The Best Trail Cameras For 2021: Recommendations and Reviews

Updated on May 3, 2021
best-trail-cameras

Searching for the best trail cameras can be a confusing experience. Overwhelmed by the number of options and features? Here’s our picks for the best trail cameras.

Introduction

If you’re looking to purchase one of the best trail cameras, which are sometimes known as camera traps or nature cameras, on the market and you don’t want to make the wrong choice, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, our researchers here at netbooknews.com will take you through some of the best models available right now for photographers who want to effectively capture nature in all her glory or track prey without ever having to step foot in the wilderness.

Our Evaluation Method

To help you make the right choice and simplify the process of finding the best trail cameras, we’ve compared products taking into account a wide range of factors including, ease of use, trigger speed, image quality, and flash range. We’ve also scoured the trail camera market and pored over numerous expert reviews to bring you the lowdown on the best brands and the most loved devices. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve separated our top picks of the best trail cameras for 2021 into a number of categories so that whether you need a great beginner trail camera or you’re looking for a premium model, you’ll know exactly where to look.

Recommendations for Best Trail Cameras December 2021

Reviews of Best Trail Cameras December 2021

Best Overall Trail Cameras

Rexing Woodlens H6 Trail Camera

Rexing Woodlens H6 Trail Camera
4K Ultra HD camera capable of taking stunning images in most conditions

If you’re looking for an effective all-rounder, then look no further than the Rexing Woodlens H6 Trail Camera, which not only features a dual-camera setup  – a 4K Ultra HD perfect for taking shots during the day, and a FHD Infrared cam that takes perfect images at night, but it also enables on-device editing and is one of the most silent trail cameras we’ve ever come across, which means wildlife won’t be scared off by this high-spec trail cam.

Specs: Dual camera | 4K Ultra HD optimized | 35M IR Flash night vision | Speeds up to 100MB/s

Pros

  • 16 months battery life
  • Night vision
  • Edit video footage and recordings directly from device
  • Near enough 1oo percent silent

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Trail Cameras for Beginners

Muddy Pro-Cam Trail Camera Bundle

Muddy Pro-Cam Trail Camera Bundle
Affordable, 720p video capture trail camera with 20MP resolution and sound trigger, Ideal for beginners

The Muddy Pro Cam 14 is your typical entry-level trail camera, but it does what it does well. It’s affordable, simple to set up and use, and has all of the basic features you would expect of a beginner camera, including 14 MP day resolution and a max 5MP resolution in nighttime conditions, which is ideal for reducing blur. This particular camera also boasts an impressive 50-foot invisible flash and detection range, which enables it to take pretty special photos on such a small budget, Buy the bundle, which includes everything you need to get started.

Specs: 720p video capture | MPEG video capture | 20 MP still resolution | Trigger speed 0.6 seconds

Pros

  • Durable housing
  • Compact trail camera at 4.75 x 2.5 x 4.25 inches
  • Easy to get started

Cons

  • Battery operation only
  • Lack of advanced features

Best Trail Cameras for Image Quality

Stealth Cam DS4K Trail Camera 30 MP

Stealth Cam DS4K Trail Camera 30 MP
The first 4K digital trail camera and still one of the best. If you’re looking for superior image quality, this 30MP camera is the one for you.

The Stealth Cam DS4K was the first trail camera in the world to offer 4K Ultra HD capabilities, so as you can imagine, it is a very popular model with a good track record for producing, crisp, clean images. It is also capable of capturing extremely clear audio, and thanks to its dual image sensors, it can be used effectively day and night.

Specs: 4K Ultra HD | 42 no-glo IR emitters | 0.4-second trigger speed | Optional geo-tagging | USB and video outputs

Pros

  • 100 ft NoGlo infrared flash range
  • Rapid reflex trigger
  • Simultaneous video and image capture

Cons

  • Battery operation only
  • No view screen

Best Trail Cameras with Night Vision

TOGUARD 4K Native WiFi Trail Camera

Temporarily unavailable

This 30MP trail camera is our pick of the best cameras with night vision inbuilt. Why? Because it boasts a range of features you simply won’t find on other cameras at a similar price-point. For just  $169.88, not only do you get 4K video capture and a 65-foot night vision range, but you also benefit from Bluetooth connectivity and a maximum shutter speed  of 0.2 second

Specs: Battery powered | Bluetooth connected | Thermal sensors | APP Control

Pros

  • 4K native video with superior sound recording
  • IP66 Waterproof
  • 120° Wide Angle Lens
  • Multi-recording modes
  • Thermal sensing capabilities
  • 3 passive infrared sensors

Cons

  • Infrared sensors cannot be turned off

Best Trail Cameras that are Solar Powered

My Animal Command Powered Solar Trail Camera

My Animal Command Powered Solar Trail Camera
Solar powered with a long battery life, this is one of the best trail cameras for anyone who wants to run their camera constantly without having to worry about the power.

