2017 Bushnell Aggressor HD Review
The 2017 Bushnell Aggressor models continues the Bushnell Aggressor tradition of fantastic detection, fast trigger speeds and dependable results.
Trigger speeds and recovery times have seen a marked improvement from last year, particularly for video; now triggering in under a second for the first time on a Bushnell trail camera. Photo triggers and recovery are among the fastest available, and the detection circuit continues to be amongst the best available on any camera trap.
Video and photo quality, as you’d expect, continues to be great with 1080p video, although the frame rate at night is a little lower at 18fps (some examples below).
The build quality and overall design of the Aggressor range hasn’t changed much on last year, but there are a few tweaks and improvements – especially easier, back-lit buttons on all versions and 2 models with a built in colour screen (the 119875 and 119877).
It is straight-forward to use, and new additions such as dynamic video make the camera very versatile and the settings are highly customisable.
All the 2017 Aggressors have switched this year to a 12V power system (the reason night footage is so improved), and this means night time videos are limited to 15 seconds per clip with LED Control set to ‘High’. Turning this setting to ‘Low’ or ‘Medium’ means you can get 60 second clips at night. The camera will record up to 2 minutes during the day.
As with the previous Aggressors, there are 4 versions of the 2017 Aggressors – a brown low-glow, camouflage low-glow, brown no-glow and camouflage no-glow.
Also taking into consideration the prices of the cameras, we feel the new 2017 Bushnell Aggressors continue to be an excellent choice for nearly every purpose. There are just a few things we think could be a little better – therefore we give them 8 out of 10.
Read more of our 2017 Bushnell Aggressor HD review below…
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Max res: 1080p (30fps day, 18fps night) Max length: 2mins day, 15 secs night (can be up to 60s with LED Control reduced)
Trigger speed: about 0.7 seconds Recovery time: about 1.8 seconds
The video quality, together with the detection circuit, has long been the draw of the Aggressors. Video quality at night has seen a big improvement this year with the switch to a 12V system for greater clarity. It is a shame however that the frame rate has dipped to 18fps – not terrible, but it’s nice to have smoother footage. Daytime videos are crisp and the colour is wonderful, especially when the sun is out.
Sound has also improved on the cameras, with birdsong, water flowing etc picked up nicely. It is not quite as good as the Browning Recon Force Extreme and Spec Ops Extreme, but not too far off.
The exposure control at night is still good, with adjustments being made after a few seconds. If this happens frequently, you also have the option of turning the LEDs down in the settings (also unlocking longer night videos).
It also has ‘Dynamic Video’ – with this turned on, the camera will continue recording up to 2 mins in the day and 15 seconds at night (again, longer if you turn down the LED Control) if activity remains. This can be quite useful – for example, if you turn on Dynamic video on and a badger stops to have a big scratch in front of the camera, it will continue record until the badger is gone or the maximum video length is reached. And if the badger just runs past, then you just get a shorter video, with no ‘blank space’ – therefore not wasting any batteries or SD card space. Note however that with the lowest interval setting (o.6 seconds), all videos will be locked to 10 seconds.
Max res: 20MP (lowest 2MP) Max number per trigger: 3 photos
Trigger speed: about 0.2 seconds Recovery time: about 0.7 seconds
Photo quality is very similar to last years Aggressors. Day photos are OK, and generally better if you actually turn down the resolution due to the amount of interpolation added at higher resolutions, as this can make photos appear a bit grainy.
Day photos are have pretty good colour and are clear. Blur on moving animals both day and night is fairly common, unless the animal is moving quite slowly. This isn’t consistent however – sometimes it can freeze flying birds perfectly, and other times a walking fox will have a bit of motion blur.
We’ve also noticed that the first image on ‘Hybrid’ mode (photos then video) can be underexposed.
Most users of the Bushnell Aggressors are using video however, or are after the great detection and trigger speeds – so this may not be too big a concern for most.
Photo examples coming soon – we are currently gathering images
Trigger speed & Detection
Trigger speed: approx. 0.2s (photos), 0.7s (videos) Recovery speed: 0.7s (photos), 1.8s (videos)
Detection range: approx. 100ft LED type: No-Glow LEDs
The new Bushnell Aggressors boast impressive trigger and recovery speeds
The detection circuit on the Bushnell Aggressor cameras has long been a major strength – no other camera is as sensitive or can detect to such distances (around 80ft for a human-sized animal) reliably. And if it’s too sensitive, you can easily turn this down using a setting on the camera.
The improved trigger speeds for videos are certainly very welcome too – previously it was sometimes the case that you’d just catch the tail end of a fox running by, or a badger bumbling through. The faster video triggers help make this a less common occurrence.
Photo triggers, as with all camera traps, are faster, and a good bit so on the 2017 Aggressors at often under 0.2 seconds. This makes these camera some of the fastest currently available. These speeds coupled with the best detection circuit around make it a formidable unit.
Recovery times (the time it takes after its captured a photo/video to be ready for another capture) are much improved, especially for photos. Videos now recover in under 2 seconds which is great – but it could be a little better.
Build quality & Batteries
Warranty: 2 years (through NatureSpy) Batteries: 8x AA (Lithium recommended)
The Bushnell Aggressor cameras are known for their sturdiness. You can tell they are well built and strong units.
The look of the camera – somewhat akin to a grenade/stormtrooper – is a little unnecessary, but does serve to break up the outline of the camera trap.
Battery life is good from 8x AA Lithiums – generally, you can expect around 8 months battery life for photos (taking around 60 pictures every 24 hours) and about 2-3 months for video (taking around 20 videos every 24 hours). This will obviously vary depending on how active and how each video is, and if there are more night shots than day. Bushnell did update the firmware on this camera around 3 months after release to make the power use more efficient, so we’ll update this if we notice any change.
The Bushnell Aggressor camera traps are covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty in the UK when bought through NatureSpy.
Ease of use
The camouflage Bushnell Aggressors have internal colour screens for playback
Bushnell cameras have long been amongst the easiest to use, and this year’s Aggressors are no different. The change to bigger, back-lit buttons also makes things a lot easier.
The camouflage versions of the 2017 Bushnell Aggressors (119875 & 119877) have a colour screen, so when the camera is opened up you can see what the camera is seeing and also view videos and photos taken so far. The current view isn’t that useful as the camera door has to be swung open whilst you look at the screen. The brown versions of the camera traps (119874 & 119876) have black and white internal screens, for changing the settings only.
The camera trap has quite a lot of settings, but most of these you won’t need to worry about too much initially. Most users just want to go straight for video – changing the resolution to the full 1080p and setting video lengths. Interval is always an important setting to play with too, and it’s all straight-forward to change on the onboard menu.
We tend to notice that Bushnell camera’s field of view is always a little higher than you think it may be – therefore we generally always angle the camera down, just a touch – it can make a big difference.
Overall a very straight-forward camera trap to use, and certainly up there with the best available at the moment – particularly for detection range, trigger speed and video quality.
If you want to get your hands on the new 2017 Bushnell Aggressor HD camera traps, they’re now available at The NatureSpy shop for a great price, and include free P&P and a free SD card. All proceeds support our non-profit work.