10 Best Trail Cameras in 2019

best overall rating
  • High-resolution video capture.
  • Long-ranged motion sensor.
  • Fast trigger speed.
premium choice rating
  • High-quality image and video capturing.
  • Extremely wide flash range.
  • Full infrared functionality.
great value rating
  • Completely silent.
  • Can be used as a manual camera.
  • USB footage output.

Trail cameras are an excellent tool for capturing very specific moments in the wild, whether it’s for security reasons, animal research, or just because you want to see what it records. However, as more and more people take up an interest in recording local animals in their natural habitats, the number of trail cameras on the market increases – and it can sometimes be tricky to sort the good from the bad.

Below are ten of the best trail cameras we could find, as well as the things they do differently and the reasons they stand out from the rest so well.

View the Best Trail Camera , Below.

best overall rating

1. Browning Strike Force HD Camera

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This camouflaged camera is able to blend in with its surroundings while still capturing great-quality HD footage, no matter the light level or weather conditions. Its eighty-inch sensor range lets it activate from a fair distance away, meaning that you won’t miss out on getting footage of an animal that’s too paranoid to get close.

The 0.3 second trigger speed ensures that this camera will be able to record videos of animals that are running or flying past at high speeds. The audio functionality is an excellent bonus, capturing all kinds of natural sounds and animal calls without needing any extra gear.

If you need to get some footage of an animal on short notice, this camera can be a lifesaver, triggering automatically and recording everything in even the darkest lighting conditions.

Why We Like It
  • High-resolution video capture.
  • Long-ranged motion sensor.
  • Fast trigger speed.
  • Full-colour viewing screen.
  • 120-inch infrared flash.
Internet?
None
Weight
499 grams
Megapixels
18
premium choice rating

2. Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert

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This full-color-image-capturing trail camera is able to snap shots quickly and efficiently, using a 150-inch flash range to make sure that both images and videos are completely clear in dark or shadowed areas thanks to infrared light.

The 0.25-second trigger speed makes sure that no animal can get away from the camera’s sight before it gets footage of them, and the CodeLoc security system means that no passers-by will be able to steal or interfere with your camera while you’re waiting for the perfect shot. On top of that, its 3-megapixel camera resolution means that you’ll get clear images and videos every single time.

This trail camera is great for getting photos at night or in dark areas, and can quickly snap pictures of faster creatures if they get spooked.

Why We Like It
  • High-quality image and video capturing.
  • Extremely wide flash range.
  • Full infrared functionality.
  • 720p videos with full audio recording.
  • Extremely fast trigger speed.
Internet?
None
Weight
1.45 pounds
Megapixels
3
great value rating

3. Stealth Cam 8MP 30IR Game Camera

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This 8-megapixel camera can record several minutes of high-quality video at once, letting you get a lot of in-depth footage of animals in their natural habitats. The half-second trigger speed and eighty-foot sensor range make it responsive and reliable, quietly snapping pictures and recording video clips without disturbing the animals you’re watching or studying.

Unlike a lot of trail cameras, it can also be used as a manual stealth camera, letting you take your own pictures in complete safety and secrecy.

This cameras is great for sneaking around and setting up shots in animal habitats, and you can use it as a regular camera if you stumble across any great photo opportunities.

Why We Like It
  • Completely silent.
  • Can be used as a manual camera.
  • USB footage output.
  • Fast triggering.
  • HD video.
Internet?
None
Weight
1.3 pounds
Megapixels
8

4. Day 6 Plotwatcher Game Surveillance System

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This game surveillance camera is a fully-automated camera that runs entirely on its own, taking a photo every few seconds until nightfall to help you figure out where animal dens or hunting spots might be.

Even if you're not interested in hunting the animals, it can still be an excellent tool for figuring out where animals actually go and can capture some great shots that a normal sensor-triggered camera might never be able to get. The high-resolution 1280 x 720 images are great for pointing out minute details and distant animals in large, open areas.

This camera is excellent for working out animal movement patterns and getting high-quality shots of a vast, hard-to-cover area full of wildlife.

Why We Like It
  • Automatically takes photos on a regular basis.
  • High resolution.
  • 32GB of storage.
  • Easy to use.
  • Long battery life
Internet?
None
Weight
1.4 pounds
Megapixels
20

5. Bigfoot Cellular Camera 3G

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This wireless trail camera uses a 3G network to directly email you any images it captures, keeping you updated and aware of any animals that are in the area, whether you're nearby or busy getting on with your day elsewhere.

This lets this camera double as a great security device, especially if you're trying to keep an area of land safe for certain animals or for human use. The camera can be motion-triggered or switched to a time-lapse mode for different types of image-capturing, and the decent IR coverage means that it’ll keep working well in darker areas or shadowed locations.

