To find the best game camera is a difficult job because there are many cameras on the market. Many different brands offer various performance trail cameras, and you just don’t know which one to pick. Should you buy the most expensive camera or maybe all you need is a low budget camera, to make this decision is hard, and here I am to help you pick the right game camera for your needs. If you just started with hunting, you will probably not need any camera, but if you are an advanced hunter that want to spot patterns in animal movement, then you need one. With knowing and understanding the movements of your prey, you can pick a right spot for hunting. Hunters who use game trail cameras are more successful than hunters that don’t use advanced equipment, and that is normal because today’s hunting equipment provides an edge that makes a massive difference between hunters.
Best Game Trail Cameras used for Recording Movement Patterns and Shoot Videos
Game trail cameras are not only used for hunting. Many people use these cameras to record movements. Usually, cameras are placed in woods on a game trail because if you see the animal tray trough woods, a high chance game will walk that same trail anytime soon. Some people just want to record animals and not to shoot them down, and game trail cameras are best for that. Some more advanced game hunting cameras even have an option to record videos, and if you have such a camera, you can log exciting wildlife, especially at night.
These movement recording cameras can also be used as surveillance. For example,
beekeepers use these cameras to spot intruders that want to steal honey or beehives. Most beekeepers place colonies deep in the woods where nobody walks around, and if you are that kind of beekeeper, then your property is at risk to be stolen. With a game trail camera, hidden in bushes, you can record thief’s and prosecute them. Or for example, if you have a huge property and someone is intruding every night and doing some damage on your land, with these cameras, you can find the intruder over the night while you sleep in a hotbed.
Read next: Best Binoculars for Hunting.
Shed Hunting is Getting More Popular Every Year
At spring adult male deer will change their antlers, and many people are looking for the dropped antlers. And what is the best way to do that than using a high-quality game trail camera which can spot adult male deer who is about to lose antlers? Every year this is happening, and every year there are more and more shed hunters. To become best shed hunter in the woods you need to prepare yourself and use advanced equipment like cameras.
Best 21 Game Trail Cameras [Reviews] Descending by the Price
Moultrie A-Series Game Camera A-30
This game camera is the most affordable hunting camera you can get. It is a low budget camera made in China, but that is in no way meaning that this trail camera is not good for the job. The lens is made of good quality and provides 12 mega-pixels. Trigger time is under 0.7 second, enough to catch anything that passes at high speed. Video recording is made in 720P HD format. Flash range of this affordable camera is extremely good, who would think that for such a little price you can get 70 feet flash range. To run this camera, you will need to get 8 AA batteries. Moultrie offers Field Modem with which you can watch what’s happening with the camera through a cellular wireless connection. This feature is ideal if you are hunting and want to scout the zone in front of the camera. Taking pictures have many options, and you can choose whatever fits you best. If you leave the game camera for a few days in the hunting zone, then you should go with a bigger delay between taking the images to save battery. If you are staying short for few hours or if you just want to take as many pictures as fast as you can then you can use multi-shot mode. There are also many other added modes that you can choose, and I am sure these modes will serve you good in various situations. The biggest disadvantage of this camera is camouflage. Camouflage decoration is missing, and the camera is detectable, that is not the problem with animals, but some people who pass by could steal your camera if you leave it in woods for some time. The other problem is only 32GB memory storage. You can not install any memory card that is larger than 32GB.
Moultrie A-Series Game Camera A-35
If the previous Moultrie camera was not good enough for your way of hunting and you don’t want to pay some extra bucks, then for a few extra dollars you can get the A-35 model which have several advantages over A-30 model. The most significant difference between these two game trail cameras is megapixels. A-35 has 14 megapixels while A-30 is using 12 mega-pixels lenses. This difference means that the pictures taken with A-35 are clearer and made with higher quality. Flash range is also longer in A-35, instead of 70 feet flash this camera has 85 feet flash range. Moultrie smokescreen is present on this model which means that camera will be undetectable in woods, especially if you place it on the same color wood. All other features are the same, both cameras come with a 2 year warranty by Moultrie, and both of them have good LCD to watch what’s happening on the spot. I can recommend this camera over A-30 model because the price is not that significant and for such a price you will get a much better camera with more options and features.
Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential E2
This model is not the latest model in Bushnell cameras collection. This camera is old, from 2016. But still this model is not bad, and for the price, you pay you can get an amazing camera that can be used in various situations. By night you can make interesting and high detailed images.. That ability to shoot steady and detailed night images is the product of Hyper Night Vision system. This system is useful because it makes images sharp during the night and because of that you can see details on the animal that was caught far away from the camera. The camera has 80 feet flash sensor and with a 0.3 seconds trigger nothing can get away from this camera. All the features can be adjusted so you can even change trigger speed. But the most important feature to adjust is triggered interval. You don’t want to make tons of pictures too fast if you are leaving the camera in the woods for weeks. Reason for that is the battery and maximum 32GB of memory. But the good news is that this camera comes with 1 year battery warranty, and the battery is included in a package. And if you compare this model to previous ones, then this one is the better buy than Moultrie A-35 or A-30
Top 8 Best Budget Trail Cameras Under $100
Wild Game Innovations Blade X8 LightsOut
Image resolution is not the best thing in this camera. Greatest image resolution is 8 mega-pixels which are very low if you compare it to before mentioned cameras. And you are asking yourself if the price is almost the same as the before mentioned cameras why you should buy this one? Well, I am trying to find a reason, and I have a hard time finding one. The only reason to pick Wild Game Innovations Blade X8 LightsOut is camouflage decorations. These decorations are done very well, and this camera is near spotless by a game or even by humans who may pass by. The other reason could be battery warranty up to 1 year or for taking 30 000 photos. Sensor, flash range and everything that is important to make great game pictures is worse on this camera than before mentioned. Wild Game Innovations should drop the price on this model because nobody would buy this when they can buy for the same money a much better game camera. And did I mention that this camera records videos at 480P resolution? Give me a break, mobile phones can record higher resolution, and I am not talking about those expensive mobile phone models.
Stealth Cam 8MP 30IR Game Camera
Yea, as you read in the title, another 8MP camera. But this cam have a pretty nice appearance. It looks like some high tech device and at the same time is not coming with camouflage decorations. This design is awful for woods. The camera can be spotted from miles and if humans pass by this camera even in a range of 20 feet, they will spot it and probably take it. There is no difference between this Stealth Cam and Wild Game Innovations model and must be these cameras are old models that are still hanging on the markets. But please don’t buy them at such a high price, these cameras should go on a 50% discount. The only advantages I can think of this camera is an external power jack which is helpful to restore batteries with an external power supply right on the spot in woods. And maybe setting this camera to go is the easiest I have seen. It is not great camera; it has some disadvantages, but it is in the same range with flash range and trigger speed with other cameras.
Stealth Cam G42 No-Glow
You would be surprised how better is G42 No-Glow than the Stealth Cam 8MP 30IR. First of all it has 10 mega-pixels which is 2 mega-pixels more than 30IR model. The camera uses retina for low light illumination which gives extended nighttime range. The camera has 42 IR emitters which can prolong triggering to 100 feet. That is the highest trigger point until now on the list. And the price for this camera is not significantly higher than the previously mentioned. On top of that I can’t even mention all the features this camera has. Matrix advanced blur reduction is a technology that will make nighttime images clear and sharp. This model even has multi-zone detection which can be very useful if game comes from different directions. You will not need to be afraid that someone will steal this camera if you leave it in woods for few days because the camera has a high stealthy camouflage, and it is secured with the password. So even if a thief steal the camera he will not be able to use it because he doesn’t know your password. Largest memory used in this camera is 32GB. Batteries are not included in the package so you will need to buy them separately. The good news is that there is a 12V jack for external battery in case you wish to use that to power up the camera.
Stealth Cam 7 Megapixel Compact Scouting Camera
This Stealth Cam is the weakest on the list. The deal that you get by buying this package is more than good and more than useful for an average hunter. In this package for this money you get a ready set for game hunting. Everything that you need is included in the package, batteries, memory card and a camouflage camera. Unfortunately the memory card is not large, only 4GB, but enough for a start. Unpack it, set and start recording game trails. 7 mega-pixels camera is not the best lens on the market but not much worse than 8 mega-pixels camera. At the end job will be done. the range of this camera is obviously not large but 50 feet is more than an average hunter needs. There are no fancy features in this deal. This weak camera has recording options and can record for 15 seconds. If you are looking to shoot videos instead of taking pictures then without any thought, I am recommending that you pass on this deal and buy something that have more power. this camera is best for beginners who want to advanced their hunting style by monitoring game trails.
