Game cameras are also known as trail cameras and they are without any doubt one of the best tools and accessories for any hunger. They are used before, during and after the hunting season. The gaming cameras can be set up and one can forget about it.
They have a number of benefits and can be used for gathering useful information about the habits of the various animals including what they prey upon, how they prey and their other activities. They have the capability of capturing crystal clear images using incandescent and infrared technologies.
Given the growth in technologies, it is now possible to settle for cameras with external LCD monitors with extended battery life. They can well and truly be a useful tool for a hunter because it helps them to meet their specific needs and requirements.
They come with heat-sensing technology and there are few cameras which can rotate 360 degrees depending on the heat which is being generated by the animals. Unlike the old models of 80s and 90s which offered only 35mm filming capabilities, today it is possible to have different types, sizes, and configurations of film sizes.
Over the next few lines, we will have a look at a few brands and models of game cameras so that an informed and correct decision can be taken.
Our Top 10 Best Game and Trail Camera Reviews
1. Moultrie A-Series Game Camera
With the Moultrie A game camera, you can capture brilliant, crisp images during nighttime with its Illumi-night image sensor. It is capable of providing 12-megapixel images for better clarity of subjects roaming around your area. It also has a trigger speed of lesser than .7 seconds which lets you capture your animal targets in quick time.
The camera has image mode options depending on your personal choice. You can choose from Motion Detect Delay which delays image capture after 5, 15 or 30 seconds and 1 or 5 minutes to help conserve battery life. You can select between single-shot or Multi-Shot Mode.
The A-30 camera can be compatibly paired with a Moultrie Field Modem. This lets you enjoy greater scouting flexibility via a wireless connection to the Moultrie Mobile system. Through here, it then transmits images and scouting information while you are on the move. The A-30 is covered with a weatherproof plastic case which protects it from unintentional causes of weather and assures it dependable longevity.
The camera is also with a threaded tripod insert on its bottom case as well as an included 72-inch mounting strap to make it attached to surfaces. It also uses a standard 8 AA batteries to enable less battery consumption and can accommodate a 32 GB memory card for saving of images and videos.
Just be accurate on where to properly place the camera for some features like its coverage of detection are limited as well as its field of view which is too narrow.
- High-quality images and videos
- Sturdy structure
- Fast trigger speed of lesser than .7 seconds
- Has an Illumi-night image sensor
- Easy to handle, use and set-up
- Good battery compartments
- Lights during nighttime are intensively bright which causes unclear images at times.
- Limited coverage of detection
- Field of view is too narrow
- Limited recording time
2. Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential E2 12MP Trail Camera
Be on watch of your targets during your trail gaming activity with the Bushnell Trophy E2 Camera. The camera holds the capability to create images up to 12-megapixel with full-color resolution. It is accompanied by a day and night auto-sensor which makes it useful all day.
Moreover, with its .3 second trigger speed, you can capture targets even in motion. It has a multi-image mode but is only limited up to 3 images per trigger.
An additional feature of the camera is its, Hyper Night Vision which has a quantum leap in distance and brightness. It ensures sharp and crisp images in an after-dark imagery. It has a Time-lapse technology which automatically snaps images at preset intervals of one minute to one hour, within the time of your choice.
Now with two available time slots, you can now monitor even at dusk or at dawn movement. It has a long sensor range up to 20 ft. Moreover, is easy to use and set up.
The camera is commendable with its long battery capacity which can take up to more than a whole day, and its design is that which can’t be easily detected by moving animals around. Though, some features are lacking in its capability such as its detection range. As well as the camera’s nighttime images are not that clear at most times.
Moreover, there are tendencies when images are blurry when capturing fast-moving animals. In the end, it all depends on how the owner sets up the camera around. Be sure on where to accurately position it and the right adjustments on the settings to assure the maximum capabilities of the camera.
- Easy to use and program
- Capable of producing sharp and clear images
- Features an auto sensor to easily detect moving objects
- Snaps images automatically with its Time Lapse technology
- Has a long sensor range up to 20 ft.
- Unclear nighttime images
- Slow trigger speed for clear capture of fast-moving animals.
- Red LED lights flash when a picture is taken is noticeable in it.
3. Browning Strike Force HD Camera, Camouflage
As any Browning brand, Strike Force HD Camera includes 10-megapixel images with an Infrared LED Illumination for clarity support. It also has a video option of 1280×720 HD resolutions.
This camera is supported by a 100’ nighttime flash range and features a Zero blur technology. This feature helps eliminate motion blur from moving animals. The camera is also equipped with a Time-lapse Plus camera mode with IR triggered images. It automatically detects and captures images every detection and trigger around .6 seconds of the camera.
It has a long battery life which functions along with 6AA batteries. However, you better use the standard ones in this camera for some batteries might not compatibly work with it and can easily be drained and might cause
It is easy to set up and functions well. Though there are instances where the daytime images lack some color to it, and there are times that recorded videos do not have an audio support. It has an Infra-red flash visible when taking pictures. So users need to fix the settings and turn the feature off to avoid dissatisfaction with the captured images.
However, one thing to be commended for this camera is the sharpness of its images and its highlights which are specially designed for hunting activities. As with its physical structure, it intends to blend with the surface where you will position it. This feature helps avoid the camera from being noticed by roaming animals around.
- Captures high-quality images
- The IR Flash range works properly
- Has an effective quick trigger speed
- Good video quality
- Easy to use and follow camera instructions
- Efficient battery life
- It is cheap plastic latch which can be a future problem
- It is IR flash is visible within the images
- There is no viewer to preview photos in the field or to check alignment
4. Apeman Game Trail and Hunting Camera
Looking for something that would be your companion in every of your hunting activity?
The APEMAN Trail Camera is designed with its reliability of high-performance resolution captures crisp, brightly colored images. It functions every time it detects motion and tries to capture it. It takes up to nine photos in every detection to assure high accuracy in capturing subjects. It can also record video and audio up to 3 minutes video length maximum.
