Whether you’re a hunter or wildlife enthusiast, automated camera equipment is a great way to get closer observations of animals. They can save you endless hours of just sitting around waiting for something to happen.
But with that in mind, there are a lot of poor products out there. They might seem like a reasonable option, only to let you down with the first bit of rain. Or the batteries will die within just a few days, meaning you have to check the camera every few days.
To help you avoid the situation where you have such a bad experience, we have months of research into the features and specifications of hundreds of products. That has resulted in the below best trail camera reviews.
These products cover a wide range of budgets. But even the cheaper options will give you a great ability to track animals both day and night.
So, keep reading and you’ll find out the most important details of the best rated trail camera options available.
Table of Contents
- Our Top 10 Best Trail Camera Recommendations
- 1 – Distianert Wildlife Game Camera
- 2 – Browning STRIKE FORCE ELITE
- 3 – Day 6 Plotwatcher
- 4 – Elepawl Wildlife Game Camera
- 5 – CUDDEBACK E2 Long Range IR
- 6 – LESHP Game and Trail Camera
- 7 – AKASO with Infrared Night Vision
- 8 – Stealth Cam G42NG No-Glo
- 9 – AUCEE Tracker Trail Camera
- 10 – Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR HC500
- What Features To Focus On
- Night Vision
- Motion Detection
Our Top 10 Best Trail Camera Recommendations
1 – Distianert Wildlife Game Camera
If you are on a budget and want to get the best cheap trail camera then this product will solve your needs. At this price point, it is very affordable and you still get a decent amount of features built-in.
Firstly, it will work up to 65 feet at night time with the IR flash. That is a very good range. But you have to be aware that it is a detectable flash and can scare away animals.
The image sensor has 16MP, which will give you a very detailed image. You’ll quickly be able to zoom in and see a lot of detail.
The main downside is that it will take about 8 seconds to fully recover for the next shot. If you are trying to track very busy areas, then that might be too long.
- Fast trigger speed at about half a second
- Huge 16MP sensor for incredible detail in images
- Burst mode allows for up to 3 images to be taken at a time
- 65 foot night vision range
- 120-degree angle for extra wide field of view
- IR flash can be seen and can scare away animals
- Relatively slow recovery time between images
2 – Browning STRIKE FORCE ELITE
Browning is a household name when it comes to all hunting gear and equipment. And this elite product will give you some exceptional results. The 10MP sensor will take both photos and video. And it does so at a very high quality that allows you to zoom in analyze details.
The motion detection will pick up animals up to 55 feet away, which is a great range for any wildlife observation needs. And if you need to deploy the camera for extended periods of time, then you can attach a battery pack as well. As a result, you’ll be able to set up a camera for many months at a time.
You even get a 16GB SD card included. That will work for several weeks and even months dependent on your settings. For very long periods, you might wat to get a larger 32GB one.
- 10MP images with high level of detail to zoom in
- Video recording feature available as well to see animal behavior in detail
- Motion detection up to 55 feet away
- External battery pack can be attached for longer standby time
- SD card included with 16GB storage
- Quite slow trigger speed
- Lens can get fogged up in rain
3 – Day 6 Plotwatcher
This Plotwatcher product is great for providing a really simple solution to get continuous images over a set time period. You can easily set up active times for different parts of the day. Then you set how regular an image should be taken and you are good to go.
The result is a great time-lapse of the designated area. You will end up with a lot of images, but the software allows you go through them at different speeds. That way you can quickly scan for those images with activity. It’s a great way to scout an area for hunting without being there.
Even when taking images all day you will get a good battery life. You can improve that by increasing the time between images. This can give you months’ worth of images all on one SD card and set of batteries.
The main downside is that there is no night vision capability. If you are trying to track animals at night, then this is not the solution for you.
- Add on zoom lens can give focus on specific area
- Video recording feature available
- Good battery life for continuous image shooting
- Easy to set up timing of active times
- Great for creating time-lapse videos
- No night vision capability
- Video can be a bit out of focus
4 – Elepawl Wildlife Game Camera
A great mid-range product is this Elepawl and it will serve any wildlife enthusiast very well. The sensor is large enough to take really good quality images and video. Good enough to be able to zoom into details.
At a quarter second trigger time, you will not find a faster product for this price. This is great if you are expecting many images of birds and other fast moving animals.
