Here’s the Easy Way to Pick the Perfect Game Camera

Posted by  Sunday, October 05 2014 11:00 am
expert

Today's game cameras feature so many innovations that buying one can seem overwhelming. Which camera should you go with? Which features are necessary and which are not? This guide will run through the various functions of game cameras and key points to consider when purchasing one.  The good news is there are trail cams available for just about every budget.

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Trail Camera Picture Quality

Today’s world is so filled with high-quality photography and videography that we are trained to expect it. HD has become the norm, and affordable DSLR cameras have made it easy for consumers to take high-quality, high-pixel images.

What makes a high-quality photo? Many photographers agree the basic components of a good picture are clarity, contrast and resolution. Based on those components, the things that contribute to good pictures are lens quality and megapixel count. A trail camera that takes in a lot of data and information — megapixels — is only as good as the lens it uses. That’s why we recommend looking at sample pictures from the cameras you are interested in buying. Many times you can visit the manufacturer’s website to see samples.

So, how do you decide which camera to select for quality pictures? It comes down to your preferences. Do you want to see the eyelashes on a deer as it walks by your camera? Or are you primarily interested in seeing the general point count on a buck. When it comes to picture quality, you typically get what you pay for.

Gamer Camera Flash Type 

UnderstandingGameCameras Bushnell
Newer game cameras, such as the Bushnell Trophy Cam, have an infrared flash and captures video and audio.

While a regular flash isn't common on most trail cameras anymore, it is still available on less expensive game cameras. However, the most common flash type found in today's trail cameras is infrared.

Infrared is much different than the common flash we think of — it isn't a burst of visible light but rather a wavelength outside the visible parameters. An infrared flash prevents game from seeing the flash, making it less likely the camera will spook the animal. In addition, it is less likely that unwanted guests will see the camera, reducing the chance it will be stolen. Most of today’s trail cams today feature infrared flash, in addition to taking high-resolution photographs and HD video with audio.

Battery Life  

Spending a little extra on a game camera with long battery life is recommended because it will pay you back. First, long battery life means you’re not continuously buying new batteries. Plus, you also won’t have to disturb your favorite hunting spot every week to make sure the batteries are good. Go for the camera with exceptional battery life that can produce high quality photos as well. 

Trigger Time  

Believe it or not, there is a difference in trigger speeds between trail cams. The trigger time is the time it takes from the camera sensing movement to when it actually takes a photograph. For example, a trigger speed of 1/5 of a second may cost a little more but may mean the difference between seeing a buck’s rack when he gallops by or just his hind end.

Security Options  

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This Bushnell Scouting Camera Security Box is one of many options to protect your investments from theft.

Some game cams are not cheap, but any camera should be treated as an investment. To protect your trail camera, get a security box fit for it. There are multiple options available, all of which make it harder for thieves to grab your camera.

Memory 

Another game camera selling point can be the type of memory. Does the camera have built-in memory? What about a memory card? An SD card is a removable memory card that allows you to store photos shot on the camera and then upload them to a computer. A removable memory card may be the best option for those cameras that do not have an onboard viewer. However, some cameras feature an onboard viewer that makes looking at pictures easy in the field. Either way, make sure your camera has a reliable memory system so your pictures aren’t easily lost.

Some trail cams take displaying photos to a whole new level by automatically sending pictures to the owner’s email address or cell phone via text. This is definitely the best way to keep your distance from the camera and monitor the activity in as close to real time as possible. However, this feature usually comes with a price. It all comes down to what you are willing to pay.

For tips on how to position your game camera, visit: Do You Make These Mistakes With Your Trail Camera? at Bass Pro Shops 1Source.

 

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Last modified on Sunday, October 05 2014 11:42 am
Mitch Strobl
expert

Mitch Strobl is Chairman of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) — under 25 and enjoys writing, photographing and video taping his hunting and outdoor lifestyle. His true passion is archery hunting, but he also enjoys shooting trap and fly fishing. To reach Mitch, please send him an email at mitch.strobl@yahoo.com

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