Do you have a passion for wildlife photography, or do you need to conduct scientific research involving animals? Having a difficult time catching those elusive, nocturnal creatures? Don’t camp out all night hoping to catch a glimpse of your query; games cameras offer you a fast, cost efficient solution. Though they typically cost a bit more than a digital camera, a game camera has powerful lenses for capturing surprisingly clear, high-quality photos, and can be used in all kinds of environments and terrain. These cameras are durable, camouflaged so as to make them virtually undetectable, and, unlike more expensive models, relatively user-friendly. To get the most out of your experience in wildlife photography, consider choosing from the following list of our 10 best reviewed game cameras.
Table of Contents
- 1 Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR
- 1.1 Bushnell 14-MP Trophy Cam Trail Camera
- 1.2 Moultrie A5 Game Camera
- 1.3 Stealth Cam P18 7 MP Scouting Camera
- 1.4 Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Trail Camera
- 1.5 Moultrie M-880 Game Camera
- 1.6 Stealth Cam STC-P12 6-MP Digital Scouting Camera
- 1.7 Browning Strike Force Sub Micro Game Camera
- 1.8 Game/Trail Camera-Buying Guide
Stealth Cam G30 Triad Camera
If you’re ready to finally get high-quality photographs of that elusive creature that you’ve been searching for, then this game camera is among the best options on the current market. Its housing is made out of durable, heavy-duty plastic and is camouflaged to look like part of a tree trunk, and its impressive 8.0 MP (megapixel) lens is able to record video in high-definition no matter what environment it is placed in. The Stealth Cam G30 Triad also features a big screen that is backlit and offers a program menu that allows you to easily set up video or photo recordings, thirty powerful infrared detectors that have a 80 foot range and a remarkably fast response time, matrix technology that reduces blur and significantly enhances the quality of the photographs, 32 GB of memory, and a USB port, plus all of its contents are password protected to ensure that no one but you will ever see the precious images that it has captured.
Moultrie Game Spy M-880 Gen 2 8.0 MP Camera
The light, portable, high-grade camera has come to be a favorite of both the professional and the novice in wildlife photography, as well as among scientists. It has a heavy-duty casing that is both impact- and water-resistant, and is camouflaged with a pattern that resembles mossy oaks. It also features a resolution of 8 MP, a very fast, one-second trigger, and a 50 foot range of detection, a 100 foot flash, and long-range infrared detectors — all to make sure that it never fails to detect and capture clear, high-definition photographs of game without you having to lift a finger. Some of its other useful features include a fast start menu for easy customization, motion-freezing technology that enhances the clarity of photographs taken at night, and data compression that enhances the camera’s memory without sacrificing image quality.
Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR
This high-quality camera captures not only still images, but also five-second to two-minute long videos that are both high-definition and include sound. Its high-powered, high-performance system features a built-in flash that has a range of up to 70 feet, the very fast response time of two-thirds of a second, a two-inch screen for easy programming and for viewing both still images and videos in color, and a handy time-lapse function. This particular game camera also has a casing that is camouflaged and made out of at heavy-duty plastic which resists UV radiation, rain, and other damaging environmental factors, as well as an array of eight Double-A batteries that keep it running for days.
Bushnell 14-MP Trophy Cam Trail Camera
The top-notch Bushnell 14MP Trophy Cam has earned the unofficial nickname “The High-Def Aggressor” from professional wildlife photographers and scientists all over the world. It features 14 MP of resolution for shooting crystal-clear images and high-definition, 1920x1080p videos, an incredibly fast reaction time of 0.2 seconds for making sure nothing ever gets missed, a long-range LED flash that’s hidden by a removable, low-reflection cover for taking photos and videos at night, and advanced, anti-glow technology that won’t scar away wildlife. The Bushnell 14MP Trophy Cam also has a passive infrared sensor that can be adjusted, stamps for name, date, time, temperature, and location, a handy time-lapse feature, and a SD card with 32 GB of memory storage.