The night vision also works very well for both detecting movement and taking images. And all this happens at a very large 120-degree angle of view. That covers almost everything even next to the camera.
The only downside reported is that sometimes the motion detection is too sensitive and you can end up with images with no animals.
- 12 MP sensor for great resolution detailed pictures
- ¼ second trigger speed is very fast and not matched at this price
- Night vision IR lights operate with no glow to avoid scaring animals
- Video recording capability at high resolution
- Wide 120-degree angle of view so that you get maximum coverage
- SD card not included
- Motion detection can be a bit sensitive resulting in false positives
5 – CUDDEBACK E2 Long Range IR
This Cuddeback is possibly the best night vision trail camera you can buy. If you have an open area to cover, then the 100-foot IR flash range will have you covered. And for those fast moving animals, especially birds, the ¼ second trigger time is one of the fastest on the market.
What is really great about this model is that you can set the angle of view to be detected and recorded. So, if you have a very specific area you want to cover then you won’t end up with images you don’t want.
Once an image is taken, the camera is ready to detect the next motion within one second. That means you won’t miss any of the action taking place.
- 100 foot night vision flash for great distances
- Image triggers in quarter of a second making it ideal for fast animals
- Angle of view can be changed to focus on a specific area
- Images can be taken in 1 second intervals
- SD card is included so you’re ready to go out of the box
- Batteries not included
- Some overexposure at night
6 – LESHP Game and Trail Camera
Possibly the best trail camera for the money is this LESHP model specifically designed for wildlife observation and hunting. The high-resolution camera will provide a huge level of detail on photos and videos. Enough to be able to take note of very specific markings.
The built-in night vision technology makes sure there is no glow from the flash so that you don’t scare away any animals. This can make a huge difference to the results you get, with less images of animals running away.
From motion detection to image capture it takes less than half a second. That means that even fast moving animals including birds, will not be out of the frame.
You can even set up a burst image mode that will take up to 9 images each time motion is detected. That can give you some amazing action image sequences of wildlife in a very natural way.
- 12MP sensor for great HD quality images and videos
- Infrared technology with no glow to scare away wildlife
- Trigger speed under half a second for fast moving animals
- 120-degree wide angle lens provides huge area of coverage
- Burst mode to take multiple images per motion detection
- SD card not included
- Battery life could be a little better at this price range
7 – AKASO with Infrared Night Vision
This Akaso product will suit the majority of hunters and wildlife observers. With a very wide operating temperature range from -4 to 140 Fahrenheit you’ll hardly find a location that it won’t provide results.
The images and video recordings are in HD quality, which will give you a huge amount of detail. And the results can be quickly previewed directly on a built in LCD display. That means you don’t have to carry a laptop or tablet to some remote location.
If you need long stand by times over a period of months, then this product will provide some good results. It uses very little battery power and can remain in standby up to 6 months.
The night vision technology will provide a decent range up to 50 feet. That will be more than enough for the majority of situations. But if you need to capture images in wide open areas, then it may not be enough.
The main downside is that it only has an effective range of about 65 feet. But if you are going to set up in wooded areas, then that will do just fine.
- HD quality pictures and video for great level of detail
- Half second trigger time is pretty good for most wildlife
- IP66 waterproof means it will stand up to some heavy rain
- Standby time up to 6 months dependent on how much activity is detected
- Night vision technology with a range of 50 feet
- Batteries not included
- Overall effective range could be better
8 – Stealth Cam G42NG No-Glo
There are many times when you need more than one camera. This can often happen when you find a busy spot where a lot of wildlife passes by. Or maybe you want to get a multi-angle view of a specific location.
If that is the case for you then this double pack is the best value trail camera set you can buy. For a very reasonable price, you will get a set of two identical cameras that can be set up and ready in a matter of minutes.
The infrared bulbs will provide a very long range up to 100 feet, which will cover very large open spaces.
You can install an SD card up to 32GB, which will give you a huge amount of storage. But if you need to leave the cameras set up for longer periods of time, then you can reduce the image resolution to be able to store more images.
The only downside is that fast moving animals are sometimes not fully caught. The trigger time can be too slow, especially for birds.
