As many of you will know, I love using Bushnell trail cams and have been using them in my patch, with Wildlife Trusts and in primary schools, all with brilliant results! I was somewhat frustrated by the inability of the units to focus any closer than 3m. These pieces of kit were originally designed for the US hunting market and designed to be set up on a tree in a field, to scout a large area for game. The way we are using them in the UK is very different. For a start, we do not have huge elk and moose and most of us will be capturing fox, badger, rabbit and, if we are lucky, other mammals such as pine martin or red squirrel. With a 3m focus, anything much smaller than that appears very small on the capture. To overcome my urge to be able to capture birds and small mammals such as wood mice, I spent nearly a year developeing a close-up kit that fitted on the outside of a trail cam and changed the focal length. I was really pleased when I found Phil Jefferies, who helped me manufacture this and sell it. My close-up kits have gone all over the world and work well.
Just over a year a go, a group of Bushnell trail cam users, as well as representatives from Bushnell UK, Bushnell Europe and Bushnell USA met at Richmond to discuss the ways forward with these trail cams in the UK market. I have been part of that team ever since, helping to develop a trail cam that will better suit the needs of UK users. The Bushnell NatureView is the product of those discussions. I have already blogged about the first NatureView to hit the market, the NatureView HD (119438). In February, I received the newest 2013 model from the USA. These trail cams are called the Nature View HD Max (model numbers 119439 and 119440). These have only just been released in the USA and I was the first person in the UK to get my hands on one and get it out in the field! The very special thing about this new NatureView is that its comes with two extra screw-on lenses. The unit can be used as a ‘normal’ unit, with the 3m focus or these lenses can be screwed onto the lens, changing the focal length to either 46cm or to just 25cm. meaning a small bird is now full frame! This NatureView also records video in full 1080p HD and it is brilliant!
Yesterday, I received confirmation that this NatureView HD Max model is on its way to the UK, so I have released information all about my trials so far with it and it is now on my shop for pre-order. I must admit, this model now NEARLY does all I want out of a trail cam…. there are still a few things on my ‘wish-list’ and I am hoping to continue to work with Bushnell over the coming years to further develop the NatureView series.
Here is a screen capture from a clip of my lovely siskins visiting the garden…
As of yet, I have not tried out all of the features but concentrated on the close-up aspect as I feel this is what will interest most of my followers and most of the Bushnell users or those considering whether to buy a trail cam. I will be continuing to use it in all sorts of ways over the coming months and will be blogging and uploading footage onto my YouTube channel playlist which you can see below.
My full review can be seen HERE on my ‘Use & Review’ site and you can email me if you are interested in pre-ordering one of these…. you won’t be disappointed… I think my footage sells the unit on its own!