Leupold RCX-1 Trail Cam


When asked to do a product review on the Leupold RCX-1 Trail Camera, the first thing that entered my mind was why did an optics company decide to design a trail camera? When I received the camera I was surprised to see a unique looking trail camera with an equally unique card reader remote device.

Card reader in hand

My curiosity was ignited and I could not wait to put the RCX-1 to the test. I have used numerous brands of trail cameras and still maintain seven different cameras year around. I use these cameras to study deer movement and growth. I have a pretty good feel for what I like in a camera. I liked the look of the camera right out of the box!

It took me numerous tries at getting the camera programmed. All of the camera settings are in the card reader software. Since I am of the older generation, I have to be honest – I am not as adept at technology as many of my younger hunting friends!

Through trial and error, I was able to get the RCX-1 programmed to function on one of its simpler settings. I set the RCX-1 on the table on my patio to see what critter was coming in at night and stealing the humming bird nectar out of the feeders as well as the sunflower seeds in the bird feeder! The next morning I was pleased to see that the RCX-1 had caught the thief red handed!  I simply removed the memory card out of the RCX-1, inserted it in the card reader, clicked four times to review card mode, and there he was! The live trap has now been set! The infrared was almost like daylight!

Now it was time for the real test on my deer hunting property. I strapped the camera to a tree near one of my mineral licks. The attachment strap has a plastic connector which I broke right off trying to tighten the camera so it would not slip on the tree. I did use the leveling pegs which help to align the camera in a level position. I took the card reader and set it on the positioning mode with the enclosed cable which attaches the card reader to the camera. This allows you to see where the camera is pointing.

I installed a 4G card and fresh batteries and turned the camera on. It does not have a red activation light so it is hard to tell if the camera is on or not before you walk off and leave it. The camera took 573 pictures the first 5 days! I reset the intervals and am happy with the adjustment. The RCX-1 captured some great night deer photos.

I was anxious to see the photo quality and reliability as I wanted to send the camera to Canada ahead of a wolf hunt I was going on. I wanted to get trail cam pictures of some wolves if at all possible.

A few days later I went back to check the RCX-1 and was pleased to that I had 75 good photos of day and night activity. Yes, good quality photos and to my surprise, a good shooter whitetail in the group! It was time to send the camera to my outfitter in Canada. The camera was preset to “best pictures” mode and ready to hang in the north woods. I had built a steel camera box to protect the RCX-1 from any bear activity.

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