The camera has a quick trigger speed of less than 1 second to ensure that each detected movement is captured swiftly and accurately. It is equipped with 26 pcs black LEDs as support in taking quality images. With its Low Glow Infrared Technology, it can avoid producing such bright flash which can somehow surprise animals away when taking pictures.
It also has a 2.4 inch LCD screen and is supported with an IP54 Spray water protection design. It is recommended to be used carefully outdoors for it is not waterproof like most protective gears of game cameras.
Anyways, it is just small and lightweight so you can place and fit it anywhere that it is secured. It is powered by 8AA batteries which can last up to 6 months battery life. It is designed for multiple usages e,g, home security, wildlife monitoring, surveillance, and scouting game.
For beginners, this camera is accompanied by a detailed and useful user manual as a guide for its features. This makes it easy to set up, just follow the instructions and reminders included in the manual.
- Produces high-quality images with bright and colored resolution
- Has a quick trigger speed of less than 1 second to accurately capture motion of animals
- Has a Glow Infrared Technology
- Designed for multiple usages
- Has an easy to follow manual guide for easy program and set-up
- Water protection design cannot protect the camera as any protective gears do.
- Unclear and blurry images during nighttime
- Strap and tripod mount is plastic which could be an issue in future.
5. Distianert Wildlife Game Trail Scouting Camera
The Distianert DH-8 game camera provides features that can help in your trail game activity. It has a .6 fast Trigger Speed which avoids any delay between the triggers when it captures still images of subjects.
It projects a high percentage of motion images with its multi-shot feature which can take up to 3 pictures each time. With its day and night capture system, it captures 12 MP crystal-clear colorful photos by day and relatively clear black& white images at night separately.
However, it lacks the night vision mode which is essential for trail game cameras. The brightness, clarity, and color of the image depending on the time it was taken. So expect that there are tendencies that pictures captured by the camera can be blurry. It also provides 1080P HD video with sound that captures the actual footage of your subjects around the yard when having your trailing time.
It also highlights its new applied Detection and Flash Range which is equipped with 125° and 80ft detection range. Its low-glow black covert LED lights to provide 65 ft flash range in the dark. With this, you do not need to surprisingly intrude into their natural habitat and assures accurate images of targets.
For first-time users, its built-in presetting is efficient for the majority of wildlife applications, whether used on trails or nest sites. For experienced users, it is easy to personalize the settings with a 2.4-inch LCD screen, at the same time you can now replay your captured videos and images on your big screen.
Though its SD card can be a bit fragile due to its small structure so be careful in inserting and extracting it in the camera. Its case is made to be a big, sturdy and easy-operated latch to avoid being damaged easily. Moreover, it also has a threaded insert on the bottom for inserting on a tripod for attachment, and it has waterproof durability (IP56) which makes it possible to be left outdoors for extended periods.
- Has a quick start system for easy setup
- Produces clear images
- Easy to follow and program menu
- Has an excellent audio and video quality
- Designed with durable structure
- Has no night vision
- Images during night can be blurry
- Its trigger speed can sometimes take up to more seconds before capture
- the camera has a strap with a plastic buckle instead of metal for secured positioning of cameras
6. Xikezan Mini Night Vision Wildlife Trail and Game Camera
The Xikezan 1080P HD Trail and Game Camera have a light-weight structure for easy handling of trail game users.
It only measures in 5.2×3.5×2.9 inches. It is multi-functional as it is equipped with 3 zones infrared sensor for wildlife surveillance. It is capable of a 120°wide detection angle for an average scope of range and exceptional speed. It distills clear pictures and is made easy for programming.
It has a built-in 2.4″ LCD screen display where you can check and preview in real time display before starting the primary operation. Like other trail game camera, it shoots high resolution colorful still images during the day and clear black and white images at night. However, at times, night images can be blurry so better set up in a more accurate position.
It has a time-lapse function which allows the user to set the camera to capture pictures or video clips at specified time intervals regardless of the PIR sensor has detected a motion or not. This can be helpful in observing slow-moving motions of targets.
It features five capture modes so you can pick from a photo, video, time-lapse, hybrid mode and motion detection depending on your goal within the situation. It supports up to 32GB SDHC Card but be sure for compatibility that works together with the camera. It is fixed with a Strap so you can place it on a tree or pole for surveillance or mount it on any surface if its straps do not work at all.
- Easy to set up
- Displays clear images with its 12MP camera
- Can pick up to 5 modes of hunting surveillance
- Light-weighted camera
- Motion sensor sometimes does not work
- It can be fragile when improperly handled with its overall small structure
- the plastic piece that holds the latches on breaks off very easily
7. TEC.BEAN Trail Game and Hunting Camera
Find a new way to experience your hunting activity with TEC Bean Trail Game Camera.
This camera produces 12MP images with 1080P resolution which assures a well detailed true to life images. It is capable of taking nine photos per trigger within its speed of 0.6-0.8 seconds. It also features a long night vision range, equipped with 36 940nm black IR LEDs and automatic IR filter.
This camera can last long with its energy efficient operating system. It uses 8 AA lithium batteries for extended hunting time. For security purposes, this camera is capable of an advanced password protection which frees you from any concerns that your photos being reviewed anywhere. This assures you that your privacy is just fine.
It is also equipped with an IP66 waterproof case which protects your software and hardware from rain or anything that might harm the camera. It also highlights its multiple functions which include Phase/Pressure/Temperature/Gps Geotag, Timer, Real-time Replay, Hybrid Mode, Interval Recording, bringing this camera to multiple applications beyond your expectation.
However, you need to build much patience at your first try of the camera for the instructions are kind of hard to follow for it does not tell clearly how the parts function. Overall, this camera is still considered to be one of the recommended cameras out there.
