From hunting to theft detection, wireless trail cameras are rising in popularity and becoming an essential part of outdoor technology.
Around for several years, hunters have found them extremely useful when hunting for wildlife.
Not only this, but they are also used as home security systems to keep properties safe.
If You're In A Rush, Check Out Our Super Fast Overview Of The Best Trail Camera
Campark Trail Game Camera
Why is it better?
5 Best Trail Cameras
With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at our top picks.
Let’s dive into the specifics and review each trail camera individually. You can use the list below to jump and review specific models, or you can read along and go through all the information.
Campark Trail Game Camera
Whether you’re going solo or with a hunting buddy, it’s important to have optimal visibility at all times.
Campark makes short work of the competition with their night vision, 1080p HD camera. The main attribute we focused on here was the hair trigger sensitivity.
You might end up with a couple of unnecessary photos in the end, but this captures everything that crosses its path.
With a 120° FOV, which is only 15° less than a human eye’s horizontal FOV, it captures what you need it to.
With infrared LEDs, you’ll be able to see at night without the aggravating low green hue that most night vision cameras have.
For still images, you get fourteen megapixels per picture, which helps to add definition and remove the blurriness that most animal photos have.
Look for distinguishing marks on potential prey so you can identify those that you catch, and find out how well your camera was working the entire time.
Strap this in with three separate brackets, and let it go to work.
- High-quality 1080p video resolution
- Sensitive trigger w/ night vision
- 120° FOV detection range
Foxelli Trail Camera
Foxelli wants you to stay hidden by the cloak of the forest, so that’s what they’ve done with this natural tree bark exterior camouflage on their prime trail camera.
Coming in at a slightly lower cost than the Campark, it’s a viable option with a high quality fourteen megapixel camera to capture those crisp and clear still images of your prey.
Play everything back on the color LCD monitor and witness hours of footage.
There’s a 0.5 second trigger time, meaning meandering prey won’t be able to escape the camera lens before it flashes and takes that photo or kicks into video mode.
That video mode is equipped with infrared night vision, meaning there’s no aggravating green hue over everything on your playback screen.
With a 120° FOV, your camera is able to spot everything with ease.
The different here is that while the Campark uses three separate lenses to achieve that view, this is one wide lens, so it requires less storage space on your SD card or internal storage method.
If you wanted to bring some of this home for playback, you’ll have far more footage at your fingertips with the Foxelli.
- Clear 2.4” LCD color monitor
- Convincing natural tree bark camouflage
- 120° FOV detection range
TOGUARD Trail Camera
Foxelli’s last camera was excellent, but it also had a higher price point than this little gem.
You’re still going to get a high-quality 1080p playback option, as well as fourteen megapixel photographs for clearer, less blurry still images of your prey.
Everything is visible on the LCD screen on the inside of the unit.
Somehow, Foxelli was able to put a quicker trigger time in here than their more expensive model. 0.35 seconds is all it takes to enact the 120° FOV lens system and start taping your prey.
Foxelli also equipped this with an IP56 waterproof rating, meaning it’s good enough to withstand light rain, but if a torrential downpour begins you’re going to have to return and retrieve this camera so it doesn’t get ruined.
For night vision, you get infrared vision up to about 23 meters, or 70 feet. That’s more than enough to be able to spot your prey and alert you.
With a simple operation and up to 32 GB of available memory (SD card sold separately), this might just be the most inexpensive trail camera you’ve ever purchased.
- 1080p + 14 MP high-quality imagery
- IP56 waterproof rating
- Infrared night vision mode
Meidase Trail Camera
A fifth of a second. That’s all it takes to enact this camera and begin recording your prey.
We had to put this further down on the list despite a few enhanced features because of the battery life.
This thing will eat batteries for breakfast, so be sure to have spares on-hand.
The detection range is up to 82 feet, which is the standard for what we’ve been reviewing, but the still images you’ll get will be much clearer.
This is packing a sixteen megapixel camera, giving you a highly clear photograph without increasing the range beyond 120°.
Higher detection ranges mean that you need more megapixels just for standard photo quality, but Meidase has you covered.
Meidase equipped this with all the good stuff you want: natural tree camouflage, infrared night vision, and a 2.4” LCD screen for reviewing your footage.
The downside to this is that it only supports up to 32 GB for your SD card, but takes higher resolution photos. You’re going to have less overall space, so make them count.
- 1080p + 14 MP high-quality imagery
- IP56 waterproof rating
- Infrared night vision mode
Campark Trail Camera
Right back to where it all began.
