What is the Best Game Camera?

Trail and game cameras help hunters watch food plots, feeders and other areas where game is active on hunting property. A game cam helps scout what type of game and other animals are roaming about, how many and when. This helps you plan a more successful hunt.

Some people purchase trail cameras to observe wildlife or for security purposes. Trail cameras can be a very affordable way to keep your eye on things.

Like all hunting accessories, scouting cameras are available in a wide-range of configurations, features and prices. From basic black and white still images to cameras that send full-color videos straight to your cell phone—prices vary from as low as $25 to upwards of $1,000.

To figure out which game cam is best for you, you’ll need to decide the primary reason why you are in the market for one. Wildlife observation doesn’t necessarily require all the bells and whistles, but if you are trying to find a trophy buck, you will want to invest more money into a camera that offers a lot of features. Besides setting a budget, you will want to look at these options:

What type of flash

A white flash at night can easily spook game. Some deer will not return to certain areas if they become weary of a game camera. An infrared-based flash will not spook game. A traditional flash will take color images at night, while an infrared will only capture images in black and white.

Trigger speed

This is how quick a camera will take a picture after the motion detector is set off. Some trigger times are too slow to capture fast moving objects.

Resolution

Most cameras now produce a clear image. 5 to 7 megapixels will turn out a fairly decent image, while 8 to 10 or higher megapixels will produce the best image.

You will also want to check out how quiet or silent its shutter is, how far out it will reach, and how long the battery lasts.

We compared seven of the most popular game cameras that retail for around $100 and provided our thoughts to help make your decision easier when choosing a scouting camera:

Tasco 6 MP Digital Scouting Camera

Features:

  • 6 megapixels
  • 720p video
  • 1-second trigger speed
  • 32 LED invisible infrared flash
  • 45’ detection range
  • Price: $49.99

What we like: The battery-save feature extends battery life up to nine months, price, easy setup

What we don’t like: quality of video

Spypoint Force 10 HD Trail Camera

Features: 

  • 10 megapixels
  • 720 HD video
  • 0.3-second trigger speed
  • 42 LEDs infrared flash
  • 80’ detection range
  • Price: $89.63

What we like: high-quality images, long battery life, detection range

What we don’t like: longevity—might need replacing every year

Wildgame Innovations Silent CRUSH 20 Lightsout Trail Camera

Features:

  • 20 megapixels
  • 720 HD video
  • ½-second trigger time
  • 42 infrared LEDs
  • 100’ detection range
  • Price: $97.39

What we like: completely silent operation, high-quality day and night time still images and video

What we don’t like: no sound, battery life on video mode

Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential E3

Features:

  • 16 megapixels
  • 1280x720p video with sound
  • 0.3-second trigger speed
  • 32 Low-Glow night vision flash
  • 100’ detection range
  • Price: $99.99

What we like: customizable adjustable settings, auto exposure, high-quality images

What we don’t like: detection range is actually about 55-60’, set-up is tedious

We pick the Bushnell Trophy Cam E3 as Best in Bunch because of the user-friendly features for the price. It has a long battery life, fast recovery rate, takes high-quality images and videos both day and night, and is reliable. Nothing is perfect, however. The one feature we wish the Trophy Cam E3 had was Wi-Fi and Smartphone-compatibility.

Moultrie M-40i Game Camera

Features:

  • 16 megapixels
  • 1080p HD video with sound
  • 0.3-second trigger speed
  • 32 LED invisible infrared flash
  • 80’ detection range
  • Mobile-compatible
  • Price: $110.92

What we like: picture quality, trigger speed, smartphone compatibility, plenty of options on video/picture settings

What we don’t like: complex set-up, inconsistent motion-detection operation

Stealth Cam G42NG Trail Camera


Features:

  • 10 megapixels
  • HD video with sound
  • 0.5-second trigger speed
  • 42 infrared emitters
  • 100’ detection range
  • Price: $110.99

What we like: high-quality day and night images, video with sound, customizable settings

What we don’t like: range isn’t as claimed, complex set-up, night time pictures can be blurry or overexposed when animal is too close

Browning Strike Force HD 850

Features:

  • 16 megapixels
  • 1280x720p video with sound
  • 0.4-second trigger speed with 0.8-second recovery time
  • Infrared LEDs
  • 80’ detection range/120’ flash range
  • Price: $119.99

What we like: clear night images, upgradeable external battery pack option

What we don’t like: Not as many customizable settings as other cameras, audio recording is inconsistent

After getting your trail camera, experiment with placement and trigger speeds. It will take trial and error to find the perfect place, as well as the perfect settings to capture all the activity you want to record. Trail cameras always turn up some interesting images and videos! Good luck and happy hunting.

Have you captured anything funny, amazing or weird on your trail camera? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Prices here reflect what was listed at the time of original publication and are subject to change.


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