- Good quality images are being produced
- Provides high-quality videos with 1080p resolution
- Equipped with an IP66 case which protects it from harm of rain and others
- Features a long night vision range
- Hard to set up due to unclear instructional manual
- Tough to attach it to a tree and adjust it in that short amount of time
- When it goes into a sleep mode then takes a couple of seconds to turn the screen back on
8. BlazeVideo Game Trail Hunting Wildlife Camera
The BlazeVideo Trail hunting wildlife camera is the camera which you can consider into your hunter scouting mode of gaming.
With its high sensitive Passive Infra-Red (PIR) sensor that can reach up to 60°detection angle and night vision up to 65ft. This camouflage digital trail camera can be triggered by sudden change of the temperature caused by any movement of humans or animals in a specific place that it detects.
It captures pictures reaching to 16MP for a better quality of images during your scouting. It also records HD video with a 1280*720P resolution which lets you document clips of events around. Then it is saved into an SD card that is compatibly supported by this camera up to 32 GB automatically.
This camera has the Camo-design which makes the camera multi-functional such that stealth and ideal for outdoor animals scouting, as well as home security surveillance or office monitoring. This game hunting camera automatically and always takes pictures/videos at a specified interval in this feature with its Time Lapse Technology. It is handy when observing animals.
It also features its high dense security which lets you set up a password to protect your camera from unauthorized users. Along with it is the Serial Number function that enables you to code locations in the photos. This unique feature helps multi-camera users identify the location when reviewing the photos.
It is just easy to use and you can connect it to the compatible devices through USB. Just that, unlike other game hunting cameras, this one is not compatible with tripods or even monopods for better positioning with regards to surveillance.
- Provides sharp images and videos
- Can connect to other devices such as PC that’s compatible with it.
- Features a password security and serial number to protect images from unauthorized users
- SD card can take up to a large number of captured photos
- User-friendly and easy to programme
- It is not compatible with a tripod, monopod or any camera mounting equipment
- Its nighttime images are not that clear.
- It may improve on its infrared vision for better quality during the night.
9. Aucee Tracker Game Trail Wildlife Camera with Night Vision
The Aucee Tracker Trail Camera is stealthily made for hunting activities.
With its faster trigger speed of 0.2-0.6 second, it ensures that each detected movement will be captured swiftly and accurately. It also has an effective triggering distance up to 20m. It has a side prep sensor design which provides sensing angle and enhances the camera’s response speed. It also features a Time Lapse Setting as well as Serial Number Setting.
Now with the Time Lapse setting, the camera can automatically and continuously take pictures/videos at a specified time interval. Along with the serial number setting this enables the user to code the locations in the photos. This helps users with multiple cameras identify the location when reviewing the images.
The camera has a “Cam+Video” Mode which lets the user take pictures and video at every trigger events. It can be used as wildlife and surveillance camera with 16MP 1080P high resolution. You can capture images of your targets even at daytime or nighttime. It features a 120° sensitive and responsive PIR sensor to cover a broad scope of motion detection.
This camera is equipped with Low Glow Infrared Night Vision LEDs for Flash Range as Far as 65 Feet to see even those creatures roaming around your area even at night. At the same time, it is geared up with an IP56 Water Resistance to make it work even in harsh environments. The strap of the camera for it to be attached to trees and poles are sturdy. It also has a clip to secure it are easy to tighten and adjust.
- Good quality of videos and images
- It is easy to set up and install
- Its waterproof design walks perfectly
- It has a quick trigger speed that can catch up to moving animals around.
- Audios when video recording can be a bit low and
10. Akaso Trail Camera with Infrared Night Vision
The Akaso Trail Camera is a tool which you can use both for trailing as well as surveillance.
With its 12MP HD quality pictures and 1080P videos with audio record, it comes suitable for hunters as a reliable monitoring device. It features a 2.4 inch LCD screen which makes it perfect for replaying the pictures and videos on the cam.
During nighttime, the IR led turns on automatically and captures black and white images. Equipped with 24 pieces low-glow IR LEDs, even animals 20 meters away could be captured. Its trigger speed is capable of 0.5s trigger time which lets the camera capture movements quickly and nearly as possible in real time.
This camera is geared up with its IP66 waterproof and metal housing. With this, the camera is zoned to be dust-proof, drop-proof and rain-proof and can be used even in tough environments. It also can serve as a home security camera and the device can be locked by the password to prevent any tampering.
With its other features such as Mode switch, Burst, Interval, Timer, Time Stamp, Time Lapse and more, you can customize the settings depending on your purpose of use. Though its images are bright and sharp, when flash is needed during nighttime, the range of this camera is only limited up to 5 meters.
So any object beyond will just be blurry on the image. However, still, being a gaming and a surveillance camera, this tool is one recommended product for your benefit.
- Presents quality images
- The camera has 1080p ability
- Response time is quick and can cope with motions of moving subjects.
- It is easy to install and set-up
- Presents different features that suit use
- Long-lasting battery life consumption
- Flash range, when needed during nighttime, is only limited up to 5 meters
- May have experience having a hard time removing SD card from the cam
What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Game Trail Camera?
A game camera, which is also referred to as a trail camera, is one of the essential tools a hunter needs during the hunting season. It enables hunters to see their targets with a clearer vision but without risking impairment on their eyesight.
A game camera can be used any time of the day, whether at day or night. Most game cameras have night vision features that make hunting at night possible and easy. If not for hunting, a game camera can be used to observe the behavior of animals without interrupting their habitat and peace.
For beginners, looking for a game camera can be quite challenging. There are too many technical aspects that you should look into, and many factors to consider. Of course, there are also your specific needs that your game camera must possess for you to get your money’s worth and maximize your hunting sessions.
Let this trail camera buyer’s guide help you determine which elements are essential and which are not so. However, remember that this is only a buyer’s guide so it would also be helpful to read some trail camera reviews to know which model you want to purchase.
