Bushnell Trail Camera Reviews – Buying Guide 2019 [Updated]

Bushnell Aggressor 20MP No Glow Trail Camera

We spent hours researching Bushnell Trail Cameras, focusing mostly on their current 2019 line of cameras.  After shifting through hundreds of reviews and looked to see what other experts were saying we have collected that information.

We based our ratings on these camera on a number of factors listed below.  They are in a rough approximation of order of importance about what we think is most important when selecting your next trail camera.

Trail Camera Comparison Criteria

PIR Sensitivity and Range:

Does the camera detect movement well, and what is the range that it detects at?  We are not quite as interested in false-positives, but it is something we take into consideration.

Trigger Speed:

How fast does the camera react to movement.

Battery Life: 

How many batteries does the camera take?  What is the expected lifespan of the batteries?  And finally, are there any other options available for powering the camera besides batteries?

Photo and Video Quality:  

We aren’t as concerned with high quality photographs, our interest in trail cameras is more out of a curiosity about what animals are present what their behaviors are like when we aren’t there to disturb them.  We aren’t expecting National Geographic quality photographs, instead we are more interested how a camera adjusts between night and day photography, and are the night photographs decent.

Flash Type and Range:  

What is the type of flash being used, and what is it’s range?  We are also concerned if we can adjust the flash if we aren’t getting the quality of pictures we are looking for.

Durability: 

We are using the camera outdoors, does it hold up to the weather well?  Can it be easily stolen?

Surveillance:

People have a lot of questions about using a trail camera for surveillance purposes.  We’ll rate if it will suit that purpose.

Bushnell Trail Cameras

Bushnell have long been one of the leaders in sport optics.  They have a great reputation for binoculars and hunting scopes.  When Bushnell began to release Trail Cameras the results were what loyal fans of the company expected: high quality products that met the needs of the outdoor community.

Bushnell Aggressor 20MP No Glow (Top Recommended)

Bushnell Aggressor 20MP No Glow Trail Camera

PROS

  • .25s Trigger Speed
  • High Quality Videos
  • Invisible Flash

CONS

  • Can’t Set Video Length
  • Inconsistent Photo Quality
  • Questionable Detection

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Out of the Bushnell Trail Camera models we looked at the Aggressor 20MP No Glow Flash was the most impressive.

PIR:

The PIR range is also the best out of these cameras.  Up to 60 feet there should be no problem detecting animals.  There are some reports about the camera just not seeing large animals, like Deer, that other trail cameras in the area were detecting.  These seem like weird problems with individual cameras though, rather than something to be expected, but we do add it as a con because if you aren’t using multiple cameras you might never know if this is a problem. (15/20)

Trigger Speed:

The Aggressor has the fastest Trigger Speeds of the Bushnell cameras we looked at.  For photo the trigger speed is a blazing .25 seconds, and 1 second for video.  You should have no trouble an animal that passes in front of your camera with those speeds.  (18/20)

Battery Life:

Trail Cameras are battery hogs, no matter what inflated numbers a manufacturer lists for how long batteries last in the real world it will be a lot less.  One of the reasons we originally rated this camera so low was because of it’s low battery life.  You might only get a month out of a set of 8 AA Lithium Batteries.  Depending on what options you use on the camera you could get a longer battery life, but you’ll probably find that you are missing out on the coolest parts of the camera.

Unlike the E3 Essential camera, this one does allow you to attach the solar panel pack to the camera.  We definitely recommend this if you it’s possible at all to get enough sunlight where you are looking to use the camera.  Out of the box though we gave this a fairly low rating for battery life (5/15)

Photo and Video Quality:

The good?  The video quality is amazing!

The bad?  You no longer have the ability to choose the length of time you record a video.  The camera determines the length of time to film based on movement, which should be great, but it doesn’t always work out well.  We liked being able to set the amount of time the videos would shoot for.

We also found a lot of conflicting reports about the photo quality.  Users and reviews pointed out that the 16MP pictures from other Bushnell cameras were superior to the 20MP photos of this one.  Generally we think that the day time photo quality is fine for the purpose of general nature watching, or hunting.  The camera does have some issues with nigh photography with a lot of whited out pictures reported.  That we weren’t so happy about.  (8/15)

Flash:

This particular model also has a black LED “No Glow” flash, which might not be essential but we like this feature a lot.  Most animals don’t react to the red low glow flash of other models, but people passing by could notice it.  We like the idea of not calling attention to where our camera is.

