What is a Trail Camera?
What is a trail camera?
It seems that when I bring up the subject of trail cameras or game cameras with people they don’t always know what it is i’m talking about.
A trail camera is a very simple yet innovative tool that is used by hunters, outdoorsmen, businesses and private home/land owners. A trail camera can take pictures automatically when set off by motion and/or at preset times. A trail camera is seemingly most popularly used by outdoorsmen scouting areas to hunt or who just love wildlife; however, this concept is popular for businesses and private home and land owners who would like to catch vandals or trespassers on their property!
A bank breaking security camera system is no longer necessary thanks to these bad boys.
The sizes of trail cameras differ but the current trend of the size of a trail cam is getting smaller and smaller every year. Trail cameras will range in size of a phonebook to the size of a couple of business cards. In weight they can vary from around 3.5 lbs to less than 1lb (without batteries).
Older or less expensive models of trail cameras use “D” or “C” cell batteries and depending on the camera, you will need between 4 to 8 of them. With the trend of game cameras getting smaller, many if not most of the newer ‘mini’ models are using “AA” batteries. What is great about the mini trail cameras is that you can use as few as just 4 “AA” batteries and up to 12 “AA” batteries – with the same camera! The more batteries you use the longer battery life you will have… It just depends on how long you plan on using it at a time. Rechargeable batteries are also available with some trail cams as well.
Many cameras have an internal memory of up to around 32 mb; however, all cameras have an SD card capacity and that can range between 2 GB to 32 GB. When you have decided on the game camera that you want, pay attention to its SD card capacity. Keep in mind that a 2GB SD card will be sufficient for most people – especially if you are checking your camera regularly.
Trail cameras, generally, have a range of between 30 to 50 ft. Which means if anything walks in front of the camera within 30 – 50 ft (depending on the camera) you should get a picture. Most cameras have a range between 40 and 50 ft. One strategy that is popular is to place your trail camera high in a tree and use a time-lapse setting. Most trail cameras have a setting to allow you to program specific time frames during the day to automatically take pictures. By using the time-lapse feature you can take pictures at greater distances but may lose up close pictures.
Many cameras offer settings to adjust the resolution of your own pictures. A common resolution is 5 to 8 mega-pixels. Changing the resolution on a camera will help save battery and the ability to save more pictures to your memory card.
Trail cameras are becoming the new necessity to hunting and property surveilance. It will be fun to continually watch the evolution of technology and innovation with trail cameras. Another great feature is how inexpensive they can be. Trail cameras range in price from around $57.00 all the way up to $550.00 with many choices in between.
If you would like to compare game camera models please visit our comparisons page.
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