Tactacam Reveal X-Pro Review
We tested Tactacam’s newest trail camera
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I bought my first cellular trail camera about three years ago—a Tactacam Reveal. Technology has evolved a lot in that time, and Tactacam’s latest offering, the Reveal X-Pro, is an example of how far trail cams have evolved. It comes with a built-in LCD screen, No Glow IR Technology, and a complete line of add-on accessories, including a solar panel and lithium battery cartridge for extended battery life. It’s also reliable, and takes quality photos. Those attributes simply didn’t exist in a sub-$200 trail camera three years ago.
I tested the Reveal X-Pro in the field during the heart of Wisconsin’s winter and using Outdoor Life’s “walkthrough test,” which tests a camera’s trigger speed, detection range, and flash. Here’s my Tactacam Reveal X-Pro review after months of testing.
Tactacam Reveal X-Pro Specs and Features
- Photo Resolution: 8, 12, or 16 megapixels
- Video Resolution: 720P or 1080P
- Trigger Speed: Less than 0.5 seconds
- Advertised Flash Range (nighttime): 80+ feet
- Advertised Detection Range (daytime): 96+ feet
- 12 AA Batteries
- LTE/4G wireless module
- IP66 waterproof certified
- External port for solar panel
- Accepts Tactacam’s rechargeable lithium cartridge
- No Glow IR Technology
- Built-in LCD Screen and GPS
Setting Up the Reveal X-Pro
Once the user downloads the Tactacam Reveal app from iTunes or the Google Play store, it takes less than 5 minutes to activate the X-Pro. Add 12 AA batteries and a high-speed SD card (Tactacam recommends a full-size Class 10, U3 card with 16 or 32GB of storage); then scan the QR code inside the camera’s door, and you’re off and running.
The Reveal lineup of cell cameras has always been known for simplicity, and the new built-in LCD screen makes the X-Pro even easier to set up. At first glance, the LCD screen might seem like a minor feature improvement. However, anyone that’s spent time setting up trail cameras without an LCD screen knows the struggle of framing the camera, walking in front of it, reviewing test photos, and repeating that process until the camera is framed properly. The LCD screen allows users to frame photos without the guesswork of snapping test shots.
You have a lot of custom settings to choose from, ranging from image size, video size and length, multi-shot, and various night modes. Modes include minimized blur for a faster shutter speed and crisp shots, max range to monitor larger areas at extended distances, or balanced, which provides a compromise of a fast shutter with the ability to shoot photos at distance.
Downloading HD Photos and Videos
The nice thing about cell cams is that you don’t have to go check them, which saves you time and gas money. Some cameras don’t allow you to view the highest quality photo and video remotely, but you can with the Tactacam Reveal X-Pro. Receive HD photos and videos with audio on-demand via the Reveal App. The HD images provide superior detail over the compressed photos automatically delivered to the app. Videos add more context than an image, allowing hunters to understand behavior tendencies, body language, and an extra look beyond three-shot burst to see whether or not the buck you’re after was trailing the doe that triggered the camera.
However, consider that there’s a $5 charge for every 50 videos and an additional $5 for 50 HD photos before you get carried away downloading.
Understanding the Tactacam Reveal App
The Reveal lineup of cell cameras are compatible with Verizon and AT&T networks. Plans are available at three different levels.
|Plan||Price Per Month||Annual Price||Photos Per Month|
Additional cameras can be added onto your plan, but fees can add up, especially if you run multiple cameras. Users can suspend their plans at any time without losing data from their camera.
Additional camera fees are broken down by plan:
- Starter Plan: $5 per month, $55 annually
- Intermediate Plan: $7.50 per month, $75 annually
- Pro Plan: $12 per month, $96 annually
In addition to the standard plans, users can take advantage of even more features with Tactacam’s Pro Xtra plan. For an additional $9 per month, this flat rate plan gives trail cam fanatics the ability to capture photos on-demand, delivery of all multi-shot photos to the app (opposed to only the first image in a sequence), and unlimited HD photos/videos.
Reveal X-Pro Accessories
With optional accessories like an integrated solar panel and rechargeable lithium cartridge, the X-Pro provides plenty of solutions to extend the camera’s battery life. Optional password protection, a built-in GPS, and camera door that allows the user to run a cable lock through the body and door simultaneously make the X-Pro a great option for anyone concerned about thieves. You can even add an armored cable for solar use if you’re concerned about someone cutting the cord (a sad reality, but viable solution).
When cell reception is spotty, consider an extended-range antenna. While I don’t have experience with the antenna, it’s an intriguing option for folks who want to exhaust all options to use a cell camera in their favorite spot where reception is limited.
Read Next: Best Budget Trail Cameras
Testing the Tactacam Reveal X-Pro
After unboxing my Reveal X-Pro, I immediately wanted to test the camera’s performance in the midst of a lovely week of sub-zero winter weather in Wisconsin. I positioned the camera in my backyard to test its trigger speed and photo quality. To do this, I placed markers at 10 feet, 60 feet, and 110 feet. I walked past the camera (left to right and then right to left) at a medium pace at each distance. I tested the camera the day and at night in accordance with Outdoor Life‘s standard test protocol used in the trail camera test.
The results were impressive. For a $150 cell camera, the X-Pro punches above its weight class in all aspects. Daytime photos were clear and vibrant and captured me walking early in the detection range out to 110 feet (remember, the advertised daytime range is 96+ feet). This is significant, especially when shooting three-shot bursts of photos. When the subject is captured early on in the frame, it allows for follow-up images to capture additional photos of the deer passing by or a buck in tow of a hot doe.
Nighttime photos were even more impressive than the frame-worthy daytime images. Notably, the Tactacam Reveal X-Pro captured nighttime images at 110 feet during the test (30 feet further than the 80+ foot detection range advertised on the website). It didn’t snap images at that distance consistently, but capturing photos at 110 feet instills confidence in the camera’s overall nighttime performance. All of the IR photos were crisp, and the camera’s shutter snaps with stop-motion speed to give superior detail at night. This is the difference between counting a buck’s tines and blurry, washed out photos.
In the field I tested the camera’s video and photo capabilities. The night video was clear and had good exposure, even with snow on the ground. The photos were also excellent and reliably sent to the app.
What the Reveal X-Pro Does Worst
It’s expensive to run the Reveal lineup of cell cameras, especially for someone running multiple units. That’s mainly due to the cell plan, but the accessories add up too. Lithium AA batteries and 16 to 32 GB Class 10U3 SD cards aren’t cheap.
What the Reveal X-Pro Does Best
The Reveal X-Pro delivers arguably the best images of any cell camera. Day and night, it consistently provides high-quality photos without motion blur, regardless of weather conditions.
I’ve run a few different cell camera brands over the years, and no one takes care of their customers like Tactacam does. Many common issues can be remedied with a simple Google search, as the company provides plenty of proactive troubleshooting resources readily available online. If that doesn’t fix your problem, they’re easily accessible by phone (you won’t be stuck on hold for hours on end). Even better, Tactcam has responded to questions I’ve sent via Facebook Messenger or Instagram, even on the weekend. Their customer service reps are patient and helpful, which provides peace of mind for users who aren’t tech savvy and unsure if cell cameras are right for them.
Final Thoughts on Tactacam Reveal X-Pro
Dollar for dollar, the Tactacam Reveal X-Pro will be a favorite in your cell camera arsenal. If your scouting time is limited and you’re looking for a cell camera that doesn’t skimp on features, the Reveal X-Pro is your answer.