Best Trail Cameras in 2017 – Guide & Reviews
Whether you’re an avid hunter or you’ve just decided to start hunting, you might already be aware of how beneficial a trail camera can be when you are out hunting.
A trail camera allows you to set up a camera somewhere in the hunting area so that you can measure the behavior of the animals you are hunting and see if they happen to enter the area you’re recording.
If they do, it gives you a great idea that you might want to begin to hunt in that area. While they can be a costly upgrade to your hunting equipment, it is a gadget that every hunter, both experienced and beginner, should consider adding to their bag.
Best Trail Cameras: Things To Consider
Image quality is either going to be one of the most important factors in your decision or one of the least important factors in your decision. If you are completely unfamiliar with basic image rules, then you should know that the more megapixels, the better the picture quality is going to be.
Typically, you’ll find that most cameras range from 5 to 7 megapixels, but high end cameras can go up to 20 and low end cameras can go all the way down to 2.
If the quality of the images and recording is important to you, go with at least a 7 megapixel camera. If it is not as important, you can get away with getting one in the 5 megapixel range. IT’s always going to be better if you can stay away from the cameras under 5 megapixels.
I probably don’t have to tell you this twice, but the last thing that you want to have to worry about is the battery life of your camera and wondering if it is going to die when you need it.
Typically, you’re going to mount the camera and then leave it there, so make sure you aren’t going to come back to a dead battery!
Many cameras you find will have battery life in the 6 month to a year range but that will vary drastically based on how you use the camera, so it’s best to not count on that for much. There’s always the option of a rechargeable camera which will last longer, but it is a much more costly investment.
Flash vs. Infrared
When choosing the flash you want to have, you’re going to have the choice of a incandescent flash or an infrared flash. Essentially, the incandescent flash is going to flash a bright white light to help deliver clear images at all times when the flash is needed.
The downside to this however is that the flash can often scare away the animals and leave you with nothing. Infrared cameras take similar pictures but give off no discernable flash, meaning that the animals will never know a flash is going off to take a picture.
The whole point of one of these cameras is to make sure that you detect the animals that happen to come near the camera, which means you need to make sure you are buying one with a detection distance suitable for you.
Long range cameras are going to be the preference for in the while and there are some with ranges of nearly 100 feet! However, some companies only guarantee that range for the first 2/3, so make sure you read carefully.
Another factor to consider is the angle of view. The wider the angle, the more field of view you’re going to have which means a better chance of getting what you want to see.
Memory and Storage
If you’re going to leave the camera out for a while, then you want to make sure you are leaving plenty of space on your memory card to capture all of the information you want to see.
Most of the cameras that you’re going to see will hold at least a 32GB but some will hold less and others are capable of holding even larger memory cards. This comes down to personal preference as far as which one you should buy.
If you plan on taking a ton of pictures to help get the perfect shot r you plan on recording video at all times, then you’re going to need the bigger storage. However, if you’re just using it for a few occasional pictures here and there, you may not need as much storage.
I’m guessing this will come as no surprise to you, but the price range when it comes to these trail cameras is astronomical. You can find some for under $100 and others for upwards of $5,000, so really it’s going to come down to what you want to spend and what budget you have.
Organize your priorities so that you know you are getting a camera that cares about the features you care about or you may end up spending money on something you don’t need.
Additionally, understand that if this is your first purchase, you probably don’t need all the bells and whistles that the expensive cameras are going to over.
Not all of the cameras you find are going to have this feature, but it can be nice yto have when you are setting up the camera. A viewing screen is located at the top of the device and will show you exactly what you’re going to see from the camera.
This can help ensure that you’re going to have the camera placed exactly where you want it. Additionally, the screen can help you delete some photos on the spot if you happen to run out of room and need to clear some space quickly.
If you’re looking for one of the more fairly priced trail cameras that you’re going to find, then this is going to be the camera you want to buy.
Browning Strike Force 10MP Game Camera is very reasonably priced and comes with some of the top features that you’re going to love to have such as a lightning fast trigger time of just 0.67 seconds along with the ability to record HD video along with sound!
The battery life on this product is excellent thanks to the 6 AA batteries it takes. You’ll have no problem falling in love with this camera.
Fast Trigger Time
If you’re going to use the camera to take pictures of the animals in the area so you know what is there, then it’s going to be important to make sure the camera is quick enough to take the picture when you need it to.
With this camera, as soon as motion is detected, it will begin to take a picture and it will only take a total of 0.67 seconds in reaction time to get the picture. This means that you eliminate the chance of missing out on the perfect picture you want.
The pictures and video you get are only as good as the quality. If you happen to get a low quality picture with a blurry subject, then nobody is really going to care much and you may not even be able to distinguish what exactly you’re looking at.
Fortunately, this camera has a 10MP camera and can record video and audio in full HD for maximum quality.