Trail Camera Picture Quality
The primary purpose of investing in a game camera is to have a better hunting experience by getting better photos of the animals. Your game camera has to have an excellent picture quality that shows crisp and clear images.
One way to tell if a game camera is worth the hype is to read game camera reviews that show the differences and similarities of game cameras. These reviews only want to provide customers with helpful information so you can be sure that you will read nothing but authentic material.
Like with other gadgets, consumers tend to have false beliefs with the trail camera. One is that it should have a high megapixel count to provide high-quality images. This is false since some companies opt for a low-quality lens, which makes the quality of the photo less satisfactory.
Another is that all infrared trail cameras are created the same. There are different kinds of infrared trail cameras that have different benefits, so you cannot really say that they are all the same. As with infrared cameras versus white flash cameras, the former produces black and white images while the latter shows colored images.
Night Picture Quality
The best time to hunt for or capture raw photos of animals is during the evening when humans are asleep, and animals can roam around loose with a lesser risk of being caught.
Therefore, it is important that you consider the quality of your game camera’s photos in the dark. You have three options for this: No Glow trail cameras, Red Glow trail cameras, and White Flash cameras.
• The No Glow trail camera cannot be seen by the naked eye when it is planted in a dark place. It is useful both for hunting and for security purposes. Images taken with the No Glow trail camera are darker and grainier compared to the Red Glow trail camera’s photo resolution.
• The Red Glow trail camera is a riskier camera when you want to keep a low profile while hunting. It emits a red glow when it takes photos that both animals and humans can see, and it also has a night flash that can catch anyone’s attention quickly. On the other hand, it takes brighter photos than either No Glow trail cameras or White Flash cameras.
• White Flash cameras take white flash photos at night. This is an excellent trail camera if you prefer colored images. However, some animals get scared with the white flash feature of this trail camera so it is better that you look into trail camera reviews first to know if White Flash would be fitting for your hunting goals.
Trail Camera Detection Circuits
The photo quality and detection feature of a trail camera go hand in hand. Your camera can only produce excellent images if it also detects animals smartly, but without quality images, having superb detection circuits would not be that advantageous.
Your trail camera’s detection circuit is the one responsible for detecting animals based on heat and motion. It has to have the right elements of trigger time, recovery time, and the detection zone.
The trigger time is the time it takes for a trail camera to capture a motion and take the picture, while the recovery time tells how responsive the trail camera is to the motion senses, thus, how quick it takes the picture. It is ideal that a trail camera’s trigger time and recovery time are responsive so the photo lens would quickly detect motion, followed by a photo capture.
On the other hand, the detection zone is the area of the trail camera’s motion sensor, where it would only sense movement when the animal is within the zone. The detection width and the detection range are two essential elements of the detection zone.
Most trail cameras have photo lenses angled at 40 degrees with narrow detection circuits that cover 10 degrees. It takes some time before it captures an animal’s motion, but this can be beneficial for hunters since these kinds of features keep animals in the center-frame so cut images can be avoided.
However, at the same time, narrow detection circuits can only cover 25% of what the photo lens can shoot. This means that the photo lens can capture images of animals despite them being in the frame since the narrow detection zone cannot detect them.
Trail Camera Battery Life
Hunting eats up a lot of time, so it is best to be equipped with a trail camera that is packed with a long battery life so you can capture more images and prolong your hunting sessions. In the long run, a camera with a long battery life can save you money, time, and resources.
It is more convenient since you would not have to keep changing your pack. It is also critical for some researchers and scientist who cannot frequent a site, so they have to make the most of their time and sources when they conduct their studies in the wild.
A trail camera’s battery cannot be perfectly determined, but some variables affect its endurance such as the number of photos you take, the ratio of your day and night photos, the temperature, and the characteristics of a particular camera’s power consumption, to name some.
Each trail camera’s battery features differ from one another, but you can compare and contrast them through game camera reviews to help you pick the best one.
A game camera’s resolution plays a vital role in the photos and videos you will capture using it, which is why it is important to make sure you get the camera with the highest resolution possible.
Aside from reading some product descriptions online, if you’re given the opportunity to see sample photos, evaluate these as well. By evaluating these photos, try to see if the photos taken by the camera are clear.
Make sure it has every necessary detail of the scenery captured and that nothing is blurred. Aside from the clarity of the photos, also check the brightness and contrast of the photo. See if the photo displays bright scenery with vivid colors, as this will—at some point—be necessary for drawing conclusions from your observation.
Try getting sample photos taken using the camera during the night, as qualities of photos at different times of the day also vary. If this option is not possible, try seeing the flash type of the camera.
These flash types often come with no glow infrared, red glow infrared and white flash. If you’re fine with black and white photos, then the infrared cameras will be good for you, but if you want colored photos even at night time, try buying the white flash camera.
Trigger time also plays a vital role in the quality of the photo or video that your camera will take, as it is the time the camera takes before it captures and registers sceneries into a photo or video into your memory card after pressing the trigger button.
Trail cameras come in swift trigger speeds such as 0.3 seconds, while there are some which come in 0.6 or 0.7 trigger speeds.
The advantage of having a faster trigger speed lies in the reality that some animals in a very swift movement are hard to capture and fast trigger speeds are your only way to capturing them on camera at the best quality possible.
As important as the trigger speed, the recovery also plays a vital role. A camera’s fast recovery time determines how quick the camera registers the previous camera and becomes ready for the next photo.
Given the reality of the quick-moving animals in the wild, the recovery time is indeed an important factor in capturing high-quality in-motion photos of animals in the wild.
Detection Zone or capacity also plays a vital role in capturing photos useful for documentation and observation. Detection zone determines how far and how wide your camera can scope for a photo or a video.
Commonly, trail cameras have more or less 80 feet to 110 feet detection capacity, meaning they can capture photos and videos and detect movements as well as heat even from a distance of 110 feet.