This is an excellent tool for dealing with animal habitats and hunting grounds when you're not physically available, and can be an excellent security tool on private land.

Why We Like It
  • Two modes, both automatic.
  • 3G functionality.
  • Automatically emails captured images to you.
  • Easy to configure.
  • Camouflaged design
Internet?
3G
Weight
2 pounds
Megapixels
12

6. Wildgame Innovations 360 Camera

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This 360-degree camera is able to snap pictures and record video of everything around it, using full IR functionality and a 12-megapixel resolution to capture every detail around in the surrounding area with a 1.5-second trigger speed.

You can place it in the middle of an open space to get an idea of where animals like to gather or leave it near a known animal habitat to get great shots of them going about their daily lives in peace. 8 double-A batteries are enough to let it run for six months straight, and you can plug in a 32GB SD card for a tremendous amount of storage.

The simplicity of this trail camera makes it an excellent tool for taking high-quality 360-degree shots of almost any location, whether it's a wide field or a claustrophobic garden.

Why We Like It
  • Extremely long battery life.
  • 360-degree capture.
  • Infrared functionality.
  • Water and weather resistant.
  • Easy to mount almost anywhere
Internet?
None
Weight
1 pound
Megapixels
12

7. ECO LLC Solar Hunting Trail Game Camera

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This HD trail camera is fully programmable and can capture images during both daytime and night-time, switching to a black-and-white camera for subtle midnight shots that won’t startle the nearby animals.

The extremely fast trigger time means that you won’t miss out on any great shots due to a slow shutter, and the system takes three shots per trigger to give you a greater chance of getting an amazing, perfectly clear shot, as well as giving you three different angles to look at the wildlife around you.

The solar-powered battery keeps it running as long as it can get more light each day, and includes a failsafe to make sure that it doesn’t break or damage the image storage if something goes wrong.

This trail camera is excellent for dealing with all kinds of animals since it can sit there and quietly wait for the perfect shot without running out of power or storage space.

Why We Like It
  • Solar battery – no other power needed.
  • HD images.
  • Triple-shot system.
  • Power failsafe.
  • Waterproof.
Internet?
None
Weight
2.6 pounds
Megapixels
16

8. Stealth Cam G42 No-Glo Trail Game Camera

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This stealth camera boasts a fast reflex time and a nine-image burst mode to help you make an excellent range of different shots in a short space of time, letting you get every detail on its 12-megapixel camera and 32GB of storage.

It can also record HD footage with the audio intact and doesn't create any kind of noise or flashing while doing so, meaning that you'll always get the animals at their calmest state rather than disturbing them after the first snap. Its programmable nature gives you more control over how – and when – it triggers.

This programmable trail camera can be an excellent tool for a vast range of different situations, and won't disturb any natural animal gatherings while getting great shots.

Why We Like It
  • Completely silent.
  • Burst mode.
  • Lots of storage
  • High-definition image and video capture.
  • 0.5 second trigger time.
Internet?
None
Weight
3.2 pounds
Megapixels
10

9. Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam

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This heavy-duty camera offers a 16-megapixel camera and an automatic video recording system to capture every detail it can, only using up space and power when something walks into its sensors – it'll also capture data about the time and place the photo was taken, even listing the temperature and the phase of the moon for hardcore hunters and researchers who need as much information as they can get.

The 720p video recordings start as soon as an animal triggers the camera and automatically shuts off once they move out of the frame, meaning that you won't waste space on footage of an empty field.

This trail camera is able to take all kinds of impressive images and video clips in nearly any situation, using an optimized setup to avoid wasting space and power when there's nothing exciting in the shot.

Why We Like It
  • Fully automated.
  • Fast recovery period for more frequent image-captures.
  • 0.3-second trigger speed.
  • Saves extra data about the location.
  • 1 year of battery life (under constant use).
Internet?
None
Weight
8.3 pounds
Megapixels
16

10. Bushnell 119877 24MP Trophy Cam

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This super-fast camouflaged trail camera uses a 0.2s trigger speed and 0.5 recovery rate to snap pictures every 0.7 seconds, letting you get a massive stockpile of images whenever something walks by – it's long 100-foot detector range makes it great for dealing with wider spaces and the backlit buttons mean that it's easy to set up at night without disturbing any nearby wildlife.

The backlights can also be removed or disabled to make it practically invisible to anything in the area, letting it double as a concealed security device on your private property.

This trail camera is an excellent stealth tool, and can capture pictures of animals and trespassers alike without so much as a click or small flash.

Why We Like It
  • Extremely easy to hide.
  • Easy to use in the dark.
  • Long detection range.
  • Fast trigger and recovery speeds.
  • Durable design.
Internet?
None
Weight
10.1 ounces
Megapixels
16

Trail Camera Buying Guide

If you want to invest in a trail and game camera, then you will have a particular reason or goal in mind. Whether be it to survey the goings on in your suburban backyard (for example to catch a thieving raccoon or find out if someone is sneaking into your yard after dark), or to track and capture images of wild animals in the wilderness.

