When you’re looking for a new way to improve your hunting game, you may start to wonder what tools you can use. Once of the best tools you can get is the trail camera. A trail camera will be able to help you watch the game out in the areas that you want to hunt. This means you will spend less time and energy when you’re in the field on figuring out where the game is hiding. Getting the best trail camera for your hunting style and purposes can really be the best thing to do for the hunter that wants to take his hunting to the next level. However, you will need to figure out which trail camera is the best for you. We’re going to go through some features to keep an eye out for as well as some suggestions on the best trail cameras out there to get you on the right track to improving your hunting game.
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- 1 How to Choose the Best Trail Camera
- 2 12 Best Trail Camera Reviews 2017 – Guide and Comparison
- 2.1 1. Reconyx HyperFire Infrared Digital Game Camera HC600 – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 – Best Picture Quality
- 2.3 3. Spypoint Solar Trail 12MP Camera – Best Battery Life
- 2.4 4. Day 6 Plotwatcher Game Surveillance System – Best Field of View
- 2.5 5. Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR HC500 – Best Trigger Speed
- 2.6 6. Moultrie M-Series Game Cameras (2017) – Best Night Picture
- 2.7 7. Wireless Trail Camera Commander 3G – Best Cellular Camera
- 2.8 8. Hunting Trail Camera, Elepawl Wildlife Game Camera – Best for Beginner
- 2.9 9. Bushnell 20MP Trophy Cam HD Low Glow Trail Camera – Best for Spotting Game
- 2.10 10. Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor 14MP Trail Camera – Best for Durability
- 2.11 11. Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera – Best for Security
- 2.12 12. SPYPOINT Force Trail Camera – Best for the Money
- 3 Conclusion
How to Choose the Best Trail Camera
For something that sounds simple, figuring out the best trail camera is about a lot of different features. Some of these features may be less important to you depending on what you really need out of your cameras. However, make sure you understand the basics of all these cameras to ensure that you know exactly what you need to keep an eye out for.
1. Camera Options
Like with other cameras, there are many options that you will have to think about when you’re considering a trail camera. Each of these features can help with something different. Depending on your purpose, you may have a priority for some features over others.
The field of view is more than just how far forward the camera monitors, it also the amount off to the sides that it can see. Some trail cameras are built to have a wider field of vision that doesn’t reach out quite as far. Some cameras can see very far forward, but can’t see that far off to the sides.
This information will be most important if you already have an idea of where you need the cameras to go. If there is an area where you want a wider view, then you will want to focus on getting a trail camera that has that wider view. Otherwise, a standard camera that has a further reach is a little bit more important.
Along with the field of view, some cameras are more sensitive in their field of view than others. This is especially important for those hunters that are after smaller game that isn’t always caught by typical cameras. This feature will also have to do with your trigger speed, but we will get to that shortly.
Having pictures or video from night can be really important. The game that you’re hunting may be more active at night in the particular area where you are hunting. But night vision means that you need a camera that won’t use a bright flash to capture images of the game. Scaring away the game is the last thing you want.
There are a variety of different cameras that focus on getting images at night. Sometimes this involves lower light settings for the camera itself. Sometimes it’s also about the LEDs that are on the camera. There are tons of different options. You might want to do research about the area and the game that you are hunting before you decide on what kind of night vision options you pick out for your camera.
However, if you are particularly worried about spooking game or other wildlife, then I would suggest picking up an infrared camera. These cameras are actually a little bit better for night because they’re triggered by movement and heat. They tend to use LED panels that light up instead of a flash bulb. This means that the light is less sudden and less threatening to any wildlife that passes in front of it. However, what will work best for you will depend on what you’re intending to do.
This is an option that you will see on almost all cameras, not just trail cameras. The number of megapixels that a camera has informs how nice the pictures are. As trail cameras are improving, you will start to see more and more cameras that are having improved megapixel count. If you need multiple cameras, then you might want to sacrifice the number of megapixels that you are looking for so that you can get multiple cameras instead of just having one really good camera.
