Would you incorporate technology into your hunting or go it the traditional way? Trail cameras make it easy for hunters to observe the movement patterns of various animals and plan their hunting expeditions. They mostly come with similar specifications, but the features may vary with models. Before you go out shopping for your next trail camera, consider this guide, and you will find the right camera.
It helps the hunter monitor the animal in its natural habitat through still photos or videos. Regardless of the season, this camera will help you enjoy hunting all year round. Look at its night photos and range before buying one. Things like trigger time, detection range and recovery time are crucial to any game camera.
1. APEMAN Trail Camera 12MP 1080P
At 12mp resolution, this high-performance camera will capture both video and pictures in the woods. It features a multi-shot option that takes three photos per detection. It has an automatic IR filter with 26 LEDs to capture the animal as clearly as possible in the dark. It has a trigger distance and IR range of 65 feet, which is fairly long.
The model is waterproof and dustproof at IP66. It is also sturdy enough to withstand the elements for a long time. You have not to worry about rain or the desert storm, just install and trail the animals. Its fast trigger speed coupled with the lower power consumption makes it an excellent trail camera. The battery can serve you up to 6 months before requiring a change.
2. Moultrie A-Series Game Camera
Get better shots with this long-range discreet trail camera. It can manage a flash range of 70 feet without intruding into the animals’ lives. It can detect the animals from a distance of 60 feet and has a wide angle of activity. Its 12mp resolution will give you the most of wildlife imagery in both still photos and video. You can conserve battery life by using motion detection delays of 5, 15 or 30 seconds and 1 or 5 minutes. You can also select single shots or multi-shots using the impressive 0.7-second trigger. It is compatible with a Moultrie Field Modem for a flexible wireless connection that will transmit the images to your phone conveniently.
3. X-Lounger Game Trail Camera 1080P 12MP
Capture great details with this trail camera. It has a quality of 1080P Video with sound and supports variable video lengths from 1-60 seconds and 3, 5, and 10 minutes. Playback the video directly on the 2.4-inch display. No need to go back home to watch the video. Nothing is as fast as this 0.5-second trigger that never passes and never misses any action. The low glow IR LEDs will not spook the animals. Capture animals from as far as 85 feet during the day and 66 feet at night.
The camera is rated IP66 meaning it is waterproof and dustproof. It will work under extreme temperature; therefore, the environment should not worry you at all. It supports Wi-Fi and an SD card of up to 32GB.
4. Victure Trail Camera 1080P 12MP
Capture clear HD video and photos with this high-resolution 12mp camera. It can take up to three photos per detection and give you colored photos during the day and black and white ones at night. The impressive lightning trigger can manage 0.5 seconds time from detection to capture. The detection distance is up to 20 meters, and the IR will flash up to 12 meters.
The dimmed IR technology ensures no animal is spooked as it produces no visible flash. View your captures on the 2.4-inch LCD without the need to carry them home. It features time stamp, low battery alarm, and timer. Its dustproof and waterproof construction makes it resilient to the elements and gives it a longer life.
5. TEC.BEAN Trail Camera 12MP 1080P Full HD
Experience the dependability of this HD camera with high resolution of 12mp. It produces clear color images and 1080p videos with audio for up to 90 seconds. It takes up to nine shots per detection, higher than most cameras. Its fast trigger can manage the 0.6-0.8-second response, so you do not miss any action.
Its 36 pieces no glow IR LEDs extend the nighttime vision up to 75 feet.
The unique capture modes guarantee more options for different hunting situations and are not limited only to warm-blooded animals. It is both water and dustproof for improved durability and excellent outdoor performance. It records a time stamp, including the temperature, moon phase and geotagging for detailed information per capture.
6. Earthtree Trail Camera FHD 1080P Hunting Camera
This game camera has a great durable build and has excellent performance. Take high-quality photos and videos with the 12mp resolution for crisp photos and FHD 1080p videos. It features the latest IR technology for clear nighttime photos; it can manage a capture range of 65 feet and is low glow so no animal will be alarmed.
The eight pcs AA batteries can last 3-6 months, even in tough environments. At 0.5-second trigger response, nothing will pass the camera. Its multi-recording modes bring versatility to the device. These include a timer, interval recording, time-lapse, timestamp, and password protection. The construction is both dust and waterproof for durability when exposed to the elements.
7. 7 AUCEE Hunting Camera, 12MP 1080P Full HD
Get captures as far as 65 feet with the low glow 34-piece IR flash. It can survive tough environments since it is waterproof and dustproof. It detects movements very accurately and responds fast to capture every image. The 12mp resolution delivers clear photos and full HD videos at 1080p and superb contrast to give you great details.
From its 2/4-inch LCD, you can watch the recordings and photos without the need to carry the card home. It features serial number settings, time stamp. Use it for multiple applications like wildlife monitoring, home security and scouting for game.
8. XIKEZAN 1080P HD Trail & Game Camera
This is the smallest and most popular game camera on the market. It has a 3-zone IR sensor with a 120-degree sensing angle. It takes pictures at exceptionally fast speed so that nothing passes from capture. You can watch the shots from the 2.4-inch LCD and even confirm the view in real time before you start operating. It meets the demanding needs of various users since it is versatile. Protect it with a password so no intruder will access or delete your photos.
9. Distianert Trail Camera 12MP 1080P
Experience working with a camera with no delay between shots. The trigger speed is impressive so you will never miss any moment. It can take up to three shots per detection to give you more details. During the day, the 12 mp resolution will give you crisp color photos and black and white ones in the night.
