Trail Camera Reviews
The trail camera is essential for study wildlife behavior. It lets you get close-up natural animal photos and videos without making them frightened and you don’t need to observe them yourself. It also don’t need to rest: it can work 24 hours continuously for several months. So long that you might forget that it has been installed. Trail camera is ideal for scouting wildlife in area you want.
It must be left to work alone, so it may have been stolen. We recommend that you should secure it by locking it with cable to a tree or using security box.
What It’s Good For
It’s a camera made especially for tracking wild animals. Therefore, it’s necessary to have special functions that regular digital cameras didn’t have.
It’s like a silent eye that it can be left to operate in the woods because it can take photos and videos automatically. It will trigger when sensor (motion/heat) detects that the animals come into detection zone. Normally, wildlife photography requires patience in waiting and hiding in order not to scare them. But this is not problem for trail camera because it can do that by itself.
Long Operation Time:
It has more battery slots compared to conventional cameras, which make it can run continuously for several months. This is necessary for wildlife researching that take a long time to track their location of entire season such as food and water sources or even the route they use.
Apart from animal pictures, information at the time of capture is important. Trail camera will record data stamp on all images such as date, time, temperature, moon phase and barometric pressure in some models. This is useful for analyzing animal behavior.
Because the main mission is outdoors for up to a year, so its housing is rugged and weatherproof in order to withstand all weather conditions whether summer or rainy season.
Some models support WiFi SD card that makes it can send images and videos to your computer or other mobile devices. So it can use as wireless surveillance camera to protect backyard garden, garage, barn, warehouse etc. or other outdoor properties with in WiFi range.
Things to Consider for the Best
Detection Zone - The area is covered with sensor which detect movement or heat. The camera will trigger if animals enter in this area. This zone is determined by 2 factors:
- Detection Range (ft.) is distance from the camera that sensor can detect.
- Detection Angle (deg.) is width of the area that sensor can detect.
Shooting Speed - This speed refers to number of photos it has taken. Faster, more photos. It has a huge effect if animals move quickly. If speed is too slow, might miss a shot. This speed is determined by 2 factors:
- Trigger Time (sec.) is the period from sensor are activated until photo was taken.
- Recovery Time (sec.) is time to prepare for the next shot.
Night Flash - It influences on night image quality which depends on 2 factors:
- White Flash provides color photos but may cause animals panic and get away.
- Infrared Flash is Low-Glow flash which cannot visible except for looking at the camera while shooting. It provides black & white photos.
- Black LED Flash is No-Glow flash which completely invisible, so it can be used as a security camera as well. It provides black & white photos.
- Flash Range (ft.) is the distance that flash can be illuminated to.
Battery Life - It’s period that trail camera can standby for capturing wildlife photos and videos which depends on 2 factors:
- Battery Slots refer to number of loadable battery. The more slots, the longer standby time.
- External Power Port is a port to connect with solar panels for increased battery life.
Memory Card Capacity - It’s the maximum capacity that can be acceptable.
- Viewing Screen
- TV and USB Connections
- Locking Cable
- Security Box
- Solar Panel
Better Position For Better Shots
Even if trail camera can takes photos automatically, but it cannot turn or change viewing angle itself. Therefore, mounting position has a huge effect in order to get nice photos.
Direction - Do not turn it towards the east or west to avoid sun glare. If not you may lose photos at that time of day. North is the best, but south is okay.
Alignment - Placing camera obliquely to the trail provide wider angle pictures than perpendicularly, 45° angle is the best.
Height - Mount it above eye level of animals in order not to be noticed. Or higher to get photos of whole area, not being blocked by only one or any part of the body. 6 feet or higher is good and bend down the camera slightly.
Trail camera was just a camera for shooting animals that went through, which doesn’t expect stunning images like DSLR camera. So the price mainly depends on PIR sensor performance and shooting speed. If you want to place it in locations where the animals spent a long time like food and water souces, you don’t need to use costly models.
But if you want to place it on the animal trail, you should invest for larger detection zone and faster shooting speed to increase chance of capturing. That makes you use the trail camera features efficiently.