Moultrie A-Series Game Camera A-30i
It is quite normal to have several Moultrie trail cameras in this game cameras review because after all they are the leaders in trail cams. They have many models and by looking at A-30i you are wondering what else can this apparently same model than others has to offer. I won’t repeat myself and talk about the same stuff I did in other Moultrie models because they all have some things in common, 2 year warranty is one of them. But I need to say that this camera has strong camouflage and it can be hidden in plain sight and stay undetectable even at the day. The camera can be mounted easily on any tree and the robust material will make sure nothing can damage it. Flash range is low, only 60 meters and you would be expecting this number to be higher. Reason behind low flash range is the iNVISIBLE 940nm IR LED. This illumination technology is far advanced than the Long-Range Nighttime Infrared that can scare game at recording. iNVISIBLE 940nm IR LED is undetectable and nobody will know that they are recorded during the night. This innovative flashing technology makes this camera great for hunters that are looking for completely undetectable camera. If you are looking for a camera to secure your property, this one should be a good choice, first of all it is undetectable and second of all you can hide it thanks to the strong camouflage design.
Stealth Cam Megapixel Digital P12 Scouting Camera
Stealth Cam company is the leader in producing affordable scouting cameras and P12 is one of their best products. For such a low price you will get everything you need to start keeping an eye on the game trail. Now as you obviously understand if you don’t pay premium money you can’t have premium performance. Because of that, the camera only offers 6 mega-pixels photos. the range is also not the greatest performance of this camera and is set to 50 feet. Trigger settings is another performance point that will not great this camera. Trigger speed is 2 seconds which is way too high if you compare it to the other same range cameras. The problem with 2 seconds is that if the animal is too fast at the time, it is detected she may leave the picture and you can only get a butt or tail of the animal and not a whole picture. That makes this camera not good for shed hunting because you will not know if the deer has already dropped antlers or it will drop it. The best use of this camera is to put it in front of a feeding camp for animals. That way you will get a whole picture because when animals are eating they don’t move. The only thing that is good about this camera is battery usage and if you need a camera that is soft on battery usage then this one is ideal for you.
Moultrie M-Series Game Cameras M-40i
Moultrie lift the quality level with the M-40i trail camera. This trail camera is still affordable and has many features. Camouflage is one of the cool things about this camera, it has a pine tree design and if you place it on a pine tree, then you will have an undetectable monitoring system. 16 mega-pixels is much more than we have see so far in this review and that just guarantees high quality pictures. With 16 mega-pixels all the details will be visible even if the animal is far away. 0.3 seconds trigger time is ideal and as soon as camera detects movement it will start shooting. You will get an instant picture’s and no butts and tails on the photos. The letter “i” in the M-40i stands for iNVISIBLE 940m IR LED which is much better than standard infrared. The invisible infrared is used to make sure that game or anyone who is standing in front of camera will know that they are being recorded. That feature is ideal for security cameras that are hidden. If you have intruders on some part of your property, then you can place this camera and record them without them knowing it. Video quality of M-40i is also better, 1080P full HD recordings will look nice on the big screen. Video is recorded without a sound and that is not the problem because after all animals are not singing. Flash range is set to 80 feet and we already know that advanced invisible infrared technology is not working on a large range, but 80 feet is a pretty good number for this camera.
Cuddeback 20MP Long Range IR Infrared Trail Game Hunting Camera
Cuddeback is not some newbie company in the trail cameras business. The company have many cameras and I have decided to include this one on the list. First of all this is a pretty good price for a 20 mega-pixels camera. For such a low amount of cash you will get a crystal clear pictures that can be zoomed and will not be blurred. With such a great lens you can be sure if you are on shed hunting that you will see that horns in the detail. Trail camera is made for night recording because it has a strong infrared sensor that can detect stuff at 100 feet. That makes sure your pictures will be clear and without any motion blur. The camera also offers many customizations for example setting up different shooting delays for night and day. During the night animals are more active and maybe delay should be shorter than on the day. Zone control is advanced zoom technology that can be set for trail recording or open field recording. For open field recording camera will take wide pictures of the whole field and with trail recording setting the camera will use short angle which is perfect for trail recordings. Cuddeback also offers 2 year warranty but memory card and batteries are not included in the packages. You can get memory card up to 32GB which will be more than enough for a long trail shooting.
