Reconyx HyperFire 2 Review

ImageProduct
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
  • NoGlow GEN3 High Output Covert IR illumination for a 150′ flash range
  • Records 720P HD video with audio
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
  • NoGlow GEN3 High Output Covert IR illumination for a 150′ flash range
  • Records 720P HD video with audio

Since its founding in 2002, Reconyx has developed a reputation for producing some of the finest trail cameras in the business. This company makes its cameras entirely in the U.S., and its products show the attention to detail one might expect. Reconyx trail cameras have become an industry-standard choice for researchers. These trail cams cut no corners, with market-leading functions and images being a hallmark. Reconyx’ HyperFire 2 has few real competitors.

Of course, the best trail cameras don’t come cheap. The HyperFire 2 competes at the upper end of the game camera marketplace. Its base model cameras can cost the equivalent of other top manufacturers’ flagship models. But when peerless imaging and consistent, trustworthy performance are required, the HyperFire 2 should top any shortlist. Think night vision to rival the best Moultrie trail camera, but with even longer detection ranges and vastly improved battery life.

The LEDs on previous generations of HyperFire cameras were handicapped by a soft glow, but the new model’s infrared (IR) emitters are now blacked out. Detection ranges can reach 100 feet, with a 150-foot flash range to eliminate wasted frames. Blazing fast detection circuitry ensures that anything that trips the motion sensor will be captured and will be discernible.Daytime images are among the best, especially in low-light conditions that usually cause trail cameras to switch to night vision.

Pros

  • Extremely fast detection circuitry
  • Improved no-glow LEDs from previous generation
  • Beautiful, frameable daytime color photos
  • Unparalleled nighttime imaging
  • Superior battery life

Cons

  • Video quality is not Reconyx’ priority
  • Cost of entry will eliminate the most frugal among us

Key Features

Game-Changing Detection Circuit

At the speeds of Reconyx’ detection circuitry, discussing trigger times is almost pointless. We are talking nearly instantaneous trigger speeds here. Few trail cameras can boast trigger times of less than half a second. The HyperFire 2’s circuit fires the shutter just .2 seconds after its detection circuit is tripped. There is no discernible delay. Video trigger speeds are almost equally fast – just .24 seconds.

Recovery speeds are in the sub-second range as well, sousers can expect multiple images of game encounters unless they manipulate the delay in the camera’s settings. There are never any empty frames. Even fast-moving critters are caught as they move through the imaging zone.

Impeccable Night Photos

Fast circuits only achieve so much on their own. Without equally advanced IR emitters and a deep focal point, they only produce grainy and dark nighttime imaging. The HyperFire 2 combines abnormally deep field of view and industry-leading LED emitters to achieve night photos that are the envy on the competition.

Crisp, clear night pictures are the norm for this trail camera. Moving animals exhibit hardly any of the blurring that plague the images competing cameras produce. Expect superior contrast, so much so that the individual hairs are visible on deer in the foreground. No more wondering what that ghost like creature may have been (el Chupacabra?).

Incredible Illumination Range

Even more impressive than the close-range night photos are the ones the HyperFire 2 produces of subjects at a distance. The quality of its long-range night vision is a result of a truly impressive illumination range.The No-Glow LEDs light up objects up to 150 feet distant, far exceeding the depth of illumination of most other trail cams. The previous generation of HyperFire 2 produced a faint red glow as a consequence of the LEDs’ power, but they are now invisible.

Naturally, that surprising illumination range would be for naught if it did not match up well with the detection range. The HyperFire 2 doesn’t suffer here either. A detection distance of around 80 feet means that trees,foliage or other creatures in the background will be illuminated some 70 feet past the animal that triggered the photo. Night photos are no longer simply utilitarian, but rather are a pleasure to view. Other manufacturers had better take notes.

