Best Trail Cameras

Review & Comparison, Last Update December 11, 2018
If you plan a weekend in the wildlife and want to take pictures of animals without scaring them off, or you need some gear to monitor game from a remote location, we'd like to offer you our selection of 5 best trail cameras that can fit for these and many more purposes. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
RESOLUTION
VIDEO
NIGHT VISION FLASH / RANGE
TRIGGER SPEED
DETECTION ZONE
MEMORY
POWER
WARRANTY
 
PROS
Allows remote control and online notifications via mobile gadgets. One of the fastest cameras as to response time on the market.
CONS
The online signal and image transfer are only possible within GSM network.
OUR VERDICT
This Bushnell trail camera will become a great acquisition for both hunters and those who need a security camera to monitor their properties.
detailed parameters
RESOLUTION
14MP
VIDEO

1280x720 / Up to 60 sec

NIGHT VISION FLASH / RANGE
48 No-Glow Black LEDs / 60'
TRIGGER SPEED

0.3 sec

DETECTION ZONE
60'
MEMORY
SD Card Capacity up to 32GB
POWER
up to 3 months on one set of batteries / AA (4-12) / solar jack
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
The camera demonstrates great performance and image clarity throughout a day and offers the biggest operating range in the nighttime.
CONS
The SD slot is inserted deep into the housing which may create inconvenience when ejecting a card from the unit.
OUR VERDICT
In spite of the small size, the camera offers a wide scope of application and can be used not only by hunters but other people in the wildlife.
detailed parameters
RESOLUTION
10MP
VIDEO
1280x720p / Up to 2 min
NIGHT VISION FLASH / RANGE
Infrared LED illumination / 100'
TRIGGER SPEED

0.4 sec

DETECTION ZONE
55'
MEMORY
SD Card Capacity up to 32GB
POWER
external 12V power jack / operates on 6AA batteries
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
This camera from Stealth has got all a hunter may need to use it out-of-the-box. The package includes all accessories, eliminating the need to purchase more bits elsewhere.
CONS
Sometimes the pictures might look grained.
OUR VERDICT
This is one of the simplest yet functional trail cameras that can be used for many different purposes that require round-the-clock surveillance. Simple navigation menu makes it a suitable product for a wide audience.
detailed parameters
RESOLUTION
7MP
VIDEO

Video recording - 15 sec

NIGHT VISION FLASH / RANGE
18 IR Emitters / 50'
TRIGGER SPEED
Not specified
DETECTION ZONE
50'
MEMORY
SD Card Capacity up to 32GB
POWER
external 12V power port / operates on 8AA batteries
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
360-degree shooting, alongside a quick response time, brings this camera on par with more expensive models and enables its fantastic surveillance capabilities.
CONS
The video lengths cannot be customized.
OUR VERDICT
Wild Game Innovations trail camera can give users the best control of the game in the wildlife, tracking down animals and registering the time with no delay or distortion.
detailed parameters
RESOLUTION
12MP
VIDEO
1280x720p / 30 sec
NIGHT VISION FLASH / RANGE
36-LED Infrared Flash / 70'
TRIGGER SPEED

1.5 sec

DETECTION ZONE
70'
MEMORY
SD Card Capacity up to 32GB
POWER
up to 6 months battery life on 8AA batteries
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS

The model boasts a 14-megapixel resolution, a very impressive number for a budget camera. The Illume-Night sensor further improves the picture quality, providing you with the clearest and brightest nighttime shots possible. Eight AA batteries will be enough for 17,000 images. 

CONS

The instruction manual isn't that comprehensive. 