Moultrie A5 Game Camera
Yet another example from the Moultrie brand, this high-quality camera features five megapixels of resolution, an infrared sensor, and advanced, anti-glow technology. It is often recommended for scouting due to its long, 50-foot nighttime range and its ability to take clear video and images in both high and low light. The A5 also has a 1- minute, 5- minute, 10- minute, or 30-minute delay option, built-in stamps for accurately recording times, dates, phases of the moon, and camera name, a durable, waterproof base, 4 C batteries, and a large memory that can easily store 3000 photos with room to spare.
Stealth Cam P18 7 MP Scouting Camera
Consistently rated high in top game camera reviews of 2017, this compact, well-designed camera is perfect for scouting. It has a durable, waterproof body that is camouflaged so as to be virtually undetectable in forest environments, as well as a 7 megapixel lens, a flash range of up to 60 feet, and 18 high-quality infrared detectors with a range of up to 50 feet. It can take both high-quality photographs either in single shots or in rapid bursts, as well as videos of up to 15 seconds long. This game camera is battery-powered, and is easy to program with its innovative programming features
Bushnell 8MP Trophy Cam HD Trail Camera
In another contribution to our top 10 list by Bushnell, this powerful, high definition game camera is quite impressive when you figure in the fact that it is inexpensive and relatively easy to use, having a light design that allows the user to rig it to the side of a tree with little effort. This camera was built for tracking animals at night; it has a hyper-PIR motion detector with a 60-foot effective range and stamps that accurately record date, time, temperature, barometric pressure, and the phase of the moon. Bushnell’s 8MP HD Trophy Camera also has a feature that allows you to capture three standard resolution images at the same time, and its Hybrid Mode (programmable between 1 and 60 second) allows you to simultaneously take pictures and record video with sound.
Moultrie M-880 Game Camera
In yet another contribution to our top 10 reviewed game cameras of 2017, the M-880 from Moultrie is an highly effective game camera with an array of features—such as its durability, its anti-glow technology, and its powerful 8 megapixel IFR miniature camera—that have gained it attention from all over the world. It features a rugged, waterproof casing that protects it from both water and UV radiation, making it ideal for daily use. It also has a night vision range of 100 feet, a sensor that enhances nighttime clarity and brightness, motion freezing technology that reduces nighttime blurring, and a 1 second response time—all of which is why it has become the preferred choice of trackers
Stealth Cam STC-P12 6-MP Digital Scouting Camera
This game camera is both affordable and professional-grade. Perfect for scouting, it features 6 megapixels of resolution, 12 powerful infrared detectors with a 50-foot effective range, the ability to shoot bursts of as much as 6 pictures at a time, the ability to shoot clear videos as long as 15 seconds long, and stamps for marking date, time, and lunar phase. Its durable housing is camouflaged to blend in with the bark of a tree, and features a digital battery indicator, a large LCD screen for viewing images and videos, and a user-friendly programming interface.
Browning Strike Force Sub Micro Game Camera
At the top of the list of the 10 best game cameras of 2017, this powerful, compact camera features 10 megapixels of resolution, an effective flash range of as far as to 100 feet, and a very fast, two-thirds of a second reaction time—perfect for taking high-quality images and videos even in the toughest weather conditions, the thickest terrains, or on the darkest nights. This durable camera also offers a variety of programming options, is powered by 6 AA batteries, and is more energy-efficient than comparable brands.
Game/Trail Camera-Buying Guide
Also commonly referred to as “trail cameras”, game cameras represent very useful additions for any hunter who wishes to obtain more information about the most dominant animal on a particular territory. The traditional methods such as the observation from a single stationary point (a tree hut, for example) and scouting reports are certainly effective, but they take up too much time, and with the advance in technology, they are certainly falling behind. Game cameras are extremely practical because you can relax while they do the job on their own. Once all the pictures are collected, you can view them all anytime you want, and you can also change the camera’s location for some additional shots as well. There are many different models available out there, and of course – not all of them are equally as good, so you may end up struggling to choose the best solution. That is where this guide jumps to the rescue, and right below I will try to help you out by supplying you with all the necessary information that you will need in order to make the best purchase for yourself. So, let us begin!