Also, the angle the camera can detect and capture movements shares an equally important role in effective, efficient and useful photos and videos. The wider the angle, the wider the perspective of the camera, the more photograph and video possibilities there are for you. Most cameras available in the market have around 42 degrees of detection angle.
Consider these thoroughly along with your taste and preference as well as needs in trail cameras, and you will find that camera to suit your needs, preferences, and budget.
Game Trail Cameras in a Nutshell
Game cameras, also known as trail cameras are one of the longest used products of technological advancements. Having more convenient and unique features on top of its capability to capture photos, trail cameras have gained the trust of many because of its durability and quality.
While this gadget is already a member of the market for quite a long time, an only few facts and matters about this item is known to many, even its users. If you are the first-time buyer of any kind or brand of a trail camera, you’ll get to know more of the item you are planning to buy as you read on.
What Is a Trail Camera?
As mentioned earlier, trail cameras or hunting cameras are crafted for surveillance and observation of subjects which are too dangerous to come close to or those that prefer to be secluded from the human eye or site.
This camera also aims to provide real-time, excellent quality and accurately captured movements of the animal subject, whether in freeze frames or video forms. On top of that, you can also utilize trail cameras as a CCTV, since it captures videos of what happens inside and outside your home.
As its name implies, the trail camera is a device that is often hung around a tree or any post to capture photos and videos of the scenery its lenses face. The device is so petit; you can hold it with your one hand but can be quite heavy due to the durability and technical features in has.
Oftentimes, it comes in coverings or cases which have or nearly have the same color as tree trunks. There are also some trail cameras which do not bear the colors or tones of the tree trunks but have less flashy colors which make them less noticeable during daytime and allow them to blend with the dark at night.
Hunting cameras work the same way digital cameras do– shooting videos and taking snapshots. The distinct difference between these two is that the trail camera has a wider perspective– both in the same level where the user put it and even in the higher place or angle.
This feature enables the user to have a broader scope of the events that he or s
Trail cameras have a broad range of detection capabilities, depending on the product and manufacturer– some can detect movements from a distance of up to 65 feet, while there are some who can manage to detect movements up to 80 feet from afar.
However, unlike regular digital cameras, trail cameras can stay and not keep a record of anything, unless a motion is detected– which will prompt the camera to start recording, take snapshots and even do both at the same time.
After a certain period, you can go back to that place where you have set up your camera and review the videos and photos which have been taped to it for a particular period.
This gadget is the best buddy of most wildlife observers and enthusiasts since it does the part of observing the wild without compromising the quality of their bases for observations and without themselves getting in danger. It gives them visual representation as well as the details they just might need for records and observations such as date, time, temperature, moon phase, etc.
Advantages of Trail Cameras
If you are still unsure on whether or not you should buy a trail camera or not, there are a few yet heavy considerations that you can think of for you to get your own.
Long and Accurately Recorded Seasons
The most sought-after time for optimizing the use of these trail cameras is during the hunting season, where many animals roam around more often than usual. However, in a large forest or remote area, you could not always get the best shot within the limited area your camera can scope and the frequency of animals passing through this field.
On top of that, you are bound to waste your time if you plan on staying near the remote area to observe any progress or changes in the observation. However, through hunting cameras, you can just leave the camera unit itself strapped securely in a tree for an extended period of time, do something else and come back for it when you wish to see the photos or videos captures in that unit.
Seeing Without Being There
Given that the camera can be left on its own and function by itself in the wild, you can accomplish many other things while the hunting camera does its job of capturing photos and videos which you might find yourself interested.
On top of that, you can still get the feel of the outdoors through the realistic and crystal clear shots along with details you might find vital for any conclusion or observation you want to have at hand.
If you are not the type who want to keep waiting, some hunting cameras on the market allow the user to be updated with what the camera has been capturing even from a great distance through wireless feeds.
With this function, you can see the happenings from where you have set your camera up, as it happens when it happens and within the comforts of your home or wherever you are staying.
Can Be Used For Other Purposes
This benefit will be attractive to those who are not that much into observing the wild yet are very meticulous with their home or property’s security. Aside from seeing the natural life in the wild, hunting cameras will also make an excellent substitute for your CCTV cameras, as it can also act as a surveillance camera.
On top of that, the bigger advantage this type of camera has compared with the conventional CCTVs in the market is that it has a wider range which it can use to cover and show movements.
Originally crafted to detect movements and heat, intruder and sudden movements of other objects can be caught by this camera and help you in securing your home or make theft and robbery investigations easier with the feedthrough photos and videos that it gives.
Maximized Penetration and Safety
Unlike going to the forest or a remote area all by yourself for observation, setting up a hunting camera in the wild is much safer and will offer you a wider perspective of the place.
Going to the forest or remote area with your observing apparatus might just disturb the natural routine of the animals living in that location. In a worst-case scenario, you might end up unpreparedly encountering one and lead you to trouble and injuries, add up the fact that you have failed in documenting what you need or have to.
As mentioned in the earlier paragraphs, this hunting camera will ease up the job of documenting things in the wild without you having to be in the same area and getting more views and observations from a single point away from the camera’s location.
Disadvantages of Trail Cameras
As many things have advantages, the hunting camera also has its disadvantages which you might find yourself involved with at one point or another.
Covers Only A Fixed Area
In as much as you can count on trail cameras to give you a vast landscape of perspective of the wild, you have to deal with the fact that these will only over a fixed area. You can no longer get a scope on whatever areas are beyond the capacity and detection range.
Also, once you have strapped the camera to a particular post or tree, your feeds will only be from that perspective unless removed or repositioned.
The forest is a very wide place of diverse creatures having a unique lifestyle and daily routines—and all of these could not be possibly captured in a single camera with limited a detection zone. Though some trail cameras come with wide detection zones, this will not assure that you will put everything in the forest in a photo or a video.
