What To Look For When Comparing Trail Cameras

With many trail camera manufacturers and brands available, it is important to know what you should be looking at when comparing them. Even though needs will vary between sportsman and the areas they will be monitoring, there are some key features that every potential user will be interested in.

Detection Range and Capture Delay

This is one of the most important features of a trail camera. The detection range of a camera is the distance and width covered by the sensors that determine when a picture will be taken. The capture delay is the amount of time it takes for the camera to snap a picture after it has detected movement.

Cameras with wide angle detection, usually more than 45 degrees, and longer ranges can get away with having a longer delay since an animal will likely still be in frame when the image is captured. For narrower detection fields and closer up cameras, the delay should be shorter since an animal can come in and out of frame much more quickly.

Models That Were Used In This Video

Stealth Cam STC-G42NGTRIAD:10.0 Megapixel (4 resolution) 10MP/8MP/4MP/2MP, HD Video recording 5-180 seconds
42 “BLACK” IR Emitters/100ft range with Reflex Trigger – .5 seconds
New Intuitive backlit menu programming
Burst Mode 1-9 images per triggering
Manual shot capability with Secure Lock password protection built in SD Card slot up to 32GB
Bushnell 12MP Trophy CamCompact design
Multiple photo and video settings
Adjustable resolution
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam8 MP high-quality full color resolution and 1-3 images per trigger; 1280x720p HD video with audio record programmable length from 1 to 60 seconds
Simultaneously capture full resolution images and video on every trigger with Hybrid Capture Mode
Images display date, time, moon phase, temperature and name; GPS Geotag automatically embeds GPS coordinates
Adjustable PIR (Lo/Med/High) or Auto PIR; Hyper PIR extends PIR sensor 60′ to match flash distance
Runs up to one year on one set of batteries (4-8 AA); SD Card Slot with 32GB capacity; Includes adjustable web belt and 1/4-20 socket

Flash Type

A trail camera with a flash can be both a blessing and a curse. While it will improve the visibility of images in low light conditions, a flash can be enough to scare game off of their usual routes after only a few encounters. Many cameras now come with invisible flashes and infrared flashes that do not suffer the same drawback of a traditional flash, but infrared images are generally lower quality than visible light images.

Digital or 35mm

Most consumers now prefer digital trail cameras to the traditional 35 mm variety. Digital trail cameras can take more pictures more rapidly than 35 mm and can store many more at a time, meaning they can be left out on the trail for longer periods of time. Film cameras also usually end up being more expensive in the long run with the cost of film and development.

The only real advantage is that you get nice hard copies of all your shots to show off to your hunting buddies.

Accessories, Security and Gadgets

There are some useful accessories worth keeping an eye out for when purchasing your camera. One of the most important of these is a locking mechanism, either keyed or combination locked, especially if you operate in widely used areas. Unscrupulous hunters jump at the opportunity to run off with an unguarded trail camera.

For the tech savvy hunter, some cameras have the ability to directly upload images to a website or smart phone remotely, giving you instant access to the images and a near real time look at what is going on out on your trails.

Obviously good battery life is a key feature, and a good guideline is that every two D cell batteries gives about a week of battery life. Some cameras use external six or twelve volt batteries that can last quite a bit longer.

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By McGri

Just a simple guy who's fascinated by anything on hunting equipment, location's, tip's & tricks and sharing most on what I have learned to other hunter's lovers as well. Please give me a shout at these links if you want to give any recommendations or suggestions.

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