The latestBushnell Core DS-4K No Glow wildlife trail camera offers 4K video resolution at 30fps, interpolated 32MP still images, dual image sensors and improved SD card storage size.
This is the step up from the similarly-named Core S-4K which is offering 4K, but at 20fps.
This is Bushnell's new flagship wildlife camera. Its quick, offers great video and image quality, good detection ranges and solid battery life.
Finally, Bushnell have added the ability to use SD card sizes above 32GB - so now you can use up to a 512GB SD card in a Bushnell wildlife camera for the first time.
The Camo finish on the Bushnell Core cameras is some of the most realistic we’ve ever seen.
It is straight-forward to use and the menu will be familiar to Bushnell users, with no major departures or changes in the settings.
It’s powered by a 9V system from 6x AA batteries, meaning rechargeable AA batteries are not suitable. This still 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.
Max res: 4k (30fps day, 30fps night) Max length: 2mins day, 15 secs night Trigger speed: about 0.7 seconds Recovery time: about 1 second
Video quality has always been a strong point with the Bushnell cameras, and now they've made the push for 4K. This Core DS-4K model has the higher frame rate of 4K at 30fps, meaning smooth footage in this mode.
Video quality is really good so far - struggles a little in lower light (dawn and dusk) however.
Cameras are out gathering videos now - check back soon for updates
Max res: 32MP (lowest 2MP) Max number per trigger: 6 photos Trigger speed: under 0.2 seconds Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds
There is a large amount of interpolation happening with the Bushnell - its base sensor is 2MP and its interpolating that (the process of adding more, similar pixels around an original pixel) up to as high as 32MP. That means that at the 30MP option, most of the image is made up. We always suggest therefore to chose image resolutions at the lower end in the Core DS-4K menu - i.e. 8 or 12MP, for better results in photo mode.
Speed and detection
Trigger speed: approx. 0.2s (photos), 0.7s (videos) Recovery speed 0.8s Detection range: approx. 110ft LED type: No-Glow Power LEDs
Bushnell have always had some of the best detection circuits on the market, and the Core DS-4K keeps that up. Detection ranges are really good - so good that sometimes, you need to turn them down to allow the animals to get a bit closer before the trigger happens!
Video trigger speed is a little slower than on some other cameras - this is the effects of using 4K however. Files sizes are so much larger, it takes a few tenths of a second more for these to generate and allow the Core DS-4K to trigger.
Build quality & batteries
Warranty: 2 years (through NatureSpy) Batteries: 6x AA (Lithium strongly recommended)
The Bushnell Core DS-4K is a well built wildlife camera that feels good in the hand and lasts in the field. The battery tray makes replacing the batteries much easier and everything is well put together.
As you’d expect from the Bushnell brand, the camera trap feels strong and robust and will hold up well in the field for extended periods of time.
The latch is better than previous models, although the door is quite lightweight. However, we have had no problems reported so far.
Battery life is very strong better than on previous Bushnells, with the camera using 6x AA batteries at a time. Lithium are strongly recommended to get the best out of the camera. Note that officially, rechargeable batteries are not recommended with this camera by the manufacturer.
If using Lithium AA batteries and taking about 20 videos every 24 hours, you will get just over 3.5 months from one set of batteries. If taking about 60 photos every 24 hours, you will get over 1 year. Very impressive considering only 6x batteries are being used, and in part it’s thanks to its modern IR LEDs.
Just to note - neither NatureSpy nor Bushnell recommend using rechargeable batteries in this camera. We would only recommend single-use Lithium.
The Bushnell Core DS-4K is covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty in the UK when bought through NatureSpy.
Ease of use
The current crop of Bushnell wildlife cameras are sturdy, well built devices. The forward-facing colour screen makes setup and review in the field easy, and the menu flow and changing settings is straightforward.
Those that have used Bushnell cameras before will recognise all the settings – there are no major changes or departures on the Core DS-4K, but the layout is clearer and more intuitive. The manual is clear and easy to follow.
Overall a very straight-forward camera trap to use, but if you do require any help or have any questions you can just get in touch with us.
If you’ve found our review useful, please consider supporting our work and purchasing your next camera trap from us.
Audio Recording: Yes
Battery Life - Photos: Up to 18 Months
Battery Life - Video: Up to 3 months
Can use rechargable batteries: No
CMOS Sensor: 2MP
Detection range max: Up to 110ft
Encryption option: No
External power jack: Yes - solar accessory only
GPS Geotag: Yes
Hybrid capture: Yes
Image data strip: Yes
IR flash range: 80ft max
LCD Display: Colour
LED Type: No-Glow
Max Images per trigger: 6
Max SD Card capacity: 512GB
Max video resolution: 4K
Memory overwrite: No
Night vision flash: Up to 80ft
No of batteries: 6x AA
Number of LEDs: 6 Power LEDs
PIR sensor: Up to 110ft
Power supply: AA batteries
Recovery speed: 1s
Solar compatible: Yes
Start Stop Timer: Yes - day / night only
Strap included: Yes
Trigger speed - Photos: 0.2sec
Trigger speed - Videos: 0.7sec
Tripod mount: Yes
Video length: Up to 2 minutes daytime, 15 seconds night
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.
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