The “No Glow” Aggressor Model has a Flash Range of about 80 feet, which we think is just fine, since the PIR doesn’t detect all that well after 60 feet.  You also have a choice between three levels of flash.

We haven’t reviewed the Low Glow model, which is pretty much exactly the same except for the flash, but that model’s flash range is about 100 feet.  (14/15)

Durability: 

Bushnell are known for their durable products.  The hard case and rubber seals make this very durable and will keep water out of the camera.  There are security boxes available for extra durability and protection from theft.  This model also comes with a channel you can run a lock through to secure it to a tree.  (14/15)

Surveillance: 

Not Really, Maybe?  Is any camera that isn’t wireless really good for surveillance?  Maybe if you are just interested in events happening after the fact.  If you want to know if someone has been snooping around on your property then this camera would function well for it.  The camera isn’t the most stealth looking, but if you could find a place to hide it, the high video quality and No Glow Flash could make for a good ‘after the fact’ security camera.  If you are looking to find out the next day when you check your SD card if someone has been around, then this will work great.  If you want to know right away that there is someone sneaking around your property then this camera will be no help at all.

Click here to read our full review of the Aggressor 20MP No Glow

 

Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera (Best Value)

Bushnell Topy Cam Essential E3 Trail Camera

If you are looking for a good, reliable and inexpensive Trail Camera, the 16MP Trophy Cam Essential E3 should have all of the features you need at a price that won’t cause you to have to make a big investment.  There are limitations to this camera, and it’s probably best for use on your own property (or at least someplace you can easily travel t0).

PROS

  • .3s Trigger Speed
  • High Quality Daytime Photos
  • Great Price For the Features

CONS

  • Possible White Outs With Night Photography
  • Inconsistent trigger speed issue
  • PIR works at about half the advertised distance

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PIR:

The motion sensor on the Essential E3 camera functions well at just a little more than half the advertised 100 feet.  Most people who use the camera give say that the PIR detector works well till about 55 feet.  There are some reviews that so say they got good results up to 80 feet though.

What is the area you are looking to scout with this camera?  If 55 feet is enough for where you have a feeding plot or it will cover most of your backyard, then this shouldn’t be an issue.

We found no evidence of there being any reported problems though of the camera just flat out not seeing large animals moving within it’s detection area.  (14/20)

Trigger Speed:

The trigger speed for still photographs is around .3 seconds, and 2 seconds for video.  For still photos there is around a 1 second delay between between one event happening and the trigger being ready to fire again.

This is a little slower than the Aggressor model we reviewed above, but the .05 seconds probably isn’t going to make much of a difference.

The only real drawback to the trigger speed on this Trophy Cam is that people have reported there being a consistent 10 picture cycle that registers different trigger speeds for each picture. For most of the 10 pictures the trigger speed averages out to the .3s, with some events being slightly faster and some slower.  But for some reason the 10th picture on the cycle shows a sharp decline, with a trigger speed of 2 seconds.

In the cameras that have shown this problem it’s consistent, every ten trigger events is slow.  We aren’t sure if this is an issue with every 16mp Trophy Cam Essential E3.  (15/20)

Battery Life: 

 Taking between 15 and 30 pictures a day you will probably get between 3 and 4 months out of one set of 8 Lithium AA batteries. Shooting a lot of video and using the Field Scan mode will decrease your battery life.  So will using the camera in extreme heat and cold.  The camera will do a little to extend the length of the batteries when they are running out by decreasing the length of videos.  There are reviews that say that when their batteries are running low they start to have videos of only a couple of seconds on their SD card.

The batteries generally last longer than the Aggressor, but unlike other Bushnell models the 16MP Trophy Cam doesn’t give you the option to attach a solar panel.  If you use this camera you will only be able to keep in running with a constant supply of batteries. (6/15)

Photo and Video Quality:  

The Daytime photo quality is great with this camera.  Sharp good pictures with a maximum resolution of 4624×3468, along with an HD mode and an option to take smaller pictures that won’t fill your memory card as quickly.

For still photographs there are some concerns with getting whiteout pictures, this could be an issue that can be resolved through some trial and error of different settings, or maybe even moving the camera to be a bit further away from where the animals you are filming pass by.

Video offers three different resolution options, and this camera does give you the option to choose your own video lengths.  This is a feature that a lot of people missed on the new Aggressor model.

