A trail camera goes by a few names – a hunting camera, remote camera, and a game camera – because of the wide variety of practical uses of these tiny but powerful cameras. The gamut of practicalities of a trail camera can vary from candid wildlife photos, no glow infrared photography, motion triggered hunting cameras that automatically send captures to the user’s smartphone, and of course, just regular travel photos and videos. Don’t let their size fool you – remote cameras have flash options that range from incandescent, LED, red incandescent, and the invisible infrared night vision mentioned before. There are standard cameras as well as wireless and radio controlled cameras for stealthy capture and easy file transfer. Many hunting enthusiasts use groupings of trail cameras to track wildlife to better predict patterns of movement for hunting purposes.
Whatever your need is for a compact camera, there is a trail camera that will fit the task you need to accomplish. That being said, there is an overwhelming variety of these hunting cameras, so we’ve put together a list of the best trail cameras of 2019 to make your life a little bit easier. Here are 10 trail camera reviews that cover a wide variety of features including detection sensitivity, speed, durability, price, size, night vision flash, video quality, wireless capability, and battery life.
- Comparison Table For Best Trail Cam in 2020
- 1. Browning Strike Force Pro XD
- 2. Moultrie Mobil XV-700i
- 3. The Bushnell Core DS
- 4. Browning Dark Ops APEX
- 5. Reconyx XR-6 Ultrafire
- 6. Spypoint Solar-Dark
- 7. Wildgame Innovations Shadow Micro Cam Lightsout
- 8. Skypoint Force Dark
- 9. Primos Auto Pilot Low Glow
- 10. Stealth Cam G45NGX
Comparison Table For Best Trail Cam in 2020
|1. Browning Strike Force Pro XD||Editor's Choice - Best Overall||Check on Amazon||No|
|2. Moultrie Mobil XV-700i||Best For 4G Capability & Mobile Device Integration||Check on Amazon||Yes|
|3. The Bushnell Core DS||Good Crossover for Day & Night use||Check on Amazon||No|
|4. Browning Dark Ops APEX||Best Night Vision Trail Cam||Check on Amazon||No|
|5. Reconyx XR-6 Ultrafire||Best on the market for Large Budget Pros||Check on Amazon||No|
|6. Spypoint Solar-Dark||Best Solar-powered Trail Cam||Check on Amazon||No|
|7. Wildgame Innovations Shadow Micro Cam Lightsout||Best Micro Trail Cam||Check on Amazon||No|
|8. Skypoint Force Dark||Best Value Train Cam||Check on Amazon||No|
|9. Primos Auto Pilot Low Glow||Most Affordable Hunting Cam||Check on Amazon||No|
|10. Stealth Cam G45NGX||Good all-round daytime trail camera||Check on Amazon||No|
Editor’s Choice – Best camera for hunting overall
Browning Strike Force Pro XD is a great general compact camera. I give this the honorable title of #1 because it checks so many boxes, and is standard or better for every single feature you would need for a trail camera. Boasting a 24MP sensor, this camera can take up to 8 rapid fire and multi shot images in a row. Not only does this take crisp, clean photos, this has full HD Video capability for up to 2 minutes. This has a full color view screen, tripod and bracket mount, dual camera lens technology that ensures all images and videos are focused. The Browning Strike Force Pro XD is SD card compatible and has long lasting battery life. This also hops to the top of the list thanks to its superior detection circuit, ensuring that you never miss that perfect shot. One downside is that it’s video capability is relatively short – for the infrared night vision mode, this can capture a maximum of 20 seconds.
Best Trail Cam for mobile device integration with 4G connectivity
For some trail camera users, wireless cellular connectivity is a necessity. The further along we advance with technology, fully compact wireless trail cameras improve in quality and descend in price. The Moultrie Mobil XV-700i combines the camera and the modem in one compact unit, and operates on either Verizon or AT&T 4G Network Plans. This allows all the images and videos captured by the camera to be sent directly to your smartphone, computer, and tablet. This model’s wireless capability doesn’t lessen its features at all. It has a completely invisible flash, powerful 80ft detection sensors, and a 20MP sensor for crisp, high quality photos and videos. Battery life lasts up to 3 months with optimal settings. Reasonably priced at $180, don’t let the necessary data plan scare you off. Most plans for a device like this are around $5-$10 a month.
Good cross-over trail camera for both night & daytime captures
Most people familiar with trail cameras know that if the camera takes incredible daytime photos, the night vision mode’s quality is sacrificed, and vice versa. Not the Bushnell Core DS, which has 2 sensors: one for day, and one for night. If you are looking for a remote camera that takes beautiful photos and videos in both day and night modes, look no further. This camera is also nearly invisible to the human eye in the darkness; it is considered a true no glow trail camera that captures great night vision infrared photos with up to an 80ft range. With a dynamic 30MP sensor, you can capture excellent photos and videos day and night with the Bushnell Core DS.
Best Trail Cam for night vision
Browning is one of the better known trail camera brands, but in 2019, they’ve really stepped up their game with new models packed with features and specifications. The Browning Dark Ops APEX is the best option out there for someone who is looking for the peak quality of night vision photos and videos. This model boasts a completely invisible flash and detection up to 80ft. The APEX also has Browning’s new Illuma-Smart Technology – a new system that adjusts the flash and range to create the perfect night vision photos and videos, every single time. More on the compact side, this model is a petite four inches long and three inches wide, with SD card compatibility for easy access to captures. The trigger speed is 0.22 seconds, so with the speed, discreet size, and invisible flash you will never miss a nighttime capture again.
