We've tested a number of economical trail cameras over the past couple years in some harsh conditions. Our cameras are located in the Jama Coaque Reserve and greater conservation area just south of the equator in western Ecuador. We have intense rainy and dry seasons. These cameras have been mounted in the tree canopy as well as ground level. Here is what we tested:
Bushnell - several models of the Trophy Cam Agressor line
- We've used the Bushnell's the longest but have experienced a pretty high failure rate with them. - They have been fairly good about honoring the warranty.
Browning - BTC-8A Spec Ops Advantage
- The Browing BTC-8A (x2) are still operating fine after ~2.5 years.
Browning - Dark Ops Pro XD Dual Lens BTC-6PXD
- We have 22 of these in operations now. Two have been operational for ~2.5 years. The others have been used for a little over a year now. We've had 4 failures, one of those because the branch fell out of the tree that it was on (took pics on the ground for a while and then got moisture inside) and another was bitten by some sort of mammal (monkey, tyra, ?) and got moisture inside. The other two appear to have gotten moisture inside of them. So we are extremely pleased with the BTC-6PXD. We went with these because they only use 6 aa batteries and they were smaller/lighter than the BTC-8A.
We also use these with rechargable Amazon nimh batteries. We're getting 6-10 months of battery life!
I thought about trying out some different cameras but I've noticed that a bunch of the new Browning cameras I've looked at specifically say they will not work with rechargables. Super disappointing.