Hi, my name is Allan and you have probably found my website because you have been looking for information about the best trail camera to help with your hunting. What ever the reason is; you have come to the right place as this site is packed with reliable, well researched, and helpful information articles and trail camera reviews to help along the way to picking up that perfect game camera.
You need a great trail camera with the best features in the market to make the most out of scouting an area for gaming. However, with the multitude of cameras available and the similarity in their features, you could be at lost. Fortunately, this review will guide you in selecting the trail camera that best fits your needs, starting with the products here below the 14 top rated game cameras available in 2016; by rating and you can read the reviews further below.
- Top 14 Trail Camera Reviews
- Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10MP
- Stealth Cam G30 Triad Armed 8mp Trail Camera
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Wireless Black LED Trail Camera with Night Vision
- Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Game Camera STC-G42NG
- Browning Trail Camera – Recon Force XR
- Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G 60-LED Wireless Game Camera
- Covert MP8 IR Game Camera Mossy Oak
- Stealth Cam STC-P12 6.0 Megapixel Digital Scouting Camera
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Hybrid Trail Camera
- Covert Scouting Cameras MP-E5 Infrared
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Bone Collector
- Bushnell X-8 6MP Trail Camera with Night Vision and Field Scan
- Wild Game Innovations Micro Crush X10
- Pyle PHTCM28 Water Resistant With Infrared Night Vision
- Browning Trail Camera – Dark Ops
- What to Look out for When Finding the Best Game Camera? – Trail Camera Buyer Guide
- 1. Image Quality
- 2. Battery and Power Options
- 3. Trigger Time
- 4. Different Types of Trail Cameras
- 5. Should I Go For Flash or Infrared?
- 6. Detection Circuit
- 7. Video or Picture
- 8. Memory
- 9. Security Boxed and Anti Theft Cables
- 10. Viewing Screens
- 11. Budget and Price
- More Trail Camera Reviews
- 1. Covert MP8 Trail Camera, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country
- 2. Game Hunt V300 HD 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera with Integrated 2″ LCD Screen
- 3. Bestok 12MP Digital Infrared Night Vision Outdoor Waterproof Wildlife Cam
- 4. Spartan HD GoCam (Verizon Version)
- 5. (4) Moultrie MLB-800i No Glow Infrared Digital Game Cameras
- 6. Bestguarder HD Waterproof IP66 Infrared Night Vision Game & Trail Hunting Scouting Ghost Camera
- 7. Reconyx HyperFire HC500 Semi – Covert IR Game Camera
- 8. Wild Game Innovations 360 Camera
- 9. Day 6 Plotwatcher Pro HD Game Surveillance System
- 10. Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera
- 11. Stealth Cam P18 7 Megapixel Compact Scouting Camera
- 12. Stealth Cam HD Video Scouting Camera
- 13. Amcrest ATC-1201 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera
- 14. Moultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2 Low Glow 5.0 MP Camera
- 15. Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 10.0 MP Camera
- 16. Moultrie P-150i Game Camera
- 17. Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera
- 18. Moultrie M-550 Gen2 Game Camera
- 19. Wild Game Innovations Blade 5X Hunting Trail Camera
- 20. Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera
- 21. Hunten Outdoors GSC35 – 50IR 5.0 MP Black Flash IR Game Camera
- 22. Spypoint 6MP Invisible Infrared Camera
- 23. Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera
- 24. Simmons 6 MP ProHunter No Glow LED Trail Camera
- 25. Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR
- 26. CUDDEBACK E2 Long Range IR Infrared 20 MP Trail Game Hunting Camera
- 27. Moultrie M-1100i Game Camera
- 28. Moultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera
- 29. Wildgame Innovations Micro Crush X10 Hunting Trail Camera
- 30. Primos Truth Cam Ultra Supercharged HD Blackout Trail Camera
Top 14 Trail Camera Reviews
Here below you will find the top 14 trail cams in the market today, each has been getting some great reviews and ratings in recent years and after reviewing them I feel like they are the best you can get for whatever purpose you might need one, be it for hunting, fun, security, or any other purpose.
- Browning Strike Force Sub
- Brand: Browning Trail Cameras
- Dimension: 4.5 x 2.5 x 3.2 inches
- Trigger 0.67 second
- Weight: 1 pounds
- Batteries: 6 AA batteries
- Stealth Cam G30 Triad
- Brand: Stealth Cam
- Dimension: N/A
- Trigger .5 seconds
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Batteries: N/A
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam
- Brand: Bushnell
- Dimension: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Trigger 0.6 seconds
- Weight: 1 pounds
- Batteries: AA (4-12)
- Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Trail
- Brand: Stealth Cam
- Dimension: N/A
- Trigger .5 seconds
- Weight: N/A
- Batteries: 12-volt
Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10MP
The Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10MP Game Camera has a fast trigger time of 0.67 with a 100 foot flash range. It records HD videos with sound up to 2 minutes in length and can take comparable quality HD photos using little power from 6 AA batteries. Because of the additional setup options and included Browning Buck watch time-lapse viewer software, this is recommended for advanced to expert users to fully take advantage of its capabilities. This price is low-midrange, and accessible to all users when compared to other trail cameras.
Exclusive to this line is the Zero Blur Night IR photos, which guarantee crisp and clear night viewing from a small package. It all weighs in at under 1 lbs., and within this package the video resolution is a high HD of 720p. Better detection range, crisper pictures, and clearer video are guaranteed with this model. There are also fewer empty shots because of the camera algorithm enclosed. There is a display for battery life and remaining photo memory as well as be used as an SD card reader by connecting a USB cable to it and the unit the user wants to display the photos. The unit works well especially outdoors for game and scouting, and equally for home use.
Stealth Cam G30 Triad Armed 8mp Trail Camera
The Stealth Cam G30 is one of the best trail cameras you can go for and it gets our highest rating with an impressive 4.7 out of 5. The camera has great video quality, is durable and it amazing when it comes to performance and battery life.
It can take great pictures of either 2, 4 or 8 megapixels and can take an HD video with sound from 5-180 seconds.
Its 30 IR emitters which have a reach of 80 feet and its reflex trigger of half a second along with its advanced blur reduction technology give this camera the ability to capture images or video in amazingly fine details at any lighting condition (e.g. daylight, low light or at night) without any issues or problem.
The camera is even secured in its shell that is both sturdy yet easy to open. The port and SD card slot is strategically positioned, too, to allow easy and convenient access. It can support an SD card of up to 32GB of capacity and features password encryption to protect your data.
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Wireless Black LED Trail Camera with Night Vision
Third on the list is this high priced offering from Bushnell, another HD wireless camera with a multitude of features. Enjoy breathtaking optics with clear HD clarity whether taking pictures at daytime or nighttime. Because of the brand expect to get materials that are all top notch and built to last, all without compromising the design. For the first 30 days buyers will get unlimited thumbnails with wireless connectivity working right out of the box, all through the use of a sim card and its data plan. Through the use of this same wireless connectivity buyers can remotely change the camera settings through their laptop, desktop or even smart phone. It’s one of the most effective all in one solutions for those that want to take advantage of a quality wireless connection and not be tied down to handling the camera settings from within a certain range.
After the 30 day trial period is up, buyers can expect to have access to pre-paid data plans from Bushnell that are very competitively priced and doesn’t look to dig deep into the pocketbook. It’s comparable to many of the data plans offered by big names like Verizon and Sprint. Battery life is awesome with the units built in power saving features, allowing it to run up to 3 months on one set of batteries.
And based on the programmable trigger interval, that can even be extended for the more frugal users. Max resolution is a nice color 8 MP HD with the option for HD video included. This is another homerun out of the park, and not a bad choice as the second unit on the list. This is not even mentioning the 32 infrared no glow LED’s and night vision capabilities. This camera also takes one of the longest video lengths at 60 seconds. Worth the money and more, don’t miss out on this great wireless camera from Bushnell.
Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Game Camera STC-G42NG
The Stealth Cam G42 is a mid to high priced advanced cam meant for intermediate to expert users, featuring a variable 4 resolution camera capable of 2,4,8, and 10mp HD recordings up to a maximum of 180 seconds. Trigger is .5 seconds and the entire unit is supported by 42 black IR emitters with a 100 ft. range. An easy to see backlit menu is available on the LCD screen with programmable inputs for a 1-9 images per trigger burst mode and manual shot capability. The SD card slot supports up to 32 GB and can be password protected from unauthorized use.
The camera is a light 11.4 ounces and can be used outdoors for game and scouting or for home security. Unit comes with a strap for multiuse and holds up well in bad weather and conditions. Rechargeable batteries are not recommended with the unit and may cause some of the functions of the camera to be temporarily inoperable. With proper setup the Stealth Cam G42 can easily take advantage of the space on SD card with lower resolution images and videos, thus doubling its intended capacity.