READ MORE: How to Spot a Game and Trail Camera
You can still alleviate the effect of this disadvantage through setting up many cameras in appropriate areas. By appropriate, this means setting them up in reasonable distances—distances that can still capture photos and videos where the other cameras can no longer detect nor capture movements and heat. This way, you can have multiple perspectives on life and scenes in the wild and further help you with observations.
Considering the above-given disadvantage of this kind of camera, those who wish to cover the whole of the forest will have to buy quite a lot of trail cameras– which will cause them to spend more money.
The much disadvantageous part of this is that not all cameras will be able to capture nor detect movements, since most animals just tend to move around a small area when hunting season is off, deeming some cameras (and therefore money) useless.
Too Much Consistency
The consistency talked about here is the wrong kind of it– the kind wherein a user continuously comes back to the place where he or she had set up the camera and check for photos or videos more often than needed.
Given the option to leave it alone in the wild and the option to let it do its thing on its own, owners are also tempted to go back to it more than usual and expect a result. This scenario or possibility is disadvantageous in a sense that instead of making use of the convenience and advantage of holding time for yourself is forfeited and gone for good.
Lack of Security in the Wild
Many of the hunting cameras set up in the wild are dependent on the outer covering of camouflage-color feature. However, in some cases, animals– and humans, even– are bound to see this and interrupt observation or in worst case scenarios, destroy the entire unit.
Given that you could keep an eye on the area but not on the camera itself is the most inconvenient factor here. In line with the lack of security and proximity to danger, the camera is also prone to fail in recording without the knowledge of the user and thus cost him or her money in buying a new one.
Trail Cameras hanging from trees and tree trunks are always in danger of getting spotted and eventually destroyed by animals. Another threat to the security of your trail camera is humans trying to steal your trail camera.
There have been many recorded reports of trail cameras set up in the wild that are no longer retrieved days after it had been set up, having only the strap left upon the tree.
The way to deal with these is first, to set up the camera tightly and securely. Make sure that it is tight enough, so as to prevent it from easily getting snatched or remove from where you have set it up. If you can afford it, buy more straps to add up to what is already provided in the game or trail camera.
READ MORE: Ways to Secure Your Game and Trail Camera
Another way of alleviating risks is to set it up where it is hardly seen without compromising the quality of the angle or perspective. You can try setting it up high above the ground where no animal nor human can easily see nor reach it or below eye level where it is not easily noticeable.
However, upon choosing the second option, make sure that the view or perspective of the camera is not compromised. In other terms, make sure that nothing blocks the lens of your camera, so as to prevent you from having a high-quality shot.
In addition, to prevent your camera from getting detected by an animal, minimize handling the gadget using your bare hands (especially when it’s sweaty) and avoid them having direct contact with any body part.
This will ensure that no human scent will be transferred to the camera itself. Human scent can be easily sniffed and identified by animals and might lead them to destroy the camera since many animals distrust human scent.
Weighing these factors, possible scenarios and perks of the trail camera, the advantages are quite big considerations to keep in mind, no matter what your reasons are for thinking that you need one.
Overall, having a trail camera for explorers, observers and security-conscious is a great help for their different purposes and objectives. As for the disadvantage, there are always remedies and alternatives which you can run for solving these.
Once you have that trail camera at hand, you are already entitled to a limitless view of the hardly-known wildlife– if partnered with proper care, proper handling and creative angle of the setup.
Moreover, once you find yourself facing difficulties or problems in using the product, there are always communities and online guides ready to help you, aside from the warranty and even aid that the manufacturer can offer.
Different Types of Game Trail Cameras
Cellular Game Trail Cameras
This type of camera operates using a wireless telecommunication provider’s service. May it be motion-activated or not. It involves a fast transmission of images or videos on your phone through internet. The gadget removes any hassle that you might experience in transferring data from one gadget to another.
Just as the type of camera implies, the cellular camera works like a cellular phone with a decent cell phone reception. By inserting an activated SIM card from a certain company SIM card provider, the gadget will allow you to text the photos to the user’s phone automatically.
You could also send the pictures and recordings directly to an email address. However, the photos and records you can text and receive are dependent upon the cellular game camera plan.
In using this type of gadget, there is no need to pull the SD cards out for data transfer. You won’t be needing to connect your device or remove the SD card from it and transfer data to a laptop, to a personal computer, etc.
And, you don’t need to go where you mounted or hanged your camera to check it and see how much of your bait is still there. While in the woods, hunting, you can view the pictures sent to your phone through the application.
Your cellular phone provider does not need to be the same as what you’re using in your camera. This means that if your cell phone provider is for example, based on AT&T, you can use another network for your trail camera like Verizon. Cellular game trail cameras also don’t have tonnes of wires running around it which makes it even more hassle-free.
- Ideal for outdoor use since it usually comes in a compact size.
- This type of camera is portable which makes it very easy to move from one place to another frequently.
- No web of wires hanging out which makes it free from any hassles.
- The camouflage design makes it very inconspicuous in the woods.
- Easy to use. Functions like a cell phone with a fast transmission of data from gadget to cell phone.
- Can be used anywhere that has a decent cell phone reception. Two to three bars is recommended.
- Batteries used in this type of camera tend to last longer (some manufacturers has a rating battery life up to 12 months)
- It can be hacked. This happens through the internet that connects it to your phone. To protect your camera and its data, reasonable safeguards should be installed.
- It may quickly run out the battery life. This is very applicable if the gadget is used for a very long period. This exhausts the battery and lessens its functionality.
- If the SIM’s service provider network is not available, say, for example, you are in the woods and want to transmit some pictures, the transmitting function will not work.
- This type of trail camera requires you to pay a monthly subscription for it to become useful. Otherwise, it will function as a standard camera.
Motion Activated Game Trail Cameras
A motion-activated trail camera is ideal may it be for indoor or outdoor use. This type of camera is suitable for the users who do not want a maximum remote or manual interference in capturing photos and recording videos. We can find a lot of motion-activated cameras on sale.
