This is a list of the best wireless trail camera for outdoor use as well as home security use. Trail cameras have come a long way and now have the option of using cell services in order to automatically send photos and videos through text messages and email.
Some are ready to go out of the box, some require a little bit of configuration from the users end, and then the more complex ones require a deeper understanding of the technology involved. Prices when choosing wireless trail cameras are not consistent, and often features found in higher priced models are available in the lower priced ones, with the lower priced once having even better support. LCD screens are also a big part of the equation, as the cameras that don’t allow remote changing of settings require the user to interact with a unit that may or may not be user friendly.
The big factor is always going to be the wireless support, which depending on the company or setup a person chooses can be a nightmare or a blessing. Even with the perfect setup it is still up to the user to determine whether they will go with a pay as you go plane (if supported) or a simple season by season plan. There are many options to choose, and in cases where the signal is weak, a signal booster can be purchased to alleviate some of the weight from the trail camera.
Solar panel accessories are also available for some devices, allowing for extended use for months and even up to a year without maintenance. With extendable options on many devices, the choice comes down to how much work the user wants to do upfront to make sure that their camera is functioning 100% from day 1.
- Wireless Trail Camera Review
- Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Wireless Black LED Trail Camera with Night Vision
- Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G Cellular Trail Camera
- Spypoint Tiny WBF Wireless Trail Camera
- HCO SG580M IR Wireless Camera
- Reconyx SC950C Cellular Enabled HyperFire Security Camera
- Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera
- HCO SG580MB Blackout Invisible GSM Cellular Wireless Scouting Camera
- Spypoint Tiny-W2 8MP 5X Wireless Infrared Surveillance Camera, Camo
- LTL Acorn 12M MMS Wireless No-Glow Trail Camera, Camouflage
- HCO Outdoor Products Camera Wireless
- Spartan GoCam Verizon IR
- BolyGuard/ScoutGuard SG550M-8M 2012 Game Scouting Trail Hunting Camera
- HCO Uway GSM Wireless Scouting Camera
- Little Acorn Hunting Game Camera with AT&T or T-Mobile Text Messaging
- Best Wireless Trail Camera Comparison Chart
- Wireless and Cellular Trail Camera Overview
- 1. Wireless Trail Camera
- 2. Cellular Trail Camera
Wireless Trail Camera Review
This review walks you through 12 different wireless trail cameras and gives you the highlights of their features, uses and applications.
- 8MP Trophy Cam
- Brand: Bushnell
- Dimension: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Trigger 0.6 second
- Weight: 1.8 pounds Shipping Weight
- Batteries: 12 AA batteries required
- Special Ops Code Black 3G
- Brand: Covert
- Dimension: 10 x 10 x 3 inches
- Trigger 1.2 seconds
- Weight: 1.2 pounds Shipping Weight
- Batteries: 12 AA batteries required
- Tiny WBF
- Brand: Spypoint
- Dimension: 6 x 6.2 x 4 inches
- Trigger N/A
- Weight: 2 pounds Shipping Weight
- Batteries: 6 AA batteries required
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Wireless Black LED Trail Camera with Night Vision
Bushnell 8MP Tophy Cam HD Wireless is one of the few no hassle setup wireless trail cameras that comes with wireless connectivity straight out of the box, with unlimited thumbnails for the first month. The sim card and data plan is already included, and all prepaid plans starting from 9.99 are renewed through Bushnell, releasing the user of the hassle of signing up for a contract with AT&T. Settings for the camera can be managed through the camera itself, or through a computer or smart phone. Four to twelve AA batteries provide three months of usage, and with programmable trigger intervals, as well as other user defined settings, the battery life can be extended. This is an HD camera fully capable of video and photos, with videos having a max duration of 60 seconds with sound. A 0.6 second trigger on this weatherproof model helps the spacious range of 60 ft. to have max clarity, and is useful for both home security as well as outdoor use for gaming and scouting.
The optional web interface to handle the wireless plan as well as other camera options makes this a great camera for beginners, and also has the option of being used through several compatible smart phone applications. High resolution images are saved to the user web portal www.wirelesstrophy.com for quick download. The full color LCD display is a spacious 2.4 inches, so in the case where the user wants to manually change settings and check images, it is still a very viable option. The Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Wireless Black LED Trail Camera also has the unique feature of being able to simultaneously run time-lapse and live trigger options, and with geotagging availability photos and video are very descriptive.
Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G Cellular Trail Camera
Voted by Inside Archery as the 2012 Best Buy and is one of the most popular and most sold trail cameras in 2015. The Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G 60-LED Wireless Game Camera has 60 invisible flash LED’s to get the most out of the surroundings without disturbing them. And with a trigger speed of 1.2 seconds, this is a good speed wireless camera when compared to other models of the same price, which is in the high tier. The makeup of this unit allows it to be ideal for both game scouting and hunting as well as home security.
Through the use of an activated sim card from AT&T the Special Ops has MMS features allowing it to automatically text photos to the user’s cell phone or to send them to an email address.
The camera can be changed to multiple resolutions of 3, 5, and 8 MP and is good for a range of 60+ ft. There is support for up to a 32 GB SD card, with the lower resolutions allowing for more content to be saved to the card. A 2 inch color viewer allows for multiple changing of the options of time lapse, a 2 phase timer switch, sensitivity levels, and for viewing battery usage and memory left. With a requirement of 12 AA’s the unit lasts a very long time, and is ideal for intermediate level and up. There is support for any cell provider that uses AT&T towers like T-Mobile or H20 wireless, but there isn’t official support if the user runs into problems. Several user forums and online videos give a step by step on the process, which may range from simple steps to advanced steps depending on which path the user decides to take.
Spypoint Tiny WBF Wireless Trail Camera
This is an 8 megapixel camera with 38 invisible black LEDS, which can not only record in HD video and take HD photos, but also send those same photos and videos remotely to a black box for later viewing. The price is right in the midway range, and technically speaking the setup and maintenance is meant more for mid-level to advanced users. A good component of the package is a 2.4 viewing screen on the camera itself, that is both vibrant and crisp and a good size for checking out all media.
The Spypoint Tiny WBF Wireless Trail Camera is the same as the Tiny-W2, except this version has the black LEDS included with it. The black box unit that automatically retrieves the media from the camera is operational up to 250 ft., and is an ideal solution in case of camera theft or to keep from disturbing the planted unit. The wireless functionality is good to go once set up, but may be a pain for less technical users. And because of the size, this is an excellent camera for outdoor sporting use as well as home security when placed correctly.
- SG580M IR
- Brand: HCO
- Dimension: 6.8 x 4 x 5 inches
- Trigger 1.5 second
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Batteries: 12 AA batteries required
- Brand: Reconyx
- Dimension: 11.7 x 7.9 x 3.5 inches
- Trigger N/A
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Batteries: N/A
- Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera
- Brand: Moultrie
- Dimension: 7.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches
- Trigger N/A
- Weight: 2.3 pounds Shipping Weight
- Batteries: 8 C batteries required
- Brand: HCO
- Dimension: 6.8 x 4 x 5 inches
- Trigger N/A
- Weight 1.2 pounds
- Batteries: 8 AA batteries required
HCO SG580M IR Wireless Camera
The HCO SG580M IR Wireless Camera is another trail camera that operates on older cellular functionality, and requires either an intermediate or advanced user to set up. Its small compact design makes it ideal for home security, but not a reliable outdoor gaming or hunting camera. Battery life is superior and requires 8 AA batteries to function, with one set lasting for months at a time. Price is on the high end, and trigger time is the slowest on the list at 1.5 seconds and recovery time of 5-8 seconds with MMS turned off. Unit weighs in at about 12 ounces but still maintains the ability to be hidden and compact.
The unit is not waterproof or weatherproof, and under adverse conditions both the wireless connection as well as the signal will suffer greatly. Camera can be set to take pictures at different intervals in order to conserve battery for longer life. There is limited support for this model from HCO as it is discontinued, so repair or parts will require a lot of foresight from the buyer. As this uses older cellular technology, once the GSM signal is lost it will require the user to manually fix the issue. This of course means MMS and email function will not operate correctly and will not auto recover like newer models.
Reconyx SC950C Cellular Enabled HyperFire Security Camera
As the most expensive item on the list, this camera specializes in home security usage and has an incredible set of unique features. This is one of only two cameras on the list with full support for both AT&T and Verizon, as well as compatible carriers. Sims card and wireless features are installed by Reconyx, taking the hard configuration issues out of setting up a camera. This is good for beginners, and with a 0.2 trigger speed and SD storage options of 32 GB, can take No Glow color photos by day and black and white images by night. The wireless module can send large 384×512 images to multiple cell phone accounts and email accounts. Mapview professional software is included and powered by Google maps, for great geotagging and perfect organization of photos. The Mapview program is Windows only, but the most powerful power tagging program on the list.
