Leupold RCX-1 Review

Leupold RCX-1

Leupold RCX-1

Leupold Trail Cameras?  Yes, that is right.  The Leupold RCX line of game cameras has hit the market with some very impressive features.  Using the RCX controller, you can manage a number of RCX-1 and RCX-2 trail cameras, and even easily consolidate all your images onto a single memory card in the Controller.

The Leupold RCX-1 is the low end model of the RCX line.  Although I find it hard to even use the words “low end” when referring to this trail camera, because it is jam-packed with innovative technology and features.

Take a quick look at the main specifications, and then I’ll tell you a little bit about what this trail cam can do.

  • Number of MegaPixels - 8
  • Trigger Speed - Under 1 second
  • Flash Type - Infrared with 36 LEDs
  • Detection Range - 45 feet
  • Records Videos - Yes
  • Multi-shot Mode - Yes
  • Maximum Memory - 32 GB SDRAM

Easy Setup
Using the RCX controller, the Leupold RCX-1 is easy to set up.  You have the option of choosing between 4 preset camera modes that fit a variety of situations.
There is a Best Picture Mode, which offers the highest quality images.
The Most Picture Mode is designed to get you the most pictures by using the highest sensitivity, no delay, and by taking 3 pictures per activation of the passive infrared sensor.
The Power Saver Mode is configured to save power and uses a 5 minute delay between activations of the sensor.
The Normal Video Mode is set to take 5 second video recordings with a 5 minute delay between activations of the sensor.
You also have the option to configure this camera any way you wish by using the Custom Mode.  You can even have a different set of camera settings for night time operation than you have set for day time operation.
The RCX-1 is highly configurable.

Wide Field of View
Both the RCX-1 and RCX-2 have a 54 degree camera angle lens.  This gives you a wider field of view allowing you to capture more in your images.  The wide field of view and the ability to capture images at 8 MegaPixels gives you the ability to capture all the important details you need to see.  The silent shutter ensures that game will not be spooked by the camera.

Passive Infrared Sensor
The RCX-1 has a 45 degree passive infrared sensor.  This gives you a detection range that will allow images or videos to be captured for any game passing within 45 feet of your camera location.

Pictures or Videos
The RCX-1 has the ability to capture both images and videos, during the day time or at night.
This 8 MP game camera can capture images in resolutions from .3 MP to high quality 8 MP.  There is also a multi-shot setting that allows the camera to fire off multiple pictures upon each activation of the sensor.
I’m a big fan of video, so I love that this trail camera has the ability to capture day time and night time videos.  It can capture videos in two resolutions, 640x480 and 320x240.  It can also shoot video at 15 frames per second or 30 frames per second.  The higher the frames per second, you get smoother video but larger file sizes.  The video lengths can be between 5 to 30 seconds.

Info Strip
This trail camera captures some important pieces of information that it embeds on an info strip on each picture taken.
On the bottom of the picture you get the camera name, the moon phase, the date and time, and the temperature.  (On the RCX-2, you also get the barometric pressure.)  This is a very thin info strip, that is actually translucent, so none of your picture details are obstructed.  If you have multiple cameras, you should give them all a unique name.
In the top right hand corner of the picture, you get the file name associated with the picture.  In the top left hand corner, there is a small Leupold logo.  None of these is in a location that will obstruct your picture details.

A very innovative feature in the RCX game camera line is the Auto Sensitivity Adjustment.  Most game cameras on the market allow you the ability to adjust the sensitivity of the passive infrared sensor.
In the higher temperatures of the summer, you may wish to set your sensor to a high setting, because the heat from a deer’s body is more difficult to detect when the ambient air temperature is higher.  In the Winter, many people will reduce the sensitivity to keep from picking up pictures of small game animals.  Their body heat is more easily detected by the sensor when the air temperature is low.
With the RCX-1, you can forget about adjusting the sensor, because it happens automatically.  Based on the surrounding air temperature, it will adjust to a more sensitive or less sensitive setting to meet the current conditions.
You do have the ability to over-ride the automatic setting if you wish.  You can manually select from a Super High, High, Medium, or Low setting.

Time Lapse Mode
You have probably noticed a number of time lapse video scouting cameras hitting the market recently.  These are models like the Plotwatcher TLV, the Moultrie M80 and Moultrie M100, and the Primos Truth DPS.
Well, the RCX-1 has a time lapse video mode too.  It allows you to automatically take a picture at intervals you select.  Doing this can allow you to capture pictures of game that may be beyond the detection range of the passive infrared sensor.
This mode is ideal for covering food plots and large fields.  You get a birds-eye view of all the activity occurring as far as the eye can see.

External Power
OK, this is a feature I was not expecting. Yes, most game cameras accept an external power source, but none of them do it like Leupold does.
All RCX camera kits include a cable for connecting to an external 12 volt battery, that you can connect to any car or motorcycle battery with the provided clamps.
I did some price checking, and you can pick up 12 volt motorcycle batteries for around $20.00. You can spend that much on lithium AA batteries pretty quickly. Since you can recharge these batteries, they make for a very cost effective solution that can lower the overall cost of operating a game camera.

Best Place to Buy Leupold RCX-1 Trail Camera
The best place I have found to buy the RCX-1 is from Amazon, the most trusted retailer on the Internet.  While prices fluctuate on their products, I have currently found the Leupold RCX-1 Kit (including the controller) on sale for over $100 off of the list price.
They currently have it offered for under $250.00, but I can't say how long that deal will last.