Top 10 Best Trail Camera Features to Look for When Buying
Last Updated on February 7, 2022 by Thomas S. Tucci
A perfect trail camera is one of the great gears as well as a blessing to the hunters. When it comes to detecting the motion of the prey, there is no alternative to using a trail camera.
However, many hunters, especially beginners get confused about what to look for in a trail camera. For a better hunting experience, it is a must to know how to choose a trail camera that fulfills the need. However, most modern trail cameras come with a plethora of features to help the hunters get informed about every movement of the game. Along with knowing the trail camera features, it is also important to know how to get the best of a trail camera by using all the features and technologies it comes with.
If a user doesn’t know how to use a trail camera properly to get the maximum output, the modern features will not be fruitful for him.
- 1 A small reminder:
- 2 Top 10 Best Trail Camera Features to Look for When Buying
- 2.1 Trail Camera Picture Quality:
- 2.2 Trail Camera Flash Types:
- 2.3 Trail Camera Trigger Speed
- 2.4 Camera Recovery Time
- 2.5 Availability of Wireless Connectivity
- 2.6 Trail Camera Time or Data Stamp
- 2.7 Sensitivity Adjustment and PIR Angle
- 2.8 Trail Camera Capture Modes
- 2.9 SD Card Storage Capacity
- 2.10 Battery Life
A small reminder:
By the way, we suggest you not go buying cheap cameras that will not help you in need. Rather, always prioritize the quality. Quality pays off.
To ensure that you get a good trail camera and inform the beginners about trail camera features, here we have come with the top 10 best trail camera features to look for when buying. Let’s dive into it:
Top 10 Best Trail Camera Features to Look for When Buying
- Trail Camera Picture Quality:
- Trail Camera Flash Types:
- Trail Camera Trigger Speed
- Camera Recovery Time
- Availability of Wireless Connectivity
- Trail Camera Time or Data Stamp
- Sensitivity Adjustment and PIR Angle
- Trail Camera Capture Modes
- SD Card Storage Capacity
- Battery Life
Trail Camera Picture Quality:
Yes, megapixels are important when it comes to trail cameras. But, never be fooled with advertisements where the manufacturers say that they sell cameras of high megapixels and that’s the only important thing.
No matter how many megapixels a trail camera has, if that doesn’t come with a high-quality lens, it is not possible to get quality-picture.
To get the best quality picture, the camera sensor is also very important. You should choose the trail camera that ensures good resolution, clarity, color, and contrast. You can determine the image quality of a trail camera by seeing the real-world images they have captured.
You should look at the company websites, forums, and social media pages to get captured photos. It is only your research that can save you from buying a bad trail camera.
Trail Camera Flash Types:
Which is the best flash type for a trail camera is one of the most debated issues. Once a trail camera is triggered, it emits a certain flash which determines the picture size, color, and other aspects.
Different flash types are available in different trail cameras and it is hard to know the one which is the best for you unless you have an idea about all of them.
In most cameras, we see one of the three flash types: no-glow flash, low-glow flash, and white flash. Let’s see their specialty now:
No-Glow Flash: No-Glow Flash trail cameras use black LED that remains invisible to the game animals and even to the humans. If you use a no-glow flash trail camera, you will get black and white photos.
We like it as it is best to use in sensitive areas. Though the flash range is not very wide, it will do the work perfectly without letting the game know the existence of the trail camera.
Low-Glow Flash: A trail camera featuring low-glow flash denotes that it has a visible flash but is drastically reduced. Most often you will notice a faint red glow from the flash.
It is a good alternative for hunters who think that paying for a no-glue flash is not a wise decision. However, a trail camera with low-glow flash also outputs black and white pictures as no-glow flash cameras.
White-Flash: I believe that you already understand what it is. Yes, it is a day-like clear flash ready to give you color photos, no matter day or night.
However, it is no doubt that you will get the best photos of the game with it. But, the problem is, your game might get feared with the flash and may avoid it, especially during the night. However, when you go for buying a trail camera, the number of LEDs is also important along with the flash type. It is because more LED means more flash range and illumination.