The video quality is more an adequate.  It might not win awards for being the highest quality video you can take with a trail camera, but the quality is good and reliable–in other words it will get the job done for you.  (12/15)

Flash:

This camera has a visible Red LED flash.  It works best for illuminating animals (or a person I guess), between 10 and 100 feet.

Animals generally don’t react to the low light LED flash, but people will notice it.

You have the option of removing the anti-reflective filter on the camera for a brighter flash if you find your pictures being too dark, but there are also multiple settings you can choose between for flash brightness.  (13/15)

Durability: 

 The cameras hard plastic case with rubber seals makes it extremely durable and will keep water from making its way to the camera.  The camera will operate with no problems from around zero to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  (14/15)

Surveillance:  

This model of the Trophy Cam isn’t meant for surveillance.   There is an LED light that people could see if they are looking for it that registers when the PIR is triggered.  At night the flash will be visible to a person, and will ruin any stealth qualities a surveillance camera should have.  Really, the only use this camera would have for security or surveillance is as a visible deterrent, but without a security box the SD card could just be easily taken out erasing any evidence you’d have of what took place.  Also the camera itself could be taken with little difficulty.

Click here to read our full review of the Essential E3 Trail Camera 

 

Aggressor 14MP Wireless Trail Camera (Not Recommended)

Bushnell Aggressor 14mp Wireless Trophy Cam

The wireless Aggressor 14MP Trail Camera we don’t recommend.  While the overall quality of the camera is similar to the Aggressor 20MP No Glow, the extra cost for the wireless features make this one too expensive for us.

The camera has some minor issues that require may require the camera to be manually reset, which isn’t a big deal if you are using the camera close to your home, but if you are using it scout a feeding area far from home this becomes a major inconvenience.

The other issue we have with this camera, is you need to make sure that the camera is placed in a location with strong ATT coverage.  If you know that you get great coverage where you are looking to place this camera, then disregard most of our problems we have with it.

We aren’t a huge fan of only having one choice for wireless connectivity, and there are issues that come up with the camera when there isn’t a good strong signal.

PROS

  • .3s Trigger Speed
  • Home or Business Security
  • Good quality pictures

CONS

  • Uses a lot of batteries
  • Have to rely on having excellent AT&T cell coverage
  • Manual reset troubleshooting could be a problem
  • Only notifies you of still photos taken by the trigger, no notification or thumbnails of videos or Field Scan photos.

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PIR:

The PIR works well consistently up to around 60 feet.  There could be mixed results on the camera between 60 and 100 feet.  The technology is the same as the Aggressor No Glow camera. (15/20)

Trigger Speed:

The trigger speed is slightly slower than the non-wireless version of the camera.  But at .3s you probably aren’t going to notice the difference in the quality of photos that the camera takes. (16/20)

Battery Life: 

This camera needs a lot of batteries.  It takes 12 AA Lithium Batteries, and you should expect to only get between one and two months on a set of batteries.  With an inconsistent or spotty cell signal you could get even less time from a set of a batteries, since the camera will drain batteries even quicker when it needs to be looking for a signal.

Similarly to the other Aggressor models, you can purchase and attach a solar panel to the camera, which would help overcome the sheer quantity of batteries you will run through using this camera. (2/15)

 Photo and Video Quality: 

The photo and video quality are very similar to the 20MP Aggressor.  Even though there is a difference in the amount of megapixels between the two cameras, the results are similar for the two cameras.

If you aren’t interested in the wireless capabilities of the camera, we would recommend the non-wireless Aggressor model since it’s generally a superior camera except that you can’t connect to the camera remotely. (12/15)

Flash:

The camera’s flash is 48 No-Glow black LED lights.  The flash has an effective range of around 60 feet, although you will get some visibility at night up around 100 feet.  (11/15)

Durability: 

Bushnell are known for their durable products.  The hard case and rubber seals make this very durable and will keep water out of the camera.  There are security boxes available for extra durability and protection from theft.  This model also comes with a channel you can run a lock through to secure it to a tree.  (14/15)

Surveillance:  

If you have good ATT coverage in the area you are mounting your camera, then this camera would be a great surveillance camera.  We actually are more likely to recommend this camera as an inexpensive security option for a home or business that isn’t located too much in the wilderness (and hopefully then gets a good signal).

The no-glow flash and ability to see thumbnails of pictures very soon after they are taken can make this camera a great way to be kept informed of any unwanted visitors.  (14/15)

Read the full review for the 14MP Aggressor Wireless Trail Camera

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