However, if you only need one or two cameras, then you might want to be better able to decipher the images that your camera takes. In that case, look for cameras with better megapixel counts. The highest Megapixel count that you are likely to find is right around 20. This is fantastic for a camera, but it will cost you a little bit to get all the other great features of a good trail camera along with that megapixel count.
Having a movement trigger is a little bit of option. Many cameras will have this, but they will also have other options on top of it. However, if you are planning to use the trigger, then you will want to look for a camera that will trigger fairly quickly. While animals don’t always spring through an area, you want to make sure that if something is in front of your camera, you get a picture of it. The faster a camera can take a picture, the more likely you are to see what set it off with better clarity.
However, even with a quick trigger speed, your camera might not be picking up on all of the creatures that pass in front of your camera. If you are looking to catch smaller game, then you are going to want to have a camera that will be triggered by that smaller creature. This isn’t always a given with a camera, so you might want to read some reviews or ask at a local hunting store about the cameras that will pick up all of the right animals.
Beyond the trigger, you might want your camera to take pictures at set times throughout the day. This is an option in a lot of cameras. In fact, most cameras will allow you to set specific periods of time to take pictures. Being able to decide when you want your camera to take pictures is incredibly important. If it doesn’t give you options, then you might be wasting time and space on a memory card.
This isn’t a feature that you might think about right away. In fact, it might be in the back of your head while you’re looking for a camera to put out there. However, this is an incredibly important thing to consider. If you are hunting with a gun or hunting creatures that tend to get aggressive, then a more durable camera will be able to survive more of what you put it through.
While you’ll probably be aware of where your cameras are, you might forget when you’re lining up the perfect shot on something. A glancing blow of a bullet is something that you will probably want your camera to be able to survive.
Beyond your own firing, you may be hunting game like wild boar or pigs. These creatures can get quite aggressive at times. This means that your camera might be hit by the game that you are hunting. If your camera is durable, then it should be able to stand up to anything that comes at it. Of course, the camera will eventually fall apart because it is not designed to last forever. But getting a camera that will last through the hunting season will always be a great purchase.
One of the other important things is how long your battery will last. If your battery doesn’t last that long, then you’ll have to go out there to get the battery swapped out for a fully charged one more often than not. There are ways to get around this. Cameras that use LEDs might last longer just by their design. In addition to that, there are solar options out there.
These solar cameras will have to be placed in areas where they will get sunlight, but if you are hunting in an area that gets more sunlight, then this option might be fantastic for you. If you live in an area that is much darker and rainier during the hunting season, then you may look for a camera that has better battery life on its own.
There are some options that you can find that are not standard on every camera that might make your life just a little bit easier. Two of the best options have to do with how you get your pictures. There are cameras out there that are capable of using the wireless internet as well as a cellular signal to send images to you.
This option may cost a little bit more and have fewer options than other cameras, but being able to get your pictures without having to deal with physically going to your cameras can be incredibly important for people that don’t want to go out to their cameras or can’t always get to their cameras on a regular basis.
This option works best when paired with triggered pictures. It means that you’ll get notified when animals are around your camera. It can help you when you’re trying to make plans to get out there and hunt.
There are other smaller extras that people can have like solar panels. However, like we said, these extras can often make a camera a little more expensive.
The price of a signal trail camera can affect what you decide to do if you need more than one angle covered by a camera. The decision to get multiple cameras might mean that you get one in an important area that costs more and is a little bit better. After that point, you might consider getting smaller, less expensive cameras that you can use in other areas that you might move around as time goes on.
Just make sure that you work with your budget to find the camera combination that works best for you.
12 Best Trail Camera Reviews 2017 – Guide and Comparison
1. Reconyx HyperFire Infrared Digital Game Camera HC600 – Best Overall
It’s not hard to understand why this camera is high on our list. This camera takes great pictures and is super easy to use. There are lots of reasons why you will love this camera. It is very durable and can last in all sorts of different weather conditions. While these cameras are more expensive and designed for people that very into hunting and will be using these cameras for a long while.