Once you strap the camera on to the tree, it’s helpful to know that it’s going to last you a long time when it comes to battery life. This camera works on 6 AA batteries which helps to provide you with some of best battery life you’re going to find.
Additionally, while the batteries are not included with your purchase, you will save money in the long run by not using a rechargeable battery.
100 Foot Flash
If you’re going to use this camera in the dark, then you want to make sure you have a solid flash to reach a long distance so you can easily get the picture you want to get.
This particular camera model comes with a 100 foot flash range, which means you will have no problem getting the perfect shot at night time since everything will be illuminated.
Lastly, while some of the cameras you’re going to buy include just the camera, this particular camera comes with another helpful feature.
With your purchase, you’re going to get the Browning Buck Watch time-lapse viewer software. This means that you can easily import your long video and condense it to a shortened time lapse sequence!
- Incredibly fast trigger time of 0.67 seconds
- HD video recording between 5 seconds and 2 minutes
- 6 AA batteries provide a long battery life
- 100 foot flash range for best picture results
- Includes time
- lapse viewing software for easy viewing
- Slow detection to begin recording- Not great with night pictures
- Poor quality when you consider the price
- Poor framing material leads to exposed insides
- Not as waterproof as you would expect it to be
- 0.67 second trigger time
- HD video capability
- Records video up to 2 minutes in length
- Powered on 6 AA batteries for a long lasting battery life
- 100 foot flash
- Includes time
- lapse viewing software
You’re going to find a lot of different trail cameras when you start your search to buy one and ultimately you’re going to learn that a lot of it comes down to which features you value the most and what you want the camera to do.
If you want a quick trigger camera that can take multiple, clear images at a time, Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Trail Game Camera is the camera for you.
There will be instances where you realize that in a moment, you wish you could have taken a couple pictures at a time to help give you the perfect shot.
This camera takes that into consideration and makes sure that you get the image you want to get out of your camera. You can have the camera take either one or up to 9 burst images to help you get the perfect shot.
100 Foot Infrared Range
While some traditional cameras will use a normal flash, this camera uses infrared technology to help illuminate the area right before the picture is taken.
This means that you won’t have to worry about the animal being scared away by the flash since it is invisible to the eye and there will not be a discernible glow.
Once motion is detected, the camera is going to take a picture so you can see exactly what triggered the camera. With this particular camera, you are going to get a lightning flash trigger time of just 0.5 second.
This means that from the time motion is detected to the time the picture is taken, you won’t have to miss out on anything that might be captured.
Superior Low Light Performance
If you want to survey what an area looks like at night or you want to use the camera for security or something similar, this is going to be the camera you want to buy.
It uses some of the best technology to deliver superior performance in some of the lowest lighting situations. While it does well without the flash, the infrared flash helps make the pictures come out even better.
As mentioned previously on the post, if you really care about the quality of the pictures you are going to take, then you want to find a high megapixel camera and this is definitely the camera for you.
With ten megapixels, you’ll be able to get great looking shots that you’re going to love to show off and look at.
- Compact for easy storage and portability
- Up to 10 MP camera
- .5 second reflex trigger
- Records up to three minute long video clips with audio
- IR flash gives off no glow- Blur reduction technology
- Password protected
- Burst mode gives up to 9 images at a time
- The maximum reaching range is nowhere near what it should be
- Motion activation is temperamental and doesn’t work all the time
- Rain really damages the product making it useless in rainy conditions
- Battery life could be better
- 10 MP camera with 4 different resolution settings
- HD video recording with up to three minutes of recording
- Time lapse function
- Burst mode
- Infrared flash with no glow
- Incredibly fast reflex trigger
- Blur reduction technology
There can be a lot of different factors that shape your decision to buy a trail camera. Whether it be the price, a specific feature or even something as simple as the look.
When Blusmart 2.4 Inch 12MP camera comes to this trail camera, you’ll have no problem finding plenty of reasons to want this one.
Whether it’s the infrared LED lights, the wide field of vision or the long lasting battery, this camera will fit all of your needs!
42 Infrared LED
By now, you’re probably fully aware of the difference between the infrared LED lights and some of the other flashes you’re going to find.
While it may come down to personal preference, the 42 Infrared LED lights on this particular camera help make it one of the best features. These LEDs to all they can to help make sure you get great pictures when you need them the most.
If you plan on video recording using the camera, then you’re going to want to have full HD in order to get the best quality possible.
This camera offers you just that so you can help get some of the sharpest looking videos around. And when it comes to still images, you’re going to have a 12MP camera to help you out there.
Wide Field Of Vision
The wide field of vision offered by this camera is perhaps it’s best feature. Often times, you may struggle to wonder if you set up your camera where you want it or if you should move it over a little bit.
With this wide field of vision, you can rest easy knowing that wherever you put it, you’re poing to be able to see a lot of what is going on.
