Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential

Sale price$149.95


Discontinued Trail Camera Model

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bushnell trophy cam review

Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential Review

Discontinued Model # 11-9736c  |  Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential Owners Manual
  • Incredible picture trigger speed
  • Great battery life


  • 3.2 second video trigger speed
  • Poor night pictures

 Trailcampro Analysis

    The Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential is a bare bones trail camera. This is their base model for this year and while it doesn't have the speed and features of the new Aggressors, it should still pack some quality for the price.

Quality of Design  

Dimensions: 5.5" x 4" x 2.5"  |  Battery Type:  8 AA Batteries  | External Battery Jack:  6 Volt

     Case design is identical to previous years Trophy Cam models. The clasps aren't nearly as strong and sturdy as the new Bushnell Aggressor cameras. There are built in brackets for a Python lock and a threaded slot for the Slate River Mount.

     Programming is easy, but lacks popular features like password protection, sd card overwrite and start/stop time.

  • 1-3 multi-shot burst
  • 5 s. - 60 s. video clips
  • Time lapse: 1 s. to 60 m. 2 x custom setting / day
  • Photo Stamp: Date, time, and temperature
  • Picture + Video Mode: Yes
  • Temperature Range: -5° - 120° F.
  • Field of View: 42.3°
  • Start / Stop Time: No
  • Password Protection: No
  • SD card overwrite: No
  • PIR settings: High, normal, low, auto
  • Flash settings: No, Red glow infrared

     We have sold this camera and similar Trophy Cam versions for years. They are relatively durable for a camera made overseas.

Detection Circuit  

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.11 s. / 3.8 s.  |  Video Trigger & Recovery Speed:  3.2 s. / 5.4 s.  |  Detection Range:  90 f

     The 0.11 second picture trigger speed is what stands out here. At the time of this writing, that is the fastest trigger speed to date. The 3.8 second recovery is relatively average. The Video trigger speed is way too slow, while the video recovery is above average.

     Detection range is a big plus, measuring in at 90 ft. (this is an average and can vary based on ambient temperature).


Picture Quality  

Photo resolution: 12, 5, 3 mpxl  |  Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 w/ audio  |  Flash Type:  Red Glow Infrared

     Daytime pictures have good color and clarity but have a tendency to blur when the camera is in the shadows. Overall, daytime pictures are solid.

     Night pictures are very disappointing. They are grainy and blurry and don't give the crisp feel that the higher end Bushnell cameras have delivered. The flash is even across the picture, which is good, but, there is a lack of range and animals out past 35-40 feet are exceptionally grainy. All the small animals we have photographed are very blurry and indistinguishable.

     Daytime videos are ok. They don't have the best clarity or color. They are very middle of the road. Night videos are much better than the Essential's night pictures. The flash looks strong and since it is video, there isn't the noticeable blur.

[powr-image-slider label="2899606"]

 Battery Life  

Resting Power (on):  1.26 mW  |  Daytime Power Consumption:  2.57 Ws |  Nighttime Power Consumption:  3.71 Ws

     Battery life can be categorized under "really stinking good." Resting power, daytime consumption and nighttime power are all very low and very efficient.

     The Essential uses 8 AA batteries. It can use Tenergy nimh rechargeable, alkaline or lithium batteries (which we would recommend).

     If the Bushnell Essential were to take 35 day pictures and 35 night pictures every 24 hour period, this camera would last an astounding 11 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries.

 Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential Review Conclusion:

     The Bushnell Essential is a quick, battery efficient camera trap. However, picture and video quality aren't quite up to snuff and the case design is outdated. If it were our money, we would spend a few extra bucks and get the Bushnell Aggressor camera.

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

Trailcampro's 2 Year Warranty | 90 day Return Policy

best trail camera warranty trailcampro width="598" height="107"

Trailcampro 90 Day Return | 2 Year Exclusive Warranty Details 

If you purchased your trail camera from us (Trailcampro.com), here are the following warranty stipulations. If you purchased from another retailer, we recommend contacting that retailer or the manufacturer of that product for their warranty details.

If You Purchase From Trailcampro.com

We attempted to make our return policy and 2-year exclusive warranty as simple as possible.  However, there are a few stipulations.

90 Day Returns

You may return or exchange anything purchased from Trailcampro for a full 90 days from the date of purchase. Please use the items as you normally would and much as you like subject to the rules below.

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.

90 Day Return Policy Rules:

  • 90 days from date of purchase.
  • In order to receive a full refund, items must be returned with their original packaging (including UPC code) and all contents
  • Cameras or products must be returned in their original condition.  You cannot write on the cameras, paint them or deface them in any way.  This completely voids the warranty with both us and the specific manufacturer.
  • If you purchased one of our "Package Deals" and only return part of the package, we will refund the items full price minus the package discount.
  • Orders with quantities of 5 or more are not eligible for a refund or exchange.  They are still eligible for warranty replacement.
  • There are no returns on used cameras or cameras that clearly state "No Returns"
  • If you are returning for a refund, you are responsible for return shipping.  Your refund amount will be minus the cost of the initial shipping to you.

2 Year Warranty

We strive to make our customer experience superior to anything available.  Traditional warranties only last a year and must be processed directly through the manufacturer.  This process usually involves frustrating minutes on hold with call centers and oftentimes weeks, if not months of down time waiting for your replacement product.  We process our warranties in-house and expedite the replacement process. When you call Trailcampro you'll speak directly with an expert who will immediately identify the problem and offer a solution. 

2 Year Exclusive Warranty Details: 

  • Warranty starts from the time of purchase and continues for a full 2 years.
  • Replacement cameras receive the remainder of the 2-year warranty leftover from the original purchase.
  • Warranty is only valid for full retail priced orders (quantity discounts void our 2-year warranty). Discounted items still receive the manufacturer warranty.  Price matches void the 2-year warranty as well.  
  • If your defective camera has been discontinued, we will exchange it for a similarly priced item to your liking.  
  • If you have a 3G cellular trail camera, it is not considered manufacturer defect if you lose 3G reception in your area.
  • Used cameras do not apply for our 2-year warranty
  • Cameras cannot be marked on, damaged, or defaced in any way.  Warranty is for manufacturer defect only.  Defect does not include damage, whether intentional or not.

If you have any questions that were not answered here please feel free to contact us.

To warranty a camera please use the form below.  Upon receipt of an RMA number, you will need to ship the camera back to us.  You will be responsible for the shipping charges of the defective camera back to us.  We will ship the replacement back to you for free.  


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