The primary attribute of each and every game camera is the flash. There are different types of flash available right there; however, the two most commonly used solutions are incandescent flash and infrared flash. Infrared flashes are ideal for night scouting, as they are designed to prevent detection from animals and/or other people. There will be no risk of the animal getting scared off because of the annoying light beam, while the risk of someone seeing your camera and stealing it is fairly minimal too. The bad thing, though, is that images are strictly made in “black and white” fashion and their overall quality is often highly dependent on the basic attributes of the game camera itself. If you don’t like your images to be colorless, then incandescent flashes are the right thing for you. The images are made in full color and they provide exceptional quality. However, this type has a downside as well – these flashes are slower, they eat up your batteries much more than the infrared flashes, and you can also end up with an animal getting scared off from the light beam.
As you can see, you need to make sure to know and understand your own needs in the first place. Only then you will be able to choose the flash type properly.
Parameters such as the distance specification and detection width basically tell you how safe you are from being detected by the animal(s). The general rule is that the bigger these parameters are the better. You can find cheap models that provide a detection zone of about 50 feet pretty much everywhere, but I strongly encourage you to avoid those! Don’t hesitate to spend more money on more expensive, but ultimately better game cameras. The minimal detection zone should be at least 85.
You probably know this already if you are dealing with computers, but anyway – a resolution is the number of pixels that together form the image that you see. And common logic is once again that the higher the resolution – the better the image quality as well. Just like I said in the previous paragraph, try to avoid cheap models that are showcased everywhere, as a resolution of about 3 or 4 megapixels is not an ideal solution by any means. You will be able to see the image, yes, but it will not be a quality that you may like. That is why it is better to buy some more expensive models, preferably models with a resolution of at least 5 to 7 megapixels. Everything above that makes the whole experience even better and more realistic, so it comes down to how much you are willing to pay.
Trigger Speed and Recovery
Well, it is quite self-explanatory really, as the trigger speed is the time interval that passes from the moment when the camera is triggered and prepared to capture the image and the moment when the actual shot is taken. Time is very important here, as the more time it takes to take the shot, the bigger the risk for an animal to get away. The recovery period is very important as well, as it usually takes time before you can take the next shot.
You should ideally aim your camera to have both of these factors measured in milliseconds.
These cameras typically require AAA, C and/or D batteries in order to run, but sometimes even 6-volt and 12-volt variants will do the job just fine as well. You want to be able to use your camera as long as possible, and the battery life is highly dependent on the model and the type of the game camera that is involved. For example, a more expensive model will have longer battery duration than the cheap low-quality models. Also, infrared types aren’t as battery dependent as the incandescent types. Sometimes, the environment can play a huge role as well, as it is a general rule that the batteries will be used much faster in a cold environment. Make sure to take all of this into consideration before you buy your own game camera.
I wouldn’t really say that this is a vital feature to have, but it is certainly very practical, especially if you want to see your shots right there and then, without having to use the computer. An integrated photo viewing software is becoming more and more common, and I believe that the time when it will become an industry standard is not so far off.
Just like with other bits of technical equipment, there are two standard types of memory being used here – the internal memory and the SD card memory. Internal memory is already allocated inside the device, so you will be able to take plenty of shots up to a certain degree. But, be varying, as internal memory doesn’t offer a huge capacity (at least not regularly), so if you do take many shots, you will likely need to upgrade your memory and get one or more SD cards. SD card is highly practical and the capacity varies, depending on the user’s needs. Of course, just like with other devices, you can transfer your photos to your PC or even a digital camera to free up some space anytime you like.
SD card is an additional investment, but you need to spend some money in order to have a quality service.
Sometimes just a simple picture isn’t enough and you may want to record a longer video. Many high-end models have this feature in their standard assortment. Although it can really be an awesome addition, take note that videos eat up quite a lot of memory resources, so unless you have at least one SD card of…let’s say, solid capacity – don’t even bother with this.
Even if you are not a professional hunter, game cameras are certainly worth your money, as they are highly practical, efficient, and they provide high-quality shots that you can analyze in-depth later on. The time of “scouting huts” and laying in the dust to observe the happenings around you is slowly going to history, and the modern technology can offer much better alternatives nowadays. I hope that you found some useful tips in this article and that you will use them wisely when you get to buy your own game camera. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!