- Browning Trail Camera - Recon
- Brand: Browning Trail Cameras
- Dimension: 5 x 2.5 x 4 inches
- Trigger 0.67 second
- Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Batteries: 8 AA batteries
- Covert Special Ops Code
- Brand: Covert
- Dimension: 10 x 10 x 3 inches
- Trigger 1.2 seconds
- Weight: 1 pounds
- Batteries: 12 AA batteries
- Covert MP8 IR Game Camera
- Brand: Covert
- Dimension: 10 x 3 x 10 inches
- Trigger N/A
- Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Batteries: 8 AA batteries
- Stealth Cam STC-P12
- Brand: Stealth Cam
- Dimension: N/A
- Trigger 5-59 sec/1-59 minute
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Batteries: N/A
Browning Trail Camera – Recon Force XR
At a low to mid-price range the Browning Trail Camera – Recon Force XR has a 0.67 second trigger time and records HD videos with sound and incredible clarity. Eight AA batteries gives the unit a long lifespan on a single set, and even when mixing both the HD videos and photos together on one media, it still holds up for long periods of time. The 100 ft. flash range makes sure that all photos meet the clarity and specifications of the user, and as a set this includes the Browning Buck watch time-lapse viewer software for further media intake. The package is geared towards intermediate to expert users, and has other configurable features geared towards the skillset of such users.
The 100 plus ft. flash range takes advantage of IR illumination at night, with zero blur technology aiding in all instances to make sure photos are clean, crisp, and easy to manage. This is a small, lightweight camera that weighs in at only 5.3 ounces, and can easily be hidden for outdoor game and hunting use, or home use for security. Although not listed as weatherproof, the unit can withstand heavy rainfall as well as adverse conditions if needed. Digital screen on the camera itself is of high quality, and good enough to make out most photos.
Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G 60-LED Wireless Game Camera
The Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G 60-LED Wireless Game Camera is the only camera on the list with 3G functionality, and through the use of a SIM card provided from AT&T uses MMS functionality to automatically text the media from the camera to your cell phone or to email. Inside Archery voted this the 2012 Best Buy, and this particular model is well received across multiple outlets. It includes 60 invisible flash LED’s with trigger speeds of 1.2 seconds with a range of up to 60ft. Setup and use is mostly for intermediate-expert users, and is equally great for both outdoor use with game and hunting and home security purposes.
This is the highest priced camera on the list, and includes a recurring fee from AT&T for sim card functionality that can range from 10 bucks for limited messaging or 20 for unlimited, and will vary state to state. Other sim card capable operators can be used like T-Mobile or H20 wireless that use AT&T towers, but support for said operators are either limited or non-existent. SD cards of up to 32 GB are supported, and with user switchable 3, 5, and 8 MP modes actual space can be doubled based on use. The 2 inch color viewer allows changes to be made to time lapse modes, the 2 phase timer switch, and 3 adjustable sensitivity levels. Twelve AA’s are required, and at full functionality the camera can easily last up to a year without replacing batteries.
Covert MP8 IR Game Camera Mossy Oak
The Covert MP8 IR Game Camera Mossy Oak is a 8mp camera, with a 45ft flash range and 28 infrared LEDs. It is moderately priced for the average consumer, and also includes a small color viewer. The unit automatically applies time, date, and temp and moon phase stamps to pictures taken. Although considered a budget camera, it is simply a smaller version of the Extreme series and contains many of the same features. Both pictures and video come out just as crisp as the bigger version of this camera.
Along with good motion detection is an auxiliary battery jack, and if running off of batteries alone they tend to last a bit longer than expected, even when maxing out the photos per day. Setup is fairly easy and recommended for beginners, while the more advanced functionality of the camera should please intermediate to advanced users as well. Because of the compact size this Covert camera is not only recommended for outdoor use, but for home security use as well. Comes highly recommended from multiple sources online and gets our highest recommendation.
Stealth Cam STC-P12 6.0 Megapixel Digital Scouting Camera
The lowest priced camera on the list is the Stealth Cam STC-P12 6.0 Megapixel Digital Scouting Camera, a standard definition camera capable of good pictures and video recordings of 640×480 of up to 15 seconds. Twelve IR emitters are able to be in range at a max of 50 ft. with an optional burst mode that catches 1-6 images per trigger, and is able to be manually set to 5-59 second based on that. Time, date, and moon phase stamps are part of the many options in this camera, and all can be set from the LCD screen with the EZ dial programming and quick set. The myriad of options are very easy to use and is geared towards beginners, with the EZ dial programming and preset quicksets making the decision even easier.
The camera can be used outdoor for scouting and game or at home for security, and has a mini-USB plug for transferring and manipulating media. The quickset mode has 3 preset modes to choose from, and the external LCD has a test mode and low battery indicator, although battery life lasts a good 6-12 months depending on usage. Night vision gives pretty good feedback, and with support for up to 16 GB SD cards, the Stealth is capable of lasting months without needing to be checked on. A strap is included and can be used to either position the camera outside or as a replacement strap for products in the same line.
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam
- Brand: Bushnell
- Dimension: 12 x 12 x 12 inches
- Trigger 0.6-second
- Weight: 1 pounds
- Batteries: AA 4-8)
- Covert Scouting Cameras
- Brand: Covert
- Dimension: 9.5 x 7.5 x 2.8 inches
- Trigger 1.2 seconds
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Batteries: 8 AA
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam
- Brand: Bushnell
- Dimension: 11.8 x 7.5 x 3 inches
- Trigger 0.2 seconds
- Weight: 10.9 ounces
- Batteries: 8 AA
- Bushnell X-8 6MP Trail
- Brand: Bushnell
- Dimension: 7.2 x 9.9 x 3.2 inches
- Trigger 1-second
- Weight: 1 pounds
- Batteries: 8 AA
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Hybrid Trail Camera
This 8 MP camera from Bushnell takes 720p video with audio recording up to 1 minute in length, and features a hybrid mode that can take both HD pictures and videos at the same time. Interface and user options are best suited for intermediate to expert users, and the camera is ideal for both home security use and outdoors for game and scouting. Images are detailed and crisp, featuring date, time, moon phase and temperature information while also having the ability for automatic geotagging. Price is on the low to mid-level, but accessible my most from cameras of the same abilities.
On a set of 4-8 AA batteries and with support of up to 32 GB max for the SD card, this trail camera can last up to a full year. The unit is weather proof and has the ability to support external power, and accessories include an adjustable web belt and ¼-20 socket. It comes in at about 1 lbs. and is compact enough without making the black and white LCD screen to small where the pictures are unrecognizable. Night vision flash uses 32 black LED’s up to 80 ft. for great resolution and very good pictures.
Covert Scouting Cameras MP-E5 Infrared
Voted as the 2012 Best Buy from Inside Archery and is still going strong, the Covert Scouting Cameras MP-E5 Infrared Trail Camera has 28 glow LEDs and a trigger speed of 1.2 seconds. Because of the Pre-sets feature this camera is tailored for all types from beginners to experts, and allows the user to change how the camera behaves based on a set of 4 programmable options. The 4 presets are 2 shots at an interval of 30 seconds, 2 shots at an interval of 1 minutes, 3 shots at an interval of 5 minutes, and 10 second videos at an interval of 1 minute. Card type is SD and max capacity is 16 GB, for holding a good amount of both photos and videos.
Eight AA’s provide an average of about 3000 pictures, with time, date, temp and moon phase stamps included. Camera is compact and weights just under 12 ounces, and is small enough to use around the home and also recommended for outdoor sporting and game use. The camera is motion activated, and has a decent trigger time when compared to other models. Is also made to last in adverse weather conditions, without affecting the capability of the unit.
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Bone Collector
This Bushnell with night vision is a higher end and high priced camera that features 1280×720 HD video as well as comparable HD photos. The motion activated PIR sensor works out from 60 ft. while in field scan time-lapse mode images are taken at user chosen intervals. Other programmable options include the 0.2 second trigger speed, which the user can set when for the trigger to be most effective. Besides being weather proof, the unit can last up to a full year on one set of 8 AA batteries. SD cards are supported up to 32 GB, but class 10 SD is recommended for full HD capture. The camera has a multitude of programmable options that make it more suited for intermediate to expert users.
HD video lasts up to 60 seconds with sound, and can be viewed on the black and white LCD display. Unique to this camera is the adjustable web belt and ¼-20 socket that is included, making it ideal for outdoor use for sporting and game. The Bushnell Trophy is also solar compatible and includes GPS geotagging to aid the data stamp information when organizing media. With the exclusive hybrid capture mode, this trail camera allows both video and still pictures to be captured simultaneously, allowing for even greater information intake when viewing media.
Bushnell X-8 6MP Trail Camera with Night Vision and Field Scan
This trail camera hovers at around the low to mid-price range and is a non-HD trail camera that takes photos at 2, 4, or a max of 6 megapixels in full color using the day/night auto sensors. Because it is external power compatible, it is recommended to be used as home security as well as outdoors for scouting. The 1 second trigger speed can be programmable with multi-image mode, making the camera take 1 or 3 images per trigger. Video is captured at 640x480p up to 15 seconds and contains no audio, and with 8 AA batteries the unit can last up to 9 months on a set.
As a standard definition trail cam, this still takes good pictures and is compatible with SD cards up to 32 GB, so holds almost as twice as much media as HD trail cameras. 36 night vision LEDs do a great job of catching all the action when used wisely with the field scan time-lapse, which is able to take images at a manually set 1-60 minutes. Programmable options are easy enough for beginners to use, and all pictures are easily seen from the black and white LCD screen. Unit is at about 1 lbs., and date, time, and temp/moon stamps are available with each shot.