The biggest downside to this fantastic camera is the fact that it is on the expensive side. Unless you’re already committed to hunting and using cameras, you might not want to get this camera.
This camera will last for a very long time which is why you might be willing to invest in the equipment. This might make an excellent gift for a hunter in your life as well assuming that they use hunting cameras.
2. Moultrie Game Spy M-990i Gen 2 – Best Picture Quality
Because this camera has a good camera in it, you will find that this one is a little bit on the expensive side but not that bad. You will get great pictures day and night with this particular camera. There are cameras out there that have more megapixel, but this one has been picked because of the balance between daytime and nighttime photography.
This camera will function well, but you may find that the durability of the case isn’t quite what you need. That’s part of what has been given up for getting the better camera options.
You will find that this camera may let in a little bit of water. This is enough for some users to dislike it. However, if this camera is an area that is covered or not rainy, then it should function beautifully.
3. Spypoint Solar Trail 12MP Camera – Best Battery Life
The battery life of your camera is incredibly important. The more often that you have to go out into the wild and replace batteries, the more often you are going to be in danger of scaring away the same game that you are trying to hunt. Getting a camera that can definitely stay out there without you messing with it is incredibly important.
Having a solar element to it means that the battery will be able to charge itself while you aren’t there. It has a decent camera setup even for night, so the main addition you’re getting here is the convenience of not having to deal with the battery all the time.
You may not be able to use this camera depending on the weather near where you live, so that may be the biggest downfall of this camera. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of the area and where you will be able to put the camera and still allow it to get sunlight.
4. Day 6 Plotwatcher Game Surveillance System – Best Field of View
This camera will show you a wide field of view which will allow you to really understand where everything is going on. The wide field of view will allow you to really get an idea of what’s going on around the area that you set up your camera.
However, the camera doesn’t really have a trigger. You will set it up to take regular photos of some kind. It is a relatively simple setup to put together. This will make sure that you understand exactly what you’re asking of it.
However, this does mean that you will have to look at the pictures on a regular basis and go through tons of them to get a good idea of the area. That might not be ideal for some hunters out there, but for others, it might be great. This might be a fantastic purchase for those people that aren’t just interested in knowing what game is hanging out in an area, but just for seeing all the animals that go through an area.
5. Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR HC500 – Best Trigger Speed
Getting a camera with a fast trigger time can be incredibly important for every hunter. Many cameras offer a trigger speed that is one second or less, but there’s a lot that can happen during a single second. In order to get a camera that will work well for quick game, you will need a camera like this one with a trigger speed that is roughly 1/10th of a second. This will ensure that you will be able to see what’s going on in the area that you’re watching.
As a Reconyx camera, it is incredibly well built and can stand up to a lot of abuse, so this camera will work well for highly frequented area where an animal might bash into it.
However, because of the high-quality design and the other features that it contains, you will find that this camera is a little bit expensive. This may be best as part of a grouping of several other cameras that are set up to watch other areas as well. But if you can afford to add it to your arsenal of cameras, you will not be disappointed.
6. Moultrie M-Series Game Cameras (2017) – Best Night Picture
There are some species of animals that tend to be around more at night. You may not need all of the best daytime functions to catch those animals. Instead, you need a great quality night time camera.
It has an excellent range as well as a good set of LEDs that take pictures. This camera also has the infrared setup that works far better than a flash setup for other cameras.
This camera isn’t terribly expensive as well and will work with other Moultrie products so that you can even set up a way to get the pictures from this camera wirelessly. This will work for so many different people.
However, once you start using Moultrie products, you might want to stick to the brand so that all of your different cameras can work together.
