Choosing which trail camera to purchase can be tricky. There are so many options out there. It is important to remember though that the basis for the buying decision needss to be the intended use of the camera.
Would you like to use your camera to discover the types of animals on your property? Or are you planning to use your camera to track wild animals movement? Or do you have an animal feeder set up that you plan to monitor? Maybe you want to keep an eye on your property with your camera?
Every option stated above set specific requirements for the camera. It’s normal that especially more affordable trail cameras excel in one area but under perform in another.
Important features to check before making a buying decision include:
- photo quality
- flash type and range
- detection sensor
- trigger speed and recovery time
- battery life
Countless game cameras are marketed with high megapixels although this doesn’t necessarily guarantee superior quality photos. Typical resolutions in trail cameras range between 4 and 8 megapixel. Best method to determine picture quality of the camera is always to look for sample pictures. You can easily find example photos from game camera review sites, from Amazon.com, from manufacturers’ web sites, from a variety of hunting associated forums and so forth.
Flash Type and Reach
Trail cameras are built either with normal flash units or with Infrared flash units. Basically, if you are likely to utilize your trail camera for scouting, hunting or for surveillance purposes the Infrared flash needs to be your ideal option. But if you are after superior quality pictures also during night, and you don’t care poorer battery lifetime and spooking the wild animals, then you should consider normal flash option.
Detection sensor on the camera determines the detection area of the camera and defines how many images you will capture. As the detection sensor detects movement or heat in detection area it tells the camera to take a picture. Therefore larger the detection area, the more images you’ll get.
Very narrow detection angle means that the creature must be straight in front of the camera for camera to take a photo. Cameras with wide detection angle are going to capture images of creatures that cross anywhere in the field of view of the game camera. They are in addition capable to catch fast moving animals.
Trigger Speed and Recovery time
Trigger speed is the time that it takes for the camera to catch picture once it has detected activity. Trail camera trigger speeds generally vary from 0.1 seconds to 4 seconds. If you’re planning to utilize your camera to shoot quickly moving wild animals, then having a fast trigger is vital.
Recovery time is the least recognized and mentioned features in game cameras. Recovery time is the time that it requires a camera to capture a shot, store the image to memory card, and be all set for the next shot. Trail cameras with long recovery time can work really well on a feeder but not necessarily on rapidly moving game trail.
These days best part of trail cameras are powered by either C-cell batteries or AA batteries. The advantage of C-cell batteries is that they possess higher capacity than AA batteries. The draw back of C-cells is that cold weather impacts them and battery life is easily cut in half in freezing temps.
Benefit of AA batteries is that one can use rechargeable Lithium or Nimh batteries. This will save you money in the long run. Lithium and Nimh batteries also are typically unaffected by freezing weather conditions.