Options include the ability for loop recording, allowing the user to overwrite older images and replace it with newer images, and the scheduling program built into the camera has both day and night operations. There is an optional solar power panel unit that can extend the life of the cameras batteries, capturing up to 40,000 images per set. Properly configuring the rapid fire mode will take up to 10 images per trigger with a trigger speed of 1/5 a second. Flash range is up to 60 ft. and it should also be noted that this is a standard definition camera, that takes near video speed (slideshow 3 frames per second) but not actual video. Total power is at 3.1 MP total with a non-color LCD display for changing options.
Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera
Unlike the other trail cameras on the list, the Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera does not come with wireless capability out of the box but is wireless capable. Through the separate purchase of a Wi-Fi card called the Eye-Fi connect X2 or Pro X2 users can transmit images to the Wi-Fi network and internet. This is a separate card and is not officially supported by Moultrie, making this unit ideal for intermediate to expert users. The price is mid-range to high without the card, and when including the price of the card, the price is high. The camera also supports panoramic view, and is excellent for getting an entire field in one shot. The 150 degree detection angle is taken care of by three motion sensors, and with 5 operational modes, manually setting the camera to get the perfect shot is quite easy. The functional modes are time-lapse settings, motion detection settings, and HD settings.
Although meant for game scouting and hunting, it functions well as home security. The built in Illumi-night sensor is perfect for night ops, and takes bright and clear photos at up to 100 ft. The 1 second trigger speed freeze great moments in time and does a good job of keeping blurred photos out of the mix. The unit uses 6 C cell batteries that can last up to half a year a set, with support for SD cards up to 32 GB in size. In the situation where multiple game is present, hybrid mode is a nice function that allows for both the passive infrared motion sensor and time lapse program to be active at the same time.
HCO SG580MB Blackout Invisible GSM Cellular Wireless Scouting Camera
Through the use of A GSM sim card this device can send pictures through email or text message to the user at set intervals. The carrier technology used in this device is on older technology, and may not be available in all areas as it is in the process of being phased out. The setup is definitely meant for intermediate to advanced users, as it requires getting ahold of an unlocked sim specifically of the 2G or 3G variety, and even then, there may be other roadblocks. Price is on the high side but the unit does include a wireless controller for extreme convenience, and completely invisible black flash when taking pictures. The enhanced high gain antenna is idea in situations where the unit is left in a desolate locale, and nets it better signal than most other devices. At 1.2 lbs. the camera has a very nice LCD display that is capable of showing off the clear pictures and smooth video from the device. Detailed image info such as temperature and moon phase stamps are available and easy to comprehend on the screen.
Even without cell coverage, the HCO SG580MB Blackout Invisible GSM Cellular Wireless Scouting Camera functions well without the wireless functionality with support of SD cards up to 32 GB in size. Durability, size, and functionality make it idea for outdoor game scouting and hunting and home security use. Along with sim setup, GPRS email setup may take some getting used to, as the device is not support SSL or TSL connection. As such certain email providers will not be able to support the email feature from their end, forcing some users to find a workaround or change services completely. Resolution of texted photos are capped at 640×480 while over email it is 800×600.
Spypoint Tiny-W2 8MP 5X Wireless Infrared Surveillance Camera, Camo
The Spypoint Tiny-W2 8MP 5X Wireless Infrared Surveillance Camera through the use of a provided black box wirelessly transfers pictures from the main camera to the box, without the aid of a network. What this means is that a sim card is not needed, but users also lose the notification functionality provided by cameras that do use a network. The built in wireless range is up to 250 ft. and ideal for most conditions without disturbing the natural area. The camera functions well as an outdoor gaming and scouting camera, and the easy setup is ideal for beginner users. With USB and TV ports it is possible to view everything on the camera on a larger screen, even though the 2.4 viewing screen on the camera is one of the more user friendly on the list.
This unit also features solar power ability and can recharge lithium battery packs for unlimited power on a single set. Optional external trigger jacks are available, and the price for the package hovers around the low to mid-range area. Three motion sensors and 38 infrared LEDs takes great color pictures by day and black and white pictures by night, with video duration lasting up to 90 seconds. Configurable options are changing the wireless transmission power to save battery, infrared level adjustment, multi-shop mode, and adjusting the period of operation. Maximum SD card memory support is 32 GB, while both the receiver and black box require 6 AA batteries apiece. As a bonus, USB cables, an installation strap, and video cables are included in the package.