7. Wireless Trail Camera Commander 3G – Best Cellular Camera
Getting a camera that can send you the pictures it takes wirelessly can keep you up to date on everything that is going on. This particular one is done through AT&T, but you can get this for a couple of other phone companies if there is one that you would prefer to work with.
This camera can also work in other places besides out on the hunting trail. You’ll be able to use this anywhere that you need to be aware of what’s going on. Some people even use these kinds of cameras to watch their ranches.
Because it is wireless and allows you to get pictures so easily, it is a little bit more expensive than some other cameras. As well, the features on the camera aren’t as great as others are. However, this camera will still work well and make sure that you know what’s going on wherever you set it up.
8. Hunting Trail Camera, Elepawl Wildlife Game Camera – Best for Beginner
If you’re just starting out with hunting cameras, you will want to find something that will be nice and still cheap. This camera does both of those things. It is on the lower end for price, which means that you won’t have to sink a lot of money into the camera to figure out whether or not you like it.
Beyond the fact that it is great for beginners, it is also a great option for those people that want to get a number of semi-decent cameras to set up along a specific trail. If you are just getting started with using cameras, then you won’t regret getting these cameras.
The main problem that you will have with this camera is that it isn’t easily removable from the mount. This will make it just a little more difficult for you to access the inside of the camera and review the pictures.
9. Bushnell 20MP Trophy Cam HD Low Glow Trail Camera – Best for Spotting Game
Being able to spot game easily is always an important feature in a camera. This particular camera is sensitive enough that you will be able to watch even small birds with your camera. You’ll be able to set up this camera for whatever purpose you need and then just let it go. This camera has a wide range and will be perfect for all sorts of things.
The only downside to this camera is that it isn’t always the best at night. You’ll still be able to see some creatures, but you’ll find that many of the photos are at least a little bit blurry at night when things are moving around a bit more.
However, this will work well during the day for birdwatching, game watching, and even just watching your backyard. The range will make this camera pretty fantastic during the day. The lower price point of this camera makes it a fantastic deal as well since you’ll have crisp pictures and videos.
10. Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor 14MP Trail Camera – Best for Durability
This camera is made to survive everything that you throw at it. It is not only waterproof but will survive the wind storms that it might get put through when it is tied to a tree.
Besides being able to survive almost anything, it can also do a number of things. You will be able to get a lot of programmable options out of this camera. It isn’t just durable but offers you a lot more.
This camera may be a little bit pricier, but being able to use it over multiple seasons will make it worth that amount of money for sure. This will be an investment that will work year after year after year unless it really gets banged up. But if you’re concerned about your camera getting broken apart by the wildlife or the weather, then this will be a great option.
11. Moultrie PANORAMIC 150 Game Camera – Best for Security
Many people will buy trail cameras and set them up as security cameras around their property. However, you might have different needs for a security camera when you’re trying to keep track of game.
This camera offers a panoramic view that will really allow you to know what’s going on. This means that you won’t have as many cameras around the property, which can help make sure that anyone that walks up won’t be able to easily spot them. This camera has tons of options for how you want to set up the camera so that you can make sure that is actually right for watching your home.
It isn’t the cheapest camera out there, but if you’re getting multiple for different parts of your property, this camera will be worth it since it will be watching more area than a standard camera.
12. SPYPOINT Force Trail Camera – Best for the Money
If you’re looking for a trail camera that has the most bang for its buck, then this might be the best camera for you.
It has a decent number of megapixels as well as programmable features, but it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to buy multiple to set them up in an area.
You will be able to get decent pictures during the day and passable pictures at night. You might have issues with blurred images if you’re taking pictures at night, but otherwise, it is a pretty camera.
This camera isn’t bad, but it isn’t the best either. However, at this price point, it might just be worth trying out.
Whether you’re using a trail camera for your home security, your hunting area, or even your ranch, a good trail camera will serve you well. You’ll have to consider exactly what you need out of your camera as each camera has its own specialty that it will excel at. Once you’ve got a good camera set up, you’ll be happy with it for a long time.