Well, I finally broke down this year. I finally pulled the trigger on some cellular trail cameras that send photos directly to your phone. I got in on the Tactacam Reveals and Muddy Outdoors Manifest cameras because of the $99 price point. In this article, you’ll get to see a full length Tactacam Reveal trail camera review video and more.
Tactacam Reveal trail camera full length video review
Overall, I have a ton of great things to say about the Tactacam Reveal trail camera. First and foremost, the picture quality is outstanding. This includes the original file that is saved on the SD card and the thumbnail image that is uploaded to the mobile app. Other brands have struggled in the industry with sending poor quality photos to the app, which defeats the purpose of being able to have pictures sent to your phone.
Additionally, the battery life has been outstanding on the trail cameras. Of the 3 cameras we’ve had running for 2 months, they all have been taking anywhere from 15-30 photos a day. Sometimes upwards of 40-50 on a high movement day. I’ve used Energizer Maxx alkaline batteries. The lowest battery life as of this posting (11-30-2020) is 60%. That’s two months of consistent sending with minimal battery drainage.
The cell coverage is very good on both the ATT and Verizon versions of the camera. Although you’ll see in the video I had trouble getting my fourth Tactacam (Verizon version) to find service, I ended up moving to a different location and it picked up service quickly. Once it had service, I kept it powered on and moved it to the original location I wanted where it struggled to find service initially. For whatever reason, that seemed to do the trick. So if you find that your camera is struggling to pick up service on the initial set-up, try turning it on in a better coverage area, then take it out to the area you want to hang it. That will hopefully allow it to keep its signal strength as it moves into the poorer coverage area. In general, the Tactacams have found full 5 bars of 4G within 15 seconds upon being powered on. We are located near Clinton, MO, which is about an hour south of Kansas City.
Lastly, the camera can still be used as a normal trail camera if you don’t pay for a data plan. This is great!
Honestly, the cons are minimal, but there are definitely a couple things I’ve noticed. The first is with the data plans. I may need to do some more research on this, but so far it appears you have to pick one overall plan that applies to all your cameras. For example, if I want unlimited photos, I have to select the Pro unlimited plan ($13/month) to apply to all the Tactacam cameras I have deployed. Each additional camera after the first one is $12/month. I can’t select the Pro plan for one camera that may shoot a lot more photos and then choose a lesser, cheaper plan for a camera that doesn’t shoot as many photos. This feels a little limiting to me. You’re definitely paying more on the subscription end when it comes to the Tactacams.
The design of the camera is good overall, but they missed the mark on the security. You can run a Python Cable lock through the back of the camera, but the cable doesn’t lock the camera door. This means someone could still open the camera and remove the camera chip. Other manufacturers have adjusted and made it so you can lock everything. Tactacam needs to update this on future models.
Lastly, the other cons I found deal with the app. They are minor things, but would be nice to be updated. For example, when you update a camera’s settings remotely from the app, the settings can take up to 24 hours to take effect. Why? I don’t know, but that’s the way it is. Also, you can’t toggle between “Photo” and “Photo + Video” mode from the app. That has to be done from the camera. That is one of the only camera settings you can’t change from your phone. Again, why? That’s inconvenient. There’s a couple of other minor usability issues I could mention with the app, but would start to be pretty nitpicky. Overall, the app is good. I just would like them to update a couple things and it’ll be great!
In general, I’m a huge fan of the trail cameras.
You can get your own Tactacam Reveal trail camera here.