OUR VERDICT

The Moultrie A-40 is a solid trail camera that should be able to satisfy experienced hunters and beginners alike. Its optical performance is solid and, considering the price tag that it comes with, the model is nothing short of a bargain.

detailed parameters
RESOLUTION

14MP

VIDEO

1280x720p / About 10 sec

NIGHT VISION FLASH / RANGE

Infrared LED technology and Illumi-Night sensor / 70'

TRIGGER SPEED

0.7 seс

DETECTION ZONE

70'

MEMORY

SD card capacity up to 32 GB

POWER

8 x AA batteries / 12-volt external battery jack

WARRANTY

2 years

Bushnell Wireless Trail Camera

Pro Hunter's Choice

There aren't a whole lot of companies that have managed to make a name for themselves in the world of optics and hunting equipment if you don't necessarily delve into the territory of regular cameras and smartphones. But if we were to point out one company that has managed to stand out and accrue a considerable following of loyal customers, it would certainly have to be Bushnell Corporation. The American company was founded in 1948 and to this day it remains one of the biggest professional optics manufacturer and distributor in the world. The product in question is another testament to the company's expertise. The Trophy Cam HD Aggressor is what a pro hunter’s looking for, considering its great combination of build quality, precision, high-resolution picture and battery life, and a worthy acquisition by security services. Designed to be compact, the Aggressor from Bushnell incorporates all the best hunt-proven features one could possibly need in the wild. On a par with the majority of modern smartphones, the camera in question delivers 14 MP color picture and HD video allowing the user to make precise shots under any kind of conditions. Thanks to 48 No-Glow Black LEDs the Trophy Cam Aggressor has proved to be also highly effective when used during the nighttime with no picture distortion or glare. The effective coverage area of the cam is capable of reaching up to 60 feet which gives hunters the ability to be further from a location checking on the game via a smartphone, provided that the corresponding app has been installed. All pictures and videos that the cam has taken can be sent to email, social websites and stored in the cloud.

Review of Bushnell Wireless Trail Camera

Lightning Fast

Since the device in question is a trailing camera, the time it takes for the model to snap a picture can often be of the utmost importance. And thus, one of the most interesting features of this camera has certainly got to be the triggering speed. The triggering here is super fast and totals 0.3 seconds only, which allows the cam not only to sense a motion almost the same moment but also register the number of animals that have passed by and at what particular time. On top of that, the model comes equipped with a time-lapse technology that automatically takes prearranged images at preset intervals of one minute to one hour, within the hours of your choice. And since this technology is not triggered by game, it is capable of providing the widest viewing area possible. But unlike the majority of time-lapse cameras out there, its simultaneous live trigger will still take pictures of anything that walks by. The model is delivered with a sim card and it runs on regular batteries that under moderate use can last 3 months. The Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor will suit a variety of customers and is capable of serving different purposes but it is an absolute must-have for professional hunters and hunting enthusiasts.

Bushnell Wireless Trail Camera in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Browning Trail Cameras BTC-5

Small Camera For Serious Tasks

Hunting is one of those hobbies that hasn't necessarily seen a spike in popularity over the past few decades. In fact, some even consider the aforementioned popularity to be steadily declining with fewer individuals taking up hunting and engaging in basically any kind of even remotely related activities. There's a variety of possible reasons we could explore in order to find out why exactly this is the case but that is a question for another time. Hunting as a hobby does have other problems associated with it, one of the biggest ones being the price, of course. Since the majority of hunting equipment tends to cost quite a fortune, even those that are interested in taking up hunting as a pastime activity may not necessarily be able to afford it. Finding out the exact piece of hunting equipment at an appropriate price often presents quite a challenge which is exactly why the particular product in question is so alluring to a variety of customers. At half the price of the expensive brand cameras, the Browning Strike Force Sub Micro can offer some pretty competitive advantages that are on par and at times even better than some of the more expensive models out there.