- Wildgame Innovations Micro Crush
- Brand: Wild Game Innovations
- Dimension: 10 x 5.6 x 3 inches
- Trigger 1 second trigger
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Batteries: 8 AA
- Pyle PHTCM28 Water
- Brand: Pyle
- Dimension: N/A
- Trigger N/A
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Batteries: 4 AA
- Browning Trail Camera - Dark Op
- Brand: Browning Trail Cameras
- Dimension: N/A
- Trigger 0.67 second
- Weight: N/A
- Batteries: 8 AA
Wild Game Innovations Micro Crush X10
The Wild Game Innovations Micro Crush X10 Hunting Trail Camera is a Lee and Tiffany branded low priced 10mp micro digital HD trail camera. Through the 27 piece invisible LED’s and wide angle lens, this camera is capable of 30 second 720p videos and stunning HD pictures. This is a camera that can be used by beginners and up, and has advanced features such as a 1 second trigger and infrared flash. As a compact camera it is water resistant, weather resistant, and comes packaged with Wild Game Innovations Flextime software.
Flextime software is very user intuitive and easy to get used to, and the included USB cable allows users to manipulate media to their liking. The standard eight AA batteries is required, and lasts a good amount of time before needing to be changed. Other included accessories in the package includes bungee cords. The entire camera is about 1.2 lbs. and is best used outdoors for gaming and scouting rather than indoors or for home security.
Pyle PHTCM28 Water Resistant With Infrared Night Vision
Able to be used outdoors for game and scouting as well as for home security, the Pyle PHTCM28 Water Resistant Wild Game Trail Scouting Camera is one of the few standard definition cameras that can take crisp images and videos at 8 or 5mp day or night. Video is shot at 30 fps at 640×480, and at night can be captured up to 45 ft. away with the invisible flash in complete darkness. With the PIR motion detection sensor the water resistant housing allows for all weather vision without missing any steps in the process. Only 4 AA batteries are required, and can last from 8 months up to a year.
LCD screen allows for easy operation to see photos and available memory, making this ideal for beginners to use. Camera works with up to 16 GB SD cards, with both the 8 and 5mp modes providing clear and easy to see photos and videos. The 30 LED flashlight is invisible and does not disturb the area, even at night when using night vision. Instructions are not clear or present, but easy enough to where basic trial and error will get the most out of the equipment. Price range is low and fairly consistent for most beginning trail cameras of the same in the same line.
Browning Trail Camera – Dark Ops
With a .67 trigger time, the Browning Trail Camera – Dark Ops version is a 10mp intermediate-expert trail camera that can record up to 2 minute HD videos with sound. The 70 ft. flash range works great outdoors, and as such the camera is made for outdoor game and scouting, but can also double with the same effectiveness as home security. Six AA batteries can provide up to a year of usage is a strong brand name is used. Price is on the high end as this is a premium trail camera, with support of up to 32 GB SD cards. The weight of the unit is 1 lbs., and it ships with Browning’s Buck Watch time-lapse viewer software.
The camera works day or night, and has an invisible flash that will not alert any game or subject when taking pictures or video. Both burst mode and timer mode can be adjusted on the camera, and the display shows battery life and photo memory remaining. With a USB cable users can connect the camera to a TV or computer and use it as an external SD card reader in order to manipulate the media on the device. Although a strap is included with the unit, a USB cable is not, but can be purchased separately and is usually universal with other cameras of that type.
What to Look out for When Finding the Best Game Camera? – Trail Camera Buyer Guide
1. Image Quality
Image quality is measured in Megapixels (MP) and is called resolution. More the MP better is the picture quality. Average Trail cameras come with a resolution of 5-7 MP. The range however is actually vast; with the best cameras giving as high as 20 MP in their class and basic inexpensive ones with 2 MP only.
- You may also find very cheap variants of trail cameras for as low as 1.5 MP.
- If your snaps and game recording is as important as the game itself, then we would recommend at least a 7 MP camera.
- It is better not to buy any camera under 5 MP. The pictures under 5 MP would usually be very shoddy especially when seen on a full screen. Their performance during night hunts is absolutely abysmal.
- With over 5 MP cameras, the difference between day snaps and night ones varies hugely.
- If your pocket allows and you would like a great contrast and fine pictures in the night, then go for a version which is 10 MP and onwards.
Point to remember is that if you have an infrared flash, then it is only black & white pictures that it will support in the night shots. In addition, for each megapixel you will have to shell out more money, so deciding on what is important is vital. In addition, if you plan to use your trail camera for Wild life photography, a high-resolution camera is recommended. Nevertheless, a camera strictly meant for game needs to be about 5-7 MP.
2. Battery and Power Options
A game lasts for hours and sometimes days, so that last thing you would want to worry about is dying power in your camera, so the battery is an important feature for game cameras. You have to remember that usually you would just mount the camera and leave it there unattended. Just imagine coming back to collect it and realizing that battery died in the middle of night!
Most of the brands have a range between 6 months to a year. However, the point to keep in mind is that the actual life tends to be less for the simple reason that some features of the camera take up a lot of battery power; and if you happen to use more of them then it will be drained much faster.
- An incandescent flash consumes a lot more power that it is Infrared counterparts. In the same way, a cellular camera drains batteries expeditiously when compared to the regular trail cams.
- Some cameras come with plug in option and are good choices if you tend to spend a lot of time in faraway wilderness at one go. However, you will have to carry the entire plug in system, which can be quite bulky.
- Look for cameras that have at least 8 sockets for AA batteries. Lithium batteries are much better than the alkaline batteries.
- You may also go for rechargeable ones, which are costlier but can last for years together. If you look at the overall cost of the high-end batteries and divide it over the years they last, you will find that they tend to be more economical.
- The rechargeable batteries are also weatherproof. Last but not the least, always check the recommended battery brand and try to stick to it.
- Go for cameras that include a battery indicator, which will protect you from an unexpected shut down.
3. Trigger Time
Trigger time is the time in which the camera detects movement and captures the snap, the less the better. The whole process goes something like this- The animal enters the detection zone, and the sensors activate the camera, which in turn triggers the capture, and the snap is saved in the storage.
- By every logic, your camera’s trigger time has to be less i.e. much below one second. If this time is high than by the time camera captures, your game would have moved to the end of detection circuit.
- A slow trigger speed is suitable only for those games where you have to monitor something stationery; say a place where the deer herd resides or where you might have tied a bait.
- These are the only situations where the animal will hover and linger for quite some time. These cameras are also suitable for food plots that have a good visibility area.
- The fastest trigger speed available in market is 0.14 seconds! This range goes up to 4 seconds in some cameras.
- If you have a wireless cellular camera, this time will be a little on the higher side because the trigger time also includes the time that camera takes to transmit and store the picture in connected device.
4. Different Types of Trail Cameras
Buying a trail camera is no easy feat, considering the features you have to keep in mind, like motion detectors, resolution, focusing abilities, sharpness, pixels as well as an inconspicuous nature to be carried in the woods. Therefore, we have prepared a list for you, so that you can zero in on your favourite type of camera, one that suits your needs perfectly!
Cellular cameras record images and transmit them to your phone and tabs through internet. A sim needs to be inserted in the camera’s slot and then it uses it just like a phone. Most of these cameras work on GSM networks and you need to buy a data package for the sim. These cameras are coming with the feature of motion sensor nowadays, which activates with movement in front of the lens’ span. Cellular camera is a hassle free gadget, which is very easy to install and does not have tonnes of wires running around it.
Wireless Wi-Fi Camera
Wireless camera has an in-built transmitter, which transports images using a wireless network. You need to choose the wireless network of the receiving device in the camera to connect both of them. Wi-Fi cameras are relatively innovative but extremely user friendly and relevant to today’s times. They have fewer attachments and no wires, which is an appealing feature for an indoor or semi-indoor use.
Have you ever felt the need to track what is going on, in and around your house in your absence? You may have contemplated keeping an eye on your business establishment, office space, storage or the warehouse. This is especially applicable to those who have to put up a temporary shelter in the woods, while on their wildlife business. For these requirements, a fully enabled security camera, better known as surveillance camera is the best solution. Absolutely reliable, tamper proof and not prone to bias! If any untoward incident does take place, the camera records it in real time and you can use the footage as evidence later on. It also plays the role of a deterrent because miscreants would usually be cautious if they are aware of the presence of security camera around them.
- It also gives a very comforting sense of security, especially if you have experienced vandalism or robbery in your area of residence or business.
- This is however, the traditional use, these cameras are increasingly being used as trail cameras for use outdoors.
- These can also be used in case you have to temporarily put up in the woods, these cameras can help you monitor the wildlife in an around you and keep you one-step ahead of dangers of the wilderness around you.
- These cameras aren’t very potent in the wilderness; their efficacy has not been established or demonstrated properly for use in wild life setups very well.
However, there are a few points to keep in mind before a security camera is installed. Law forbids installation of recording devices in private areas like baths and toilets. So make sure that you are not standing in way of law while installing these cameras. If you have one inside your home, it is going to record all the private moments and conversations that you would not like to be shared. This is why data deletion has to be done regularly and carefully since the information, sharing is fast these days. In addition, everything invariably turns up on internet. In fact, make this a daily routine to delete the unwanted footage thereby avoiding other risks related to data leakage.
