Top Reasons Why Your Trail Camera isn’t Taking Night Pictures
Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Thomas S. Tucci
Trail cameras or game cameras are time and effort-savers. All you do is set up the cameras at the right location and enjoy the photos and pictures they take. But don’t be surprised if the malfunction of the camera happens sometimes.
The most common issues and questions I get from the visitors are regarding photo capturing. It is either “why is my trail camera not taking pictures?” or “why is my trail camera not taking night pictures?”
Either way, it’s a frustrating issue that you need to solve immediately. And if you don’t know how to do that, read this article to find out. Here, you will get some trail camera tips and tricks too.
Why Use Trail Cameras?
There is no reason not to use trail cameras. Trail cameras are beneficial if you are a hunter or a wildlife photographer.
Hunters need to keep track of the game movements throughout the year until the hunting season. The camera allows you to know the number of animals passing the location and at which time. Thus, you can easily keep an eye on them without alarming them.
And then there is wild photography. Believe it or not, the perfectly captured shots of animals you see are trail camera shots. Wildlife photography is not easy, especially during the night. Not to mention the danger some places have.
Besides, one might end up disturbing the animals. That’s another reason to use trail cameras. Moreover, these cameras often play a vital role in home and office security. In my opinion, the immediate detection and trigger features make it better than a CCTV camera.
What To Do When Trail Camera Doesn’t Take Night Pictures?
As I’ve mentioned, one of the questions I frequently get is, “why is my trail camera not taking night pictures?” As complicated as it may sound, both the reason and the solution to this problem are easy.
Your camera may stop taking pictures at night or may take way too dark photos for several reasons. One of them is having dead batteries. Don’t be surprised if this happens. Leaving the camera out there for a long time without observation can lead to anything.
Now, let’s get to the point. Nighttime photography means the camera needs enough power and flashlight brightness to capture photos. If your trail camera fails to take night pictures, check the following:
- Check The Batteries: If you don’t keep track of your batteries‘ power, you will never know when they’ll bid you goodbye. Cameras stop taking pictures when the battery percentage becomes very low.
- Solar Power: Not all trail cameras run on batteries. Some of them come with solar panels to save battery energy. Check if you have turned off the battery power to use solar power only. If that’s the case, the camera will not take photos at night as this feature is suitable only for daytime photography.
- Low Flash Light: Does the camera have a black flash? If it does, that could be why the camera isn’t taking nighttime pictures or taking pictures that are too dark to see.
- Flash Range: Flash range is also known as the detection range. Flash range allows the sensors to pick motions from a certain distance which triggers the camera and takes pictures. If the camera is further than its range, it will fail to capture anything.
- Insufficient Space In SD Card: I should have mentioned it first. But when your trail camera isn’t taking pictures only at night, the SD card issue isn’t always the main culprit. But check on this little devil too. Because not having sufficient SD card storage can prevent the camera from taking pictures.
Trail Camera Tips And Tricks
As I said at the beginning, I’ll share some trail camera tips here so that you get the perfect shots. Don’t worry. None of these tips or tricks require a massive amount of work.
- Always use a camera that is suitable for the location you’ll place it. It has to be adaptable to all types of weather conditions.
- Place your camera near fields, streams, or any other source of food. These are the places where games will come for food and water.
- Never set your camera facing the sun directly. The same goes for placing the solar panel. Setting them up straight towards the sun will blast the images.
- Install the camera at least three feet above the ground. It is the same as deer height and will help you to get perfect angle shots.
- If you think placing the camera low will not work, set it higher but not more than 10 to 12 feet. Then angle the camera downwards.
- Make sure you know the flash range of the camera. It will help you understand how far you need to set up the camera.
- Do not use the same SD card for different cameras. Use a separate SD card for each camera. If you think you are likely to mix them up, try marking or numbering the cameras and the cards.
See More: Best Trail Camera
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How Many Trail Cameras Should I Use?
Honestly, I would never know how many trail cameras you need. That depends entirely on your choice and the length of the area you want to cover.
Some hunters or photographers would leave one camera, especially when they know what they are expecting. But if you can, try placing one trail camera for every 100 acres. The more cameras you set, the better shots you will get.
Q. How Often Should I Check My Camera?
It’s not ideal to leave your trail camera out there for too long. At the same time, you don’t need to check on it frequently.
Checking on the camera too often will draw unwanted attention from both animals and unwanted visitors. That’s why I would tell you to check the camera once every two weeks.
To answer your “why is my trail camera not taking night pictures?” question in short, it can be because of insufficient storage, low-glow flash, or the camera being out of range.
Now it’s your job to find out which one is causing the issue and solve it. I recommend you use a trail camera with a high-quality night vision lens. It will ensure the camera takes photos with sufficient visibility.
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