Review of Browning Trail Cameras BTC-5 Strike Force HD Camera

An Affordable Solution

When it comes to a trail camera, one of the more important features that experienced users and beginners tend to pay attention to is the overall design since the device in question ought to not to be noticed by surrounding animals. And when it comes to it, this model absolutely delivers. Enclosed in an all-camouflage housing, it allows its mounting to any surface or a tree guaranteeing that no one will ever spot it; it blends with branches and leaves so well that there's no chance that it will ever attract the attention of potential game. On par with more expensive cameras, it also provides super fast recording time, triggering at the slightest motion. The Browning Strike Force Sub Micro trail camera can record short and long videos of 5 seconds to 2 minutes in length with the sound or not, depending on what settings you choose. The operating distance of the camera is also impressive allowing hunters to track down game within 100-foot area. When compared to more advanced models the maximum setting for recording videos and taking pictures this camera supports is slightly worse and the model is capable of capturing images of no higher quality than 10 MP. Yet, it’s still enough to get a clear picture that will allow you to see all of the necessary details without distortion. The supported resolution is 1280 x 720, which is common for most trails cameras presented on the market today. All in all, the Browning Trail Cameras Game Camera is a perfect choice for those customers that are looking for a cheaper option that will be able to satisfy their hunting equipment needs.

Browning Trail Cameras BTC-5 Strike Force HD Camera in the use

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

It triggers fine out past 40 feet. The flash is definitely impressive.

Connectivity

It is very simple to program and I didn't have any trouble getting the card in and out.

Features

The lit display is very easy to read, and after you set everything it has a 30 sec. countdown timer so you can get out of the way before it takes pictures.

Power

He loves it. It is a nice compact size, the batteries last so long compared to an older Moultree we have.
 

Stealth Cam P18

Not as Simple as You May Think

Naturally, not every customer is willing to pay a substantial amount of money for a specific product, even if the model in question interests him in a variety of different ways or the device itself is something that he believes to be a great source of entertainment and mental or physical stimulation. All of us are stuck in different financial situations and that means that from time to time we have to settle for some of the cheaper products that may come at a subpar quality or simply do not deliver a variety of additional features that you may have been looking for. Essentially, not being a fat cat made out of money means that every once in a while you have to settle for a more basic model. But just because the piece of equipment in question may seem simple and even primitive at first doesn't technically mean that the item in question is a subpar product that will be incapable of delivering quality performance and lack some of those features that you may deem necessary. And fortunately, we don't have to search for a perfect example of that rule since the Stealth Cam P18 Trail Camera embodies everything we were just talking about.

Review of Stealth Cam P18 Trail Camera

Best Bang for Your Buck

As we have previously mentioned, the model at hand may seem quite simple and elementary when you take that first look at it. But do not let that first impression fool you and turn you off from this impressive and dependable model. Despite how basic the Stealth Cam P18 may look at first sight, it has a lot of features that most hunters will appreciate. While we can't honestly say that it can compete with some of the more advanced models when it comes to every possible aspect of the entire process, it will definitely be a great fit when it comes to the majority of wildlife-related activities as well as those endeavors that require and include security purposes. As you have already guessed after taking a single look at the model, the name "Stealth Cam" wasn't chosen at random. The camera itself is rather small and wrapped in camouflage housing, which noticeably adds to its concealability. The package comes included with 8AA batteries and a 4GB SD memory card where a user can store all of the recorded images and videos. However, if you needed to, there's an option of using an SD card of a bigger capacity; the maximum capacity the camera can accept makes 32GB. All settings are comprehensive and straightforward, and there’s always an option to switch to the Quick Preset Mode to quickly set up your cam in the wildlife. The 7 MP camera can't be honestly described as one of the best options on the market but it still should be enough for the majority of regular users who seek a product with basic specs and satisfying performance. While the camera in question is certainly not the most powerful and outstanding option out there but given the price tag, the Stealth Cam P18 Trail Camera is absolutely worth its money and can be recommended to any customer that is currently tight on money.

