Best Wildlife Trail Camera (Buying Guide)

Trail cameras have many uses, from assisting in hunting game to home security purposes. However, their most valuable offering is an amazing insight into the behavior of wild animals.

By using a motion-activated trail camera, you can see the movements and activity of wild animals without human interference. Wildlife trail cameras are excellent tools to study, view, and enjoy animal life in your area. 

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

And here’s an overview of the best wildlife trail cameras on the market:

Overview
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Title
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Price
$399.99
Rating
-
Overview
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Title
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Price
$399.99
Rating
-

A huge range of different features are on offer when you’re choosing a wildlife camera, which are useful in improving the quality of recordings, as well as the enjoyment of your experience. Many wildlife trail cameras are equipped with new technology, always improving to offer a better view of otherwise unknown animal activity. Features such as no-glow infrared flash, WiFi connectivity, specialized apps, and different picture modes are all available to improve your user experience. So read on to find out about the best wildlife trail cameras, and level up your backcountry experience. 

 

A deer in the grass.

If you want to capture stunning photographs and videos of animals around your area, you need one of the best wildlife trail cameras.

 

Best Wildlife Trail Camera – Overview

 

1. Moultrie A-25 Game Camera 

Moultrie A-25 Game Camera (2018) | A-Series| 12 MP | 0.9 S Trigger Speed | 720p Video | Compatible with Moultrie Mobile (sold separately)
  • A fast .7 second trigger speed means there's less chance of missing the perfect image of that trophy Buck

The Moultrie A-25 is the perfect entry-level wildlife trail camera, with enough capacity to provide excellent animal photographs and videos, without too many bells and whistles. The 12MP sensor offers quality images and is equipped to record 720p HD video. A trigger speed of 0.9 seconds isn’t the fastest available, but it’s still speedy enough to capture most wildlife shots. Moultrie uses Infrared LED flash to provide clear nighttime imaging, with low-glow technology so animal activity isn’t disturbed. 

The A-25 game camera’s motion detection range is a respectable 60 feet, matched by the reach of the IR flash. Powered by 8 AA batteries, the Moultrie A-25 wildlife trail camera can capture up to 17,000 images before needing replacement power. Optionally, you can power your Moultrie camera using a solar panel instead of batteries, which is not only more convenient, but it’s more environmentally friendly too. Regarding appearance, this camera has a plain brown design, which means some users might find it lacking the camouflage print found on other models. 

The buttons to control this game and hunting camera are backlit for ease of use. An SD card is used for storing your photographs and videos, however, there is an issue in this area with the Moultrie A-25 Game Camera. Unfortunately, Ultra- and High-Speed SD cards are not supported with this device, which puts some limits on its ability to quickly record and then recover. For this reason, we recommend the Moultrie A-25 as a good choice for beginners, however, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts needing more detailed and accurate recordings should consider the next wildlife camera review on our list instead. 

 

Pros:

  • 12MP images and 720p high definition video provide a crisp and detailed view into the world of wild animals. 
  • Low-glow Infrared flash offers clear imaging without disturbing natural animal movements. 
  • Battery life is good at up to 17,000 images per set of 8 AA batteries.

 

Cons:

  • High-speed and ultra SD cards are not supported, limiting your recordings. 
  • LED flash and detection range could be improved for more useful images. 
  • Lack of camouflage design. 

 

2. Browning Strike Force HD 850 Trail Camera 

Browning is a well-known and respected manufacturer in the world of wildlife trail cameras, and for good reason. You can always expect a quality product that provides clear imaging and reliable motion detection. The Strike Force HD 850 Trail Camera has a 16MP sensor and is equipped to record 720p HD video. This is potentially too low a quality for some users, who may prefer 1080 full HD, however, the Strike Force will still provide crisp and clear moving images, with enough detail to draw fascinating conclusions of wildlife activity. 

The Infrared detection range of this Browning camera offers a substantial improvement over our previous best trail camera review, at 80 feet it’s higher than most other options. The IR flash also has further reaches, illuminating nighttime scenes from a distance of up to 120 feet. Browning’s Zero Blur technology also improves the quality of night vision photographs and recordings, promising perfect vision in total darkness. A trigger speed of 0.4 seconds, and a recovery time of only 0.8 seconds, ensure you won’t miss out on even the most fleeting of wildlife encounters. 

Another reason the Browning Strike Force HD 850 is one of the best wildlife trail cameras is the 8-picture multi-shot and rapid-fire modes, which make capturing the behavior of local fauna much easier. Additionally, this wildlife trail camera can support SD card storage of up to 512GB, a vital feature if you’re trying to record as much data as possible. The ability to choose a memory card of this size is a huge advantage when recording wildlife activity, as you won’t need to place a limit on the number of photographs and videos taken. 

 

Pros:

  • Long-range motion detection and LED flash capabilities.
  • Fast trigger speed and impressive recovery time period.
  • Support for large memory card sizes.

 

Cons:

  • 1080p HD video would be a serious improvement from 720p recordings.
  • No waterproof IP rating.

