As the story goes, a little over 10 years ago a few employees got together to buy their boss (Thomas Stenger) a Christmas gift—a game camera. He was appreciative of the effort and excited about the concept, but found the product’s performance to be significantly less than advertised. “Much frustration—coupled with the fact that [Stenger] already owned a custom software company—led to the realization that he could build a better camera than the one he had received as a gift; a trail camera that would work as advertised,” recounted Jamie Ratajczek, Reconyx vice president of sales and marketing.
A collaboration with a couple of employees who were more tech savvy in hardware and software led to the first commercial offering about a year later.
“After the first prototypes, TJ (the owner) decided to start up a small business and see what he could do with it. I believe it was 2003 when we sold our first cameras. The cameras were pretty expensive, even then. It was in the $1,500 to $1,600 price range. I believe we sold them to the local Wisconsin DNR,” recalled Ratajczek.
“Even with our first models we were setting the bar for high-performance cameras, but not for the hunting market. In the beginning, we cut our teeth with solid units sold to the research markets. It wasn’t until about 2005 that we entered into the hunting market. Even then, our cameras were high-end—retailing for $600 to $800,” stated Ratajczek.
It wasn’t until 2008, with the introduction of the HyperFire line, that Reconyx really became a major player in the trail camera arena. “The HyperFire cameras were geared toward both research and hunting markets and marked the point we really started getting notice in the industry and gaining steam. Thanks to a great product, it’s been non-stop ever since,” boasted Ratajczek.
If you were looking for one thing that sets Reconyx apart from at least most, if not the entire industry, it would have to be the manufacturing. “We build all of our cameras here in the U.S. With the exception of a few smaller companies, the rest of the industry’s cameras are being manufactured in China to a set of specifications and then imported under the company’s brand. Often times, the same camera is bought and imported by several companies with small tweaks or different badging. We truly make our own products here in the U.S. That makes our products unique—not a clone sold under another name,” claimed Ratajczek.
“Our cameras are really known for our Covert Infrared Technology. Reconyx cameras have such a fast trigger speed—it triggers in 1/5-second—and quite simply works as it is advertised, but what we are really known for is the Covert Technology, which we really pioneered. By that, I mean there are a lot of cameras out there that do infrared photos at night.
“Technically speaking, the infrared red energy the cameras put out is supposed to be invisible to the human eye, but they bleed down into the visible spectrum. The closest color to infrared is red and that is why you won’t see a flash at night, but you will see at least a faint red glow when the camera triggers, and a bright red glow with some.
“We pioneered a higher wave length of infrared that does not bleed down into the visible spectrum. So at night, you won’t see that visible glow; you won’t see anything but the camera. In essence, that is the HC600, Covert Technology and a super-fast trigger time,” related Ratajczek.
According to Ratajczek, the HC600’s programming and hardware are different than other game cameras as well. “The HC600 wakes up and triggers within 1/5-second of the initial motion and then takes three photos one second apart. A big fact regarding our cameras is that they trigger more often than other cameras. You’ll find that if you set our cameras side-by-side with a competitor’s and you simply counted motion events, our sensitivity is much better. Our camera can actually pick out animals and trigger on the animals better than [other] cameras. That’s why our tag line is ‘See What You Have Been Missing…’”
Another camera in Reconyx’s outdoor line is the HC500. The HC500 has the same great trigger and many of the same specifications as the HC600. “The HC500 has the same great trigger speed, frame rate, and everything else, but it uses what we call Semi-Covert infrared illumination at night. This gives just a very slight red glow to the emitters. This change in technology allows it to be retailed for about $100 less than the HC600,” Ratajczek concluded.
Contact: (866) 493-6064; www.reconyx.com