Getting vivid shots of wildlife animals is one of the special things you’ll appreciate about cameras. However, executing them can be a challenge without disturbing the creatures from the sounds of your shutter, not to mention your presence which can repel them. This is the reason why we have trail cameras.
A trail camera (also called scout camera, game camera, and remote camera) is a helpful tool that you can use to take camera shots remotely and enjoy viewing anything afar. With that, it can be a useful tool for hunters and wildlife researchers who are having a hard time getting close to their subjects.
If you are in need of one or if you are just a curious folk who wants to give it a try, we have the best choices for you. With the help of our camera expert and photographer, Evangeline Summers, we will discuss the details of the five best trail cameras available on the market.
So, take time weighing on each of the options we will present and we hope you find our insights valuable after this informative read. Also, if you want to check their prices, simply click on the buttons we prepared below and we guarantee you their best bargains on Amazon!
1. Victure HC300 Trail Game Camera
8.07 x 4.84 x 3.07 inches
1080 P and 20 MP
This Victure trail camera boasts quality images that can outperform any other expensive brands out there.
“The lens can catch stunning crisp images in daylight without giving you an overexposure even at a terribly scorching summer,” Summers stated.
It is also important to mention that is extremely sensitive compared to most of the models we have here. While this seems to be a good point as you need a game camera that acts fast, it can also be unfavorable as it can be easily triggered by big insects. That being said, Summers suggested adjusting its sensor sensitivity to the lowest setting.
“This is a good way to get a stabilized sensitivity of the sensor and to minimize the use of the camera battery,” she said.
This version has also been improved as it now comes with glowing mechanical buttons instead of membrane ones. That said, you can easily operate it, program it, or even put a password on it even on a dark night.
On the other hand, for the build itself, we praise its great construction, especially its sealing power that protects the camera from moisture and liquid elements outdoors. As such, we are 101% confident that it will outlive any other brands of trail camera you know!
2. Campark T45A Trail Camera
7.24 x 4.76 x 3.82 inches
16 MP and 1080 P.
If there is one thing that we really love about Campark T45A, it is its great sensitivity that saves power from unnecessary movements around.
“The three PIR are truly impressive, allowing the cam to act instantly with the right amount of wildlife movements. With this, you get shots at the right moments before the animals walk away. It also shockingly offers excellent still images,” Summers said.
After personally testing it, you’ll be amazed at the number of details and the crispness it can create during daylight. At night, it won’t disappoint you at the clarity of images and footage.
We were also impressed at how dependable the sensors are. According to Summers, at the highest setting, it can be triggered once an animal enters the frame.
“It only takes a millisecond which means you’ll have the very action of the animal as it passes by the camera. We also tested it as a security motion sensor and the good news is that at 60 to 75 feet, it can be triggered smoothly!” Summers added.
3. Vikeri E2 Trail Camera
9.06 x 5.28 x 3.43 inches
1520 P and 16 MP
Vikeri trail camera can give you the best bang for your buck. It has all the bells and whistles that make it a worthy purchase: quick triple burst trigger speed, 16 MP camera, 120-degree wide-angle motion sensor, infrared LEDs, waterproof 2.4-inch full-color LCD, and 180 days standby time. Not just that, it comes with the batteries you need and a 32 GB SD card which makes the unit almost a plug-and-play device. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of things to say about it.
“The range of the lens is also noteworthy as it can reach up to 20 meters at night which is considered great given its price. Also, thumbs up for the flawless WiFi connection it can give you. With this function, you can directly see the feed on your phone without lags or any blur. At 16 MP, you will be amazed how detailed the images can be that you will easily distinguish small critters crawling at night. What even better than that is that you can play on the settings of the camera to get more details on the image which is truly amazing!” Summers remarked.
4. Campark T20 Mini Trail Camera
6.06 x 4.25 x 3.5 inches
1080 P and 16 MP
Despite the size of the Campark T20 Mini, it is packed with all the features that you need to customize and control it as you prepare the unit for installation.