 

3. Spypoint Force-20 20MP Trail Camera  

SPYPOINT FORCE-20 Trail Camera 20MP HD Video w/ 48x High Power LEDs & Infrared Boost Tech for GREAT NIGHT IMAGE, 80' Flash Range, Low Glow Backlit Setup LCD Screen
  • TECHNOLOGY: Ultra-compact value-priced feature-rich trail camera. Night images are illuminated with super-low-glow LEDs, so that even nighttime shots are properly illuminated so you don’t miss a...

With an impressive 20MP sensor, the Spypoint Force-20 is one of the best-equipped trail cameras to provide super high-quality images, packed with detail. There are 48 LEDs which provide a low-glow infrared flash so your nighttime wildlife images will be just as clear and visible. The motion detection range of this Spypoint camera is up to 70 feet, a long-range capable of capturing recordings of animal activity that might be missed by other wildlife trail cameras. 

The Spypoint Force-20 comes with a 16GB SD card to store all of your animal recordings, and also some special technology to improve your animal study experience. Spypoint’s Buck Tracker A.I. is trained to recognize bucks and deer by gender and species, maximizing the utility of recordings taken. This is an incredibly useful feature for scouting, hunting, and wildlife monitoring. 

The Force-20 can record HD video up to 720p quality, which is perfectly adequate for most wildlife viewing purposes. However, some enthusiasts may prefer 1080p full HD for a higher level of detail and accuracy. The trigger speed is a respectable 0.7 seconds, however, those wanting to ensure they never miss out might want to consider one of the faster wildlife trail cameras on our list. 

 

Pros:

  • 20MP sensor offers high quality and detailed photographs.
  • 70-foot motion detection range gives you a huge field of view and insight into the wild.
  • Buck Tracker A.I. can help you to interpret and learn from your data.
  • 16GB SD card included.

 

Cons:

  • Other wildlife trail cameras offer higher quality video HD.
  • A trigger speed of 0.7 seconds might not be fast enough for some enthusiasts.

 

4. Wildgame Innovations Terra Extreme 14MP Trail Camera 

This Wildgame Innovations camera is another excellent choice for beginners, offering high-tech features and a good design at entry-level. The camera is 14 megapixels, with detailed image quality and up to 30 seconds of 720p HD video recording. This wildlife trail camera can accept SD cards of up to 32GB memory storage, which could be a limiting factor if you want to collect a large amount of data. 

The Wildgame Innovations Terra Extreme comes with bungee cords for easy installation, however, these generally aren’t as secure as the standard tree straps. Powered by 8 AA batteries, this trail camera can last up to one year, or take up to 30,000 photographs before the charge runs dry. A total of 21 high-intensity IR LEDs provide flash for night vision images and recordings, illuminating the scene without disturbing the game. 

One issue with this Wildgame Innovations wildlife camera is that it doesn’t have the ability to record audio, which some animal enthusiasts may miss from their data. Additionally, the Terra Extreme lacks a burst or multi-shot mode, which is also a limiting factor in its capabilities. Overall, this camera is a good entry-level option, offering decent technical features, however, if you want to get a bit more out of your wildlife trail camera, you should definitely consider the next camera review on our list. 

 

Pros:

  • 14MP images and 720p HD video offer great quality wildlife monitoring and recordings. 
  • The included bungee cords are easier to install than the standard tree strap. 
  • Good battery life at up to 30,000 photographs before needing a change. 

 

Cons:

  • 32GB memory card maximum may not be enough for users wanting to take many recordings. 
  • Bungee straps are not as secure as tree straps for holding your camera. 
  • Videos recording cannot feature audio. 
  • No multi-shot of burst mode with this trail camera. 

 

5. Bushnell Trophy Cam E3 

Sale
Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera, Brown
  • Accepts up to a 32GB SD card (not included) and operates on 8 AA batteries (not included)

Our previous camera review, while a quality piece of technology, was lacking in some of the most useful technical features. This definitely isn’t an issue with the Bushnell Trophy Cam E3, it’s one of the most well-equipped wildlife trail cameras available. With a trigger time of 0.3 seconds and recovery time of less than one second, this wildlife trail camera can quickly snap photos of all sorts of wildlife, ensuring you don’t miss out on a fantastic shot of your local deer family, or even bears in some areas. 

The Bushnell Trophy Cam has a 16MP sensor and records 720p video, so while these aren’t the highest specifications available, this Bushnell trail camera finds a good balance between detailed photographs and economical use of storage space. You can use an SD card of up to 32GB to store your data, while 8 AA batteries can keep the device running for up to 12 months. This camera features weather-resistant housing to protect from rain and inclement weather. 

With low-glow IR LEDs to light your nighttime recordings, the Bushnell Trophy Cam E3 promises clear images, night or day, without disturbing the wildlife in your recordings. A fantastic feature of this Bushnell trail camera is the hybrid capture mode, which when activated, will take a single high-resolution image upon motion detection, followed by a video. This technical feature is incredibly useful for ensuring you get the most out of your recordings, so you don’t miss any of the best animal action. 