Infrared cameras are suitable in cases where tracking and recording is required in the night also. For ensuring a round the clock supply of video footage in the wild, no camera is better than the infrared. These cameras have high resolution and capture night images with a lot of clarity. They also come fitted with sensors that automatically switch the infrared function on and off.
These cameras have found an extensive usage in capturing wildlife due to their friendliness towards night or dim lit shots. Scientific researchers have always used infrared cameras in their experiments due to their sensitivity and high resolution captures.
- They are easy to install and usually come in a single unit with the lens and recording storage.
- Infrared cameras are very sturdy and can withstand tampering much more effectively.
- Their design is such that they do not give way easily when deliberately damaged.
- With all the advantages they have on their counterparts, the main disadvantage comes in form of their price tag. They are far more costly and therefore their use in smaller establishments and domestic surveillance has not gained much momentum.
- Owing to the LED lights mounted on them, their use around reflective surface has its limitation; the picture captured is just a blob of light, which reflects right back at the camera.
The flash camera is made for the night shots. For dark or night shots, the camera switches to flash mode for the capture. This one feature makes it usable throughout the day and night, while you are on the move.
- The set up is simple and very easy to install.
- They are highly portable, and are available in a variety of sizes enhancing their portability quotient
- The picture quality is extremely good, and the best of zoom capacities are available in flash cameras.
- The main disadvantage of this camera is its strength- The flash feature! A flash on the face is not a desirable experience and especially if it continuously goes on without any warning then it can be super annoying. This is an extreme drawback when shooting in the wild, it can easily scare off the animals and waste your valuable time
- Flash cameras are also known to make a shutter kind of noise as the flash comes to life. Both of these features make it unsuitable for wild life photography as the flash agitates the animals. For covert tracking too, this camera proves to be useless since there is nothing clandestine about it. The flash can be particularly unflattering for your neighbours if you are using if for outdoor monitoring.
5. Should I Go For Flash or Infrared?
There are two types of flashes available in trail cams- LEDs also known as incandescent flash and Infrared better known as invisible flash. Choosing right type of flash is an extremely important criterion as it can either hamper or facilitate the game.
- Incandescent flash has bright white light, which makes the pictures taken in shadows and dark quite clear and refined. The quality and contrast of the pictures is impressive. Even the night shots come in colours; though not as great as the day shots, they are pretty descent.
- The disadvantage of this camera is clearly that it can spook your game in the night. A bright white intense flash may also blind you for a few seconds. It can also attract other hunters in the area.
- If you use the camera for security purposes then it will alert the intruders. The bright Flash is also a nuisance for others in the neighbourhood.
- On the other hand, the Infrared flash creates an invisible zone and does not draw any attention. The only visibility that the flash may have is a red dot on the camera, which is quite unnoticeable.
- Some newer models have hidden this red light as well making the camera completely hidden.
- For covert night games, infrared is the most suitable option. Some brands have come up with interchangeable flashlights. You may go for these models as they give you an option of changing to Infrared invisible or incandescent white flash as per your needs.
6. Detection Circuit
Detection circuit of the camera refers to the range within which camera’s sensors can detect the movement and trigger the camera for capturing the picture. The range is measured in feet whereas trigger speed in seconds.
- Naturally, the long-range cameras are preferred for hunting in wild or even a farm. Nowadays cameras with detection range of almost 100 feet can be found in the market.
- However, while buying you needs to be sure that they deliver what they are claiming. Some of the models may manage only 2/3rds of the range and the performance of camera is a little doubtful beyond this 2/3rd.
- The average range of trail cameras is 60-70 feet. A low range is suitable only if you have a very limited area to cover otherwise go for a long-range camera.
- Along with the distance in feet, you must also find out the field of view, which is basically the width of the angles within which the camera can detect the movement. A wide field view means better capture because the movement will be in range for a higher time.
- Trigger speed and the recovery time are very important aspects as they determine the number of articulate shots that you will be able to take at a time.
- The animal you are going to capture is not going to hover at one place for a long time; in fact, most of them may just pass by giving you a window of a few seconds only. Trigger speeds of as low as 0.14 seconds is available in the market.
- Any speed beyond 1 second is considered very slow and may hamper your game. Recovery time is the time in which the camera is ready for the next capture which can be as low as 3.3 seconds and as high as 5.5.
- Remember the cellular cameras have a very high recovery time because they transmit the picture after capture and storage; it is only then that they get ready for the next snap.
Therefore, a speed of over 5 seconds is very normal and considered fast. However, if you are hunting for a very fast-paced animal in your game then cellular camera might not fit in the bill.8.
7. Video or Picture
The quality of a picture is measured in megapixels. Trail cameras have an average resolution of 5-7 Megapixels, which is usually enough; unless of course your priority is a high resolution snap. However, for hunting needs the average resolution is more than enough. Some cameras are available whose USP is high-resolution pictures.
- These cameras come with 12 MP to almost 20 MP. 20 MP is the highest resolution claimed by the brands of trail cameras. Most of the cameras available nowadays come with the video option.
- These all support videos ranging from 3 to 300 seconds. Some of them have a video recording only in black & white option while other may give out coloured video with HD quality.
- However, you have to keep in mind that if your game takes place in the night then there is not much of a difference which quality you are using. Some video recording do not have audio function, so basically you end up with a video, which is mute.
- Whenever buying the camera, check this feature for audio as well. Flashlights of the trail camera hugely determine the picture quality and also the detection range of the camera.
- These Flashlights come in the variants of LEDs and Infrared. LEDs have strong white flash and therefore the picture has stark contrast and lively colours.
- These cameras can also capture coloured night scenes. However, the other side is that LED can compromise your hunt by spooking other hunters and also the animal. For security purposes too, these lights are not ideal as they give away the position of the camera and alert the intruder.
- They can also be a nuisance to your neighbours with intense flash filtering into their houses every night. Some of these cameras come with flash off or no flash option also. However, since these cameras are designed to use a flashlight, you may end up with just black blank pictures without them.
- Depending on how vast the range is, the camera may be mounted with 5-50 LED lights. On the other hand, Infrared is your perfect companion in covert games. It does not spook or draw attention to itself.
- At most, it may have a dot like red indicator, which is not very noticeable. In fact, many brands have done away with this red light in some of their models making the camera completely clandestine and covert.
The infrareds have invisible flash, which will not blind you like the ordinary LEDs. The only flip side is that they support only black & white pictures in the night. The quality of contrast may not be very impressive but they are best suited for night expeditions.
Most of the cameras show compatibility with 32 GB SD card. However, some can accommodate a higher storage capacity. Some cameras with memory that goes as low as 8 GB are also on the shelves, however think before you pick them; you do not want the hassle of camera stopping in between the hunt for want of storage capacity.
- The requirement of the card depends on your usage. If you have a camera, which takes multiple shot, i.e. one trigger results in more than one picture so that there is at least one perfect snap, then you will need big data storage.
- This kind of camera stores all the pictures, which can be reviewed and deleted later on. However, during the game, you will not be able to delete the unwanted snaps and they will keep occupying the data card.
- Point to keep in mind is that a hunt goes on for a very long period. The video enabled camera also needs a vast memory and the one, which has HD recording will eat up the entire space in no time, and the quality memory card reader.
- Your need to record a video will also play a decisive factor here because pictures take up lesser memory than videos. A picture of high resolution needs more storage space so if your pictures are high resolution and High definition an additional storage may come handy.
- When your game goes on for some time period then also back up storage may help you. If you are using your trail camera for security purposes, the existence of a good storage would be helpful.
- Otherwise, you will go on deleting the data every couple of days especially if there is a lot of activity around your house, in terms of people, animal or vehicular traffic. Another important point to be kept in mind is to make sure that right brand and quality of SD card is being used in the camera. Remember not all SD cards run properly in all cameras.
Stick to the recommended brand and storage capacity to get the best of the camera and for the safety of your recordings and captures.
9. Security Boxed and Anti Theft Cables
Trail cameras are not exactly cheap and therefore (although this one is the best trail camera for the money) , they themselves can become victims of theft or be dislodged in the wilds due to frequent movements! Though trail cameras are sturdy in their built considering their extensive outdoor usage; they can be damaged easily especially in cases of vandal and where cameras are not exactly covert.
- Security boxes and theft cables are the items that can rule out the damage or theft of your camera to a large extent. The security boxes come in strong material like steel, which protects the camera from a direct blow and scratches.
- Before you pick a camera that comes with a security box, check how compact it is. If space is your constraint and your priority is to have a compact camera then make sure you take a look at the security box as well.
- The lock mechanism of the security box needs to be foolproof but simple. You do not want to be struggling with the lock that just refuses to come undone with easy strokes. Security boxes also come in various shades and colours like solid black, camouflage etc.
- The different exteriors are not for enhancing the aesthetics but for making the cameras covert by blending them with their backgrounds.
- Therefore, a game in the wild requires a camouflaged exterior, which does not draw the attention of an animal or other hunters and intruders. Buy your security box only after trying it out with your camera.
- A slightest of mismatch in size will lead to disruption in front of the flashlights or camera shutter. They also come with hooks and brackets which makes them easy to install and mount.
