Best Trail Cameras Reviews for 2016

Hunting has changed in today’s world, and technology like trail cameras help you to get an edge over other hunters and wild animals. The trail camera market is full of different brands and models that offer various performance, specs, and added features. To use these devices effectively, multiple trail cameras usually need to be set up, and this can be costly if you don’t look for the best trail cameras for the money you budgeted.

Trail cameras don’t have to be expensive; the market is fully of models that offer high performance at an affordable price, best for hunters on a budget and homeowners who want to supplement their home security. But how do you choose the best trail camera for deer hunting or security?

Trail Cameras Comparison Chart

TrailcamOur ReviewPixels (Mp)FlashRange (ft)BatteryTrigger
Browning Strike ForceMore10 Infrared 100AA(6)0.67 S
Stealth Cam G30More830 IR80AA(8)0.5 S
Moultrie M990i Gen2More10Invisible Infrared 70AA(8)0.69 S
Bushnell 6MP Trophy CamMore632 low-glow Leds45AA(8)0.8 S
Covert MP8 Trail CameraMore828 IR 40AA(8)1 s
Cuddeback E2More20 Infrared 100AA(8)1/4 S
Bushnell 119513CMore518 IR30AA(4)1.6 S
720P 8MP IP66 More 8 Infrared 50AA(4/8/12)0.8-1.2S
Ancheer HC-300AMore12 Infrared 65AA(8)1.1 S

 

Things to Consider

When comparing different models, there are a few essential points of comparison: image quality, night mode options, detection circuit, overall design, after sales support, added features, and price. Comparing each model against these factors ensures that you get the best trail cameras on the market for needs!

cheap trail cameras

Image quality

Image quality takes into consideration the resolution size, clarity, and color composition of the camera’s output. The better quality the image is, the easier you will be able to see important details about the game you are studying. Lower end cameras will usually suffer a little on image quality, although that might not make a big difference to you depending on what you plan to use the camera to do.

Storage space is an important thing to look at that is related to the image quality of the camera. Better images take up more space in the camera’s memory card, requiring you to check and wipe the card more frequently. Images with lower quality will not take up as much space.

Night Mode

The quality of the night mode pictures is an important thing to consider as most game would venture out when there is little light during dawn or dusk. Your trail camera should still be able to show the details clearly. Night mode picture quality will be determined by the type of flash that the camera uses.

 

Detection Circuit bushnell trail cameras

The detection circuit is the biggest feature that makes trail cameras worth their price. The sensors detect game passing in front of the camera and send a signal that triggers the camera to take a picture. Recovery circuits help ready the camera again to take another shot if the motion sensors detect further movement within the detection zone. When you’re looking for the best trail cameras, check out the type of sensors it has, the trigger speed (how quickly a picture is taken), and the recovery time.

Added Features

Some trail cameras offer more value for the money, and this often comes in the form of additional features that are mostly seen on more expensive models. These can be burst mode for pictures, time lapse and audio for videos, or invisible infrared flash.

Overall Design

There are a lot of variations when it comes to the design of trail cameras. Some are tiny and meant to be hidden, while others are a bit larger with camouflaging. They are usually rigged to mount on tree differently as well, with some cameras being more secure than others. You’ll also see differences in the batteries used as well as casing for batteries.

After Sales Support

As with any product, the after sales support plays an important part especially if the product malfunction or a technical issue cannot be resolved. This can be in the form of technicians in local outdoor shops or phone operators troubleshooting the problem with the customer. After sales support probably shouldn’t be the most critical feature for you to look at, but it does play a part if you want to get the best trail camera for sale.

Price

The deal breaker is usually price, especially if you’re considering a multiple camera set-up. If you want to get a few different cameras, look for the trail camera under $200. This is a good price limit to set for multiple cameras, although if you just want one you can go to a higher price than that more easily.

Top 5 Best Trail Cameras under $200 On the Market 2016

1. Browning Strike Force

Image Quality: The Browning Strike Force has a 10MP camera that is capable of both photo and video, with 1280 x 720 HD video resolution. The Zero Blur technology that this model has helps freeze moving subjects for better clarity.

Detection Circuit: This model has an integrated PIR motion sensor that triggers shooting within 0.67 seconds once movement is detected within a 55 foot range. At night, the built-in infrared LED flash will take pictures within 100 feet without chasing off wildlife.

Added Features: The Strike Force comes with Time Lapse and Burst shooting capabilities as well as a TV-out and USB port for faster playback. It is also capable of supporting memory cards up to 32 GB.

Overall Design: This model can run on 6 AA batteries or from an external power source. It also comes with camouflage paint and a mounting socket for tripods. Its compact design makes it blend more naturally than bigger models.

After Sales Support: Browning has after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the Browning Strike Force is easy to use and takes quality pictures while some appreciate the great after sales support and knowledgeable technicians.

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2. Covert MP8 Trail Camera

Image Quality: Covert MP8 Trail Camera has an 8 MP camera that is capable of both photo and video, with 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 video resolution.