Best For Pros with Large Budgets
This one is for the video lovers out there, as this model champions the market in processing speed and video quality. It also has excellent battery life, and won’t exhaust your battery quickly in video mode like some models that are geared more towards still images. This takes wonderful, high quality images in the daytime, but does struggle somewhat in it’s nighttime stills. The Reconyx XR-6 Ultrafire is a low-glow trail camera, meaning it’s infrared night vision flash is still detectable, but only slightly and from a close distance. It’s detection circuit is on the slower side, making this not the best choice for superior still photos. If video is the main draw for you, this is your trail camera. It is thought of by many as the best video a trail camera can offer on the market today. Also, all Reconyx cameras are American made and sturdy as you can get, which sweetens the deal even more.
Best Solar-powered Trail Cam
Imagine a world where you will never have to change your trail camera’s batteries ever again… wait.. that already exists. Spypoint’s Solar Dark has a built in solar panel so you can put changing batteries on your hunting cameras a thing of the past. The life of the lithium battery in this camera is virtually unlimited due to the constantly refreshing solar power. The solar panel is what really sets this camera apart, but it does have some downsides. For video, this has a super low frame rate of 10fps, which doesn’t make for great quality video. The photos are a weak 12mp, so if quality and sharpness are what you’re looking for, you might want to skip this one. On the bright side, the speed and distance of the detection sensor is crazy fast on this, so you’ll never miss a photo. With a trigger speed of 0.07 seconds, this is one of the fastest remote cameras on the market. It’s night vision LED flash has a reach of up to 110 feet, which is on the higher end of trail cameras. If battery life and speed are more important to you than video and image quality, this is a good choice.
Best Micro Trail Cam – Small & discreet hunting camera
I’m guessing that some of you reading this will be looking at size as a main concern. Many use these hunting cameras for security or animal tracking purposes, and for that, you want the most discreet possible device. Introducing the Wildgame Innovations Shadow Micro Cam Lightsout – the smallest camera on this list. Sized at about 3x3x2”, this device virtually disappears when mounted. It comes with Wildgame’s Lightsout technology, which is a completely invisible infrared LED flash. The illumination also adapts effectively to size and distance of the subject, so you always get a great shot without overexposure. This also has silent technology to ensure the device never makes a sound while operating to disrupt its surroundings. Wildgame also comes with their unique mobile application – The HuntStand. This gathers information and data from your micro cam and shows you an intelligent heat map based on movement and predictions. You can also import and sort photos and videos within the app.
Best Value Trail Cam – Won’t break your budget
This runner up has quite a few things going for it: industry leading battery life, an affordable price tag, and a low glow infrared flash, but there is one feature that truly sets this model apart. The Skypoint Force Dark takes photos and recovers almost instantly, and it’s speed is unmatched by any other trail camera on the market. Now take that speed and combine it with 3 years of battery life. Yes, you read that correctly – this camera’s battery will last for 3 years without recharging or replacement. While speed and stamina are king for this model, the image quality is average and video quality is below average. In optimal lighting, daytime photos look crisp with a good amount of clarity and depth. The video on this remote camera is only 10 FPS, which severely holds back the quality. If speed and battery life are the most important features to you, this is the perfect model. Now add in the low price point of $109.95, incredibly fast detection speeds, and a simple interface, and the Skypoint Force Dark is nearly unbeatable in value.
Affordable hunting camera with basic features
Sometimes the more affordable model is all that you need when you’re trying to keep it simple. The Primos Auto Pilot Low Glow provides decent images, a very simple set up interface, and exceptional detection speed. It takes 1920 x 1080 video with audio, but the 15 fps output video that is lacking in quality. The 16MP sensor gives average quality images. This is a low glow hunting camera with red IR flash that delivers average photos with some motion blur. Some of the pros of this camera are an excellent, long lasting battery life and a durable exterior with a 2 year warranty from the brand. Keep in mind that while some people are looking for a simple set up, the Primos Auto Pilot lacks in customization and more complex setups. If you like manual control of your game camera, this will limit you. All that being said, this is a trail camera that does what it needs to do, and sometimes all you need are the brass tacks without any extra features. When it comes to the best trail camera under $100, this one fits the bill.
Good all-round daytime trail camera
Let’s end this list out with a jack of all trades workhorse – the Stealth Cam G45NGX. The 22MP sensor takes beautiful photos in the daytime, but is lacking at night. This is a low glow hunting camera, meaning the IR flash is still visible in the darkness, but barely. The night time photos and videos on this model have a tendency to overexpose, especially when the subject is close to the camera. The video is average and what is expected from a 720p output. The detection sensor on the Stealth Cam is an above average 70 feet to capture moving subjects with accuracy. One of the best points of this camera is it’s sturdy casing and well made design. You know this camera will stand up to harsh conditions beautifully. All in all, with the $129.95 price tag, this game camera is more than a great value. If you need a camera that will reliably cover all your bases for a good price, this one’s for you.
We’ve come to the end of our list, and hope you find this information useful in selecting a new trail camera. Different people have different needs for their hunting cameras, and whether it’s speed, durability, battery life, detection sensing, night vision flash, video quality, wireless capability, or size – there is a great trail camera out there for you. Remote cameras have so many potential uses, and range widely in price. Useful in tracking and detecting wildlife for hunting or for security purposes, they’re also a great as on-body cameras for extreme outdoor sports or hiking. This list only has 10 hunting camera reviews – there are hundreds of models out there for every need, and the features improve every year.