discussion / Camera Traps  / 8 November 2023

Alternative to Reconyx Ultrafire

The Reconyx Ultrafire has been discontinued, and we rely on these heavily for research because of the modifiability and reliability in adverse conditions. We need a high quality video camera trap to replace it for targeted sampling on white-faced capuchin monkey stone tool anvils (and future projects where we plan to time sync multiple arrays of cameras). Hyperfire video quality is insuffcient for the behavioral scoring and individual identification.

Our priorities are:

  1. Durable seals: these are placed along the coast in tropical Panama, so salinity and rain is abundant
  2. Available metal security cases to prevent theft that could be locked and prevent movement (lots of inspection)
  3. Long battery life with Lithiums (we collect cameras every 6 months, and have currently been deploying 2 on a site). Sometimes batteries can run out, so we set out a backup cam with...
  4. ...Delayed Programmable Start Times
  5. Video length of up to 1 minute long (perhaps up to 2)
  6. Accepting of high volume i.e. 256 GB SD cards
  7. Quick delay and recovery
  8. Adjustable schedules
  9. good for closer range filming (i.e. ~ 2m from site)

    I was considering either the Bushnell CORE™ DS-4K or Browning Patriot or RECON FORCE ELITE HP5, but am open to alternative suggestions!

    You tube link is to low quality footage from old cameras 6 years ago (trash gets washed up on coast from ocean on an uninhabited island).

The two cameras you mention below tick off most of the items in your requirements list.  I think the exception is the “timed start” whereby the camera would “wake up” to arm itself after a certain date.  Camlockbox.com provides security boxes for both.    

Especially if a white flash is useful in your research, you may also want to consider the GardePro T5WF.  I don’t have a lot of long-term experience with this camera, but it is one of the few that offers a white flash, and it has excellent battery life, especially for night captures.  The audio can be a little flaky   

I have done posts on these cameras, including a teardown.  See:




I have heard reports that the HP5 can let in moisture in very wet environments.  This may be a direct water contact type of thing, as we have never had water issues with this camera when it is installed in a lock box (US Northeast, Northwest).    


We prefer the HP5 due to superior image and audio quality.  That said, there is a known issue that with some HP5 cameras, with some fast (> 80 MB/s rated read) and large SD cards, the SD card can become corrupted, preventing the camera from capturing images.  I address this, including a fix via firmware, in another post:


Hope this helps.