Detection Circuit: This model has an adjustable PIR motion sensor that triggers shooting within 1.30 seconds once movement is detected within a 70 foot range. At night, the 40 Invisible IR LED flash will take pictures within 40 feet without chasing off wildlife.

Added Features: The MP8 Trail Camera comes with Time Lapse shooting capabilities with TV-out and USB ports for faster playback. It is capable of supporting SD cards up to 16 GB.

Overall Design: This model can run on either 4 or 8 AA batteries or from an external power source. It also comes in Mossy Oak Break-Up County paint. It comes in the same size as most trail cameras in the market and the casing is Python cable compatible.

After Sales Support: Covert has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the MP8 is easy to use and consumes less battery life than most models. Others say that it takes quality pictures while some comment that the night photos are grainy. Still others note that the trigger and recovery are slower as compared to most models in the same price range.

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3. Cuddeback E2 Long Range IR

Image Quality: The Cuddeback E2 Long Range IR Trail Camera has a 20 MP camera that is capable of both video with audio and photos using a high end CMOS imager.

Detection Circuit: This model is equipped with a ¼-second trigger with an equally fast recovery speed of 1 second. The E2 also boasts an effective range of 100 feet, farther that most models in the market. It also has different delay settings for day and night for optimum shots. The long range IR flash does not emit any visible light and will never startle wildlife at night.

Added Features: The E2 comes with Time Lapse and Burst Mode shooting capabilities with USB port for faster playback. It is capable of supporting SD cards up to 32 GB. The Zone Control feature allows the user to select wide for fields and centered for trails, optimizing the camera’s detection circuit.

Overall Design: This model runs on 8 AA batteries and is compact, small for its features. It also has a Genius Mount that allows it to be padlocked for optimum security and comes in a light-brown color.

After Sales Support: Cuddeback has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations. A one year warranty is also offered together with the standard unit and their website has links for downloading the manual and some troubleshooting steps.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the E2 is easy to use and its fast trigger and recovery spits means no blank or blurred images for them. Majority of Cuddeback owners agree that the E2 provides the best value for the money for them.

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4. Bushnell 6MP Trail Camera

Image Quality: The Bushnell 6MP Trail Camera has a 6 MP camera that is capable of both photo and video, with 640 x 480 at 30 fps video resolution.

Detection Circuit: This model is equipped with a 1.3 second trigger with a recovery speed of 10 seconds. The Bushnell 6MP has an adjustable photo delay and multiple-shot mode.

Added Features: The Bushnell 6MP is capable of supporting SD cards up to 32 GB and has a mounting socket for tripods.

Overall Design: This model runs on 4 AA batteries and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hands. It comes in a light-brown color and features an LCD display.

After Sales Support: Cuddeback has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the Bushnell 6MP is easy to use and consumes less power than most trail cameras on the list.

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5. Moultrie Game Spy M-990i

Image Quality: The Moultrie Game Spy M-990i comes with a 10 MP camera that is capable of both photo and HD video with sound. The built-in Illumi-Night sensors uses flash to get clearer pictures.

Detection Circuit: This model has a trigger speed of less than one second and a recovery speed of 6 seconds. The No-Glow Infrared has a range of 70 ft and has no flash. Daytime detection range is at 50 ft.

Added Features: The M990i is capable of supporting SD cards up to 32 GB and supports time lapse videos.

Overall Design: This model runs on 8 AA batteries and has the same size as most trail cameras in the market. It comes in a Mossy Oak Treestand Camouflage and features an LCD display.

After Sales Support: Moultrie has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the M990i is easy to use and takes great daytime pictures. Others note that the night pictures are a bit grainy and blurred and the batteries last only for a short period of time.

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Top 5 Cheap Trail Cameras under $100

1. Stealth Cam G30 TRIAD

Image Quality: Stealth Cam G30 TRIAD Trail Camera has an 8 MP camera that is capable of both photo and HD video with audio.

Detection Circuit: This model has the trademarked Reflex half-second trigger speed with an effective range of 80 feet. The recovery period for the Triad is between 9-10 seconds and at night, it uses 30 IR emitters that capture high quality images in the lowest light.

Added Features: The G30 TRIAD comes with a burst mode shooting capability as well as the Matrix Blur reduction technology which helps the camera focus on moving targets. It also has a USB port for faster playback and it is capable of supporting memory cards up to 32 GB.

Overall Design: This model runs on 8 AA batteries and comes in gray color. It comes in the same size as most trail cameras in the market and has a secure lock password protection feature.

After Sales Support: Stealth has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the TRIAD is easy to use and takes quality pictures while some comment that the trigger speed is excellent but the recovery time can be faster. Other users also say that the unit will be better if the paint was in camouflage rather than dull gray.

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2. Stealth Cam P36 Black Flash Trail Camera

Image Quality: The Stealth Cam P36 Black Flash Trail Camera has an 8 MP camera that is capable of both photo and HD video with audio.

Detection Circuit: This model has one second trigger speed with 36 Black Flash invisible LEDs that have an effective range of 50 feet. The recovery period for the P36 can be set between 5-59 seconds. At night, it uses the Black Flash invisible LEDs that capture high quality images in the lowest light without scaring game.