And Best 8 Trail Cameras Under $200
Moultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera
Moultrie M-990i is the first camera on the list that offers various different features, and one of them is amazing camouflage design that will make sure camera is not spotted. The cam have 10 mega-pixels and powerful technology behind taking pictures. Thanks to the FastFire Continuous Shooting it can take up to 4 images in 1 second. This result is amazing and because of that this is the most popular cameras for game hunting. Flash range of Moultrie M-990i is not large, only 70 feet but reason behind that is that infrared LED used in this camera are undetectable and because of that more expensive part of the camera. No glow technology makes sure that camera is not emitting any illuminations that may scare game or tell location of the camera. With this trail cam you can also record 720P resolution videos. All recorded content will have important info on it, time, temperature, date, barometric pressure, moon phase and ID. These informations are important if you know how to use them. Moultrie M-990i is an ideal camera for more advanced hunters that wish to get all important data. With the collected data and pictures the hunters may plan a good hunt. The camera is also good for shed hunting and making videos of animals. With this camera you can make nice YouTube wild animals videos.
Browning Strike Force HD Camera
Browning is the company that makes hunting equipment. The most popular equipment they produce are shotguns and pistols. Whatever you need for hunting you can buy at Browning, clothing, rifles, knives, lights and trail cams. Browning trail cameras are made with high quality material and they are durable. Without a problem you can leave them in the woods and nothing will happen to them. Thanks to the great camouflage camera is not spotted and durable material makes it ideal to use under any weather. Browning Strike Force have many features. The most significant feature is 100 feet flash range and ability to make 720P videos with sound. The camera can record from 5 seconds to up to 2 minutes long videos. This camera is perfect for making YouTube videos. Small power consumption is soft on batteries and 6 AA batteries that you need to buy externally will serve you for some time. Browning camera comes with Browning Buck Watch software for a time-lapse view. Overall this decent trail cam can be used for various purposes. It is ideal for hunters that wish to record videos with a sound as well as for amateurs who just want to film animals in the woods.
Spypoint Solar Trail 12MP Camera
Spypoint creates trail cams from the highest quality possible material. And because of such great politics by this company, this is one of the most durable cameras on the market. Trail cams need to be sturdy and robust to make sure no weather elements can do harm and damage the camera. This camera can shoot images in 12 mega-pixels, and that just allows a higher zoom when you are looking for specific details in the picture. Overall image quality is better than most of the cameras, especially those with a lower amount of mega-pixels. Flash range for this Spypoint camera is 80 feet, and infrared shooting will not spook animals. Detection sensor is very sensitive and can cover up to 5 detection zones which gives extreme flexibility to this camera. This camera is perfect for hunters that want to get lots of data that may help with the hunt. The most important feature of this trail cam is the solar panel which can recharge batteries and by that this camera can be left in woods for a long time.
Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential E3
Bushnell is focused on making high mega-pixel cameras and Essential E3 is made with a 16 mega-pixels lens as well as 20 mega-pixels lenses. There is not much of a difference between these two models except in the mega-pixels and sensor/flash range. Trigger speed and recovery rate are also better on 20 mega-pixels cam. Essential E3 20 mega-pixels camera has a longer range 100 feet while 16 mega-pixels is triggering pictures at 80 feet. Both of the cameras can record videos at full HD 1080P resolution. Because of recording such detailed videos this camera is used by real hunters and wildlife enthusiast that want to monitor animals. These cameras are not made just to spot game on a trail, the purpose of these cameras is wide. They can be used for security purposes, intruder detection, monitoring wildlife or just protecting your home. With Bushnell comes quality so if you like quality cameras that make highly detailed pictures then this is one of the greatest choices you can get.
Browning Strike Force Elite HD Trail Camera
Maybe this is not the best model from browning considering the lens quality and features. But this model is coming with a 16GB memory card included and a 10 mega-pixels lens. the price you pay for this camera is value. The 16GB memory card is enough for you to install this camera in the woods and leave it there for a few days. this trail cam is also capable of recording videos at 720P resolution including an audio recording. This feature means that even people who just want to record animals can have fun with this cam. Motion range is set at 55 feet which is not the greatest range but infrared illumination at night will give you decent pictures at that range. If you are not looking for some high detail photos and camera with lots of features, then this model will be enough for you.