Stealth Cam P18 Trail Camera in the use

Additional Info

User Manual


 

Wild Game Innovations 360 degree

In Search of Uniqueness

When it comes to any kind of product, it often isn't necessarily easy to find an item or a piece of equipment that truly stands out from the rest. Whatever device you may be interested in, there's always some kind of trend and certain spoken and unspoken rules that the majority of manufacturers tend to adhere making it particularly hard to find an exceptional and extraordinary model that differs from the vast majority of competition out there. Of course, hard does not mean impossible, and the countless hours spent searching for that special item may very well be worth it if you manage to find a perfect fit. Or you can just let us do that job for you and introduce you to the Wild Game Innovations 360 degree Trail Camera. And if you think for a second that the word "innovation" is thrown into the name of the company just for the sake of it, you're in for quite a surprise. The camera from Wild Game Innovations is undeniably unique in many ways and will be able to pleasantly surprise even the most experienced of hunters with its inventive features and creative approaches to even some of the most tested solutions.

Review of Wild Game Innovations 360 degree Trail Camera

360-Degree Observation

Of course, with a great number of inventive solutions, there are plenty of functions and utilities we could start with. But we would certainly be remiss not to mention the fixing part of the operation first. Contrary to a great number of remote cameras requiring mounting at a specific angle, this one allows versatile mounting options due to its 360-degree image capturing capability. This means you can install it literally anywhere and have a full view of the plot. Another peculiar feature of the Wild Game Innovations trail camera is its spinning, quiet mechanism that allows the camera to face the moving object. And it is capable of doing that the same moment the camera triggers to either take a picture or record a video (depending on the settings). The Wild Game Innovations trail camera has demonstrated great performance throughout the day and in the nighttime and delivers reliable operation for up to 6 months on the same pack of batteries without replacement. The image characteristics of the camera aren't exactly on par with some of the more advanced full-featured models, but if these aren't the main specs you're looking for, the camera will do just fine, since the footage is still clear and provides a decent level of quality. The only flaw we personally found about this model is that it doesn't allow setting the length of a video and records 30-second videos only. But given the number of exceptional features and peculiar options that the Wild Game Innovations 360 degree Trail Camera is stuffed with, we can definitely forgive the device that little imperfection and wholeheartedly recommend it to any customer looking for a unique and exceptional device.

Wild Game Innovations 360 degree Trail Camera in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Moultrie A-40

Still a Camera and a Good One at That

As we've elaborated in our "What to look for" section of the review, trail cameras, also known as game cameras, are still cameras (duh). So, when you go looking for one, you still ought to keep in mind all of the technical specifications that you associate with cameras.

In the case of the Moultrie A-40, the camera is no joke. It boasts 14 megapixels, a solid number even for a regular camera and modern-day smartphone, let alone a trail model. That resolution will give you crisp and detailed pictures. By the way, that's not to mention the Illume-Night sensor that further improves the picture quality, providing you with the clearest and brightest nighttime shots possible.

With cameras, the next logical step after photo quality is always the video quality. Here, we have a device that's capable of filming in the so-called HD 1280 x 720p resolution. Sure, for a standard camera, that would be nothing to write home about. But for a trail camera, that's nothing short of impressive, especially considering the price tag that it comes with.

Unlike some of its more expensive adversaries, if you will, the Moultrie A-40 goes for somewhere between 50 and 70 bucks, depending on the seller. That's about twice less than your average game camera and those are seldom able to match this kind of performance.

Review of Moultrie A-40 Game Camera

Long-Range Flash

Of course, most hunters would agree that the aforementioned characteristics, while important, do not necessarily determine the value of a trail camera. If anything, we would say that the trigger speed can be just as important, if not more. So, is the trigger speed here any good? Well, we would say so. It takes the camera precisely 0.7 seconds to shoot a picture. There are cameras that can do better than that but none of them occupy the same price range as far as we're aware.

The model's infrared LED flash reaches out to 70 feet, a very respectable number as far as trail cameras go. Pair that with a detection range that is also 70 feet long and you have yourself outstanding image quality at solid distances.

At the end of the day, none of the specs and features add up to much if the hunter is unable to put it to good use. But that shouldn't be an issue here. The controls are backlit and the interface is fairly straightforward, so anyone should be able to set up this camera simple even in low-light conditions.

Finally, we couldn't overlook the model's endurance. Though it does require 8 AA batteries to operate, the device will be able to juice up about 17,000 images from those batteries.

