Trail Camera First Time Buying Guide: These Features You Need To Know
Trail cameras have been a game-changer for hunters. With the use of trail cameras, hunters can track their hunting areas, track potential targets, and their habits without setting foot in the woods. Providing hunters with the ability to stalk their game before stepping into the woods is the main and most important advantage of hunting with trail cameras. For hunters, it’s like getting the gift of time.
However, with so many trail cameras on the market today and so many options to consider when purchasing one, how do you choose? Low Glow, No Glow, Hyper Burst, ARD, Freeze Frame Shutter, the list goes on and on. And if you’re in the market for a first trail camera it is important to understand what these terms mean, which features you need and which are largely just “niceties”. You’d better take a look at the trail camera buying guide.
Look no further, we’ve broken it down into these features you need to scout out for your first trail camera. Here we go.
Trail Camera Flashes
Perhaps the most very disputed attribute of a trail camera is the type of flash it gives off when it is triggered. Various flash choices are offered and deciding on which is best really comes down to your opinion on exactly how mature bucks respond to a camera flash. We recently had some viewpoints on just how various flashes can alarm dollars. In addition to that argument, the complying with flash alternatives are available.
Trail cameras with a “no-glow” flash attribute are geared up with black LED’s which are entirely invisible to not only video game animals yet human beings as well. It must be noted that all images recorded at night with this option will certainly be black and white.
As a side note trail cams with no-glow flash are a favorite of ours, specifically when put in sensitive areas. The flash variety could not be as long as various other cam flashes yet that typically isn’t as big of a problem as making deer aware of your trail camera.
This function will discharge a noticeable flash but it will be considerably lowered. Most often the color will certainly be a faint red glow. If you don’t wish to pay for the no-glow feature after that this is a good alternative. Nighttime pictures will likewise be black and white.
While white-flash trail cameras have come a long way, I won’t disrespect your intelligence by discussing what this feature is. All images will certainly be shade; night or day. They may offer the most effective photos but they are going to terrify your deer to the following area. We are joking … a bit.
Concerning flash alternatives, it should be kept in mind that you can anticipate evening images to be darker as well as grainier when utilizing “No-Glow” in contrast to the standard “White-Flash”. Likewise, the flash variety will differ when contrasting no-glow, red radiance (low-glow), and also typical flash trail cameras. Typically the white-flash will fare far better due to its capability to illuminate the forest at an additional distance.
Additionally, the number of LED’s trail cam of selection boasts ought to be thought about. Essentially, there is a direct partnership between the variety of LEDs and the flash range. Trail cameras that lug a larger number of infrared LED’s will certainly most often have more lighting than cameras that have fewer LED’s.
Trail Camera Megapixels
Buyers need to pay close attention to megapixel numbers. Basically, merely because a firm promotes high numbers doesn’t necessarily indicate your images will be of top quality. The reason is easy. Megapixels mean absolutely nothing if the lens top quality of the cam is low. The easiest means to figure out real-world image high quality is to take a look at real-world photos. This can be accomplished on firm web sites, talk discussion forums, or other social media outlets. Do your research.
Cam Capture Modes
When it concerns catching pictures your trail cam can do it in two methods; still-photos and also video clips. Still, photos are great. Nonetheless, the advantage of having a video choice is that with video clips the user can really glance right into the video game animal world (momentarily or so) and watch just how they behave. Frequently this can expose extra information than a solitary image iced up in time.
Historically, trail camera users have needed to pick between catching a still image or a short video. Nonetheless, companies such as WildGuarder currently use cams that can really catch both selections at the same time offering you the most effective of both worlds.
Trigger speed or trigger time is essentially how long it takes a camera to snap a picture once a subject like a deer is seen. Trigger speed is a very important feature no doubt and can be the difference between seeing, or not seeing, particular bucks. However, it may not necessarily be the most important feature on a camera that is placed over a food plot or corn pile because deer are expected to be in the area for several minutes before moving on. This gives a camera with a slow trigger speed more time to “wake up” and capture an image.
That being said trail cameras with fast trigger times can capture a slue of photos that would be missed by cameras with slower trigger times. We’ve seen cameras have speeds ranging from 0.13 seconds to over 1.3 seconds. If you are going to take your first camera, make sure you have known this feature from our trail camera buying guide.
Camera Recovery Time
The time it takes a camera to “start-up” or “recycle” after it has taken a photo is called camera recovery time. While slow trigger times can cost missed opportunities, slow camera recovery times can do the same.
Camera recovery times tested at WildGuarder.com show this can range between just under a second to over 1 minute! While a low-cost trail camera might be tempting we recommend making sure the trigger speed and recovery time is adequate, especially if placing the camera on a path or trail.
The “Detection Zone” of a trail camera is an invisible area that starts at the camera face and spreads outwardly in a V shape; growing larger with relation to distance. This “zone” is where the camera detects movement. Once the movement has been noticed, the camera will activate and capture an image or start recording video.
