20 October 2021
Like most archery equipment on the market today, surveillance cameras have seen constant improvements, and this process has been fascinating to watch over the years. From gigantic, battery-consuming units of years gone by to today’s high-tech reconnaissance tools, surveillance cameras have been a popular topic of conversation among archery hunters – making them all hunters, in fact – since their inception.
Why is that? Well, put simply, surveillance cameras have allowed us to do something that has never been done before – keep an eye out for the deer herd when we can’t be in the woods scouting with boots on. ground. And that ability has continued to evolve over the years.
Fast forward to today, where modern technological advancements have again opened more doors that did not exist just a few years ago, via cellular camera technology. Or in other words, the ability to receive real-time information on your smartphone, wherever you are in the world.
Pretty crazy, eh? Regardless, most of the best trail camera companies in the world now have cellular camera models available, and I’ve spent the last few months testing one of them.
Enter the new Stealth Cam Reactor. Let’s first briefly take a look at the basic information that everyone wants to know before they make a purchase.
- Megapixels: 26
- Flash type: NonGlo
- Flash range: 100 feet
- Trigger speed: <. seconds>
- Video resolution: 1080P, 720P
- Burst mode: 1-9 images
- Downloads: High (1920×1080) and low resolution (1280×720)
- Info bar: Time, date, moon phase, camera name
- SD card: Up to 32 GB
- Battery: 8 AA
- Cellular provider: AT&T, Verizon
- MSRP: $ 159.99
Once you have all of that information in your back pocket, here is the next thing you need to know and understand. Once you’ve placed the Reactor in the field, you’re completely in control via a cellphone app – something that’s consistent with other cellular surveillance cameras as well – and the one compatible with Stealth Cam is called COMMAND. To connect the unit to your app, simply scan the QR code inside the camera door and follow the instructions provided. Once everything is set up, you can pretty much do and see anything you could possibly need in the app. Want to switch between photo and video modes? Make the change on the app. Want to change your download frequency? Use the app. Need to increase your burst interval? You guessed it. This can be done in the app. It really couldn’t be easier, and once you’ve taken a little time to familiarize yourself with it, you’ll be able to maneuver without any hesitation. I give the COMMAND app an A +.
As with any hunting camera you hook up in the field, keep in mind that it will likely take a few days for the deer to feel comfortable with the area again. Not only did you break in, but you left your scent behind as you did so. Believe me though; they will be back, especially if the camera was placed in a food patch or near another food source. It took me almost a week to get photos consistently, but the quality – and quantity – of the photos was worth the wait.
That was my strategy for this review – put the reactor in a location that I knew would have a lot of action. And from the beginning of August until now, that’s exactly what I’ve had: an overabundance of images. From evening feeding sessions to late summer nights to cruises in the middle of the night, the Reactor has managed to capture it all. There were even several instances where it was very clear that deer were running across the field, and there was an impressive lack of blur. And I know what you’re probably thinking – you don’t want your phone to go off every time a creature walks past the camera while you’re trying to sleep at 2:30 a.m. No problem – and stop me if you’ve heard this before – because you can make sure this doesn’t happen … in the app! Do you still see a trend?
The long and the short, that’s it. After the initial price of $ 159.99 – a bargain based on the quality of photos / videos I’ve seen over the past three months – you’re paying for the convenience of being able to do long-distance spotting. Whether you’re at work, at your kids’ basketball game, or lying on the couch watching college football, you’ll enjoy seeing what your deer herd is up to all the time. And best of all? You can do this without disturbing them, especially during the fall months when the season is underway.
Payment? Well, it’s totally up to you. With monthly and yearly options, you can choose the plan that fits your personal budget and lifestyle. But trust me, once you get the first reactor on your land, chances are you’re looking to get another one (or maybe two or three) to cover the rest of your property. So what is stopping you? Do not worry. Your secret is safe with us.