Trail Camera Trigger Speed
Trigger or shutter speed refers to the time it takes for a camera to take a snap whenever prey is detected. It is a game-changer for trail cameras.
Because, if a trial camera cannot capture a photo with the fastest speed, it may miss out on quick-crossing games. Trigger speed becomes more important when the trail camera is placed over a corn pile or food plot.
If it wakes up late and cannot respond quickly, it will miss the image you are looking for. Many trail cameras can capture within 0.13 seconds while some take more than 1.3 seconds. You should go for one that comes with a better speed.
Camera Recovery Time
By camera recovery time we mean the time, a camera usually takes to start afresh or recycle after taking a photo. Camera recovery time is no less important than trigger time.
Because a slow camera misses many movements and cannot output good photos. While some cameras may take more than one minute to recover and start again to take new photos, many modern trail cameras do it within seconds. For God’s sake, do not go for low-cost cameras that come with high-recovery time.
Availability of Wireless Connectivity
If a trail camera features wireless connectivity, it means you can view the recorded images or clips without removing the SD card from the camera.
If you are not on the spot of your camera or prefer to stay out of your hunting area, this feature is a must for you. A trail camera with wireless connectivity is supposed to send the captured photos or clips to the user with the help of email, text, or something else in a downloadable format.
But, having a trail camera with a wireless connection is costly as its wireless connectivity adds an extra price.
However, if your camera itself has the connectivity, you can not guarantee that it will work on all the terrain if the cell service is poor.
Trail Camera Time or Data Stamp
Mature and meticulous hunters care to know everything related to their game and hunting place. They think weather, barometric pressure, moon phase, etc. are important to analyze the best time and place for hunting.
If a trail camera comes with a date stamp function, it means that it shares the date, time, temperature, moon phase, and the exact moment of capturing the images with the user.
However, it is available in most of the standard trail cameras. It is up to you to decide whether you want to get the information or not. Some cameras let you switch the feature off.
Sensitivity Adjustment and PIR Angle
It is great for a trail camera if it lets you adjust the sensitivity. It is because a camera with HIGH sensitivity might capture even the movement of snakes and wild rats which may not be important for a hunter.
On the other hand, a camera with LOW sensitivity will take care of only the bigger stuff and keep its focus reserved only for bigger animals. If a trail camera has a sensitivity adjustment feature, the user can set it as per his needs. The term PIR stands to mean passive infrared. When it comes to PIR Angle, it denotes the degree of movement detection. Cameras with large PIR can sense movement fast.
If you have a PIR angle of 10 degrees, for example, you may sometimes get a half picture of your game.
Most of the good trail cameras have a PIR angle of 48 degrees to ensure crystal clear output of everything the frame can cover.
Trail Camera Capture Modes
Your trail camera can capture images in one of the two modes: still-photos and video mode. If you have enough storage available, you can get a taste of both.
The still photos are enough for many. But, users who want to get a real glimpse of the animal world can choose to capture videos for few seconds to few minutes. However, some updated trail cameras let you do both at the same time. Another interesting mode that your trail camera should feature is “Burst Mode”. This mode allows you to take multiple photos one after another.
You can take up to 2-5 photos or as per your need before resetting. Note that, this mode will take up the storage capacity very quickly.
SD Card Storage Capacity
Having a high SD card storage capacity is one of the important trail camera features. If you are interested to take HD photos, you need high storage.
Otherwise, you have to go near your trail camera much frequently. On top of that, if you want to use Burst Mode, you have no alternative to using storage that accommodates a huge volume of photos.
Battery life is an important issue while choosing the right trail camera. A bad battery may lessen the comfort of using a trail camera.
Though many manufacturers claim that they come with 1- year battery life, all of them are not true to their words.
However, battery life also depends on your usage. If you use heavily and experience most of the features of a trail cam, it may last just a month even.
Lithium batteries are good if you want your batteries to last long. Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are also good, but not a good choice for hot weather. In the end, now that you have read this guide, we hope you know how to choose a trail camera and what are the basic trail camera features.
Still, note that there is no alternative to research the brands and their trail camera features to get the best trail camera in your budget.
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