Long Battery Life
With this particular camera, the long battery life is going to be one of the things that you’re going to love to have. Nobody wants to run out of battery in the middle of a hunt, and with this camera, you won't have to worry. In standby mode, it can last for up to 6 months.
If for some reason your camera happens to get stolen or somebody is thinking about stealing it, finding out that it is password protected is a great way to deter them because it will be of no use to them.
The password is a great way to help make sure that your camera stays right where you want it and that nobody will mess with it.
- Ability to record full HD movies
- High quality camera for clear pictures
- Wide field of vision lets you see the most of any camera
- Time interval settings
- Infrared lights for no noticeable glow that could scare animals
- Password protection helps to deter theft
- Long battery life provides up to 6 months of standby
- Sensor doesn’t cover as much of the area
- Nighttime videos struggle
- Seems to just stop working for some users
- Full HD movies
- 12 Megapixel photos
- 120 degree field of vision
- Time interval settings
- 42 infrared LED lights
- Password protected
- Standby mode for up to 6 months
If you want to find a camera for hunting, that’s one thing. If you want to find a camera for hunting that can also be used for other types of surveillance or other uses, then you should really consider buying this particular camera.
ABASK Trail Surveillance Waterproof Wildlife Camera has five different modes and a high quality camera and video recorder to give you the best results each time.
Five Different Modes
You might find some cameras that only do video and photos, but when it comes to this camera, you’re going to give five different mode choices.
So whether you want photo, video, photo and video, time lapse or motion detection, you will have no problem getting it done.
While the primary use of this camera is to use it on the trail for hunting and similar activities, you'll be happy to know that there are plenty of other uses for this camera.
It can be used for hunting, animal observation, security camera, office or public use, or any other kind of surveillance that requires you to detect motion.
HD Video and 12 MP Camera
As you’ve probably noticed from some other cameras we’ve reviewed, HD video is an absolute must. Since you want to get the best and clearest quality, it’s important that you buy a camera capable of doing that.
With the full HD video and the 12 MP camera, you can guarantee that your videos and photos are going to be crystal clear.
Since you’re going to leave the camera out in the woods, chances are good that you don’t know exactly when the picture was taken and what was going on at the time of the picture.
With this camera, each picture can be printed with the date, time, temperature and moon phase on it so that you know the exact conditions when the picture was taken.
- Five different capturing modes
- Multiple functions
- More applications than just hunting
- Low power consumption
- Massive battery life
- 32 GB storage
- One year warranty
- Instructions are not very clear
- Not good with night time pictures
- Heavy to carry around with you
- No glow IR flash
- 66 foot night time vision
- 120 degree angle of detection
- Response time of just 0.5 seconds
- 5 MP CMOS sensor
- 12 MP photo
- 1080P HD video with audio
If you want to find a solid camera that is going to do what it needs to do without costing you a ton of money, then this is going to be the camera for you.
While Moultrie A-20 Mini Game Camera is definitely one of the cheapest options out of all the cameras on this list, it is going to deliver plenty of great features that make it respectable at the price level.
When it comes to this camera, you can count on getting high resolution photos and videos so that you can always see clearly what your camera sees.
You won’t have to sift through grainy photos to try and figure out what animal was spotted in the camera. The 12MP images help make that job so much easier for you.
While this isn’t going to be the fastest trigger speed out of the cameras reviewed, this camera does have a pretty fast speed at under 1 second of reaction time.
While not the fastest, that type of speed is still going to make it easy for you to determine what was in your camera and will get a decent picture of it as well.
Long Range Infrared
As discussed earlier, the infrared technology means that you’re going to be able to use a flash to get great pictures without actually seeing a noticeable flash.
This is a great feature because it will still provide you with great photos but will not flash and scare away any of the animals that you had in your camera sight.
Easy To Use
With a simple LCD screen included on the camera, you’re going to have no problem setting this up in minutes and having it ready to use.
The screen on the camera is the perfect aid to make sure that the camera is pointing where you want it to and you’re getting the footage you want to get.
- Compact size makes it easy to bring with you
- Flash takes bright pictures at night
- Sharp photos with the 12 MP camera
- Easy to use interface with an LCD screen
- Compatible for wireless management
- Two-year warranty included
- Motion sensing struggles to work right
- Does not take great photos in low light
- Slower trigger than some others, but still good
- Full-featured, compact camera
- Powerful infrared flash
- 12 MP camera
- LCD screen for easy use
- Wireless compatibilty
- Multiple image modes
- Exceptional photo and video quality
- Discreet flash
There are so many different options when it comes to trail cameras and it might be difficult to figure out exactly which one you want to buy. Hopefully with the advice listed up above, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect camera for you!
Additionally, some of the products reviewed above might just be the perfect fit to provide you everything you need!