There are many uses for a trail camera, and trying a budget option is a great way to find out if it works for you. That’s why the focus of this article is about finding the best budget trail camera.
The most popular use of trail cameras is for hunting. Modern trail cameras can be placed in an inconspicuous location to avoid spooking the game, and then feed high-quality images back to you. This allows you to study the patterns and trends of the animals, and improve your hunting.
However, hunting is not the only reason to use a trail camera. Perhaps you are simply curious to see what kind of birds and other animals can be found in your garden, or keep an eye on your crops or orchards. This is another situation where a trail camera can be very useful.
One of the biggest turn-offs from buying a trail camera can be the cost. It is true that a few years ago, trail cameras were expensive and (to be honest) not that great. They didn’t have a lot of memory and the picture quality was very poor.
All that has changed nowadays. Not only are trail cameras much, much better these days – offering great picture quality and memory cards and batteries that don’t need to be changed for months – but they have also reduced in price by a lot. Today, you can get a good quality trail camera on a budget.
In fact, one of the biggest difficulties is trying to determine which camera is the best. Therefore, today we’ll be taking a look at the best budget trail cameras to buy.
What do you need to look for in a budget trail camera?
It helps to understand what features make a great budget trail camera.
Trail cameras do not record continuously but instead only begin recording when an animal enters the frame. Therefore, it’s important that the camera turns on quickly, or else the animal may have left the frame by the time it turns on. The faster the trigger speed, the better.
You want the camera to be able to detect movement from a significant distance. This means you have a better chance of actually catching sight of your target, but also that you don’t have to put the trail camera too close, which can scare the animals away.
It’s important that the image quality is good so you can easily see what is happening on the trail camera. One of the biggest factors that influence this is the megapixels of the camera, although this is not the only factor. It’s also relevant how good the quality of the lens is – a good quality lens with 10 megapixels will perform much better than a bad quality lens with 15 megapixels.
Night flash settings
A lot of animal activity occurs at night, so you’ll want your camera to function well at this time. The biggest thing to consider is how the camera lights up the area. Older cameras used white flash, which would often scare off the animals, but luckily nowadays, infrared red glow or no glow are more common, and unlikely to scare away your target.
Battery and card capacity
Finally, you want to consider the capacity of the battery and the SD card. This is because replacing these two items are the two main reasons why you would need to touch the trail camera. Every time you enter your target’s habitat, you risk scaring them off or changing their behaviour. Therefore, the longer it can go without needing to be touched, the better.
The Best Budget Trail Cameras at a Glance
|Brand Name||Trigger speed||Detection Range||Megapixels||Night flash type|
|#1. Campark Wildlife|
Our Best Pick
|0.3||65 feet||14 megapixels||Low-glow|
|#2. Moultrie A Series|
|0.5||60 feet||12 megapixels||Low-glow|
|#3. Foxelli Outdoor|
|0.7||65 feet||14 megapixels||No-glow|
Let’s take a closer look…
To help choose the best budget trail camera, let’s consider some of the most popular models on the market.
#1. Moultrie A Series Game Camera
Moultrie are one of the most well-respected names in various outdoors equipment, including high-quality trail and game cameras. Of all of their offerings, the A Series is the most budget friendly. As you would expect from an industry leader, however, it still packs a punch.
This camera has a .7 second trigger speed for taking both photos and videos, which means you’re unlikely to miss the shot of your prized game. Its detection range is about 60 feet, which is considered mid-range. For the budget, however, that’s pretty good.
The Moultrie A Series takes great photos and videos during the day. At night, the pictures can be a little bit grainy or blurry but are overall excellent for tracking the movement patterns of your target. The camera is 12 megapixels, which means that the quality is excellent. Helpfully, it also has two image sizes so you can select the smaller size to preserve storage space.
The camera runs on 8 AA batteries, and with this, the battery life can last for about 17,000 images.
All in all, this is definitely one of the best budget trail cameras, and another great offering from Moultrie.
#2. Campark Wildlife Trail Camera
If you are looking for a trail camera that offers excellent features at an excellent price, then this Campark option may be right up your alley. It is ideal for a variety of uses including hunting, wildlife watching, and even home security.
One of the strengths of this trail camera is its ultra-fast trigger speed of .3 seconds. This is one of the fastest trigger speeds of any budget trail camera on the market, and excellent for tracking the movement of game and wildlife. The detection range is an impressive 65 feet, while the 120-degree camera allows for a good range of photographs.
The quality of the images is excellent, thanks to the impressive 14-megapixel camera and high-quality lens. The video quality at night is very good, thanks to the super high-quality infrared night vision. This uses low glow infrared LED, which delivers excellent results without spooking any wildlife.
The camera takes 8 AA batteries. One great feature of this particular trail camera is that the battery lasts longer than some other models, thanks to its efficient sensor design that preserves battery.
All in all, this is a great option for a trail camera that will not break the bank.
#3. Foxelli Outdoor Trail Camera
It often takes new brands some time to develop a great reputation, however in Foxelli’s case, their first ever trail camera made a huge splash. This was thanks to its great features and usability, which make it a first choice for many hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.
The trigger speed on this trail camera is .5 of a second, which is excellent. Although it is not the fastest trigger speed of all the cameras listed here, it is very fast and ideal for capturing animals in action. It also has a detection range of up to 65 feet, which is very good for such an affordable trail camera. This is plenty for most users and means the camera can be tucked far away to avoid spooking the animals.
This camera also has a 14-megapixel camera in order to produce very high-quality images, and 1080P video footage. It also has a wide field of view with 120 degrees of vision so that there is a very good chance of capturing your target. In addition, this trail camera uses 20 “No Glow” IR lights, meaning that the camera remains undetectable even at night.
It also has a 2.4” LCD screen so that you can see the viewfinder as you set up the camera. This means you can easily make sure it is in a good position.
All in all, there is definitely a good reason why this outdoor trail camera made such a splash with outdoor enthusiasts. It certainly packs quite the punch, and is ideal for all kinds of uses.
>>Check Best SD Card for Trail Cameras
And the winner is…
Each of these three cameras proves that a small budget is no obstacle to getting a great trail camera for hunting, wildlife watching or other reasons such as home security. Each of these offers great features at an affordable price.
Of all the options, our pick is the Campark Wildlife Trail Camera. This camera has an impressive 14MP camera, which will make sure that you can easily identify what animals wander in front of it. In addition, its 120-degree field of vision further ensures that you will get good photographs.
Our main reason for selecting this camera is the lightning quick .3 second trigger speed. Trigger speed is one of the most important factors in determining which budget trail camera is the best, so we are very impressed with this option’s performance.