You could set the camera up in the woods, mounting or placing it in the right spot, leave it, and get back to it – with breathtaking pictures and recordings of the wildlife and its habitat. Every activity of the animals detected by the camera can be captured or recorded.
There are also many options of whatever functions of the camera you want to operate while it collects evidence of the wildlife’s beauty.
However, motion activated game trail cameras have limited window period for the capture, and it needs articulate timing. For every brand of this type of camera comes with various detection ranges and it is up to your preference what you would like to choose.
- Motion-activated. Has minimum remote or manual interference in photo capturing and video recording.
- The motion-activated camera can be installed in a setup.
- Does not need your actual presence in the woods which might also cause the animals not to come within the detection area.
- Sensitivity and range are very critical in this type of camera. Upon purchasing, these two features should always be checked or else the camera will not serve its very purpose.
Wireless Game Trail Cameras
This type of camera functions just like the cellular trail camera. But instead of using a SIM card with available cellular phone network, this gadget uses wireless fidelity. Wireless game trail camera transmit signals and information through Wi-Fi networks or radio frequencies.
It has a built-in transmitter which transfers the images from the gadget to your cell phone, of course, with Wi-Fi. But to connect the gadget and the phone, you need to choose the wireless network of the receiving device.
Additionally, this gadget allows you to transmit photos and videos from one camera to another if you have multiple trail cameras. You can even transfer or share photos in the woods while you are hunting, but that if there is a strong Wi-Fi connection.
Wireless Wi-Fi cameras from different manufacturers also offer various features and options. And it is up to your preferences which one suits your needs.
- This type of camera is Wi-Fi reliant. That means that you do not need to purchase cell phone plan.
- This can link multiple units together wirelessly.
- Can transfer photos and videos without using USB cords and millions of other attachments.
- Outdoor set up could hamper the wireless signals. The naturally exposed environment is not a recommendable location.
- The fast transmission feature of this gadget through Wi-Fi will just not work if your Wi-Fi connection is not that strong. A robust and seamless signal which depends on your internet network and wireless device are requirements for fast photo and video transmission.
- It has limited range, especially if you are using only one camera.
- Wi-Fi signals have limited ranges; it cannot travel by far. And the connectivity could be reduced by dangerous weather conditions or difficult landscapes.
- This type of camera is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Security Game Trail Cameras
A security camera is an essential tool for anyone’s welfare – it serves as our eyes from the outside. The security cameras are created by the experts to help us track what is going on around our properties in our absence.
You may have contemplated to keeping an eye on your house, business establishment, space, storage, or elsewhere. This is especially very applicable to those who have properties in the woods while on their wildlife business.
This type of camera is better known as a surveillance camera. It records in real-time. There are available security cameras that come in many configurations with a variety of programming options. Most models from the different manufacturers are capable of taking both still photos and videos.
Many models also capture audio to accompany the video. There are security cameras that are made to be stealth. These stealth gadgets can capture photos and record videos in complete darkness and with no visible flash.
There are also some security game trail cameras that are capable of transmitting images or videos via text or email that can be found under Cellular Security Cameras. The latter has the features of the cellular trail camera and the security camera.
Also, surveillance cameras play the role of deterrents because the miscreants usually become cautious especially if they are aware of the security camera’s presence that is around them.
- It tampers proof, and it is not prone to bias.
- It gives a comforting sense of security in your area.
- This camera can help you monitor the wildlife.
- It may keep you one-step ahead of dangers the wilderness might cause.
- The main drawback of this type of camera is that it gives a false sense of total security.
- Security cameras are far more costly.
- Their use around reflective surface has its limitation. Because of the LED lights mounted on them, when capturing a photo, the light reflects right back at the camera.
Infrared Game Trail Cameras
This type of camera is very suitable in situations where tracking and recording at night are required. There is no other type of camera better than this one in ensuring around the clock supply of video footage in the wilderness.
These cameras have high resolution. It captures night images with a lot of clarity. These also come with sensors that automatically switch the infrared function on and off.
Infrared cameras have found extensive usage in capturing activities in the wild due to their friendliness towards the night or the dim lit shots.
Also, because of its friendliness, the scientific researchers have always used infrared cameras in their experiments in the woods or elsewhere. The sensitivity and high-resolution features of this type of camera are handy to the researchers.
- Easy to install. It usually comes in a single unit with the lens and recording storage.
- Very sturdy.
- Can withstand tampering much more efficiently.
- The designs of these cameras are being made such that they do not give way quickly when they are deliberately damaged.
- Not suitable for indoor use. It will result in a video washout. Meaning, the infrared LED lights will reflect off the window and shoot back at the camera.
- These type of cameras can also be expensive.
Flash Game Trail Cameras
Flash cameras are designed to capture pictures at night still. The gadget switches to flash mode for the capturing dark or night shots. The following are the two types of flash trail cameras.
Infrared Flash Trail Cameras – This features an extended battery life and increased trigger speeds. It does not spook game or draw the attention of wildlife. This is mainly best used at night in the wilderness. It captures more images of animals for it does not cause a disturbance. However, infrared produces only black and white pictures. But it may not be a big deal to some.
Incandescent Flash Trail Camera – The most significant advantage of the incandescent flash trail camera is the quality of picture it produces. The images’ resolution and quality are much better than the infrared flash trail camera. It captures full-color images during day and night. However, these type of flash camera can be expensive. Other than that, it has slower trigger speeds and decreased battery life compared to the infrared cameras. Besides, the flash of this camera can also spook some game, but that depends on the situation. To some other animals, the illumination may seem like lightning.
- Easy to install and to set up.
- This camera is highly portable.
- Available in a variety of sizes.
- The picture quality is excellent.
- The best of zoom capacities are available in this type of camera.
- The flash which is its strength can scare off the animals, therefore, a drawback in hunting and shooting in the wild.
- This camera is also known as to making sounds when the flash comes to life. The shutter sound makes it not recommendable for wildlife photography since the flash agitates the animals.
