The wireless trail camera was the best invention since the traditional trail camera came to modern use. With the wireless trail camera, hunters were allowed to get their pictures sent directly to their phones. However, with the convenience of having pictures sent directly to your phone, some trail cameras have the disadvantage of having limited, sometimes short, battery lives. Good thing that we have another modern invention called the solar trail camera.
With this type of camera, you can enjoy the benefits of having a trail camera sending pictures to you in real time, while having a sustainable source of energy. Solar-powered trail cameras are definitely more advantageous since you don’t have to change out their batteries so often, if not at all.
But before you purchase a solar trail camera for your own, we need to go over a few things that you have to consider before making your final choice.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Solar Trail Camera
1. Camera quality
Just like with any other regular camera, you need to take into account the picture quality so that you can ensure the trail camera gives you clear shots. Usually, trail cameras range from 8MP to 12MP megapixels or more. Based from experience, a camera within this range can give you clear and crisp shots.
2. Shutter speed and detection range
Other important factors you have to consider when choosing a solar trail camera are the shutter speed and detection range. Shutter speed or trigger speed refers to the amount of time it takes the camera to take a picture when it detects movement.
In general, you would want a trail camera that has the capability to take a picture within a second or a little after. This would enable your solar trail camera to capture the animal in a picture even if it is moving quickly through the area.
On the other hand, detection range refers to the maximum distance in which the camera can detect movement. Usually, the wider the range, the better, but the quality of the image will depend on the aperture accordingly.
Since a trail camera is left outside in the mercy of the elements, the durability and quality of the material that the camera is made of will matter. Of course, you would want your trail camera to last long. You should pick out a camera that is made out of high quality material that is durable enough to withstand the weather.
4. Power source
This article focuses on solar trail cameras. Unlike regular wireless trail cameras or traditional trail cameras, they have solar-powered energy source that enables the camera to function for an extended amount of time without frequent change in battery.
Usually, good trail cameras should last about six months or more, depending on the activity. Most would also have an external power jack just in case you use the camera at home.
For solar-powered trail cameras, of course you need to take into account the amount of sunlight that is usually available in the area. In the woods, you won’t be getting much sunlight except perhaps if you would be using it in a clearing. Thus, make sure you have an appropriate place in mind before purchasing a trail camera.
5. Other features
Many other trail cameras support other neat features which can greatly benefit you as a hunter. Examples of useful features are multi-capture modes such as continuous and time-lapse, as well as video capture, and customizable detection range. While scoping out for solar trail cameras, make sure you check out their features as well.
Best Solar Trail Cameras
1. Spypoint Solar Trail 12MP Camera, Camouflage
This trail camera offers you some of the best features for a traditional trail camera. What sets it apart from regular trail cameras is that it has a solar panel that allows you extended function. The Spypoint solar trail camera gives you good quality pictures both day and night, and with a longer amount of use due to its internal rechargeable battery and solar panel.
- 12MP camera quality
- Low-glow infrared for subtle capture
- Captures HD movies with sound
- Rechargeable battery with 12V external power jack
- Solar power for longer battery life
- Can support 32GB memory card
- Can detect up to 80 feet
- Made of high-quality durable material
- Weather-resistant housing
- Easily to set up
- Has lots of capture modes
- Night shots are a little blurry
- Only uses AVI format for video
2. Spypoint LINK-S Verizon Solar Cellular Trail Camera, Camo
Here, we have another candidate from Spypoint because they specialize in trial cameras with built-in solar panels. This product is a little bit pricier than the last, but that makes up for high-quality features that make a good solar trail camera. Notable features of this particular camera are its 0.7 trigger speed, 12MP quality, pre-activated SIM card, and superb power source which can let you enjoy its service for a shorter amount of time.
- Fast trigger speed of 0.7 seconds
- Compatible with Verizon LTE service
- Comes with a pre-activated SIM card with freebies
- Has 12MP and 42 LEDs
- Can be managed through a free app
- Has infrared boost for optimum quality at night
- Reduces blur
- Comes with good customer service
- Has a 2 year warranty
- Less affordable than other options
3. Bestguarder Waterproof IP66 Game Camera Life Sercurty Wildlife Digital Camera
This particular camera can be supported by a solar panel, and it is one of the highly recommended trail cameras for hunters today. What makes it such a popular buy is that it comes with a lot of great features, such as: extensive functions (password protection, LCD display), high quality pictures both day and night, and different camera modes.
- Can give high-quality pictures both day and night with 12MP
- 0.6-0.8 second trigger speed
- Can detect up to 75 feet
- Has a lot of useful functions and modes
- Easy to set up and use
- Can be used at home as well
- Can support up to 32GB
- Durable housing
- Doesn’t come with a built-in solar panel
Best Solar Panels for Trail Cameras
In case you already have a trail camera and you don’t want to replace it with another solar trail camera, we have this section for you. Here are the best solar panels for trail cameras that can help you expand your battery life by a tenfold.
Moreover, as we’ve stated before, solar trail cameras are disadvantageous if you are planning to place it in an area with too much shade. Thus, a non-built in solar panel can be placed in a sunnier area and connected to your trail camera easily.
1. Moultrie 12 volt solar panel
A good solar panel should always perform as it is advertised. So, what is the deal with the Moultrie solar panel for trail cameras? Well, this device can help you get more out of your battery life with a 12V battery. It is easy to use and set up and comes with a 10 feet extension cord so you can place it in sunny spots. It also has a LCD screen to show you the status of the device.
- Built-in 12 V battery
- Comes with 10 feet extension cord
- Easy to mount at any spot
- Has a LCD screen
- Compatible with Moultrie trail cameras
2. Bushnell 119756C Trail Cam Accessories Trophy Cam Aggressor Solar Panel Clamshell
If you want more power for your trail camera, Bushnell offers a compatible solar panel that can extend battery for longer periods of time. This particular solar panel is easy to set up, and is pretty straightforward with its features. Nonetheless, it is affordable and perhaps one of the best solar panels for trail camera users.
- Can extend the battery life of your camera for months
- Easy to set up
- Can be charged through USB
- Has attachment points for camera
- Has a charge level indicator
- Includes adjustable screw-bracket
- Cannot withstand rain
There aren’t a lot of solar trail cameras that have a built-in solar panel, but there are many options for trail cameras that can be supported by a separate solar panel. If you are looking for a solar trail camera in particular, the Spypoint Solar Trail 12MP Camera, Camouflage would have to be both the top choice and best value product for this list.
We hope this article shed light on the features you must consider when choosing a solar trail camera, because as always, not all products are the same. If you liked this article, share it with your other hunter friends who may find it useful as well. Thanks for reading!