In short, the Moultrie A-40 is a solid trail camera that should be able to satisfy experienced hunters and beginners alike. Its optical performance is solid and, considering the price tag that it comes with, the model is nothing short of a bargain.

Moultrie A-40 Game Camera in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Infographics

Comparison of Trail Cameras

What Is a Trail Camera?

A trail camera is a type of a remote camera used mainly by hunters for taking pictures or video in areas with limited access, at different angles or where a man possibly cannot be. A hunter can hang a trail camera on a tree to be able to surveille wild aminals from a remote location in the wildlife and configure it to send notifications via camera software automatically when a motion is detected. Trail cameras are usually enclosed in camouflage security boxes so that they could be seen neither by animal nor other hunters. Trail cameras aren't limited to use for hunting only and can be successfully employed for many other purposes too. Today remote cameras are widely used in sports photography, for selfies, and in the wildlife.

Setting off for a game hunting, you shouldn’t neglect wearing a protection outfit. So we suggest you also check out our best picks of shooting glasses - part of protective outwear, designed to protect your eyes from small particles of dust and fine debris as well as sharpening the visual acuity in dim lighting conditions.

What Features to Compare

Since a trail camera is first and foremost a camera, the first thing to consider when purchasing one doesn't necessarily differ from your regular photographic equipment. Naturally, we're talking about the number of megapixels that the camera boasts and the resolution that the aforementioned megapixels allow the camera to support. As it is with any other camera, there's virtually no downside to having more megapixels and a higher resolution since these specifications will allow you to receive clearer images. However, try not to go overboard since a higher resolution also means that the video and images are going to take more space on the camera's internal memory or SD card and you don't really need twenty megapixels to capture your game.

The second thing to pay attention to when choosing a trail camera would have to be camera's night vision capabilities. Since a large part of the surveillance process generally tends to happen during the night, you need to make sure that the night vision technologies that your device boasts, be it infrared illuminations system or LED lights, is enough to have a clear picture long after the sun set down.

You also absolutely should not disregard the kind of battery life that the model you're looking for is capable of outputting. Since trail cameras are often left in the wilderness for a long time, the kind of device that isn't capable of lasting for days without undergoing a battery change will be a liability at best and a useless piece of overpriced technology at worst.

The last but not least thing to look out for when choosing a proper trail camera is the kind of trigger speed it is equipped with. Unless the name isn't self-explanatory enough, trigger speed is the amount of time it takes for your device to capture an image. Since the majority of your game tends to move around rather fast, your camera will prove inefficient at taking a picture of it if the device doesn't boast a fast trigger speed.

Fun Hunting Facts

The Alpha Dog Advantage

African hunting dogs are peculiar creatures, aren't they? Aside from the unique patterns that make every dog of the pack easier to spot and their powerful bite, the most interesting thing about them is their unique (to canines) social hierarchy. There's quite a lot to it and we definitely recommend reading up on it if that sounds like something that could pique your interest. But, as far as we're concerned, the most fascinating part of their social structure is their voting system. That's right, African hunting dogs (often referred to as African wild dogs) vote. Among other things, they vote to decide whether the pack should go on a hunt or not. That said, they could definitely use a slightly more democratic approach to their voting system. See, the most influential members of the pack (alpha dogs, if you will) need no more than 3 votes to decide the pack's course of action. The lesser members of their little society won't be heard until they garner at least 10 votes, which is just a little bit unfair if you ask us.

The Mightiest of the Bears

Aside from being the mascot to a few dozen schools, grizzly bears usually aren't as fond of the human population as the universities, colleges, and high schools throughout the USA would have to you believe. In fact, they're so respected and feared by the Native American population that no tribe would even consider hunting a grizzly bear without a company of somewhere between 5 and 10 seasoned warriors. On top of that, the hunt would include the same preparations and ceremonials as the intertribal warfare of the time.

Not Bad, Wouldn't You Say?