“You have the choice over the resolution of your still images from 5 megapixels to 16 megapixels. The same applies to the video which starts at 320 x 240 up to 1920 x 1080. Really small but terrible… terribly good,” Summers commented.
Compared to other models, it just comes with just a few buttons to deal with. This makes it easier to use and more intuitive. So, with just a few button-pushing, you can set it up with ease.
We have also tried it under freezing temperature and we are glad that it showed no moisture nor it affected the system of the camera when we opened it. It still managed to deliver clear shots without blur and distortion. We also love that it has additional features like a temperature reader. Most of all, it is amazing how it can last for days with just 4, yes, JUST 4 batteries!
5. APEMAN H45 Trail Camera
7.83 x 4.88 x 3.5 inches
16 MP and 1080 P
APEMAN H45 has an amazing build that can fit any kind of harsh environment. Nonetheless, behind the excellent casing of the camera is an ultimately pleasing camera capability you would love!
“The thing is that APEMAN upgraded H45 into higher resolutions and until you experience it yourself, you won’t believe how it could take license plates meters away,” Summers stated. So, with that, we really want you to try it as a part of your household security measures, as well!
Much better than that is that it is equipped with a video that can capture striking details during daylight and the night vision is outstanding!
“It has just the right amount of IR light that even when in a closeup shot, it won’t drown things in overlighting which allows it to retain most details. And the audio? Collects sufficient sound that you’ll enjoy the footage if you would install it in woods to observe the wildlife,” Summers ended.
Best Trail Cameras - Buyer's Guide
The sensors of the trail camera how sensitive it could be when it senses movement. Commonly, most trail cameras come with 1 sensor which is just enough to react to movements within the range of the sensor. However, cameras like Campark T45A that have 3 sensors are capable of reacting and triggering the camera function faster. With this, they have a shorter trigger time. So, if you don’t want to miss a single shot in the wildlife, we suggest opting for models with more sensors as it means more efficiency on its end.
Moreover, the longer the range of the camera, the better it could react to movements. This is very important if you are a wildlife enthusiast, photographer, or researcher. Since there is no certainty that animals would get close to the place where you installed the trail camera, having a long-range ability would allow it to be triggered even at a significant distance.
Remember that the higher the resolution, the better. This both applies to the stills and videos. Higher resolution means there are more pixels per inch in an image. That said, you’ll see more pixel information which translates to crisp images and videos. Furthermore, this will allow you to crop, zoom, and reframe the images without much detail loss.
Trail cameras often offer 16 MP and 1080 P resolutions for pictures and videos, respectively. If you can find a model that can offer higher the standard resolutions mentioned, go for them as that would benefit you more.
The IR LEDs of the camera would allow the unit to see images even in the dark. The IRs available in trail cameras are 850 NM and 940 NM. At 850 NM, the camera could have better sensitivity but the human and animal eyes can still see some red light in it. On the other hand, while 940 NM is completely invisible and doesn’t produce even a single bit of glow, it has less ability in illuminating over distance. Trail camera companies address this by using sensitive cameras.
Nonetheless, a camera with 850 NM IR can still manage to remain hidden despite the said fact. So, if you want more brightness at night, better opt for 850 NM trail cameras. On the other hand, if you want a completely no-glow IR, go for 940 NM but be sure to inspect whether the camera has enough resolution and capacity to compensate for the disadvantage of 940 NM IRs.
Best Trail Cameras - FAQs
Yes, you can use trail cameras for security purposes. Considering their ability to stay unseen at night and to detect motion from distance, they can be good alternatives for motion sensor lights and cameras.
The value and worth of the trail cameras depend on your activity and profession. This kind of camera is perfect for hunters, wildlife photographers, and researchers. However, if you think this would benefit your hobby, you could also enjoy its full value.
Trail cameras come with either 850 NM or 940 NM IR LEDs. Trail cameras at 940 NM are completely invisible as they use no-glow LEDs. On the other hand, 850 NM LEDs produce faint light that is visible to the human eye.
Covering the red light of the camera at night means removing the ability of the unit to see in the dark. So, if you cover it, expect that you won’t see clear stills or videos.