The My Animal Command Powered Solar Trail Camera is one of the most highly rated solar powered cameras on the internet and with good reason. Supplied with a 2500mAh solar power pack, that can easily keep the camera going for six months or more, and with an impressive HD video capture, it’s perfect for keen wildlife photographers who want to get that perfect shot at any time of the night or day.

Specs: 2500mAh solar power pack | 12MP video capture | Max 32 GB storage via SD card | Trigger time of 0.5s | Mounting bracket

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Dustproof
  • 90 degree PIR sensing angle for small wildlife capture

Cons

  • Flimsy plastic construction on mounting
  • Sensitive trigger mechanism

Best Trail Cameras with LTE 4G

Spartan GoCam Blackout Flash 4G/LTE Verizon Camo

Spartan GoCam Blackout Flash 4G/LTE Verizon Camo
Highly connected premium trail camera for the serious photographer.

The Spartan GoCam Blackout Flash 4G/LTE Verizon Camo boasts an exceptionally fast trigger speed, attractive, and useful camo design, and modest 8MP sensor, which means it’s grateful for taking short-range images up to 720p. It may not have as many fancy features as some other models, but that’s because it doesn’t really need them. It’s great at what it does, which is taking crips images and enabling you to access them remotely.

Specs: PIR motion sensor | Smartphone or web transmission | Compact construction (7.5 x 5.5 x 4 inches)  | Aluminum casing

Pros

  • 3-image photo burst mode
  • Wide field angle
  • 0.06-second trigger speed

Cons

  • App can be clunky

Best Trail Cameras for 4K Video

Campark 4K Lite Trail Camera

Temporarily unavailable

The Campark 4K Lite Trail Camera is one of the most affordable 4K trail cameras on the market, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best trail cameras for 2021. Unlike many other affordable 4K cameras, the Campark 4K Lite Trail Camera boasts a wide range of features including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and impressive 645-foot nighty vision range, and International Protection Rating of 66, which means that it is a highly durable model.

Specs: 4K Lite video capture resolution | 24 MP effective still resolution | Mobile phone control | 3 PIR sensors | 120-degree detection range

Pros

  • Advanced night vision
  • Clear audio and video capture
  • 6-month battery life
  • Waterproof
  • 2.4 inch LED screen

Cons

  • Poor instructions provided

Best Premium Trail Cameras

Spartan Ghost Verizon 4G LTE GC-W4Gb Blackout IR Infrared Hunting Trail Camera Deluxe Package

If you have the money to spend, and you take your trail photography seriously, you’re going to want to invest in the Spartan Ghost Verizon 4G LTE GC-W4Gb Blackout IR Infrared Hunting Trail Camera Deluxe Package. Why? Because it contains everything you could possibly need to get out there and start taking the most beautiful images. From a powerful 10 watt solar panel to a steel lockbox and great tree mount strap, you can literally take this package out of the… well package, and get started.

Specs: Motion timer for precise image capture | Built-in rechargeable lithium battery (5300 mAh) | Verizon 4G network connectivity | Solar panel | Python cable | Steel lockbox

Pros

  • The full package you’ll need to become a trail camera pro
  • Invisible infrared illumination
  • 2 inch LCD screen
  • Mobile connectivity
  • Two-way communication

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Solar panel not inbuilt

Best Trail Cameras Under $100

ATOPSUN Trail Camera

ATOPSUN Trail Camera
Cheap, fast and long distance, this one’s a real bargain.

The ATOPSUN Trail Camera comes in at a very affordable price, which is surprising considering it has a whole host of features you would usually only expect to find on more expensive cameras, including 90ft No Glow Night Vision and an 80-foot trigger distance range. Not only that, but it’s compact, durable, and even has its own 2-4 inch LCD screen. If you’re looking for a cheap option, this is certainly one of the best trail cameras you are likely to find under the $100 mark.

Specs: Battery-powered | 20MP image and 1080P video resolution | Clear night vision | 12-month quality support guarantee | 120-degree wide-angle lens

Pros

  • Lots of features for the price
  • High-performance lenses and chips for image clarity
  • In-built screen for ease of use
  • 0.3-second trigger speed
  • Water and dustproof

Cons

  • Max storage 64GB
  • Construction not as high as some other models

Best Trail Cameras for Battery Life

Browning Strike Force HD Pro X

Browning BTC-5HDPX Strike Force HD Pro X
With an average video battery life of 17.8 months, this one will go the distance.