Campark has a camera that was hard to rank on this list.
The battery life isn’t that good, but it does include tons of excellent features, such as a fourteen megapixel camera for clear and colorful photographs.
It records in 1080p for visually stunning imagery of your prey as it passes in your path.
When it comes to the reaction time, there’s a fairly standard 0.5 second trigger that begins rolling or snapping a photograph.
You’re equipped with an IP66 waterproof rating, which is designed to handle the light rain, but won’t be so good when a rainstorm rolls in.
One reason we ranked this at the bottom of the list despite it sharing qualities with higher ranked trail cameras is the lack of camouflage.
It’s just not believable, and when you review photographs, animals are usually looking straight at the lens every single time.
You also only have two straps to tie this to the tree with. It’s not a big problem, but that third strap usually keeps this nice and steady.
With two, the camera might tilt slightly from time to time, skewing your images and video ever so slightly.
- Infrared filter for night vision view
- IP66 waterproof rating for light rain
- Quick 0.5 second trigger speed
How Do Trail Cameras Work?
These cameras make a great addition to outdoor recreation activities. There are five important elements you need to know to fully understand how trail cameras operate.
You can consequently use this knowledge to narrow down your search.
- Detection Circuit – the goal of trail cameras when hunting is to detect activity, particularly those of wild animals. When movement is noticed, this device will activate and capture an image. Most cameras send these images directly to your mobile device.
- Batteries – these devices operate on batteries, therefore, before purchasing, one you need to figure out how long the battery life is. Most offer long lifespans, eliminating the need to visit your camera too often. Infrared Emitters – you have a few options when it comes to this element. Trail cameras may emit a red glow infrared flash, a low glow flash, white flash, or no glow.
- Picture Quality – these devices were designed to give hunters quality pictures of animals and wildlife. Be sure you view sample photos from all the cameras you’re considering. While still photos offer great shots, some cameras have video options that allow hunters to catch a glimpse of how wildlife behaves.
- Setup & Viewing Screen – consider the ease with which the camera can be set up and check whether it has an internal viewing screen. Configure your settings using the manual provided as a guide. You will have to play around with it for a little bit before the trail camera setup is complete.
Trail cameras are easy to operate. New models are continuously being added to improve their overall function.
Keeping in mind these five elements and what you are looking for will help you save money on things you don’t need.
For instance, higher priced models may offer longer battery life or more megapixels.
If this is something you don’t necessarily need for your intended use, go with a lower priced model.
Also, cameras with video options may cost more.
While this is a cool feature to have, if you’re not going to use it often, consider using the extra money you would have spent to protect your camera.
There are several ways to do so that we’ll cover later on.
Advantages Of Using Trail Cameras
There are so many benefits to using these devices, the biggest one of them being that they allow hunters to view moments without being at the site physically.
A great benefit to game cameras is they offer hunters prolonged seasons. They include batteries with long lifespans, which gives hunters the opportunity to enjoy hunting in the off seasons.
Additionally, trail cameras are a great way to keep an eye on properties, especially those that you can’t be at regularly.
With pictures being sent directly to your phone when movement is detected, catching a thief is simple.
Another benefit that hunters receive when using these devices is that they’re able to view wildlife and obtain important information regarding their natural habits.
Trail cameras give them access to a live telecast of animal habitats.
This means that individuals can observe the game without physically being there, consequently, allowing them to focus on the completion of other tasks.
Lower Vs. Higher Priced Models
A question many hunters ask themselves is, “How much money do I have to spend on a quality trail camera?” The answer depends on your needs and budget.
Because trail cameras provide a large amount of information and insight to hunters, having one is better than not having one at all.
Lower and higher priced models differ not only in cost but also in battery life, pixels, range, flash, and trigger.
If you are considering a lower priced model, take into consideration picture quality. Ask to see some photos it has taken. You may find they meet your standards and expectations.
If not, continue looking; there are several others to fit your budget and picture quality preference.
Consequently, most higher priced models have batteries with longer lifespans than lower priced models. This is beneficial for several reasons.
To begin, it means that hunters don’t have to make as many return trips to check on the memory card or change the battery.
Also, they can leave their cameras up for weeks at a time until they decide it’s time to move locations.
Finally, a major difference between lower and higher priced trail cameras is the price.
Generally, the pricier ones will offer more in terms of battery lifespan, megapixels, range, flash, and trigger speed.
When a camera offers faster detection circuits and covers a larger area, they tend to cost more money.