LTL Acorn 12M MMS Wireless No-Glow Trail Camera, Camouflage
This 12 MP camera is meant for intermediate to advanced users, as the setup is very in-depth and does not provide a lot of help or documentation. Through the use of a compatible GSM sim provider users can have photos texted or emailed to their personal accounts, with the ability to add multiple cell numbers so they can be shared automatically across several devices. Both video and pictures can be taken simultaneously per trigger event, and up to 30 ft. the No Glow flash works superbly. Trigger time is 0.8 seconds and through the customization on the 2 ¼ LCD screen users can set time lapse configurations, shot configurations, and can load images and video with support for SD cards up to 32 GB in size. Shots can be in either 5 to 12 MP, and with varying size for each plenty of photos and videos can coexist on the same card.
Eight AA batteries are required, and life is pretty standard between 3-6 months depending on use. Item is light and only weighs 10.4 ounces, making it compact and easy to hide. Makeup of camera makes it ideal for home security use as well as outdoor gaming and hunting. Website support is non-traditional, and once again will require a lot of work on the users end to get everything up and going. Price is on the high side, but contains many features found in other high end cameras. Pictures on the LTL Acorn 12M MMS Wireless No-Glow Trail Camera are guaranteed to be clear, well taken, and easy to go through on the LCD screen.
HCO Outdoor Products Camera Wireless
Another on the list from HCO is the HCO Outdoor Products Camera Wireless which works good as an outdoor hunting and scouting camera and for home security. This is a sim powered camera through AT&T’s GSM or compatible networks that can send photos to multiple cell phones or email addresses. Users also have the option of remotely changing settings in the camera through text messaging, and although this can take a good amount of time to get used to, is fairly easy and innovative. Is very useful for intermediate users and up, and is on the higher end of the price spectrum. LCD is very feature rich and intuitive, and the entire setup doesn’t require any computer software. Once the sim card is inserted, all necessary fields get filled in automatically for a worry free installation of the camera’s system.
Trigger speed is 1 second with support of 1080p video up to a full minute, with support for live preview. Photos are stamped with time, date, temp and moon information with mixed media being support on a max of a 32 GB SD card. Password protection is built in to prevent unauthorized access, and overwrite settings can be turned on or off through the unit itself. Extended power is an option while the original unit takes 12 AA batteries, for a lifespan of 1 month to half a year depending on which options are turned on or off. With setup being fairly easy, unit is still recommended for intermediate users and up due to spotty support from parent website.
Spartan GoCam Verizon IR
The Spartan GoCam Verizon IR is the only other camera on the list other than the Reconyx SC950C Cellular Enabled HyperFire Security Camera with full support for both AT&T and Verizon compatible networks. This 3g camera is also the only one of the two that is HD, with user defined 3.5 or 8 MP options that shoots video in 720p.It comes in at about the second most expensive on the list, and because of the easy setup is fantastic for beginners. Features include live preview on the spacious LCD screen, with a 60’ night flash distance that sends motion triggered or time lapse photos automatically to email or cell phones. Unit is compatible with HCO GoWireless web and mobile portal, one of the premiere camera and photo management solutions on the web.
This system is fully certified to work with Verizon and AT&T, and with the multitude of mobile apps, pc applications, and numerous help sites this is the most user friendly product on the list. Despite which provider the user decides to go with, no long-term plans are required, and it is easy to deactivate or reactivate a plan when needed. Item is on the heavy side at 3 lbs. but works wonderfully as home security or outside as a game and scouting camera. Twelve AA batteries give good life to the camera, about a couple of months depending on usage and options.
BolyGuard/ScoutGuard SG550M-8M 2012 Game Scouting Trail Hunting Camera
This trail camera fully supports both GPRS and MMS transmission to email and mobile phone through compatible providers that support sim and GSM services. With compatible services configured, the camera can send pictures to a cell phone or to an email service of the users choosing. The setup can be a bit long winded depending on what provider is used, and thus this camera is meant for intermediate to expert users. It takes powerful images and video using the 8 MP camera, with video recordings with sound having a resolution of 640×480. Features include long range detection and illumination, a 1.2 second trigger time, and adjustable sensitivity levels to the users choosing. The entire package is waterproof and should hold up well in many different types of environments.
The unit is on the high priced side, and is considered high end materials with a 15’ color display with USB and TV out ports. Images show their full detail on bigger devices once connected, and the sampling size more than doubles. Because of the long range technology, more area is covered with a single camera, and an entire house can be covered with ease. This also allows for it to be mounted in places higher and more difficult to reach where other trail cameras would fail. This particular product has many test videos and sites showing the authenticity of the range, and they all give positive results. Definitely works well for home security and doubles as an outdoor gaming and scouting camera.
