My Technological knowledge of Trail Cameras was very limited. As a professional photographer and adventurer enthusiast, I always had an idea of what Bushnell Cameras were capable of but I wasn’t completely aware of the benefits and functionality. Based on this, I think testing an entry level Trail camera was a great place to start. Action Gear provided me with the Bushnell NatureView Cam HD. The idea was to see how easy the camera was to use as a beginner and produce some ‘okay’ footage.
At first touch, I noticed the sturdy construction of the camera. Judged by its weight and the feel of the plastic, I don’t think anyone will need to worry about damaging the camera by dropping it. The camera came with 2 additional lenses, some O-rings, AV cables to connect it to a TV and a manual. The camera has some additional features, I never considered such as a tripod screw at the bottom, pelican Case type water proofing to protect it from the rain and enough LED light to light up a high-way. There seem to be a lot of features that make you think, “That makes so much sense.”
Perhaps my lack of knowledge for Trail Camera is making this seems a big deal, but after all it is a beginner camera. The camera has two main sides; the front has all the tech including a Full HD Camera with interchangeable lenses, a light sensor, flash, motion sensor and PIR sensor. The inside is the business end, it features a 2.4” colour LCD screen an array of buttons and the on and off switch. Just under the ‘business side’ you will find various cable connection points. In Addition, the camera needs to run off 12 AA rechargeable batteries. I found this a bit much, but knowing the camera will be used outdoors for long periods of time it is definitely justified.
Working the Bushnell NatureView Cam HD
Like any other piece of new gear, I ignored the Manual, turned it on and started playing with it. I found the simple layout easy to work and the menu is as simple as it can get. I find this to be a big pro as many devices over do their menus to try and create a false sense for a premium product. The easy to push buttons and simple layout is all you need, nothing more. As I started to go through the menu, I realised I might need to consult the manual. There were a number of terms and acronyms I didn’t understand which the manual cleared up pretty fast. Once I knew what each menu meant, I was ready to put it to the test.
The camera has three main options; Stills, Video and Hybrid. I initially tested the camera to shoot stills and try the motion sensor out. It all seemed to work perfectly fine and I managed to capture an image of the below bird. Not too shabby, if you ask me.
Thereafter, I tried the video setting and tried to be a little more practical buy setting the cam up on my tripod. The video work but for some reason it was blurry. After reading a bit more of the manual I learnt that there are different lenses for different focal lengths. This then made sense to me although I expected there to be a better autofocus system. The manual also doesn’t help much when it comes to choosing the right lens. Just as I did, you’ll need to play around to get it right.
Still and Video
The images come out great. It managed low light well and the detail is better than I expected for an 8mega pixel camera. I set the camera up to include a watermark on the image which provides some important information. In addition, you can set up GPS points and it will be included in the JPEG metadata.
Other than the setting up focus and getting that right, the video worked well. Sound plays through clearly and it seemed to cope in low light too. The video also includes a watermark with file information.
Just as a side note: The box of the device boosts a massive 1 year battery life. Naturally this will depend on set up and what you have asked it to do. I put in full charged batteries and left it on for 2 days. It’s still on full battery.
Once you get the idea of the NatureView HD, the use for it is limitless. It provides an easy and simple way for you to view nature in your own backyard or out in the reserves. The content and quality of it is great for any Trail Camera enthusiast and my guess is this entry level one will last you a long time.
Make sure you get one from ActionGear.co.za and tell us about your experiences.
Images and Words: Terence ‘ActionMan’ Vrugtman from Adventure Life.co.za