Trusted Review™ Scorecard
Average Score: 4.3 out of 5.0
Each product or service is rated on Quality, Reliability, Price/Value, and Referability. Each area has an individual score, and creates an overall Trusted Review™.
Owning the “Mack Daddy” of a particular type of product can be a good thing or a bad thing. Usually the bad part about owning something that is top-shelf is that you almost instantly want to throw out all the lower quality items in your arsenal. Today, I’m here to tell you that this is the case after testing a new game camera from Leupold.
A few weeks back I was approached by Leupold to fully work over their new RCX-1 Trail Camera System. They wanted a fully detailed Trusted Review that was unbiased and without holding back. I agreed to test the product in many different scenarios, conditions and do everything I could to find bugs in the system.
Now everybody knows that Leupold has a legendary brand, but would this new product be just as well made as their optics? Would the RCX Trail Camera System be a game changer for the industry as well as for the Leupold company? I have to say that I personally had very high expectation for its performance so I hoped it wouldn’t disappoint.
A detailed analysis is provided below in the review scoring sections, but first let me list off the features about RCX Trail Camera System.
- The camera proper is 8 megapixels, giving you high quality photos
- The RCX can hold up to a 32GB SDHC memory card, allowing for more high quality video and pictures to be stored in one place
- It can by pointed and aimed using the RCX handheld: no more guessing what exactly the camera will capture
- An easy to use plug-n-play system lets you plug in, download and go back to the truck without opening the camera
- The RCX’s handheld apparatus works as a card reader too, which makes checking other trail cameras’ memory cards much easier and hassle free: there’s no need to buy an additional reader
- The RCX Trail Camera System is super easy to set up, you can use the presets or customize it to your needs
The quality of the RCX Trail Camera System is top notch. It's what I would expect to see from Leupold. The product packaging was very clean and informative. Besides being a bit large and noisy when handling, the product packaging was well designed. I could feel confident in my purchase based off the info conveyed on the package.
However, the one thing that the package lacked was an instructional DVD or directions as to where I could watch videos. The instruction booklet was clear and to the point, but who wants to read instructions these days?
After finding all the parts for the charger and the camera, I got to work getting it ready for testing. You really don't need instructions to understand that camera only needs batteries and an SD card. After the handheld was done charging I connected it to the camera and began to set up the camera with my personal settings. Everything about the handheld and your available options was super easy to understand.
After choosing a preset option for the camera (Best Picture) I tested the RCX Trail Camera in the yard. Everything was smooth and the test pictures for day and night showed up great. Then I decided to really customize the camera by naming the cam Log Jam and creating my own settings. With great anticipation, I set it up for some more testing, but this time it quit working. After trying really hard for 4+ hours to understand and fix the camera I called up the Leupold customer support. The first thing they asked me was if I had named the camera using a space or lowercase letter. That turned out to be the issue. Customer support had me change the name to LOGJAM. After that, the camera ran like a top.
Despite the small software glitch, I must convey that this system is really top notch and not somthing to get overly upset about. Just make sure you name you camera correctly and should you have any issue you just need to call customer service. They were super nice to me and I'm sure they can help you too.
As for the rest of the product's quality, it really stands up to some abuse. All of the moving parts work nicely and I have no issues with things not working or fitting incorrectly. The handheld holds a charge very nicely and works great reading SD cards from other trail cams. If I had to recommend any improvements to the product, it would be that they fix the software glitch and install an easy to use wizard or video tutorial on the actual handheld.
Finally, I would suggest that they allow a person to pick a camera preset by pushing a button on the camera unit just in case the user loses the handheld. This could be inside the battery slot almost like a reset buton.
The Leupold RCX Trail Camera System is very reliable. So far the batteries (Energizer Lithium as recommended by the manufacturer) are still full and I have had over 300 pictures and almost 2 hours of video. The camera lense is recessed into the body a bit, keeping it clean and preventing any moisture getting in from rain or storms. I also got in a hurry when putting the camera out and ended up dropping it on concrete from about 4 feet off the ground. Besides the two scuff marks where it hit and bounced, the camera works like it's new. Besides the one issue I had to overcome, this system keep on going strong and has made my life easy when checking trail cameras. All I have to do is plug in, download and view the results.
The RCX-1 Trail Camera System (with controller) cost around 280 dollars. Other 8 megapixel cameras with 36 infrared LEDs cost anywhere between 135 -250 dollars. However, the competitors don't include a card reader that views both pictures and video right there in the woods, which is an additional value of 150 dollars.
Other trail cameras don't allow you to view what the camera sees so that you can adjust positioning. This alone saves me time and money traveling back and forth to the woods to adjust my camera to get better photos.
I believe the product is well priced and it has convinced me to upgrade my other cameras to the RCX system. However, if you lose your card reader you will have to buy another one or else be satisfied with your current settings on the camera. You won't be paralyzed by the loss of a controller, just unable to adjust settings.
When referring the RCX Trail Camera System, I would remind a potential buyer that they can't use a lowercase letter or space in the custom name of the camera. I would also remind them that the controller is important to hang on to, so be sure to keep it with your hunting gear. Otherwise this product is top notch. It is fast, easy and fun to use. I never worry that it's not taking pictures or video, nor do I struggle to get it set up just right. The ability to download images off the camera SD card to the handheld saves a lot of time when scouting.