Added Features: The P36 comes with a USB port for faster playback and it is capable of supporting memory cards up to 32 GB. An external LCD screen helps view pictures onsite.

Overall Design: This model runs on 8 AA batteries and can run through an external power source. It comes in the same size as most trail cameras in the market and has a secure lock password protection feature. It also boasts an EZ dial programming for quick set-ups and adjustments.

After Sales Support: Stealth has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the TRIAD is cheap, easy to use and takes quality pictures by day and by night.

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3. Bushnell 119513C 5MP Low Glow Surveillance Camera

Image Quality: The Bushnell 119513C 5MP Low Glow Surveillance Camera has a 5MP camera that is capable of both photo and 640 x 480, 30 fps video resolution.

Detection Circuit: This model has 1.6 second trigger speed with 18 Night Vision LEDs that have an effective range of 30 feet. The Bushnell 119513C is capable of taking up to three pictures per trigger. It also has an adjustable delay setting.

Added Features: The unit comes with an LCD menu display for easy navigation and has a tripod mounting socket. It also has a sleep mode that saves battery life and it is capable of supporting memory cards up to 16 GB.

Overall Design: This model runs on 4 AA batteries and it comes in the same size as most trail cameras in the market.

After Sales Support: Bushnell has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations. Bushnell also has a lifetime warranty for all of its products.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the Bushnell 119523C is easy to use and takes quality pictures by day and by night. Others note that the sensors are faulty at times, taking photos of people instead of game. Some comment that it can be difficult to view the files from the SD card.

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4. 720P 8MP IP66 Waterproof Low Glow Night Vision Infrared Fast Trigger Digital Trail Camera

Image Quality: The 720P 8MP IP66 Waterproof Low Glow Night Vision Infrared Fast Trigger Digital Trail Camera has an 8 MP camera that is capable of both photo and VGA video with audio. This model also automated settings for white balance and exposure.

Detection Circuit: This model uses a Low Glow technology that does not scare game and has a trigger speed between 0.8 – 1.2 seconds. The IR Emitter has a range of 50 ft and is able to capture images day and night.

Added Features: The unit comes with a USB port for faster playback and it is capable of supporting memory cards up to 32 GB. It also has a LCD Image counter as well as a battery indicator.

Overall Design: This model runs on either 4 or 8 or 12 AA batteries and can run through an external power source; it also has a built in 40 mAh power pack.

After Sales Support: Freelight has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations. This unit comes with a one-year warranty.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the unit is easy to use and takes great pictures. Others comment that it can get expensive if considering the number of batteries required.

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5. Ancheer HC-300A Outdoor 2″ TFT IR Hunting Camera

Image Quality: The Ancheer HC-300A’s cheap trail cameras, but this Hunting Camera has an 12 MP CMOS camera that is capable of both photo and video with audio in 1080, 720 and VGA resolutions.

Detection Circuit: This unit has a 1.1 second trigger and is fitted with a programmable delay feature. The adjustable PIR sensors are capable of detecting movement within 65 ft.

Added Features: The Ancheer HC-300A comes with a USB port and a TV out socket for faster playback and it is capable of supporting memory cards up to 32 GB. An external LCD screen helps view pictures onsite.

Overall Design: This model runs on 8 AA batteries and can run through an external power source. It comes in the same size as most trail cameras in the market and has a secure lock password protection feature.

After Sales Support: Ancheer HC-300A has the standard after sales support and has service centers in select locations.

Customer Reviews: Most users like that the Ancheer HC-300A takes good pictures and the video quality is perfect. Others like its unique design but some do note that it can be hard to use if you lose the remote control.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What kinds of batteries are recommended?


A: For optimum performance, lithium or alkaline AA batteries are highly recommended.



Q: Is Infrared better than Black flash?


A: Infrared cameras are the most common trail camera flash in the market today and it provides great pictures at a farther range than traditional flash cameras. It does not “glow” unless you’re looking at it directly. Black flash, on the other hand, does not have any glow at all and it does not alert anything that it’s working. Most hunters use both set-ups as they complement each other. IR cameras can be mounted at the edges as they have greater range while black flash can be set-up near high pressure area with minimal room between trail and mounting post.




Q: Are view screens essential?


A: Built in LCD screens help you review images right there in the wild. They are essential if it will take you a while to get the SD Card out, otherwise, they are an added feature that offers convenience and instant results.




Q: Can trail cameras be used for home security?


A: Yes, trail cameras can be mounted around the perimeter of your house and its motion sensors automatically takes pictures of any human crossing its detection zone. You need to take note though, that the camera will take pictures of anything that comes across it which can include rodents and birds.




Q: How can we extend the battery life?


A: To extend the battery life, you can set the camera to its lowest settings but doing so can mean getting low quality images. It is much better to stick with optimum settings and have a short battery life as this produces better results for hunting.




Q: Are trail cameras worth the money?


A: Yes, trail cameras are an investment worth taking note of, especially if you are a professional hunter, even if you’re just getting into the game. They not only help you identify your target, especially deer, but it also keeps tabs on the other wildlife roaming around the area. Biologists use this to track animal population and density.


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