Moultrie M-880 Low Glow Game Camera
M-880 has many features and lots of powers. Unfortunately, mega-pixels is not one of those features. this camera has only 8 mega-pixels, but that is because this is a mini camera perfectly made for hunters. The camera has the latest infrared technology that will not low and won’t scare game. That means that pictures will be made with no motion blur. And thanks to motion freeze technology even if the animals are running the night time blur will be reduced, and you will get a nice detailed picture even if this camera has only 8 mega-pixels. Flashing range is at 100 feet, and that is an ideal distance to catch everything that is running in front of the camera. The camera also has the power to take up to 4 pictures in just 1 second. All important data is stamped on the pictures so you can intelligently plan your hunting. The price for this camera is a little higher than the low budget cameras, but that is because this is one of the cameras that are ideal for the hunters and because the camera is built with latest shooting technology price is a little higher.
Browning Trail Cameras Recon Force FHD Extreme
This Browning model is making a step to a whole new level of trail cams. For such a low price you can get 20 mega-pixels camera. 20 mega-pixels camera just means that the pictures you make will be of high quality and you can digitally zoom on them and see all details. The camera also has 2″ color viewing panel for fast checking right on the spot. The motion sensor is not the best, but it will trigger at 80 feet. But the flash range is whooping 120 feet which means that even if an animal is too far away, it will be caught. Making amazing videos with this camera is a piece of cake. I need to say that this camera is not good only for hunters, everyday animal lovers can use this camera to record lovely videos of animals. With 1080P full HD resolution and ability to attach cards up to 512GB this camera is perfect for recording long videos with sound. With this camera, you can record for many days and get amazing pictures because nothing will go away from this trigger-happy camera. With such features and abilities, this is one of the best buy cameras for hunters and for everyone who wants to record videos or shoot pictures of wildlife.
Day 6 Plotwatcher Game Surveillance System
This trail cam is operating differently than all cameras so far mentioned in the article. Day 6 Plotwatcher cam does not have sensors and is not triggered by the movements. This camera makes the picture every 5 or 10 seconds and then create a time-lapse video. It can record up to 1 million images and that is ideal for hunters. The advantage of a time-lapse camera is the ability to see animals that are far away, and that can give an idea for next hunting spot. With this camera you will never wait for a game in a deserted area. The Plotwatcher includes GameFinder software that will analyze time-lapse videos and show you pictures with game. In just a few minutes you will be ready to make a plan for best hunting spot. This time-lapse camera is ideal for hunters but also other people who love to make time-lapse videos of different places may find this camera very interesting.
Bushnell 14MP Trophy Cam HD Aggressor No Glow Trail Camera
Aggressor No-Glow is perfect camera for hunters. It has many features and powers that every huntsman needs. With 14 mega-pixels lens you can make amazing pictures with lots of details. You can even record videos with sound. Videos can be recorded in Full HD resolution, 1080P. Images can be triggered in ultra speed of 0.2 seconds per trigger. No glow is one of the best features of this camera which uses 48 lenses, and removable anti-reflection LED cover. Camouflage on this camera is amazing and camera is totally undetectable when mounted on right spot. Many hunters are very satisfied with this piece of equipment and why would they not be satisfied when for such a money, you get an amazing camera that will for sure bring your hunting to a whole new level. Without a problem you can spot areas with game and be on right spot at any time. No more you will waste time by waiting on deserted spots.
Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR HC500
For the end I am going to talk about the most expensive camera on the list and if you just look at the performance you would think that this camera is not different from the above mentioned cameras. But this camera despite having only 3.1 mega-pixels lens will do much better than previously mentioned cameras with a much higher amount of pixels. Reason behind this paradox is that Hyperfire camera by Reconyx uses advanced technology Ultra HD IR which is trademarked by the company. This advanced ULTRA HD technology allows this camera to make amazing pictures with lots of details. Also you can record 1080P full HD videos. Lo-Glow™ Semi-Covert IR is another advanced technology by Reconyx that allows this camera to stay completely hidden while making videos or pictures. You can select many options on this camera; you can choose the amount of photos per trigger, frame rate, time-lapse surveillance and much more. This camera is ideal for hunters because it allows them to use this trail cam in various different ways that may help them in the hunt. But also other people who loves nature and film time lapses of beautiful places can use this camera. Price is a bit high comparing to other cameras but you will see a huge difference when you compare pictures taken by this camera and a low budget trail cam.
These 21 trail cams reviews are more than enough for any level hunter to pick a right camera for his needs. You can choose from expensive to low budget cameras. If you are new to the game monitoring, then I highly suggest to use low budget cameras just to learn how the animal surveillance works. Later when you are experienced, you can try one of the premium cameras like Reconyx Hyperfire Semi-Covert IR HC500. If you have any questions or concerns about this trail camera review, guide let me know by commenting below.