- Anti-theft cables are quite indispensable and you must buy them along with your camera. These cables will prove valuable when you have to mount your camera for a perfect shot.
- You can tighten or loosen their grip very easily. Since they have a free size, you do not have to have multiple of them for a “Just in case” scenario. Remember a trail camera needs to be set up in various different and vastly opposite conditions.
- At times, they may be mounted on a tree or placed on a rock at other times. Not every time will you get a place where it can be safely installed. The strong cables are usually made by twisting a number of thin steel cables together to give out a robust and tough built.
- It is usually covered with a vinyl coating so that it is soft to touch and the steel does not hurt while handling. There is a locking system, which can be slid easily over the cable and fastened wherever the grip is required. This locking system should also be thoroughly checked just to ensure that it is not complicated.
10. Viewing Screens
Not all trail cameras come with a viewing screen, but it is an important feature of the camera without any doubt. Viewing screen can play an important role in setting up the camera in the right direction and height. You can also review the pictures taken immediately if your camera has the viewing screen.
- In cases where the SD card has run out of memory in the midst of your adventure, you can begin deleting the unwanted pictures by reviewing them and freeing up some space on the card. Deleting is not recommended where you have a tiny and regular screen.
- Many cameras come with HD supporting and LCD viewing screen; however, it is up to you and your requirement as to the kind of viewing screen you need. An LCD viewing screen is better but cost is higher compared to your usual screen.
- It may also be more sensitive than the regular screen. However, use of screen cover can protect it from the general wear and tear in vulnerable outdoor hunts. Viewing screen is simple to use and makes the camera set up very easy.
- The only flip side of having an external viewing screen is that it can make the camera a little bulkier considering that it has to accommodate this additional screen on the exteriors of the camera. Viewing screens come in various sizes that you need to choose for yourself.
- A viewing screen, which is too small, shall be useless because it will not serve the very purpose for which it was built. On the other hand, a large screen will compromise the size of the cameras.
- You do not want to carry an elephant around on your games! If you have a habit of retrieving your pictures frequently then remember that this functionality drains out the battery pretty quickly.
11. Budget and Price
It all comes down to your pocket after all! If your pocket allowed, you would buy the best that is available. The game or trail cameras come in a wide price range of $80 to an eye popping $10K! Therefore, as we mentioned it does really come to your pocket. This is why your priorities have to be very clear before you step out to buy a trail camera. The first point is to put yourself in a category of a beginner or a Pro.
- As a beginner, you have to understand, that you might not be availing all the features of the Camera so buying a fully loaded gadget might prove to be too expensive and foolish.
- However, if you have every intention of continuing and pursuing this sport and learning it rather quickly then you may think about a higher version. Basically, “better to have it and not use then not have it and need it”.
- Your usage also needs to be kept it in mind. If you need this camera for security purposes, then taking in view the area to be covered will help you in saving on detection range. A camera with 100 feet detection range is much costlier than the one, which is only 50.
- If you want the camera to be installed in, a 40 feet lobby then why buy a camera with a longer detection range. Similarly, you must be sure about the kind of flash you need. If the use of the camera is not covert, for e.g. in an office space, then buying an infrared invisible camera is not required.
- Remember a great picture resolution comes with a hefty price tag. If your requirement is, strictly hunting and that too in the night then do not go for a high-resolution camera.
- Night scenes in high-resolution trail cameras usually come in black & White shades only. One more important tip is to go for a reputed manufacturer and brand. An unknown and not so popular brand may provide you all the features at lesser price, but remember it will not have the quality that an established brand would provide.
- You do not want small nagging obstacles during your game. The established brands have learnt from mistakes and lot of research. They have had years to improvise their products so chances of getting a sub-standard quality are next to none.
- Your choice in resolution, flash, HD video enabled and external viewing screen has bearing on battery life and storage as well. A camera with high-end features as these may require a data storage card with an extended memory.
- Good quality data card are not very cheap. Apart from these, the rate at which you will exhaust the batteries will go up manifold. Over years, you will run into a big number spent just on the batteries.
You can spend as much as you want when it comes to a trail camera. The features are appealing and accessories are innumerable so there really is no limit. However, do not get overwhelmed or lose yourself with the flow. Prepare a budget and stick to it. A few dollars here and there is all right, but if you are deviating by hundreds then just stop and think if this is really what you need.
More Trail Camera Reviews
1. Covert MP8 Trail Camera, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country
Low priced and considered one of the best, the Covert MP8 Trail Camera, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country has 28 infrared LED’s to capture the best moments using video or photos. Since its 8MP the video is no slouch, and is supplemented with clear audio if you need it. Various settings for the camera can be changed using the color viewer, which is big enough to show you the finer details of the project without making you strain your eyes. And to better identify the photos and videos that you take, they can include time, date, temp and moon phase stamps.
This is essential if you take a lot of photos and videos at once and don’t want to spend hours sorting through them. Dimensions of the camera are 5×3.8×3 and it comes in weighing at only 12.8 ounces. Mounting it on a branch or something light shouldn’t be a hassle at all, as it is compact and light enough to go anywhere and still get a good picture. If you are going to primary use this for night vision, then feel safe in knowing that the quality is pretty good although not out of this world. But there is nothing too major that it will miss during the day or night when you use it. This is a reliable camera for both home and game hunting.
2. Game Hunt V300 HD 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera with Integrated 2″ LCD Screen
High priced and worth every penny, this particular model is an ultimate powered 12MP high definition camera that is capable of capturing 1920×1080 video. It looks gorgeous on big screens, even above 50 inches. It has automatic motion sensing up to 65ft. with multiple levels that you can adjust for better performance. So taking pictures or videos during night won’t give you the typical grainy look, but rather a strong clear view.
Trigger speed is blazing fast at 0.7 seconds, and if you pair it with a 32GB card then you’re golden for a long time, even if you’re a heavy user. Having that much capacity is a great way to test out the burst mode, which takes multiple pictures within a few seconds so you will always get the best of any moment. PIR field of View is wide angled at 100 degrees, so the camera will not miss anything important and is not set to having a narrow view of the landscape. The 3 months of stand by battery life with the 1 year warranty is more than enough for many people. For placement it is tripod compatible so you can really lean on its advanced features. Low maintenance and with a lot of power, this is a great buy for several uses.
3. Bestok 12MP Digital Infrared Night Vision Outdoor Waterproof Wildlife Cam
The Bestok 12MP Digital Infrared Night Vision Outdoor Waterproof Wildlife Cam is low priced and comes in several colors for those that like to accessorize. They all come with a 4GB SD card for extra storage, so that alone is a nice little extra that the company threw in, and is money saved upfront. Available colors and styles are 5210A, 8210A 4GB Black, 8210A 4GB Camo, 8210A 4GB Dark Green and 8210A 4GB Gray.
It’s a nice little mix that adds some variety to the sometimes restricted choices with other cameras. Behind the stylings is a powerful 12MP CMOS sensor that promises brilliant photos and videos during the day and night cycles. Time, Moon, and temperature stamps work as an easy way to identify pictures if there are many. Users have a choice of determining how much standby power they need with the minimum of 4xAA batteries leading to 3 months while doubling that amount also doubles the standby time.
It is an intuitive system that’s easy enough for even new customers to get attached to. All styles are built to function in multiple environments, and the Prep Sensor design pairs well with the response speed trigger, enhancing both tremendously. Unique to this model is the ability to code locations in photos using the serial number feature. Everything that you want and more in a camera, this is a solid buy.
4. Spartan HD GoCam (Verizon Version)
Spartan HD GoCam one of the highest priced cameras you can get, it makes a lot of sense that there are premium features attached to the product. The Wi-Fi on the camera is pay as you go and uses Verizon to handle the data on it. There is no contract to deal with so this should appeal to a variety of users that want a Wi-Fi capable camera. This advanced feature as well as others are ready to use out of the box, and since it is with Verizon there is no sim card required. It is battery hungry, but not more than the average camera. Twelve AA batteries are used to power them for months, with premium power saving features so you aren’t moving back and forth between packages.
If you value privacy, then there is built in AES 256 encryption for when you’re transmitting your images. And out of all the cameras on the market, the best online interface for managing photos is probably going to be HCO GoWireless web. Not only can you sign up for Verizon’s service from there, but you can also manage all of your photos online in an easy to use interface. It is a one stop shop for those that don’t want to stare at the screen on the camera. Big and innovative, this is a camera that shouldn’t be passed up.
5. (4) Moultrie MLB-800i No Glow Infrared Digital Game Cameras
For a really good deal on security or game hunting, then this (4) Moultrie MLB-800i high priced package from Moultrie is just about everything you’ll need right out of the box. Four identical cameras are included in the package, and they are all 8MP and low glow infrared. These are in no way throwaway cameras, and there is less than a 1 second trigger time before they capture image or video. This is especially useful if you place them not far from each other. Customers will be able to get real time 360 updates about what is going on, and all in picture or video form.