People like to think that modern-day hunters kill innocent animals for no good reasons and provide no benefit to our planet as we no longer need to hunt to provide for our families. But, more often than not, that couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, some hunters aren't the best of people. But the majority are far less destructive than you'd think. Let's talk about the black rhino, for example. In 2014, Namibian representatives have been able to raise over $350k by auctioning off the right to hunt one endangered black rhino. Doesn't sound like a particularly inspiring story, does it? But wait, there's more to it. The rhino in question was far past the breeding age and actually detrimental to the rest of his herd. The money that was raised was later used to protect a number of endangered animals and even increase the black rhino population.

Hunters are Responsible

It isn't just about the animals and the game. At the end of the day, on average, hunters tend to be far more responsible than those who don't hunt. Because they have to. Among dozens of other reasons and examples, you cannot renew your hunting license in the state of Texas if you do not pay the child support that you owe.

Not PETA Again

We all know that the members of PETA aren't the saints they pretend to be. For example, a couple of their members wrecked into a deer after attending an anti-hunting campaign. Did they take the blame or pay any reparations? Nope. These enterprising gentlemen sued the New Jersey Game Department because, supposedly, it wasn't their own inadequacies but the department's deer management program that lead to this incident. Yeah, that's PETA for you.

FAQ:

Q: I have heard about game cameras. Is there a difference between a game camera and a trail camera?
A: No, these are just two different names for the same type of product that people use interchangeably. These types of cameras are essentially created with the sole purpose of assisting you in capturing the target’s picture and location; which can often present quite a challenge when it comes to determining it in the wilderness. The vast majority of this models generally have a detection field somewhere around 50 feet or higher. After you're done installing it and the whole thing is set up, these devices are capable of sensing movement and will activate the trigger in order to collect useful data for hunting without your presence or involvement.

Q: What things should I keep in mind when it comes to a trail camera?
A: There quite a lot of different things and aspects that you should keep in mind and consider before and after buying a trail camera. The majority of modern trail cameras are capable of supporting night shots. An LED mounted camera can take color pictures in the night but the problem is that their bright white flash can often scare away the animal, not to mention the fact that it can also blind you for a few seconds for a good measure. If one of the most important things to you is the ability to avoid attracting any kind of attention, you should consider a model with Infrared invisible flash. Of course, these types of models have their drawbacks too and IR flash will only support black and white pictures in the night. Just like with any other camera, the clarity of the image will mostly depend on the highest possible resolution the camera is capable of delivering but contrary to the majority of regular cameras, the resolution does not make that big of a difference if you're looking to capture images during the night.

Q: What is trigger time?
A: Trigger time is the time that a camera requires in order to capture the image. This is the most important feature of a trail camera if you have to capture a moving target, which is unlikely to provide you with more than a fraction of seconds. The fastest known trigger speed found in trail cameras is somewhere around 0.14 seconds but anything below an entire second can be acceptable depending on your situation and requirements. The problem with a slow trigger speed is that it will inevitably spoil the picture unless you're trying to capture a target that is standing still. Some models come equipped with multiple shot options, which enable more than 1 picture to be taken at a time. This kind of structure guarantees that at least one of the pictures taken will present an acceptable level of quality.

Q: Is the image quality the same during the night?
A: No, there's a noticeable difference between the day and night shots. That difference will entirely depend upon the functionality and features of the trail camera. The incandescent or LED mounted cameras are capable of taking clearer and colored pictures during the night which is an option that infrared cameras are lacking. But when compared to the day pictures taken by an IR or incandescent camera, the latter one delivers a considerably inferior level of clarity and the colors are far less vivid.

Sources:

1. Derrek Sigler A Trail Camera Buyer’s Guide, OUTDOORHUB. October 10, 2013.

2. Guide To Choosing A Game/Trail Camera, eBay. October 2, 2013.

3. Pet Lefemine 10 Trail Camera Tips, Bowsite.com.

4. Hunting, FWS.

5. Outdoor Recreational Activities, USA.gov.

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