- Pack of two for wider area coverage
- HD quality video recording for great quality clips
- IR night vision with 100 foot range
- Multiple resolution settings to save SD card space
- Very easy to set up within minutes
- Not the fastest trigger times
- Motion sensor range could be better
9 – AUCEE Tracker Trail Camera
One of the best affordable trail camera options is this Aucee one. Even at a very reasonable price, you get some exceptionally good features. This is truly a great buy for any hunting enthusiast.
The first stand out benefit is that you will not miss any of the action. Even when fast moving animals are detected, the camera will trigger in a split second to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
You can even set the camera to trigger video recording upon motion detection. That way you can analyze the behavior of the animal in more detail. Just keep in mind that this will use up a lot more memory space.
With a 120-degree wide-angle lens, you will get an exceptionally good field of view. This is particularly beneficial when trying to cover a larger area or open field.
Even at nighttime the motion detection will trigger with movement up to 65 feet away, which is quite exceptional. This alone can mean that your hunting trips become more successful.
- Fast motion detection triggers camera in split second so you don’t miss a thing
- Video recording function built in to help view animal behavior
- Night vision up to 65 feet with very good detail
- 120 degree wide angle view for exceptional coverage
- IP56 water proof means it won’t get damaged even in heavy rainfall
- SD card not included
- IR flash could be a bit longer
10 – Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR HC500
The number one best trail camera for features and functionality is this Reconyx. If you have been into hunting for a while, then the name will be familiar. And with this USA made product you will see some fantastic results.
Of all the products you can buy, Reconyx offers the broadest range of operating temperatures. This starts well below freezing and goes all the way up to 120 degrees. That will cover winter months and some of the hottest hunting grounds in the country.
The night vision feature uses infrared lights that give a range of 50 feet. That is more than enough for the majority of uses and will give you plenty of nighttime detail.
Both daytime and nighttime image quality is exceptionally good. That will allow you to see detailed markings on game of all sizes, so that you can identify them again while on a hunt.
With the option of 6 or 12 AA batteries you can get many months’ worth of coverage without having to replace them. You could actually run out of SD card space before you run out of battery.
The main downside is that you cannot zoom into a specific area which may limit how and where you can place the device.
- Very good operating temperature range from -20 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Waterproof enclosure will stand up to heavy rain
- Infra-red night vision technology for up to 50 foot range
- Very good quality pictures allow you to pick up on minor details
- Low battery usage gives you extended periods of recording time
- No video recording function
- No zoom function
What Features To Focus On
One of the biggest challenges when trying to research products is the different language used by different companies. They often use very unique words to describe the exact same thing. The best thing you can do is basically figure out what features you’ll need and then just focus on those. That way you’ll get the most direct comparison before you decide.
Here are the main features to focus on.
In the past, this feature would have cost a lot more. But as you can see with the above products, they practically all have some form of night vision features. That is good news for you, but you have to be careful as there are a couple of things that set them apart.
First of all, the best no glow trail camera options are usually going to be the most expensive. But there is a huge benefit to that extra investment. The infrared lights will not be visible and therefore won’t scare away animals.
The other thing to look out for is the range. In day light the camera will pick up everything as far as the eye can see. But at night you are limited by the IR bulbs’ reach. The further you need that range to be, the more expensive the camera will become.
If you are looking for the best hunting trail camera then resolution should be top of your list of priorities. This can be determined by looking at the camera sensor specification which is determined in Megapixels (MP). The higher this value is the more detail will be captured. That will allow you to zoom into far away animals. It also allows you to take a really close look at markings on animals to help better identify them.
This might not be important if you are setting up a camera in mid-summer in a desert like environment. But for most people, the chance of rain could end up ruining a camera completely. If you’re unsure, then just go for a product that is well sealed providing great water protection.
You also want to get something that is a bit more than splash proof. It should withstand a long heavy rain without getting damaged or the lens fogging up.
All of the best game trail camera options above have motion detection built in. This is very important to make sure you get the longest standby times. But it will also make sure that you don’t end up with a load of images filling your SD card with nothing happening in them.
If you are trying to capture some time-lapse videos of wildlife, then you can possibly ignore motion detection. In those cases, you would probably just want to set up the camera to take a photo every 1 to 5 seconds.
All the above best trail camera reviews will give you exceptional results. There is something for every budget and you won’t be disappointed. The best thing you can do is set yourself a budget and then make a choice dependent on that.
Your next hunting trip can be made so much more successful with these simple devices. And because technology prices have come down so much you won’t have to spend a fortune to get set up.