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Bushnell X-8 Trail Cam Review

Jan 3rd 2016 at 2:57 PM

The Bushnell X-8 6MP Trail Camera with Night Vision and Field Scan, which is the one of notable camera in the best Game & Trail Cameras category.  Bushnell, which has been among the industry leaders in sports optics for more than 50 years, produced the X-8 Trail Camera as a simple, easy-to-use tool for the budget-conscious hunter.  With that objective in mind, we find the Bushnell X-8 directly hits its mark and exceeds the hype – packing a ton of value when compared to similarly-priced cameras such as the Cuddeback Ambush and Moultrie M-80 XT.

The X-8, which also has been brought by many for security uses, has many outstanding features that include but are not limited to: 2-megapixel, 4-megapixel or 6-megapixel settings for full-color photo and video resolution (during the day); one-second trigger activation; programmable trigger intervals ranging from one (1) second to 10 minutes; multi-image modes ranging from 1-3 images per trigger; programmable video lengths of 5-15 seconds; field scan time-lapse modes allowing photos at pre-set intervals ranging from one (1) to 60 minutes; weather-resistant and temperature-friendly body capable of withstanding temperatures ranging from -5 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit; low, medium and high settings of a PIR motion sensor that may be activated at up to 45 feet; five-second camera recovery time; and, SD memory card capacity up to 32 gigabytes (card not included).  In addition to the time-lapse technology and long-range sensor activation, the X-8 is equipped with 36 night-vision LEDs so users do not miss any action within the trail camera’s range.

Factory Spec:

  • Up to 6-megapixel image settings, created by programmable software within the camera

  • One-second trigger activation, which ranks among the 85th percentile of the trail camera market

  • Programmable trigger intervals

  • Multiple-image modes

  • Programmable video lengths, including web-friendly 640x480 resolution

  • Field scan time-lapse modes

  • Weather-resistant and temperature-friendly body

  • PIR sensor active up to 45 feet, with some users claiming success at up to 60 feet, which also is top notch in the trail camera market

  • Three settings for PIR, which result in few “false-alarm” photos

  • Five-second recovery time

  • SD memory card capacity up to 32 gigabytes

  • 36 night-vision LEDs

Pros

  • Long battery life, which is top of the line

  • Efficient and lightweight

  • Time, date, moon phase and temperature stamps on photos/videos

  • Operations similar to a cell phone

Cons

  • Will not operate on Nimh rechargeable batteries, leaving alkalines and lithium batteries as the only operating options

  • Must remove camera from mount to open it when changing batteries or removing the SD card

  • No viewfiender on camera

  • 4-MP and 6-MP images created by software manipulation, resulting in somewhat grainy images when enlarged

The Bushnell X-8 also includes an easy-to-install tree-hook strap, but does not include batteries (up to 8 AA-cell) or a memory card (up to 32 GB), all of which must be purchased separately.  It is important to note that the Bushnell X-8 does not work properly with Nimh rechargeable batteries, leaving alkalines and lithium batteries as the only options for operation.  Owners of the X-8 may also want to purchase a security case for added protection from theft.

Efficiency is the highlight of the Bushnell X-8 design.  The small, lightweight camera, which is smaller than many “stealth” trail camera models, operates on four (4) or eight (8) AA batteries and delivers long battery life of up to nine months.  One Amazon reviewer credited the Bushnell X-8 with 95 percent battery life remaining after 3 months usage.  In addition to the long battery life, other outstanding features of the X-8 are the small size and easy-to-use controls, which are similar to a cell phone.

Additionally, with the camera’s one-second trigger activation, the Bushnell X-8 6MP Trail Camera with Night Vision and Field Scan is capable of producing sharp, high-megapixel color images during the day or low- to medium-megapixel black-and-white images at night.  The X-8 trail camera also delivers 640 x 480 video resolution.  Also, each photograph – whether high-quality daytime images and medium-quality nighttime images – and video may be stamped with the time, date, moon phase and temperature.

Unfortunately, the X-8 has been discontinued in manufacturing by Bushnell, so returns/replacements – if necessary – could be a headache.  According to the large majority of Amazon and Internet reviews, however, those cases are few and far between.  Many say the Bushnell X-8 should be rated higher than it is; In fact, numerous owners who offered reviews of the product acknowledged that they owned more than one X-8, including many for security purposes.  Another setback for the camera is the fact that it has no viewfinder, but it is memory card and USB compatible, so the transfer – and viewing – of photos is still fast and easy.

One also should note here that the Bushnell X-8 features only a 2-megapixel camera, which means the 4-MP and 6-MP photos are created by software that generates higher resolution images from the original 2-MP image.  It is similar to “optical” and “digital” zoom lenses on cameras; “Optical” images are true zoom images, while “digital” zoom images are generated by software programming, which, on occasion, results in grainy images when enlarged.

In comparison to a Moultrie Spy A5 Gen2 Camera, the Bushnell X-8 is smaller and easier to hide, and the image quality is a little Low.  The X-8 also is not much easier to set up and activate compaired to Moultrie A5 Gen2 Camera , and changing memory cards is much easier, thanks to a power switch, whereas the Cudde had to be turned on and off by installing or removing the batteries.  And, the battery options – operating when filled halfway with four (4) AA batteries or when completely filled with eight (8) AA batteries – is a nice advantage over the Cuddeback.  The Cuddeback had a slightly-faster trigger speed (under one second), but the large majority of images captured by the one-second trigger speed of the X-8 are centered in the frame, so it’s not a major fault.

When compared to the Moultrie M-80 XT, which was the target competitor when Bushnell marketed the X-8, the X-8 rated higher than the M-80 in nearly every category with the exception of quality of daytime photos (2 MP real focal point for the X-8 compared to 8 MP for the M-80).

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