The best trail camera may be considered among the best inventions ever in the world, because its functionality has completely revolutionized the art of photo capturing and video recording. This is especially in the case of game watching (more about game camera) and recording of live matches.
In the case of game watching, it was a bit difficult in the past for photographers to capture any game images, since they had to be physically present in order to control the camera. Their presence usually scared away the game, and this led to less image captures and more frustration.
However, all this changed with the coming of the best trail camera. With a best trail camera, one is able to leave it at the scene of capture, and it will record everything and take photos and videos. This therefore means that the user can go about other activities and attend to other matters, and at the end the trail camera will have the desired results.
The user only has to appear at the scene probably to change the cameras position, or to replace the battery. Such is the efficiency that the game camera carries out its required tasks.
6 Things to Consider When Buying a Trail Cam
- Resolution (MP) : before buying any trail camera, it is important to first take a step back, and check out its resolution. Do not rush into any making a quick purchase, without putting deep thought into your actions. When it comes to the resolution, the higher you go, the better the quality of the pictures and the videos. Clarity is also better with a high resolution camera. A good trail camera will have a resolution of up to 10mp.
- Flash : When considering the flash, it is important to think first about the use that the camera will be put into, and also the working hours. When recording night pictures, a game camera with an infrared flash is the best choice, because it does not produce a bright light when capturing an image. This therefore means that it will not scare away the target, and it does not also attract curious onlookers with malicious intentions, such as stealing the camera. The demerit of this type of flash is that it produces pictures in black and white, though they are still clearly visible. The other type of flash is known as an incandescent flash, and it has a bright flash. Due to the bright flash, it produces cool color pictures, whether day or night. The major demerit of this type of flash is the fact that the bright flash normally scares off the game, and is therefore not good for night recording. It is also more prone to theft. (read infrared vs incandescent here)
- Trigger Time : This refers to how fast a camera reacts when the motion detectors record some sort of movement, and actually captures the image. Faster trigger speed is required in order to take the best shots, especially when capturing game, which is most often in motion. The trigger time also determines the quality of the photo, to a certain extent. The best cameras usually have a trigger time of less than 0.5 seconds.
- Detection Zone : This refers to the length or width that a trail camera is capable of stretching, so as to capture the detected target. It can be very frustrating if a camera detects movements, but once it stretches to capture it, it comes back with no results. This actually shows the importance of investing on a camera which has a good detection zone. Good cameras have a detection zone of up to 100 ft.
- Recovery Time : It is always important to consider the recovery time, before purchasing any trail camera. This refers to the time it takes for the camera to take a certain image, and then proceed to take the next. This feature is essential when taking multiple game pictures, especially if the targets are constantly moving which is a common thing with most animals. If you do not want to miss any movements, you need a camera with a quick recovery time and this ensures that you do not miss anything important at the scene. The best recovery time should be less than 10 seconds, or even lower. If it is higher than this, lots of important details will not be captured.
- Battery Life : A camera with a long battery life will save you from constant replacement and checking time. A longer battery life means that you can leave the camera for weeks at the scene, recording what you want, all this while leaving it unattended. Having a game camera with a long battery life is very beneficial.
Infrared cams usually have a longer battery life, as opposed to incandescent cameras which have a lower battery life because of the power consumed by the flash. Battery life also depends on other factors, such as temperature. A best trail camera operating under extreme temperatures will have a lower battery life.
How to Select a Trail Camera That suits Your Needs
There are many factors that one has to choose when selecting a camera that suits their specific needs, namely:
- Memory : if you are taking photos and videos for a long duration of time, it is important to have a camera which is fitted with enough internal memory. The camera may also need an external SD card slot, which allows the user to add extra external memory which can accommodate more files. Latest trail cameras have SD card slots which can support up to 32GB of external memory.
- Durability : If the camera is to be used on an outdoor scenery such a game park or in the woods, it is important that the camera`s external build is compact. This is because the camera will be working under harsh conditions, and risks being toppled over or stepped on by moving game. A good camera will be able to overcome such conditions, and still continue to work efficiently. Latest best trail camera models have steel holders which act as some sort of protective cover.
- Weather : It is always important to select a camera, with the weather conditions under which you work in mind. Good cameras are normally weather proof, meaning they can be left unattended for hours. This feature is especially essential for an outdoor camera.
- Ability to rotate : If the scenery under which work involves constant motion, it is important to select a camera that allows taking of pictures from multiple angles. Good trail cameras can rotate up to 150 degrees.
- Sensors : If you are spotting game from a long distance, you need a best trail camera which is able to capture pictures automatically, the moment it detects any movement. This requires very strong sensors.
Top 5 Trail Camera Reviews
Moultrie M-880 Low Glow Game Camera
The best thing about this camera is the fact that it has fast trigger abilities, which allow the user to take multiple pictures in the spun of just a few seconds. It has a perfect night range, which is essential for game scouting at night. Additionally, it has a motion freeze which ensures that pictures taken during the night are less blurred. Another one of its interesting features is an illumi-night sensor which provides much needed light for night scouting. Other additional features include:
- HD video abilities
- Great picture quality
- SD memory card slot of up to 32 GB
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam Standard Edition
Bushnell It has an 8MP resolution, a 32-LED flash which allows night game watching, video recording abilities for up to one minute and a 32GB SD card slot for purposes of external memory.
Additionally, it has a 45-foot PIR motion sensor and a perfect flash range. It goes for a price of $139.95 at Amazon.com Click here!
Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera
This camera goes for a price of $162.63. It has an 8.0MP panoramic camera which is the perfect resolution for any camera. This allows taking of sharp and colorful pictures. It has less than a second trigger speed. Night range ability of up to 100ft A triple motion sensor which allows wide coverage.
Ability to move up to a 150˚ -angle when detecting movement at any scene, which therefore means it is very effective. An SD memory card of up to 32GB, The cam also has multiple –shot abilities, of up to 1-3 photos, It has a night sensor which allows taking of bright and high quality photos during the night.
It is password enabled, which allows the user to protect files. Allows recording of HD videos anytime, whether day or night which therefore makes it an ideal trail camera.
It has modified lens which slide without making any sound, whenever they detect some sort of motion. This allows taking shots without scaring off the game.
Day 6 Plotwatcher Pro HD Game Surveillance System
- It has a 1280 by 720 Resolution
- A battery life of up to 3 months
Day 6 has the ability to provide a summary of the activities of a certain day, based on the area it was spotting. This is very important for game watching, because you are able to view all the activities later, hence tracking down all the movements made by the game.
- It has an SD card slot of up to 32GB
- It also records videos in HD.
Cuddeback Attack IR 5MP Game Camera
- It has a 5MP resolution
- Infrared flash
- 60MB internal memory
- A 30-second trigger speed and a 60-foot flash range.
- The best thing is that it can take up to 5 photos in 60 seconds.
It goes for a price of $183.99 Technology has also led to the invention of trail cameras that send their picture and video recordings straight to the user`s email or gadget. This therefore means that they can be left at the scouting scene for a long time, and the user only has to check them physically when switching the position or replacing the batteries.