the charm. ?
Thanks for the update Nick! I can’t wait to see how these cameras stack up after TCP testing!