Game cameras can be used for a number of reasons. They can be used for scouting in preparation for hunting or to monitor your house and see who comes and goes. While game cameras are primarily used for the first of those two examples, many people can utilize the unique design and function of a game camera for other purposes.
Once your game camera is set up in your location of choice, it will monitor all activity that comes into view. It will capture the characteristics of whatever moves in front of the camera in such detail that you will know the size and gender of whatever moves. You will also learn how long it stays in the area or how often it passes through.
Game Cameras: What to Look For
There are a variety of different game cameras on the market today, so without the proper knowledge, you may not know what to look for. We have narrowed what to look for in game cameras down to five categories: Design, Image Quality, Features, Battery Life/Memory and Help & Support. Through these categories, we dissect game cameras to tell you the best features that each one offers and what makes it one of the top game cameras available. We have reviews of each game camera, including our top three picks, the Plotwatcher Pro, Spypoint IR-7 and the Truth Cam 46, to share what we learned using each camera. You can also read more articles on game cameras in our learning center.
A well-designed camera is built for portability and usefulness. Game and trail cameras should be compact and light so that you can easily carry them in and out of your desired scouting location. A necessary design aspect of these cameras is their ability to be set up in a tree or in a rain gutter for discreet recording.
These cameras are useful because nobody needs to be around when the footage is captured, thus allowing you to not scare off the creatures you are photographing. For this to take place, you must be able to set up the camera in a number of different locations and count on it to be stable and detect the motion of the animals in the area. Each of the top 10 game cameras that we reviewed includes this particular feature in addition to offering competitive functionality for outdoor use.
The best game cameras today offer a high image resolution that allows you to not only see what was captured, but the size and gender of the animal as well. While the resolution is not what you will find in a high-end DSLR camera, you can still reach 10–12 MP and still find infrared capabilities you won't find in a DSLR. We also took into account the cameras' ability to zoom and their focal length, shutter speed, focus range and ISO speeds in order to find the best trail cameras available today.
The features that we took into account include passive infrared, IR flash, still photo, a self timer and continuous shooting. These features allow you to set the camera to capture video or still images at certain times and after specific durations of time. A feature also included in the top game cameras provides the ability to sense motion and capture images or video anytime the infrared technology notices the motion. Some trail cameras sense motion and capture an image quicker than others do, which makes them a better choice. These are things that we took into account when analyzing the Features criterion for game cameras.
Battery Life & Memory
In the Battery Life/Memory section, we looked at what type of batteries each camera uses and the amount of memory they offer. While most trail cameras provide a limited amount of internal memory, they are equipped with memory card slots that allow you to expand the memory with an SD card to capture more footage.
Help & Support
One of the most important sections that we didn't want to overlook is Help & Support. For this rating criterion, we looked at the forms of customer service available from the manufacturer, as well as the helpfulness of the service. We also looked at the resources regarding the game cameras that are available to users and their accessibility. Having the resources to make the most of your purchase is one of the most important tools a company can provide you with.
Our side-by-side comparison provides a breakdown of these categories as well as how the top 10 best game cameras compare to one another.
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