How Does a Trail Camera Work?
After knowing what their purposes and their features which separate trail cameras (hunting cameras) from other regular cameras in the market are, the next thing that you need to know is how they efficiently work.
The hunting camera is composed of different parts that come along with various functions that make the experience of capturing animals in their natural habitat a convenient and excellent one.
Detection circuits of the trail camera are the ones responsible for detecting animals and their movements. These circuits are triggered by detected heat and motion, which living things such as animals are known to have.
Upon purchasing trail cameras, it is considered useful and convenient to check out the quality of its trigger time, recovery time and the detection zone.
Detection Zone is the span of place or area wherein the camera can detect heat and motion and trigger a photo or video. Regarding this matter, you can check the detection range and detection span of a trail camera through its features.
Meanwhile, trigger time is the speed in which the camera can take photos after motion and heat are sensed or detected by the camera. Trigger speed usually come in a fraction of a second, allowing sudden and swift movements to be caught on camera. Trigger time is always partnered by recovery time– which is the amount of time it takes for the camera to store the photos captured.
All in all, the faster trigger time and recovery time will mean good for users, as it can maximize the function of the camera in taking shots and videos of animals.
Batteries are also one of the trail camera’s most crucial parts since these are the ones that give life to the camera– and sustain it. Many cameras contain batteries which are rechargeable while there are some that require the user to buy a separate set of batteries for it to work.
Aside from the size allotted for batteries, judging batteries will mean finding out how long the batteries will help the camera function and sustain it. Most of the time, trail cameras run on four to eight pieces of AA batteries, which according to many manufacturers, can let the camera stand and operate in the wild for about a year.
If you are seriously into observing the wild, this stamp feature will come in handy for you. With this feature, you will have the ability to see your photos or videos branded with details related to the picture such as the time it was taken, the date, temperature, and moon phases. This feature will help you with details which might be crucial for your observation and study.
Durability and Other Aesthetic Features
Another factor to be considered upon purchasing items like a trail camera is its durability. Though most hunting cameras come are already waterproof and dust-proof, it is still important to see how much of this characteristic there is in the product and how long it would last.
To help you with this problem, the most convenient option is to ask in a web community of users who have availed the camera you wish to purchase.
Also, it would be best if the camera you will choose is the one having an outer covering that has a tree-like color. This feature is deemed essential as it will help your camera blend well with the tree trunks where they are mostly placed and prevent animals or even other humans from seeing the camera and reduce the possibility of it getting destroyed.
What To Do When It Does Not Work
As much as hunting cameras or trail cameras serve their purpose well in most times, there will be moments when the camera will malfunction. Faults which happen at one point or another, do not necessarily mean that replacement is needed– sometimes it is just a matter or minor troubleshooting. Aside from that, replacement of a trail camera wastes away your money which could have been spent on other things.
Many minor problems can easily be solved through a couple of techniques. For instance, if you find the LCD screen going out or if the night camera goes all black you might have first to consider checking the batteries if they are still working or are placed correctly, as this may be one of the factors contributing to such malfunction.
If you find that these batteries are incorrectly placed, correct it. Moreover, if the battery no longer has the power to run the camera, buy a new set of it. If you have tried this and the camera still does not work, that is the appropriate time for you to replace the camera, as it is already deemed defective.
Also, another common malfunction among trail cameras are the SD card error messages. To solve problems such as the given, it is advised that you format the SD card through your computer. This will remove all data from the memory card– which includes the error messages that might keep popping up.
Steps conducted to fix these minor problems are also the recommended steps to fix runaway cameras. Runaway cameras are minor problems in trail cameras wherein the camera takes shots without flashing whatever shot it had taken.
Once all of these steps and tips have been conducted or applied to the camera more than three times and fail to bring the camera back to its original state, it is advised that you buy yourself a new one as the product you have at hand will no longer be of use.
Caring for the Game Trail Camera
After buying the trail or game camera you’ve wanted, it is also helpful to know how to properly handle and store them so that you can use them for a longer time.
If you want to use your camera for a long period of time, make sure to properly store the box as well. The box will be useful as you can put your used trail camera back into the box for keeping until the next time you want or have to use it again.
By storing the box, it also means keeping a bubble wrapper with you. This will alleviate the possibility of the camera getting severely destroyed if ever it happens to fall from where you have stored it.
Upon storing the already-boxed trail camera, make sure it is stored in a cool and dry place. On top of that, make sure that it is stored in a place where the risk of the camera easily falling is minimized. This will ensure that the camera will remain in its optimum shape and that it will be separated from any instance that can destroy it.
Also, upon properly setting up the camera, you can be assured that you are properly handling and caring for the camera. Aside from the earlier-given tips, it is also advised that you set up the camera somewhere distant from where water may flow or interfere.
Though trail cameras are mostly waterproof, it would still be the best if it gets lesser contact with water so as to maintain the quality of the lenses and the case it has.
The Current Trends in Game Trail Cameras
As mentioned earlier, the most common coverings of trail cameras or game cameras enable them to blend with their surroundings. These cameras, in their size which can be gripped by one entire hand, are made heavy by the numerous batteries needed to power it for a long time.
Most game cameras need 8 to 16 batteries, depending on the brand and the intended duration of the camera. If the camera is meant for heavy-duty photo and video capturing, then more batteries will be needed to power it up and make it function to its limits.
Most cameras need AA batteries for cases as this, but there are also some which do not, and the best way to check this feature is to ask the seller or read on its features online or in the package labels itself.
Game cameras in the market compete in terms of the resolution and megapixel they provide the users with. Commonly, megapixels come in 8 MP or 12 MP, while the newest models flaunt photos with 16 MP.
On top of the megapixels, cameras with high resolution are a trend in the game camera market. The higher the resolution, the more luring it is for the buyers since it gives them a clearer view of the sceneries they want to capture.
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