The Browning Strike Force HD Pro X has an impressive image battery life of 17.9 months on average and an also impressive video battery life of 3.4 months which means, if you care about keeping your camera running for as long as possible, there really is no better trail camera to choose.

Specs: PIR range of 80ft | 55-degree field of view | IR LED flash (20ft) | Trigger time 0.2 seconds | 512GB max storage

Pros

  • Fully mountable
  • 120ft night mode
  • 20MP HD image and 1600x900p video capture
  • Sound recording
  • Fast capture

Cons

  • Inaccurate temperature readings 
  • Not compatible with NiMH rechargeable batteries

Top Rated Trail Camera Brands

According to our research, the top rated trail camera brands right now in 2021 are:

  • Spartan
  • Bushnell
  • Spypoint
  • Reconyx
  • Spartan
  • Campark

Purchasing a trail camera from any one of these respected brands is likely to be a good move that will enable you to take the most spectacular wildlife shots yet.

Essential Trail Camera Features

When it comes to finding the best trail cameras, there are a number of features that are essential, so let’s take a look at them right now.

Trigger speed

Trigger speed is the amount of time it takes for a trail camera to detect movement and capture an image. The faster the speed, generally speaking, the better the camera is likely to perform. On average, trigger speeds range from 0.14 to 4 seconds, and you’ll be looking for a speed closer to the former than the latter if you want to ensure you purchase a truly great camera.

Image resolution

If you want your images to look stunning, then you absolutely need to pay attention to the image resolution of your camera. The more megapixels your trail camera has, the crisper, clearer, and higher-quality your images will be.

Battery life

Battery life is another important feature of trail cameras. If you’re looking to buy the best you can afford, then you should be looking for a camera that has a battery life of at least six months, ideally a year. However, you should bear in mind that the more fancy features your trail camera has, the quicker the battery will drain, so it can be a delicate balancing act, but if you go for a camera that features rechargeable battery sockets, or which includes a minimum of 8 AA batteries sockets, you should be okay. 

Different Types of Trail Cameras

The two most common types of trail cameras are low glow and no-glow cameras. What’s the difference between the two? Low glow cameras use the 850 nano-meter while no glow cameras use LED lights on the 40 nano-meter spectra. The former emits a small glow, while the latter emits no glow at all. This means that no-glow cameras have a reduction in flash functionality when compared to low glow models.

Care and Maintenance

Trail cameras can be expensive, so you’re going to want to make sure you take as much care of them as possible. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

  • Keep the firmware up to date to ensure that your trail camera is always functioning optimally.
  • Keep the housing clean. Ensure there is no dirt, debris, or bug eggs on the housing. You can do this by very carefully cleaning with a mild solution of dish soap and water and a microfiber cloth. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to clean your trail camera.
  • Clean the lens and flash unit, including the flash cover with keyboard cleaner, making absolutely sure there is nothing abrasive in there that could damage the components.
  • Maintain seals to ensure no moisture can get into your trail camera. You can do this by applying a silicone sealing lubricant and regularly checking for signs of wear and tear.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a cellular plan for a trail camera?

The cost of a cellular plan trail camera can vary significantly from free to in excess of $1000 annually depending on the plan you choose. One of the biggest cellular plan providers, Verizon charges between $6.99 per month for 1000 images to $36.99 for 40,000 monthly images, and at&t has similar packages, so the cost will depend on the volume of images you take.

Are Campark trail cameras any good?

Campark has been making tail cameras since 2008, and in that time, they’ve gotten pretty good at it. As well as making some of the best trail cameras on a budget, they offer a high level of customer service, which means they are a safe bet, particularly for beginners.

Are Apeman trail cameras any good?

Apeman cameras may be very affordable, but unfortunately, they are far from being the best trail cameras you can buy right now. Although they offer a decent trigger speed and high definition video capture, they are also prone to moisture damage which can cause images to blur and cameras to fail.

What trail cameras send pics to your phone?

Any trail cameras that boast 4G connectivity can be used to send pics to your phone.

Can you use a trail camera as a security camera?

Yes, you can use trail cameras as security cameras if you wish to do so, due to the fact they can be easily mounted around your property, and because they will activate when motion is detected. Many of them will even send images to your phone in real-time so you can keep 

Conclusion

As you can see there are a number of impressive trail cameras on the market in 2021, and while all of the cameras we have featured are, in our opinion, excellent choices, it is always a good idea to think about the kind of function you need, and where possible, to test out a camera, before making a purchase.

Article by:
Louie Lovoy
As the editor of Netbook News, when he's not editing articles on the latest tech trends, you can find him spending time with family and friends, cheering at his boys' little league games, or backpacking in the North Georgia mountains.

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