We're a non-profit! All proceeds go back into our research and projects
Adding product to your cart
Great entry level camera
High quality stills
Perfect for gardens
What We Stand For
Although we appreciate that some conservation efforts require wild animals to be controlled, we have a strict anti-hunting policy. As such we cannot supply camera traps for the purposes of wildlife monitoring with the intention of dispatching any animal.
What We Stand For
We work hard to minimise our impact on the environment. We recycle all cardboard, plastic, batteries and other packaging. For shop orders, all cardboard used is made out of 70% recycled material and is 100% recyclable. If you do receive any paper, plastic or polystyrene packaging, we have reused these materials from packaging that has been sent to us. Sustainable resources are used wherever possible. We think before we print. NatureSpy branded apparel is 100% certified organic made using solar and wind powered renewable energy and low waste, cruelty-free inks.
What We Stand For
We’re a small organisation that aims to produce a big impact. Through our wildlife work we also want to educate people and communities about their local green spaces and wilder neighbours. In doing so we hope to achieve a dual purpose of encouraging people to care for and protect wild animals and habitats while using nature for their own health and well-being.
Our rating 5/10
We no longer recommend this camera. There are more up-to-date, much better camera traps now available; for example, the Browning Recon Force Edge.
The 2015 Bushnell NatureView Essential is an entry-level and basic camera, but a decent all-rounder, particularly suited to back gardens.
Video quality is not bad at 720p, and the use of low-glow LEDs with no filter screen means a powerful IR flash range. It does glow more that most other camera’s however, so isn’t recommended outside a garden setting or for sensitive wildlife.
Photo quality is very good – unlike most Bushnell cameras, the NatureView Essential is actually using a 5MP CMOS sensor, as opposed to the usual 3MP. This results in high-quality photos, better than most other Bushnell cameras.
The build quality and overall design of the NatureView Essential is good – the traditional Bushnell pelicase design.
Bushnells have always been easy to use, and the NatureView Essential is the same – it’s quick and easy to change the settings to what you need.
The NatureView Essential is using the older 6V power system, meaning it can run off 4 or 8 AA batteries. However, this means night videos aren’t as good as some more up-to-date 12V cameras, such as the Browning Recon Force Extreme or Bushnell Essential E3, but the nighttime video length limit is 60 seconds rather than the 15-20 seconds on 12V cameras.
Also taking into consideration the price of the camera, we feel the Bushnell NatureView Essential is a decent choice for back gardens, but in this price range there are some better, more up-to-date options – such as the Browning Strike Force HD Pro X, Browning Recon Force Advantage or Bushnell Prime. Therefore, we give it a 5 out of 10.
Max res: 720p (30fps day, 30fps night) Max length: 60s Trigger speed: about 2.7 seconds Recovery time: about 3 seconds
The video quality on the NatureView Essential is not bad, at 720p. It adjust exposure well after about 2 seconds of a video starting, and the videos are well lit at night, with good colour during the day.
The video trigger speed, at 2.7 seconds, is certainly on the slow side. We find that generally this camera is very good for watching hedgehogs however – they are not particularly fast, and therefore you also may want the 60 second videos at night that this camera can do, as opposed to faster, more modern 12V cameras.
Sound is middle of the road – you won’t hear hedgehog snuffles, but bird song and running water etc are picked up.
Max res: 12MP (lowest 5MP) Max number per trigger: 3 photos Trigger speed: under 0.6 seconds Recovery time: about 1.8 seconds
The Bushnell NatureView Essential is a great camera for photos. Daytime photos have great colour thanks to the high quality 5MP CMOS sensor, and the camera seems to cope well in low-light conditions.
Night photos are good, due in part to the 32 low-glow LEDs without any kind of filtering. This means the camera packs a punch at night – anything too close will likely be overexposed, but in most situations it’s good.
Photo trigger speed isn’t the fastest, but it definitely fast enough for most uses.