Impressive Color Images

Reconyx has long been lauded for the quality of its color photographs, and the HyperFire 2 simply continues that tradition. Absent are the false claims and extrapolated megapixel counts of competing trail camera makers. Reconyx cops to a 3 MP image resolution, which is plenty to produces trikingly clear and colorful pictures.

Lifelong hunters will appreciate the true-to-life quality of the HyperFire 2’s color palette. Any abnormalities in the coloration of local game populations will be apparent. These types of mutations can raise doubts when captured on most other cameras, likely thanks to a mismatch between sensor and lens, but not so on the HyperFire 2.

Unrivaled Low-Light Imaging

You know that situation where you’re driving at dusk, and it’s too dark to see but your headlights haven’t taken effect yet? The vast majority of game cameras suffer the same dilemma, and the images they produce in this small-but-active window of time suffer as well. The HyperFire 2 takes color twilight pictures when other manufacturers’ cameras are already in night-vision mode.

Simply functioning in low-light conditions is no guarantee of success, but the HyperFire 2 hardly suffers in these conditions. Short of having an on-site photographer to adjust shutter speed and aperture with a handheld light meter, this is as good as it gets. Still subjects are still clear, and moving animals show a hint of blurring only in the last moments before dark.

Extra-Long Battery Life

With a 32-GB SD card installed, the HyperFire 2 is capable of storing up to 40,000 images at the full 3-MP setting. This camera can utilize up to a 512-GB SD card, but that’s overkill for most users. Incredibly,the HyperFire 2 should last for the entirety of a full 32-GB SD card on a single set of 12 AA lithium batteries.

A far-more probable scenario is that the HyperFire 2 will sit sentinel until its batteries drain naturally in the field. In normal use,that lifespan can reach 18 months before a battery change is necessary. Fewtrail cameras can compete with the HyperFire 2 in terms of battery life, and perhaps none combine that extended life with such pro-quality imagery.

Five-Year Warranty

Reconyx builds quality products in the U.S., made to the strict standards one can expect from a stateside factory. As such, the company backs its trail cameras with one of the best warranties available. Guaranteed for five years from the purchase date, HyperFire 2 owners can expect years of reliable service from their trail cam. These are not throwaway units.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of battery life can users expect?

Battery life can depend on many extenuating circumstances.The brand of battery can certainly make a difference, but most users will have a quality brand in mind before purchasing. The main thing a trail camera owner can do to extend battery life is to opt for lithium AA batteries. With the selonger-lived (compared to normal alkaline batteries) installed, users can expect up to 18 months of normal use on a single set of 12 batteries. As mentioned earlier, this camera can take and store as many as 40,000 photos on a single set of batteries.

Is there wireless functionality?

No. The HyperFire 2 is not a Wi-Fi or cellular game camera.As such, there is no wireless connectivity possible for users. Rather,operators must physically remove the (not-included) SD card from the camera to retrieve images and video.

Does the HyperFire 2 work with rechargeable batteries?

Yes. The HyperFire 2 is compatible with any AA-type batteries, be they alkaline, lithium or rechargeable. Reconyx recommends only nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable or lithium AA batteries for use in this particular trail cam. In climates where temperatures may reach sub-zero levels, opt for lithium. Rechargeable NiMH batteries are only serviceable to zero degrees Fahrenheit. 

What mounting options are available?

The HyperFire 2 has loops for a nylon strap and a bracket for a Masterlock Python Lock. The Python Lock bracket is positioned on the front of the camera, meaning it locks the camera closed for added security.There is also a threaded insert on the bottom of the HyperFire 2 for mounting on a tripod.

What Does the Customer Say?

Thrilling Photography/Boring Video

Reconyx’ HyperFire 2 is meant to deliver stunning,state-of-the-art photographs. As such, video is a secondary function in every sense of that term. This camera is only capable of shooting video in 720presolution, and it can only shoot 10-second clips. Users expecting high-definition video are invariably disappointed in the quality of the clips.