No matter what you want your camera for, there are some things that you need to consider before purchasing – you need to make sure that the trail camera that you purchase best suits your needs and does not have any unnecessary features.

Megapixels

One way of determining the quality of trail cameras is by looking at how many megapixels it has. Of course keep in mind that this is not a completely foolproof method of determining how good the photos will end up – an extremely high amount of megapixels will be effectively useless if the camera in question is made poorly and has a very low quality camera lens.

So you really need to look at the entire specifications of the camera, and the best bet is to look at real world images that the same model has taken to see for yourself what the quality is like. The best place to find this information is on forums and product website. The general rule, however, is to get the most megapixels that you can afford.

Durability

This may seem obvious – clearly a more durable camera is preferred. However, you may be surprised to learn that not all trail and game cameras are completely waterproof. So if you want to use it for surveillance inside the house or under a veranda, then you will be fine with a standard and non-waterproof camera.

However, if you are tracking wild game, then chances are you will be leaving your camera out for days on end attached to a tree – you will, thus, need to invest in trail cameras that can withstand extreme heat and cold, water and even survive the nose of a curious deer.

Video options

Chances are that you will need your trail cameras to produce more than just still images – you will be after videos. There are different video settings that come with different cameras. Some trail cameras will have standard video recordings where you can set the recording length-for example, you may set it to record in 20 second or 30 second intervals. Generally, you will not want it to film for too long at one time, as generally the action is quick, especially when shooting wildlife.

One difference is the trail cameras offering time lapse. These can make for a very interesting video – it will be one very long video which is sped up to make a days’ worth of video last for a couple of minutes.

Most of these camera’s don’t have the 360 degree option, however, we also created a review here on the best 360 degree video cameras of 2019. This is a feature that will not appeal to everyone, but if it does, make sure you read the specifications to find out what options you will have.

What flash types does the trail camera offer?

Trail cameras are not so different from standard cameras in the way that they will have a flash so that they can be used to take images and video at night. Chances are that if you use a trail camera, you will be looking at capturing as much of the action as possible.

You wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the details once the sun sets. So what are the different types of flash and what are the benefits of each? What is best for you will depend on what you plan to capture as well as the quality of images that you want.

Your new game camera will have one of two main types of flash- infrared and white glow. The difference is obvious – infrared will result in a black and white image, and a white glow flash will emit a bright flash thereby creating a color image. There are also two types of infrared flash – no-glow and red glow.

The main difference here being that no glow uses black LED’s so is essentially invisible – the animal will have no idea that anything has happened. And red glow literally has small red LEDs which glow, and while this can result in a clearer image and larger range, it can sometimes attract the attention of the animals.

Taking a photo with white glow is exactly like using a powerful flash camera. An extremely bright flash will light up the entire area and the photo will look like it was taken during the day. The major disadvantage is that it will likely terrify the game and cause any animals in the area to bolt.

What is the trigger speed of the trail camera?

The trigger speeds as well as the recovery times are the other key differentiating factors that you need to keep in mind when shopping for trail cameras. Basically, the trigger speed indicates how long it takes the camera to turn on and capture an image or video.

These cameras generally sit on standby and are triggered by movement, so it will take some time (up to a few seconds) for it to jump into action. The shorter the trigger speed the more likely that you will be able to capture a fast moving animal.

Of course, this may not necessarily be that important for you – if you are using the camera to capture a very large area where the animals tend to hang around, it will not matter if it takes 3 seconds to start capturing the images. A short trigger speed is considered to be anything under a second, and a slower speed can be up to 3 seconds.

Camera recovery is also related yet slightly different to trigger speeds– it refers to the time it takes for the camera to recover between photos. For example, a very good quality camera will have a camera recovery speed of only 1 second – so it will effectively take one picture every second. Others will be closer to one picture every 20 seconds or more. Again this depends on what images you wish to capture and how much you are willing to spend.

What information can be captured on the images?

You may notice that some trail and game cameras will mention geo-tagging, which you may know to mean that the image or video is stamped with the location that it was taken. This can be very useful especially if you like to move your game camera around a lot, so you can know exactly where a particular shot was taken.

Other information that can be stamped on some of the better game cameras includes date and time, the weather, the temperature, the location of the moon and even the barometric pressure. Some game cameras will have no tagging at all, some will have only location geo-tagging and some will offer all of the possible information you could want.

If you are wanting to establish patterns then getting a game camera that stores as much information as possible will really assist – this way you will know that particular activities only occur at a particular time, at a particular temperature range or in a certain location.