It can detect from as far as 80 feet at a 1250 angle. The IR LED provides a flash of up to 65 feet without intruding into the animals’ lives. The camera is durable and can resist both water and dust.
10. VENLIFE Trail Camera, 12MP Full HD
You will love the range this camera can manage. The night vision range from the 48 piece-LED is 65 feet. It is a low glow so the animals will not be spooked. In standby mode, it can run for 8-10 months and withstand both water and dust in the woods. You have the option to password protect your photos from unauthorized access. Capture photos, videos, burst, time-lapse or photo+video. The camera will record the time, moon phase, and temperature and has a timer to give you great details to help you prepare for hunting.
Trail camera features to look out for
There are many features in trail cameras; some are necessary while others may not be as crucial. The higher priced models will have additional features to make it more usable. However, remember, you may not need all the features, so take your time while shopping to pick only what will serve your needs.
This is the best starting point when shopping for a trail camera. The type of flash for the night images will be a primary separation of your cameras. The main types are infrared and incandescent flash both of which have their merits and demerits.
Infrared allows you to take images as discreetly as possible. It has no bright flash that can scare animals or alert someone to the camera presence hence damaging or stealing it. Infrared flash gives black and white images while the incandescent one can give you full-color images. The bright incandescent type takes up more battery life and takes longer to recover.
Infrared flash needs no recovery time between flashes and takes up 20-40 times less battery power compared to the incandescent light. It may worth sacrificing color to save battery power. The fact that infrared lights do not need to charge plays well with the trigger time. Incandescent lights can be a full second slower than the infrared types.
Each model has a specific detection width and distance. This shows the span on the left and right of the camera and the distance from the camera from which the animal will still trigger a response. The longer the distance, the better for your hunting monitoring. Most cameras have a range of 50 to 85 feet, but others have a longer detection distance and degree of view.
This is the number of pixels in the image. It is measured just like other cameras, the higher the pixels, the better the image quality. They will, however, cost more since you will be getting crisp and clear images.
The lower-end cameras have 3-4 megapixels whereas the high range ones have 8-10 mp. If your budget does not allow it, just pick the lower end game cameras since they will still show you what animal was captured. Clarity is great, but not crucial if other features are satisfactory to you.
Infrared cameras usually have a lower resolution and may result in a blur in some cameras. You must weight all your options carefully to get the right game camera for your hunting activities.
Trigger speed and recovery
This is the reaction between the time the camera picks up the animal heat and hen a shot is taken. The faster the recovery time, the better for your captures. It is crucial that your camera has a quick recovery time between shots to get you all the images. This will serve you well when multiple animals are passing by. A trigger speed of a fraction of a second and a faster recovery time will capture all the images to keep you in the action.
All game cameras run on batteries. These can be AA, C or D while others run on six or 12-volt batteries. Cameras with longer life batteries will cost more but are more convenient since you will not spend time regularly checking the batteries.
What you may consider cheap in the beginning may end up costing you a lot in the long run in maintenance cost. The model will also play a role in the battery life; those with an incandescent flash will spend more battery power, so does a cold environment. Some cameras feature a battery level indicator to help you plan for replacements.
This may not seem like a necessity, but once you get it, you will not regret paying the extra cost to acquire it. It allows you to view the pictures already taken without leaving the woods. It also makes your life convenient if you stay far from the woods and do not want to use a computer to view the shots. Keep in mind that the LCD will drain the battery power faster. Moreover, every minute you spend in the wood you are spreading your human scent that may scare away the animals.
Some cameras come with internal memory while others have removable SD cards. Internal memory is convenient but does not allow you to expand the storage as you may desire. It also means you have to take down the camera to connect it to your computer for downloads.
For a camera with no viewing screen, you can take out the SD and pop into a digital camera to view the images right there in the woods. You can also take down one SD card and replace with another to save time. It can be very costly to upgrade the internal memory if you purchase a camera with one.
Some game cameras come with video recording options. This enables you to record clips instead of still images. It is fun to show family and fellow hunters a video from the wild. Videos, however, take up a large storage space so consider buying a large capacity SD card. This also means you must regularly check the camera to replace the card and battery.
Another option is taking still photos in aburst over a specified period. This can capture actions that a single still may miss. This could be a wonderful and usable feature, but it may unnecessarily fill the available memory faster than you may have planned.
With a security box, your game camera will be very secure from damage. These boxes allow for passing cables and padlocking the camera in. Some cameras have security passwords though this is no deterrent to thieves. The box also is not absolutely safe to dedicated thieves with the right equipment.
External battery jack
A camera with an external battery jack allows you to use a rechargeable battery that can save you a lot of money. This is crucial if you have a camera with power sucking features like LCD, video, and incandescent flashlight.
Low battery indicator
Most cameras have a low battery indicator that turns on when the battery is about to drain fully. The best trail camera, however, has a battery level indicator that shows the available percentage in the tank to help you plan and replace it in time.
There are trail cameras with the ability to send pictures straight to your cellphone. This brings some convenience since you do not have to be at the camera to get the images. The concern is how fast this feature will affect battery usage. Purchase a camera with the option to turn this feature on or off when desired.
When you have a good game camera, you will not have to spend hours in the woods waiting. You can also revisit the images, plan your hunting based on the time, and place the animals move and how they behave. Since there are numerous models, this guide will help you choose the best trail camera for your hunting activities. They are user-friendly and recommended for both pros and novices.