However, as a photographer’s camera, the HyperFire 2 is unparalleled. These are virtually the same cameras that biologists and other professionals use in the field. The only differences are that the“professional” version of the HyperFire 2 can take 90-second videos, and it can operate in a broader range of temperatures ( minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to+140 degrees for the pro model; minus 20 degrees to 120 degrees for the one we’re featuring).

Much-Appreciated Mounting Change

Earlier models of the HyperFire had the threaded mounting insert inexplicably located on the back of the camera body, rather than placing on the bottom where it usually is. This oversight frustrated owners of those models, but Reconyx was clearly paying attention to their reviews. The insert is now located on the bottom of the unit where it belongs, and mounting the HyperFire 2 on a tripod is no longer an issue.

As mentioned, the HyperFire 2 also includes loops for mounting with a strap and a bracket for utilizing a Python Lock. Placing that bracket on the front – allowing users to lock their camera bodies closed –shows an evolution of the product that only results from careful consideration and from paying attention to the customers opinions. The mark of a trusted manufacturer is making those subtle changes that improve ease of use.

Worth the Investment

The HyperFire 2 carries a price tag that reflects its superior build and functionality. It is not difficult to find a less expensive game camera that can still get the job done. But the HyperFire 2’s mission is not to simply accomplish the task of taking pictures. This camera captures impressive, always-identifiable images at a depth of field few of its competitors can achieve.

Couple its ease of use with the HyperFire 2’s solid build,and you end up with a tool that will continue to function for years to come. Reconyx even guarantees that it will for five years, easily exceeding the warranties of most other game-cam makers. The cost of admission is an investment in the hunting seasons to come for the foreseeable future.

Where’s the Display?

Nothing is perfect, and the HyperFire 2 certainly is no exception to that rule. Users who have owned a variety of trail cameras often wonder why Reconyx chose to exclude a display for reviewing images. In truth,many users find reviewing images on a game camera in the field to be time consuming and bothersome. And lingering around the camera only amplifies the odor signature that you leave behind. A simple SD card swap is quicker.

Users missing the display might consider using a viewer.These devices allow you to simply retrieve your SD card and sift through the images at some distance from the trail camera. Some viewers can then wipe the SD card clean so that it can be reinserted in the camera. Others allow review of images but not deletion. Really though, the best solution is to have a clean and formatted SD card ready and to simply swap it out when you change your batteries.

Final Words

Reconyx has situated itself nicely as the premier manufacturer of uncompromising trail cameras. They are classically overbuilt, intended to last for season after season in the harshest conditions. Hunters who demand the best possible images day or night can hardly do better than investing in a HyperFire 2. The blazing-fast and reliable detection circuit and trip times help cut the frustrations of use and ownership down to practically null.

The HyperFire 2 is also certainly not the only deep-field trail camera. Cuddeback’s Long Range C2 trail camera has a comparably deep field (in the 100-foot range), and it also costs much less than the HyperFire2. However, the Cuddeback’s daytime photos are not up to the quality of the Reconyx, and its nighttime photos are not even in the same class. Browning’s Dark Ops Pro takes similarly good day and night photos with impressive depth.The HyperFire 2 is simply better in each of those facets.

Whether the Reconyx’ quality is enough better than its competitors to justify the extra ponies is ultimately up to each user. Others approach its level in certain areas, but none surpass it in any quantifiable way. The HyperFire 2 is probably the best trail camera on the current market,but it is a changing marketplace. Technology that was only recently considered jaw-dropping is now commonplace. Reconyx set the bar pretty high, but it had better continue to heed its customers’ calls for further improvement. There are some heavy hitters out there.

ImageProduct
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
  • NoGlow GEN3 High Output Covert IR illumination for a 150′ flash range
  • Records 720P HD video with audio
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
  • NoGlow GEN3 High Output Covert IR illumination for a 150′ flash range
  • Records 720P HD video with audio

Last update on 2019-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API