The Best Trail Cameras for Amazing Wildlife Footage
Capture Rare Wildlife Footage 24 Hours a Day
One of the great things about the outdoors is the amazing scenery and wildlife that you can take in. We love nothing more than being a part of this wildlife and really immerse ourselves in it. That is where the trail and game camera comes into play – it is basically a heavy duty camera that can be left unattended in the wild, and it will take images and videos of the wildlife as they wander past or come into the range of the camera. Thanks to these cameras, you can now view these animals in their natural habitats, and even use the footage to effectively track and hunt them.
There are other uses for a trail and game camera of course – they can be used for general surveillance, or they can just be a bit of fun for someone. There are many different trail cameras to pick from, and so here is a brief overview of 9 of the best, as rated by actual users.
What is the Top Rated Trial Camera for Outdoor Surveillance?
Best Trail Cameras
|Picture||Model||Trigger Speed||Price||Our Rating|
|Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10MP Game Camera||0.67 seconds||$$||4.96|
|Moultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2 Low Glow 5.0 MP Camera||1.5 seconds max||$$$||4.95|
|Amcrest ATC-1201 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera with Integrated 2" LCD Screen||0.7 seconds||$$||4.95|
|Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera with Night Vision||0.7 seconds||$$||4.94|
|Stealth Cam IR STC-G30 Game Camera||0.8 seconds||$$||4.94|
|Amcrest ATC-801 720P HD Game and Trail Hunting Camera||0.5 seconds||$$||4.92|
|Crenova Game and Trail Hunting Camera||0.7 seconds||$$$||4.92|
|Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera||1 second max||$$||4.91|
|Bushnell 14MP Trophy Cam HD Aggressor No Glow Trail Camera||1 second max||$$||4.90|
Table of Contents
- What is the Top Rated Trial Camera for Outdoor Surveillance?
- Best Trail Cameras
- Browning Strike Force Sub Micro 10MP Game Camera
- Moultrie Game Spy A-5 Gen 2 Low Glow 5.0 MP Camera
- Amcrest ATC-1201 12MP Digital Game Cam Trail Camera
- Bushnell 6MP Trophy Cam Essential Trail Camera with Night Vision
- Stealth Cam G30 Triad Armed 8mp Trail Camera
- Amcrest ATC-801 720P HD Game and Trail Hunting Camera
- Crenova Game and Trail Hunting Camera
- Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera
- Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor No Glow Trail Camera
Trail Cameras Buying Guide
If you want to invest in a trail and game camera, then you will have a particular reason or goal in mind. Whether be it to survey the goings on in your suburban backyard (for example to catch a thieving raccoon or find out if someone is sneaking into your yard after dark), or to track and capture images of wild animals in the wilderness. No matter what you want your camera for, there are some things that you need to consider before purchasing – you need to make sure that the trail camera that you purchase best suits your needs and does not have any unnecessary features.
One way of determining the quality of trail cameras is by looking at how many megapixels it has. Of course keep in mind that this is not a completely foolproof method of determining how good the photos will end up – an extremely high amount of megapixels will be effectively useless if the camera in question is made poorly and has a very low quality camera lens.
So you really need to look at the entire specifications of the camera, and the best bet is to look at real world images that the same model has taken to see for yourself what the quality is like. The best place to find this information is on forums and product website. The general rule, however, is to get the most megapixels that you can afford.
This may seem obvious – clearly a more durable camera is preferred. However, you may be surprised to learn that not all trail and game cameras are completely waterproof. So if you want to use it for surveillance inside the house or under a veranda, then you will be fine with a standard and non-waterproof camera. However, if you are tracking wild game, then chances are you will be leaving your camera out for days on end attached to a tree – you will, thus, need to invest in trail cameras that can withstand extreme heat and cold, water and even survive the nose of a curious deer.
Chances are that you will need your trail cameras to produce more than just still images – you will be after videos. There are different video settings that come with different cameras. Some trail cameras will have standard video recordings where you can set the recording length-for example, you may set it to record in 20 second or 30 second intervals. Generally, you will not want it to film for too long at one time, as generally the action is quick, especially when shooting wildlife.
One difference is the trail cameras offering time lapse. These can make for a very interesting video – it will be one very long video which is sped up to make a days’ worth of video last for a couple of minutes. Most of these camera’s don’t have the 360 degree option, however, we also created a review here on the best 360 degree video cameras of 2019. This is a feature that will not appeal to everyone, but if it does, make sure you read the specifications to find out what options you will have.
What flash types does the trail camera offer?
Trail cameras are not so different from standard cameras in the way that they will have a flash so that they can be used to take images and video at night. Chances are that if you use a trail camera, you will be looking at capturing as much of the action as possible. You wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the details once the sun sets. So what are the different types of flash and what are the benefits of each? What is best for you will depend on what you plan to capture as well as the quality of images that you want.
Your new game camera will have one of two main types of flash- infrared and white glow. The difference is obvious – infrared will result in a black and white image, and a white glow flash will emit a bright flash thereby creating a color image. There are also two types of infrared flash – no-glow and red glow. The main difference here being that no glow uses black LED’s so is essentially invisible – the animal will have no idea that anything has happened. And red glow literally has small red LEDs which glow, and while this can result in a clearer image and larger range, it can sometimes attract the attention of the animals. Taking a photo with white glow is exactly like using a powerful flash camera. An extremely bright flash will light up the entire area and the photo will look like it was taken during the day. The major disadvantage is that it will likely terrify the game and cause any animals in the area to bolt.
What is the trigger speed of the trail camera?
The trigger speeds as well as the recovery times are the other key differentiating factors that you need to keep in mind when shopping for trail cameras. Basically, the trigger speed indicates how long it takes the camera to turn on and capture an image or video. These cameras generally sit on standby and are triggered by movement, so it will take some time (up to a few seconds) for it to jump into action. The shorter the trigger speed the more likely that you will be able to capture a fast moving animal. Of course, this may not necessarily be that important for you – if you are using the camera to capture a very large area where the animals tend to hang around, it will not matter if it takes 3 seconds to start capturing the images. A short trigger speed is considered to be anything under a second, and a slower speed can be up to 3 seconds.
Camera recovery is also related yet slightly different to trigger speeds– it refers to the time it takes for the camera to recover between photos. For example, a very good quality camera will have a camera recovery speed of only 1 second – so it will effectively take one picture every second. Others will be closer to one picture every 20 seconds or more. Again this depends on what images you wish to capture and how much you are willing to spend.
What information can be captured on the images?
You may notice that some trail and game cameras will mention geo-tagging, which you may know to mean that the image or video is stamped with the location that it was taken. This can be very useful especially if you like to move your game camera around a lot, so you can know exactly where a particular shot was taken.
Other information that can be stamped on some of the better game cameras include date and time, the weather, the temperature, the location of the moon and even the barometric pressure. Some game cameras will have no tagging at all, some will have only location geo-tagging and some will offer all of the possible information you could want. If you are wanting to establish patterns then getting a game camera that stores as much information as possible will really assist – this way you will know that particular activities only occur at a particular time, at a particular temperature range or in a certain location.