They also did a great job of using the RealTree Xtra camaflouge design as a way to hide the cameras when you are using them for game hunting. During the day or night, the blend in well with the scenery so the buyer doesn’t have to change its positions on a daily basis. Range during the night is 70ft., which is more than enough to capture the good stuff, even if it moves quickly in front of the camera. To fully utilize the cameras capabilities Moultrie allowed the free use of a downloadable Time Lapse software. It works great for beginners and has a lot of advanced features to play around with. For a full setup that gets the most for your money then this is a nice bundle to purchase.
6. Bestguarder HD Waterproof IP66 Infrared Night Vision Game & Trail Hunting Scouting Ghost Camera
Low priced but high powered, Bestguarder HD Waterproof IP66 pulled out all the stops with this strong camera. Available in two different versions, they offer a high powered performance boost for anyone that is looking to upgrade their backyard or game hunting. The two available versions are DTC-880V and SG009, but the differences go a little bit further than shape. To get a better grasp of how powerful this little camera is, the 12MP can be used on different types of levels, ranging from 8/5/2MP so that you can preserve the life of the camera if it is running low on batteries. The highest resolution of 12Mp really hammers home the quality of the camera and what you get for your money.
Trigger speed is maxed out at 0.6 seconds, and if you are shooting video then look forward to 1920x1080p FHD video and crisp and clear audio. Nighttime viewing is enhanced with a 36pcs Black IR LED that functions up to 75ft. even in adverse conditions. Other great features are Time Lapse for both modes, motion detection, password protection, picture delay up to 1 hour and the ability to take 4000 images on a single charge. It is about as full featured a camera as you’re going to get for the price, and is well worth a look.
7. Reconyx HyperFire HC500 Semi – Covert IR Game Camera
High priced and ready to go out of the box, the Reconyx HyperFire HC500 Semi – Covert IR Game Camera has a lot of features that compare to cameras twice the price. Up to 50ft. the lo glow semi-covert infrared night vision works wonders in getting you the best pictures without using up a lot of battery. This is an all-weather model that can withstand extreme temperatures of -20 up to 120 Fahrenheit. It’s all made possible by the camo infused weather proof enclosure that soaks up all the damage and protects the expensive camera on the inside.
A long 1 year warranty is included in case things go south, but chances are this enclosure will be all the protection any customer needs for a very long time. Unique to this camera is the Buckview advanced software, a windows program that makes managing of the photos and videos you take a lot easier. The branded software is underappreciated in the market, and does a wonderful job where other branded software’s may lack. The camera can use either 6 or 12 AA batteries depending on what uses you have for it, but it is best just to load it up since it has good power saving capabilities. Buyers that have tried the bigger brands and still had a thirst for more will be more than satisfied with this model.
8. Wild Game Innovations 360 Camera
The Wild Game Innovations 360 Camera is as innovative as it is useful. The mid-priced camera is one of the few on the market that can do the jobs of several cameras, and all in one design. Using a 360 design, the 12MP model functions fully with both daytime and nighttime photos. Video is high definition and caps out at 720p, with both modes having a trigger speed of 1.5 seconds. Don’t let the long trigger time fool you, as it evens itself out with the ability to take full degree pictures and videos. Flash range is a good 70ft, and if you mount it high enough with the included t post mounting bracket system then there is no telling what you’ll be able to capture.
Six months of life can be gained when equipped with 8 AA batteries, and if the buyer adds in a 32 GB SD card then they won’t have to overwrite the photos or videos they take to make room for new ones. The case is tough and water resistant, with the capability to withstand even the worst weather conditions and still take eye popping photos. Customers that don’t want to buy multiple cameras to take 360 photos will appreciate the low cost of this camera and the completely uncomplicated setup involved in getting it going.
9. Day 6 Plotwatcher Pro HD Game Surveillance System
At the medium price point is the Day 6 Plotwatcher Pro HD Game Surveillance System that has one of the best timer systems on the market built in. This model can take pictures every 5-10 seconds so that you get the most important shot all throughout the day and night. For game hunting this works out well as customers will get a collection of photos that function as real time analysis of a location from dawn to dusk. When making onsite changings to the camera it has a handy 2.5 inch LCD screen that is roomy enough to see the best and worst of what the wilderness has to offer.
And if you’re using the Gamefinder software it has a forward and reverse feature that can scroll your photos so they look like a .gif image. It’s just like taking a video but takes up a lot less space than a video file would. And if you do decide to shoot, it supports high definition at 1,280×720, so be sure to pair it with a compatible 32 GB memory card. Optional support for add-on zoom lens gives a good amount of customization to those that want more power than what comes out of the box. Being one of the few cameras that has decent optional add-ons to boost the power, this is one that is hard not to recommend.
10. Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera
Generation 2 models usually improve on some of the lesser qualities of the older model, and this product is no different. Keeping a nice low price point for this model the managed to improve on an already successful product. At 8MP, buyers will have more than enough power to take solid photos and videos. It snaps them in less than a second, so about average for a Moultrie product of this price and size. There is a 100ft. flash range with a 50ft. detection range using the full power of the nighttime infrared. Blurry shots that buyers may be used to during the night will be less of an occurrence.
The Mossy Oak Bottomland case was redesigned completely to not only be stronger but more covert if you needed to hide it in plain sight. Setup commands are easier thanks to the revamped quick start menu, giving you full control of all of the important camera features without you having to hunt for them. All of this is available in a light 13.6 ounce package with dimensions of 4.7×3.4×5.8. Using the typical 8 AA batteries should prove sufficient to power it for months, although alkaline is recommended. This is a very good deal for a generation 2 camera, and is one that will look good in any setup.
11. Stealth Cam P18 7 Megapixel Compact Scouting Camera
Sometimes it is the little extras that count, which is the case with the ultra-low priced Stealth Cam P18 7 Megapixel Compact Scouting Camera that comes ready to shoot right out of the box. It provides just enough pop with its 7MP and 60ft. flash range, but the deal here is that it comes with both batteries and a 4 GB SD card. They didn’t just make it a one off type of deal and also made the camera feature rich, as it has Burst Rapid Fire mode, EZ dial programming, video recording up to 15 seconds and Burst mode that can snap 1-6 images at intervals you set.
It’s a nice starter game camera or security camera for those that don’t want to drop the bank in order to get a decent camera. Although it is marketed as a smaller version it is actually the same size as all other cameras on the market. Dimensions are 2.2×4.8×6 and the weight is a good even 1 pound. The tree bark camo is realistic enough to where game won’t suspect it when they are out and about. If you need to grab pictures from the camera and don’t want to move it, then use the convenient USB output for transfer. Not many budget builds are going to be worth your money, but this model proves that there is still hope for cameras below a certain price point.
12. Stealth Cam HD Video Scouting Camera
One of the more interesting choices for some users is the Stealth Cam HD Video Scouting Camera, an under the radar low priced product that seems to draw favorable reviews. The 8MP camera has a variable setting and can take pictures at resolutions of 4MP and 2MP so you can save both battery and camera storage space. An underappreciated feature of this model is that it is one of the lowest costing cameras that can do true HD video with audio, and can even go for as long as 180 seconds using this format. Reflex trigger is less than a second with an upper tier time lapse mode with PIR override.
Buyers will get great customization with this feature, without any of the hassle from the bad photos taken by other cameras. Using 26 IR emitters it takes full advantage of the 70ft. range and uses software enhanced matrix blur reduction to get you the best pictures possible when the action gets heavy. And for customers that need extra security there is password protection built into the device so that only you can get into it. With the optional geo-tag GPS feature, this is a pretty handy camera for a small price. Buyers should take a look and see what the fuss is about for this product.
13. Amcrest ATC-1201 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera
Barely skating below to make it to the low price range is the Amcrest ATC-1201 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera that has a lot of high performance specifications. It is a powerful 12MP camera that is capable of 1920x1080p video. This comes into play when you want to display your pictures and videos on a big screen TV without it looking like it was taken from an old cell phone camera. The motion sensing is automatic and it goes a full 65ft, which is about 5 ft. more than the normal range of cameras of the same size. This is pretty good since it factors into the night vision range and has up to 3 different levels that help to work better with any situation.
Trigger speed is surprisingly spiffy at .7 seconds, and if you combine that with the burst mode and a large 32 GB SD card then it will be the perfect marriage for months at a time. Stand by is good and can last up to 3 months on a single charge, and if for some reason there are any type of malfunctions with the product then you can expect the 1 year warranty to do it justice when needed. This is one of those cameras that really flew under the radar and is a high powered buy for anyone in need of security or game surveillance.
14. Moultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2 Low Glow 5.0 MP Camera
As one of the lowest priced cameras on the market, the Moultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2 Low Glow 5.0 MP Camera is the perfect generation 2 budget camera for hunting enthusiasts. Features are a 1.5 second trigger speed and 5MP resolution. The resolution may seem a little low, but it is good enough to give quality photos, although you won’t be displaying them on a big screen TV in full detail. Flash range is 50ft. while the detection range is 40ft., so Moultrie kept things pretty even on that front so you didn’t have to mess with the finer details of the camera when setting it up.
At night they used specialized long range nighttime infrared to take clearer photos, and even on a budget build they do it quite well. In this version the multi-shot mode has been improved and is more functional while the look is cleaner with a longer lasting case. They managed to do this without upping the actual weight of the camera which still holds steady at 13.6 ounces. Video capture is built in but is low res at 640×480, but clear nonetheless. Customers on a budget will have no trouble putting down money for this model that proves that it is more than other budget cameras are worth.
15. Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 10.0 MP Camera
Low priced and available to blend into any forest setting, the Mossy Oak tree stand is probably the best design you can get in order to hide a camera in plain sight. That is one of the many benefits of the M-990i, with the star being the 10MP and less than 1 second trigger speed. Before the target even realizes they’re being watched the picture or video is snapped, and all without alerting them thanks to the invisible 940NM IR LED flash technology. This works on both animals and humans, so expect for it to do a good job with the quality whether it is outside or inside the home.
Flash range is a long 70ft. while the detection range is the usual 50ft., so there are plenty of places that the camera can be placed while still being effective. The casing of the camera is also effective at protecting it more than a normal case, and that includes the lens and IR filter, critical components of the camera. They will last a lot longer than other cameras, and that includes even in adverse conditions. Since this is considered the flagship model, expect for it to continue to be improved over the years as the company improves it generation to generation. One of the best and still a popular buy, this is one camera series that continues to get better.
16. Moultrie P-150i Game Camera
High priced and looking like a mask from a war epic, the mid-priced Moultrie P-150i Game Camera is made for those that want the ultimate protection for their camera when using it out in the forest. It is an 8Mp camera that has less than a 1 second trigger speed so will catch the most defining moments. The detection range is decent at 45ft., but the big seller is the 150 degree field of view which gives customers a much wider viewing area than a normal camera. This would be perfect for use in a field or other wide open area to fully take advantage of this feature.
At night it is pretty good, and uses a no glow infrared to capture its subjects without using a visible flash. Because of how heavy duty this camera is it does have a little bit of weight on it, which is double that of a normal game camera and comes in at 2 pounds. Dimensions are pretty large as well, and it is about 7.5×9.5×5 inches in total, so plan accordingly when planning to hang or hide this big puppy. Battery life is good at up to 9,000 images and it takes HD video at 720p. It’s everything you need in a camera with a bit of extra protection and better view, so it is a nice alternative to the other cameras that are flooding the market.
17. Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera
The popular Bushnell brand offers the medium priced Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera, a 6MP product that has a good amount of features and a killer design. The 6MP is stronger than you may think, and with the day and night auto sensor it adjusts itself to take full advantage of the hardware. With a motion activated PIR sensor that can activate from 45ft. out users will get considerable control over multiple situations.
This works best when using it in conjunction with the field scan-time lapse mode since the trigger speed is lightning fast at 0.8 seconds. Expect to get a near perfect capture on each and every snap, no matter what time of day it is. No other camera takes better care of a set of batteries than this, with one set lasting up to a year due to its supreme power saving settings. And even if the weather changes for the worst, it can take temperatures from -5 to 140 degrees, making it as heavy duty as it is functional. Videos are shot at 720×480 and last up to 60 seconds with audio, so although not high definition it is very much capable. Customers that want a camera that is kind with batteries will fall in love with this version and its power saving features.
18. Moultrie M-550 Gen2 Game Camera
Another low priced camera in Moultrie’s lineup is the M-550, a generation 2 that improves on its predecessor by a lot. The 7MP is sharp and makes up for the average trigger speed of 1.5 seconds. They still did great with the detection range at 50ft. and the flash range at 70ft. Night time infrared is very well done on this camera and does its best to fully utilize the 7MP camera. With the new design they changed the pattern of the LED arrays to reflect that, and offered a better case overall for those that use it in really bad weather.
The company is also touting their reworked quick start menu which helps customers have direct access to the most important features of the camera without having to search around for them aimlessly. It does work remarkably well in that regard, and is probably the best software update by the company. This is considered to be their entry level series, hence the price. But that doesn’t change how strong the camera really is, with the ability to take photos as high as 3048×2286, perfect for showing on big screen television sets. Video is capped at 640×480, so users who value HD video should keep that in mind. One of the better entry level cameras on the market, this is one users shouldn’t be afraid to purchase.
19. Wild Game Innovations Blade 5X Hunting Trail Camera
Little known but still powerful, the Wild Game Innovations Blade 5X Hunting Trail Camera promises great power and all for a low price. It comes full force with a trigger speed that is less than 1 second, and still manages to deliver supreme photo and HD 720p video with its 5MP camera. The build quality of it is water resistant and weather durable, so the conditions will not stop the effectiveness of the camera.
Buyers should expect this to last for years with how well they built it, which is a big plus when you factor in the price. Support for 32GB cards is built in, and 8 AA batteries are needed to power the unit. When using the video capabilities of the unit it is capped at 30 seconds, which should be more than enough to get important shots out of the way.
The camera itself is a tiny bit heavier than other cameras with the same specifications, with the total weight being 15 ounces with dimensions of 10.8×7.5×2.2. Buyers that want to be creative with the placement can use the included bungee cord to place the camera wherever they please. This includes hanging it from a high location for a one of a kind aerial shot in both day and night positions. Wild Game Innovations did a great job with this product, as it is sure to turn the heads of a lot of mainstream consumers.
20. Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera
High priced but worth the money, the Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera combines a lot of premium features all into one big package. The materials are battle tested and work great in both inside and outside conditions regardless of use. Customers have the option of either using the full 6MP or downgrading the power to 5MP so that they can squeeze in more content on the card of their choosing. While date and time stamps are sometimes hard to see on the LCD screens of some of these devices, the Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera has a very crisp LCD so you won’t strain to see the details of your pictures.
And with the setup screen available on the same LCD, most will be up and going in minutes without needing to refer to the manual. Night vision is incredibly effective with the unit, most likely due to the 18 low glow LED’s that can function within a 40ft. range. And with the PIR sensor having a range of up to 30ft., the motion activated function kicks in when it is supposed to rather than being triggered by a non-event. Four AA batteries will last this incredible unit up to 6 months, which is just about as best you should expect from a premium camera with all of these features. This is a highly recommended camera that really puts a good price on premium.
21. Hunten Outdoors GSC35 – 50IR 5.0 MP Black Flash IR Game Camera
Hard to find and at about the low price range is the Hunten Outdoors GSC35 – 50IR 5.0 MP Black Flash IR Game Camera. This is an interesting camera from the rest of the market as it is one of the few that still uses anything other than AA batteries. Using 4 C batteries, expect that to make up a lot of the weight of its full 1 pound. Built in is a strong 5MP camera that takes great daytime pictures, using its Black IR and 53 LED’s. If using burst mode with the 1 second trigger speed then expect to pair it with a 32GB SD card in order to fully take advantage of this feature.
Accessories bundled in are an adjustable mounting strap. Pin it to a tree or even hang it from a branch, whatever gets you the best view! There are no optional mounts for this product, but the savvy customer can build one pretty easily. Lack of an LCD screen may put off some, but the card can be popped out and the contents can be viewed on any device that has a reader. Better than many would expect, this budget camera has just enough to get beginners interested in a purchase.
22. Spypoint 6MP Invisible Infrared Camera
The high priced by criminally underrated Spypoint 6MP Invisible Infrared Camera is a good example of a camera that flew under the radar at launch. The 6MP camera takes day and night videos in supreme quality, with video modes that are available in intervals of 10, 30, 60 or 90 seconds. Buyers can count on good detail with the black LED’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Trigger speed is optimal but also gets a boost from the intelligent 5 zone sensor that knows when and where to snap the photos. This way customers will get better positioned images, mostly in the center and not at weird angles off camera.
What separates this from the rest of the market is that the camera is removable from the protective case and can be used as a regular everyday camera. Options are abundant, as it is compatible with rechargeable battery packs, solar panel upgrades, and it even comes with a horde of accessories. This includes a USB cable, mounting strap, and video cables for TV output, something that a lot of the premium cameras on the market lack. If you want to keep things simple, then simply pop in 6 AA batteries and enjoy the great power saving features. This is a great camera that has to be used to truly be appreciated.
23. Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera
Medium priced and just about what you would expect from Moultrie, the Panoramic 150 lives up to its name and gives customers a much better view of the field than a regular game camera. Technical specifications are impressive, touting an 8MP camera with 3 motion sensors that cover the full 150 degree angle. Anything that crosses within its view will be captured, giving you much better placement options when setting up the camera. But the bread and butter isn’t just with this feature, but a combination of other features too. It has on board its system options customizations fro time lapse, video options and photo options.
Up to 5 operational modes are available so that buyers can always have the camera in the best mode for the current project. The camouflage Mossy Oak tree stand is a great case for the camera, letting you attach it to a tree so that it blends in with the environment. Batteries won’t be drained by all of the features since the camera automatically puts it in a sleep state until its next use. This will extend the life of the batteries and keep the customer from having to purchase expensive AA every couple of months. Moultrie kept the LCD on the device simple, and it’s the easiest to use available in their lineup. At just the right price and with a nice upside, customers should consider this for multiple uses.
24. Simmons 6 MP ProHunter No Glow LED Trail Camera
Medium priced and with one of the best night vision options built in, the Simmons 6 MP ProHunter No Glow LED Trail Camera is made for all types of users. The 6Mp camera can also be used in 4 and 2MP modes to save battery and storage card space. All images are easy to categorize since they have date, moon and time stamps. Thousands of images can be sorted accordingly with the press of a button. Up to 45ft. is the range of the motion activated sensor while 32 no glow black LED’s keep game and humans in the dark about its presence, whether snapping pictures or taking video.