When it comes to detection zones be aware of how wide and how long your particular models are because depending on where you plan to use it you might not need a very large zone. Obviously, high numbers in both areas will allow the camera to find more movement and snap more photos and vice versa. While we might sound redundant, Trailcampro has a very useful trail camera detection zone “shootout” that shows what cameras stand out in this hard-to-obtain stat many camera manufacturers don’t make public. If you are going to take your first camera, make sure you have known this feature from our trail camera buying guide.
“PIR” stands for passive infrared and PIR Angle refers to the degree that the camera can sense movement. Cameras that have a large PIR Angle can detect movement faster and have a better chance of capturing the subject in the center of the frame as opposed to the edges like some lower quality cameras do. If you’ve ever seen half of a deer in one of your trail cam pics then you understand the effects of a PIR Angle that is low; say 10 degrees.
High-quality cameras usually carry a PIR Angle of 48 degrees. As a result, theses cameras can capture images of almost everything that passes within their field of view, not to mention animals that are moving quickly through the frame.
This refers to how sensitive the camera is to objects that pass in front of it. To put it simply, a camera with a HIGH sensitivity rating will capture everything from whitetails to chipmunks. Cameras with a LOW sensitivity rating will forget about the small stuff and focus on larger animals. Some cameras will allow users to change this setting; some will not.
The advantage of having the ability to change the sensitivity of the camera is that occasionally the sensitivity rating will reach farther than the flash range. As a result, users can alter the two to better match one to the other’s ability. If you are going to take your first camera, make sure you have known this feature from our trail camera buying guide.
Several of the better trail cameras currently use the option to instantly embed GPS collaborates of your cam location onto maps to make tracking game activity as well as camera positioning easier. If you are going to take your first camera, make sure you have known this feature from our trail camera buying guide.
Trail cameras sporting the wireless function allow individuals to view photos on the camera without actually eliminating the SD card from the cam. This is excellent when you want to leave your hunting location absolutely undisturbed. Photos are recorded and also sent to the individual via e-mail, text, or an additional location that permits the data to be downloaded and install and also viewed. The only disadvantage to making use of a wireless feature is the cost. Customers need to normally spend on the cordless solution along with the purchase cost of the trail camera. Likewise, relying on the terrain, the cordless attribute might be a choice on your cam yet will not always operate in your hunting location because of poor cell service.
SD Card Capacity
If you expect to record a lot of images then ensure your camera can manage a huge ability SD card. Otherwise, your smaller card will certainly fill promptly which will certainly compel you to see your trail camera more regularly. As a result, video game animals will certainly become aware of your visibility much sooner. If you are going to take your first camera, make sure you have known this feature from our trail camera buying guide.
You are probably accustomed to the little “time-lapse” cams that are generally positioned next to food plots. Time-lapse technology immediately breaks photos at pre-programmed intervals of one min to one hour, within the hrs of your selection. Customers after that return and also enjoy a full day’s worth of activity in simply mins. Currently, that very same attribute is available on common trail cameras.
Some camera producers offer this attribute with two offered time ports so you can monitor sundown as well as dawn activity. The most effective ones aren’t set off by the game so they offer the widest checking out location feasible. Even better, look for the video camera version that offers this feature while at the same time keeping its live trigger– indicating it can still capture pictures of anything that strolls by in addition to the time-lapse video.
Data Stamp or Time Stamp
Wise seekers wish to discover everything they can concerning the video game pets they go after. This consists of factors such as weather, moon stage, barometric pressure, and so on. Cameras that supply the Data-Stamp alternative supply individuals with info such as date, time, moon stage, and temperature level the moment the picture was taken. If you desire these details marked to every photo your trail camera catches that’s excellent. Otherwise, some cams will certainly permit you to transform this function off. Some do not.
One of the biggest pitfalls when using a trail camera is the number of return trips you make to either check the SD card or replace the batteries. Battery issues can be taken care of if you choose the right camera. While some manufacturers claim over a 1-year battery life, not all trail cameras live up to this statement. Some can be as short as a month or less depending on the amount of activity and the camera you are using.
Be sure to research your brand of interest before making a purchase. Making the right choice could save you a lot of money, even if you purchase a more expensive camera. Trail cameras with a good reputation include Bushnell, WildGuarder, and Moultrie just to name a few.
Batteries matter as well and can significantly increase or decrease the amount of time a camera can operate. Lithium batteries, while more expensive, are longer-lasting, better in cold weather, and can even increase the range of the camera’s flash. Nickel Metal Hydride (Nimh) rechargeable batteries are also a good choice depending on your location as they can be recycled for extended use making them a little more economical. If you live in warmer states be careful and Nimh’s aren’t known for lasting that long during high-heat days.
Each year it seems as though something new is added to the list of available trail camera features. All of them are useful but not all of them are necessary. Start by understanding what each feature does then consider if you really need them before you pay for the ones that you don’t. That is the easiest way to get the most out of your next trail camera purchase, hope this trail camera buying guide could help you.
Our latest 4G trail camera Watcher1-4G is one of the most popular cameras in the market. It has excellent performance that supports sending 30s HD video and 20MP original image, which is not available in the other cellular camera. If you have any interest, feel free to contact us.