While you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to obtain a quality piece of equipment it’s important to keep in mind the differences between lower priced models and higher priced ones.
Understanding what you need, the features you’re looking for, and the amount of money you’re willing to spend will give you the most for your money.
How To Set Up A Trail Camera
When this tool is not properly set up, it can lead to damage by animals or may lead to it being stolen by other hunters.
Consequently, you’re cheating yourself out of amazing shots!
Follow these simple steps to ensure the proper set up of your new camera:
- Begin by removing all items from the box and verifying no materials are missing. The box should include a manual with an inventory list.
- Decide where you want to set up the camera. This depends on what you’re looking for or what you wish to capture on film. To capture better photos, try to place your camera facing towards the trail and away from the trampled path.
- After selecting a location, make sure the camera’s batteries are fully charged. The memory card or SD should also be installed. Make sure it’s there because without one, you won’t get any results and will result in a waste of your time.
- Configure all settings to your liking. This includes trigger speed and frequency as well as timer and flash settings.
- You’re now ready to mount your trail camera. You can do this several ways (see below for complete details).
- Test your camera by activating it yourself throughout the day. Use it in the morning as well as during the night.
Compare the time each photo was taken to what’s on the SD card to ensure that everything matches.
You will want to play around with the settings a little bit to properly configure and mount a functioning trail camera.
How To Place And Secure A Trail Camera
As mentioned earlier, properly securing and setting up a trail camera is essential to obtaining the best results possible.
When mounting your trail camera, you should consider your options.
You need to consider the following 3 factors to place and secure your device.
Properly mounting trail cameras decreases the chances of them being stolen. Sadly, you cannot simply rely on the hunter’s moral code.
Instead, you need to take matters into your hands to avoid being a victim of trail camera theft. You can do so by properly mounting and securing your devices.
Some hunters like to wrap bungee cords around the camera and tree. Others build their own mounts using tutorials found online. There is also the option to purchase a camera mount online.
Whichever method you decide to use, be sure that the camera is secure and in the desired location to give you the field of vision you want.
FIND THE RIGHT LOCATION
Additionally, once the camera is placed and secured, you want to protect it from being seen by placing it in a location that is not traveled frequently by humans.
Minimal human traffic is an effective way to secure your trail camera. Not to mention, you will obtain the better photos since no one wants pictures of people walking in front of their camera.
This will only serve as spam for your device, fill up memory and drain battery life.
SECURE YOUR CAMERA
Unfortunately, when trail cameras are left hanging on a tree, they are stolen.
It’s common that hunters leave their camera on its own within the woods since they are made for this purpose, but since they are not extremely cheap, precautions should be taken when securing it.
Review the mounting instructions included with your camera. Sometimes it’s best to follow the company’s directions since they include special equipment to mount the device.
Each provider has a different way of mounting their cameras.
Few other ways you can secure your camera:
- Mount your camera correctly! By doing so you will sleep better at night knowing it won’t get stolen, thereby protecting your investment.
- Place your camera in areas with low human activity but high game traffic.
- Camouflage! Most models should already come in camouflage colors, however, adding some more embellishments like twigs and branches is a good idea. Just be sure not to cover the lens.
- Investing in security boxes will protect your trail camera. The only downfall to this option is the cost. It can cost quite a bit of money, but they are guaranteed to protect your equipment from damage or theft.
We mentioned that an advantage is that some homeowners use them to catch thieves and ensure the security of their home.
This technology is advanced enough to detect movement and keep an eye out on things to ensure the safety of your property, hence family.
If using a trail camera for your home, follow these same tips as best as you can to decrease visibility.
Following these trail camera tips and advice will allow you to sleep more soundly at night and protect your investment. You’ll decrease the chances of them getting stolen or damaged by wildlife.
Because you will be visiting your device from time to time, use a scent remover before you go and spray the camera as well. Be sure to avoid the lens and then wipe it down with a clean cloth.
Additionally, using neoprene gloves will help eliminate your scent. When moving your device to a new location, it’s recommended to change the batters and SD cards.
We suggest that you keep a log of what your device saw at the time. Jot down what was seen and at what time. This is important especially for hunters with multiple cameras.
Relying on your own memory to remember what was seen where can become messy.
Writing everything down, including GPS coordinates, will make this process easier. Hunters will be able to see where movement usually happens.
Be as specific and methodical as possible when writing down your documentation of the animals you see.
We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of trail cameras and why they are an essential tool for hunters.
We wish you the best of luck in finding one that works for you!