The video however is capped at 640×480 but does contain audio, but this will be standard definition video while the pictures will be HD. Time lapse mode is highly configurable, and the user can take full advantage of an optional 32GB card if they have 8AA batteries to take photos, with which one set it can last an incredible 9 months. The almost year performance on one set of batteries is sure to draw attention from those that are tired of swapping out batteries, and is one of the better power saving options in any camera. Powerful but small, this is a trail camera that should be in everyone’s top list.
25. Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR
Coming in at the medium price tag, the Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR tries a few things different than other cameras of the same price. Trigger time is fast and only takes 0.67 seconds, so you won’t miss anything important, even if it is a video recording. High definition video recording is pretty solid, and can last up to a full 2 minutes with sound. Requirements are 8AA batteries, which is pretty much the industry standard at this point. The Browning hardware does take good care of the batteries with reliable power saving features, something that they’ve improved on over the years. Flash range goes a full 70ft. which is good when you factor in the price of the camera.
As much as they don’t talk about the 8MP the hardware uses, it is pretty powerful when doing images. And this is especially apparent at nighttime when things usually get missed-the camera will pick up everything that passes it without a problem. But the best feature on the unit is the big 2 inch color screen that is almost like a mini TV built into it. Playing back videos and viewing them on the screen is great and one of the big advantages of having a unit with this capability out of the box. As a surprise to everyone this is one of the better cameras on the market and should not be overlooked.
26. CUDDEBACK E2 Long Range IR Infrared 20 MP Trail Game Hunting Camera
Bundled deals are always a good thing, which is exactly why the company offering a 4GB card with the purchase is a good deal. It is a perfect starter package for anyone that doesn’t have a game camera and wants to get started without needing to make any additional purchase. The turning point for this camera is not just the package deal, but that the trigger speed is .25 of a second. That is faster than just about any camera available on the market, and makes this camera #1 for speed at its price range. This is a medium priced camera with the speed of a camera that is twice its price, which is a very hard find.
Images are 20MP using the built in low light CMOS image sensor which reduces blur, and in the same mode zooming becomes a lot easier compared to other cameras. It is the perfect marriage of hardware and software capabilities that keeps you from having to do all the heavy work on a computer. Multiple zone controls keeps areas as covered as you want with a 100ft. flash range that works gold whether it is used during day or night. One of the best possible deals available, this is more than just a camera-it is the perfect camera kit to get started with security or game hunting.
27. Moultrie M-1100i Game Camera
Packing a full 12Mp inside of this camera was no easy task, but the Moultrie M-1100i Game Camera is a powerhouse from top to bottom. The trigger speed is only a half second while the detection range is 50ft, giving you ample room for placement. If there are worries about the prey detecting the camera when it is working, then up to 80ft. is in the no glow flash range. That’s more than enough to get a good picture without making it too obvious, and if video is your thing then this camera takes glorious 1080p video that shows like a champ on 4k televisions.
This is without a doubt one of Moultrie’s most advanced hunting cameras, which is why the price is at the medium range compared to their other low priced products. It packs some heft at a full 1 pound, but nothing too expansive. And the dimensions come in at 7.5×9.5×5 inches, so you can virtually hide it anywhere in the forest or within your home. The company included a 1.4 inch olive drab mounting strap and a Moultrie brand window decal if you happen to be a fan of their products. From the moment you purchase the product the 1 year warranty takes effect, but with the durability of the product you may never need to use it. One of their best and certainly one of the most powerful, Moultrie did a great job with this model.
28. Moultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera
Slightly more popular than their M-1100i model and about the same medium price, the Moultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera uses less than a 1 second trigger time to get that golden moment. This includes high definition photos or high definition video, all with crisp easy to read detail. At night the range is about 70ft., a very good distance considering the black and white quality you’ll get using the 10MP camera. It’s also helped by the Illumi-night sensor that autocorrects the images as it takes it, making this one of the most intelligent cameras when it comes to providing rich and full nighttime pictures. Further image correction for night time can be found with the motion freeze system that reduces common nighttime blur.
A bright and easy to navigate 2 inch screen is just about as good as you’re going to get for this price, with the user able to cycle through all of their photos of videos directly from the device. All of the extra oomph does come with a little weight, as the camera weighs 1.4 pounds so will be slightly heavier than their other offerings, but nothing groundbreaking. Specific photo information shown on each photo is detailed, and includes moon phase, temperature, time, barometric pressure and camera ID stamp. Full featured and user friendly, this camera can be the star of any game hunting or home security arsenal.
29. Wildgame Innovations Micro Crush X10 Hunting Trail Camera
Wildgame Innovations has some creative cameras in their arsenal, and the low priced Micro crush X10 is a good example of that. Wildgame Innovations Micro Crush X10 Hunting Trail Camera has a 10MP lens with 27 invisible LED’s that champions its nighttime use. Important shots will come out as smooth in the night as they do in the daytime. If panoramic cameras aren’t your thing, then buyers can settle for the wide angle lens of this camera. You’ll get a wide field of view all without compromising quality, and while keeping the full features of the camera intact. Other notable features are the flextime plus technology, time lapse technology and a fast 1 second trigger time to capture shots. Video is recorded at high definition 720p and can last up to 30 seconds.
Everything is protected by a very strong case that is both weather and water resistant, so with the included bungee cord buyers can put it wherever they want without worry of it getting damaged. This is on the lighter side but in no way flimsy, with a weight of only 9.6 ounces-that expands its placement capabilities by a lot over other cameras. Using 8AA batteries the camera can run for months without detection, with pretty decent power saving features. For a low priced camera that doesn’t need a lot of upkeep, customers will most likely flock to this little device.
30. Primos Truth Cam Ultra Supercharged HD Blackout Trail Camera
The low price of the Primos Truth Cam Ultra Supercharged HD Blackout Trail Camera will attract a lot of users that are new to cameras for game hunting and home security. It is a fairly powerful camera t 7Mp with 1280x720p HD video capabilities. That’s pretty impressive since it also includes sound, but that is not the only impressive thing about this camera. Sometimes changing out batteries can be a hassle if you don’t visit your spot often, and it becomes a problem if you put the camera in a completely out of the way place.
The camera itself takes 8AA batteries, but the case also holds 16AA batteries. Runtime with this setup can go as long as a year, and is preferred for those that find the perfect spot and don’t want to disturb it during the season. A 1 year warranty is also included with this great product, although it is doubtful you will need it. Most PIR motion sensors are a half second late, but the built in PIR sensor on this camera catches action early and often, and up to 55ft. at night. For a nice low price camera from a different brand, customers would do well to look this model up.
About Trail Cameras
Trail cams are rugged, waterproof, weatherproof, self-powered, and self operated and can record video or photos, night or day in its internal memory. You can strap it to a tree and leave them for weeks or even months altogether, to later wonder at the images they have captured. They can also be used as modified home security system and attached to your porch or a tree near your house to monitor who comes and goes.
1. What Do They Look Like?
Trail cameras are available in lot of designs but they are usually seen as a small, camouflaged, and waterproofed box with a lens. They work in a similar principle to a digital camera, but with added features like motion detection, night-vision, and timed recording. All the controls are hidden inside the waterproof box and securely closed with large clips. Normally they run on an internal battery and the content is written to a removable memory card.
2. Major Brands and Cost
Bushnell Trail Camera
When it comes to scouting and hunting animals your Bushnell Trail Camera is as reliable as it gets. Their Trophy camera line is excellent but you are also offered a wide range of features and differ types to choose from depending on what you are looking for.
Moultrie Trail Camera
Moultrie Trail Cameras is leading brand when it comes to to the game; scouting animals has never been this easy. They are an old brand that you can rely on with a vast range of different types to choose from.
Tasco Game Camera
This brand is known for making great scopes and now Tasco have produced a trail camera that has been very popular among hunters and is great when it comes to spying on your game.
SpyPoint Game Camera
Spypoint’s mind blowing collection of 27 cameras makes the best collection of cameras with an awesome variety and features.
Browning, Primos Truth, Plot Watcher,, Micro Crush, Razor are also a few top brands offering a massive range of trail cameras with plethora of features ranging from their Image quality to detection circuit and additional features like Multi-Shot mode, Time-Lapse Mode and Audio etc.
Generally, trail cameras cost somewhere between $50 to upwards of $800. Nevertheless, cheap cameras have fewer options for file size, memory size, shot options and they often don’t have a video option. They also have slower trigger speeds, which may deprive of the real action being captured in time.
Maintenance of Your Gadget
Maintenance becomes vital with the gadgets especially when they are kept outdoors. To get the most out of your camera charge its batteries regularly and use only branded batteries and chargers. If you intend to store your camera for a longer time take out the batteries before you store it. Clean its lenses with both glass and plastic compatible cleaner. Before you place your camera in the woods for longer periods of time make sure that you check all seals and gaskets for wear or tear. These simple steps will help in ensuring that your gadget functionality is flawless for a longer period.
So there you have it, a complete guide to the best trail camera reviews and how to pick a great one for your purpose.