HCO Uway GSM Wireless Scouting Camera
The HCO Uway GSM Wireless Scouting Camera has an optional external battery jack that works with 6-volt external power as well as solar panel for the most efficiency. The camera is sim compatible with AT&T GSM and compatible networks, and is easy enough to set up for a beginner. Images are texted or emailed to the user based on their preference, and in areas where there is no cell service the camera supports SD cards up to 32 GB in size. Stand by power consumption is one of the lowest on the list, and even when using the default 12 AA batteries, life lasts a couple of months with heavy use. Color display is spacious and great for viewing pictures as well as changing camera specific options. The overall price is on the high side when comparing to other products on the list with the same features.
Camera strength is locked at a respectable 5 MP, and even at 1.2 lbs. product is light enough for outdoor use for scouting and game, as well as home security. Takes great pictures at day or night without disturbing the surrounding environment. Although there can be a bit of a learning curve to using the equipment from the screen, it is still easy enough to where most users will have no problems. Options include time lapse and ability to set what time of day photos are taken. Although not listed.
Little Acorn Hunting Game Camera with AT&T or T-Mobile Text Messaging
This is a mid to high priced camera that can send picture notifications through both email and text message. The setup for the wireless service through compatible sim card providers is more hands on than others but very painless, and idea for beginners. The user has to purchase a sim card from a compatible provider and then place it in the camera, after following the step by step instructions on the included cd, everything works without a hitch. The 2.25 LCD screen with 4 digit passcode ensures that there is no unnecessary entry into the camera’s settings, while only requiring 8 AA batteries to be functional. Photo camera modes are 12 MP, 5, and 1.3 while video recording has a max duration of 60 seconds. When paired with the max size SD card of 16 GB, plenty of photos and videos can exist on the same card.
The entire unit works well day or night as an outdoor gaming or scouting camera or as home security. The No-Glow infrared technology provides crisp images without any sound, and with the proper setup with or without the included tripod-mount, multiple positions are available to get the best shot. The screen shows battery information, SD card memory information, as well as manual setup options for time lapse functions and wireless capabilities. Depending on what sim and company is used an additional internet booster may be required to make sure the signal is strong enough to send the photos over the internet.
Best Wireless Trail Camera Comparison Chart
|Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam||Trophy Cam HD Wireless||0.6 second||8MP||60 feet||4.5|
|Covert Special Ops Code Black 3G||3G Cellular||1.2 seconds||3-5-8 MP`||60+ feet||4.2|
|Little Acorn||N/A||1.1 seconds||1.3MP, 5MP, 12MP||N/A||4.5|
|HCO Uway GSM||GSM Wireless||N/A||N/A||50 feet||4|
|Moultrie PANORAMIC 150||PANORAMIC||1 second||8MP||45 feet||4|
|BolyGuard/ScoutGuard||GPRS/GSM Wireless||1.2 seconds||8MP||60 feet||3.7|
|HCO SG580MB Blackout||IR Wireless||N/A||8MP||10-15 feet||3.6|
Wireless and Cellular Trail Camera Overview
1. Wireless Trail Camera
Wireless trail 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.
- It has a simple installation and today’s tech savvy individuals can find it very easy to operate.
- Sharing of pictures is facilitated by the Wi-Fi feature without the USB cords and millions of other attachments.
- It is user friendly
- It is almost wireless and is great for camouflage, but its suitability to outdoor environment is highly debatable.
- The main disadvantage of this camera comes in form of outdoor use. A naturally exposed environment can hamper the wireless signals and so its use in an outdoor set up is not recommended.
- For transmission of images, a seamless strong signal is required which completely depends on your internet network and wireless device. If you are outside the Wi-Fi range, which in itself is limited, the transmission feature will just not work.
The use of internet to transmit makes this camera vulnerable to cyber attacks. You cannot use the transmitting feature of this camera on a go unless there is Wi-Fi enabled environment. This limitation also makes it unsuitable for lonesome areas that do not have phone networks and internet.
2. Cellular Trail Camera
Cellular trail 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.
- They usually come in compact sizes and are ideal for indoor as well as outdoor use.
- They are portable and therefore apt for conditions where they are required to be moved from one place to another frequently.
- These are very inconspicuous in the woods, perfect to build a camouflage for the sheer simplicity of having no web of wires hanging out.
- The major disadvantage of this breed of camera is that it runs on battery. If you are buying one, then ensure that it has a battery indicator. Also, assess the amount of battery it exhausts in terms of hours.
- The sim needs service provider’s network; if it is not available then the transmitting function will not work. So, say you are in wilderness and want to transmit some pictures, it will not happen for want of a network.
Another downside of a cellular camera is that it can be hacked through the internet that connects it to your phone. Reasonable safeguards should however, avert and protect your camera and its data from any such incident.