The detection circuit on the Bushnell cameras has long been a major strength. They trigger fairly reliably, especially compared to other brands like Ltl Acorn and Minox.
Video triggers are pretty slow on this camera. It isn’t unusual for the camera to trigger when the animal is already well within the frame.
Photo triggers are quite a bit faster, as with most camera traps. Recovery again is a little slower than more modern cameras however. Overall, the triggers and recovery rates of this camera reflect the fact it is a 2015 model rather than the current 2017 offerings from most manufacturers.
Build quality & batteries
Warranty: 2 years (through NatureSpy) Batteries: 4 or 8 x AA (Lithium strongly recommended)
Bushnell cameras are known for their sturdiness. You can tell they are well built and strong units, and NatureView Essential, in a green plastic casing, is no different.
Battery life is good from 8x AA Lithiums – generally, you can expect around 10 months battery life for photos (taking around 60 pictures every 24 hours) and about 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.
The Bushnell NatureView Essential is covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty in the UK when bought through NatureSpy.
Ease of use
Bushnell cameras have long been amongst the easiest to use, and the NatureView Essential is no different. The internal design of the camera is basically the same as previous years of Bushnells.
The camera trap has a decent amount 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 720p 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. Be careful not to go too much however as the camera can over-expose at night!
Every purchase funds our projects
Buy a camera, back a project.
Learn more about our projects and see how your support directly contributes to wildlife conservation worldwide.
Can use rechargable batteries: Yes - above 2500mAh
CMOS Sensor: 5MP
Encryption option: No
External power jack: No
GPS Geotag: No
Hybrid capture: No
Image data strip: Yes
IR flash range: 60ft max
LCD Display: Black and white text only
LED Type: Low-Glow
Max Images per trigger: 3
Max SD Card capacity: 32GB
Max video resolution: 720p
Memory overwrite: No
Night vision flash: Low-Glow
No of batteries: 4-8x AA
Number of LEDs: 32
PIR sensor: Up to 60ft
Power supply: AA batteries
Recovery speed: 3s
Solar compatible: Yes
Start Stop Timer: No
Strap included: Yes
Trigger speed - Photos: 0.6sec
Trigger speed - Videos: 1.8sec
Tripod mount: Yes
Video length: Up to 60 seconds
Warranty: 2 year
Wireless connectivity: No
Our Bushnell camera traps are central to what we do. Their sturdy build quality, strong detection and video quality sets them apart. We have an intimate knowledge of what makes them tick after years of working with them.
The new Core and Core DS models represent a big step forward for Bushnell, with much improved case design and battery life, along with faster speeds and better video quality. The Core DS models in particular, with dual sensors for better day and night imagery, have been giving great results.
We used Bushnell cameras solely in the iWild North Wales project and to a lesser extent in the Deescover project, mainly due to their high video quality.
All of our environmental projects generate hundreds of camera trap videos every single month; you can see some of the highlights and quality of the Bushnell footage on our YouTube channel . Please note that all this footage comes from a variety of Bushnell models at different resolutions.
They are extremely hardy and able to resist both low and high temperatures very well, and the case is well designed.
The image quality is consistently good and it’s main stand-out feature is the video quality.
If you aren’t sure which camera trap is for you, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll provide the best advice we can. All of our staff actually use different camera trap models in the field every single day, so we are ideally placed to help you make the right choice.
We pride ourselves on our pre and post-purchase customer service.
We understand that occasionally, there is a question you can't find the answer for, or a tweak you need to make to improve the performance to help you get that shot you've been after.
Fortunately, we've seen it all before. We have a dedicated support section that covers loads of topics both simply and also in depth, depending on what you need.
Because we're Europe's experts and we work with the products we offer on a daily basis, we know them better than anybody. Our support area is based on years and years of working with the products we offer.
So instead of scratching your head to trying and figure something out, head over to the support centre or check our FAQs.