 

Pros:

  • The speedy trigger time and recovery period gives you the best chance of capturing stunning wildlife images. 
  • A hybrid capture mode gives the Bushnell Trophy Cam E3 amazing useability. 
  • One set of AA batteries can power this wildlife trail camera for up to a whole year. 

 

Cons:

  • Other trail cameras offer a higher number of megapixels. 
  • Low-glow LEDs, while effective, would be improved with no-glow. 

 

6. Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera

Reconyx is a high-end, reliable, and super-high quality producer of trail cams and scouting cameras. It’s the fastest camera on our list with a trigger speed of just 0.2 seconds, a vital feature if you’re serious about capturing wildlife activity. The technology used to create this stealth cam is really some of the best, including highly sensitive motion detection and next-generation flash. The NoGlow GEN3 High output Infrared night vision has a massive range of 125 feet, so any nighttime recordings should be crisp and clear, without grain or blur.

The Reconyx HyperFire 2 requires 12 AA batteries to run, a higher number than most other trail cameras. However, this charge can last for up to two years, or take 40,000 images, meaning you won’t have to change the batteries too often. This wildlife trail camera supports SD card memory storage of up to 512GB, so combined with the extended battery life, you should be able to leave this wireless trail camera for extended periods without running out of either power or storage space. 

Regarding battery power, this trail camera is one of the few that accepts rechargeable batteries, meaning you can choose a more environmentally friendly lithium battery. The video recording quality on this trail game camera is 720p, however, it’s limited to a length of 10 seconds, which could be a serious compromise if video clips are an important element of your animal tracking technique. However, this video recording does include audio, an improvement on our previous review. 

 

Pros:

  • Huge no-glow IR flash range of 150 feet, or 45 meters. 
  • Support for SD storage of up to 512GB.
  • Battery life can last 2 years, or take 40,000 images.
  • This camera accepts rechargeable batteries, a huge plus for the environmentally conscious. 
  • Incredibly fast trigger speed of 0.2 seconds.

 

Cons:

  • Video recording is limited to only 10 seconds.
  • On a camera this high-end, we’d hope to see 1080p full HD video over 720p.

7. Campark WiFi Trail Camera T80

Sale
Campark Trail Camera-WiFi 20MP 1296P Hunting Game Camera with Night Vision Motion Activated for Outdoor Wildlife Monitoring Waterproof IP66
  • 🎁 ◀ WIFI Connection + APP Remote Control ▶It built-in WIFI function in this game camera. Download the APP in your mobile phone and then connect with WIFI. You can adjust setting and check the...

Campark is a respected name in the world of trail and security cameras, offering good value for money in quality products. The WiFi Trail Camera T80 has a 65-foot triggering distance for motion sensing, matched by the reach of the IR flash. With 36 Infrared LEDs to illuminate the scene, your night vision photographs and videos will be as clear and as detailed as the colorful daytime images. This Campark Camera has a fantastic 20MP sensor and takes 1296p recordings, which is even better than the 1080p video. 

The Campark T80 has an IP66 waterproof rating, so it’s weathertight and won’t let in the rain. When taking video, this trail camera also records crystal clear sound, giving your data even more useful information. The camera has WiFi connectivity built-in, which you can use with Campark’s app to make retrieving your videos and images even easier. The device is powered by 8 AA batteries and includes a remote control and threaded tripod in the box. 

We’d love to see a time-lapse feature added into this camera, to improve its capabilities. This camera features a 2.3 inch LCD screen for easy viewing. One fantastic reason why this device is one of the best wildlife trail cameras is the video length it can take, which maxes out at a respectable three minutes. Many of the other trail and hunting cameras available have a much more limited length of video recording, so this extended capability is a big plus for the Campark T80. 

 

Pros:

  • Crystal clear 20MP sensor promises the highest image quality.
  • 1296p HD video and sound recording offer amazing wildlife monitoring.
  • Built-in WiFi and application connection makes retrieving your photos easy.

 

Cons:

  • SD card storage has a maximum of 32GB, and as the file sizes are so large this could fill up your storage quickly.
  • WiFi connection range is limited to around 10 meters.

 

 

Our Winner:

Overview
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Title
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Price
$399.99
Rating
-
Overview
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Title
RECONYX HyperFire 2 HF2X Gen3 3MP 720p Day & Night Outdoor Covert IR Camera, 150' Night Vision, OD Green
Price
$399.99
Rating
-

Our top pick for the best wildlife trail camera is the Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X. If you’re hiking out to place your new trail camera in the perfect spot, make sure you’re wearing a pair of the best hiking boots, you won’t regret this decision! This camera is truly top of the line when it comes to game trail cameras, it offers excellent picture quality and video quality and an incredibly accurate motion sensor.

The video resolution is admittedly lower than some other options on our list, however, you’ll never have to worry about missing any action. The huge amount of storage and excellent battery life means you can set up this camera and rely on it to capture every stunning wildlife moment, without thinking about power or storage space running out. The Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X is also one of few trail cameras which are compatible with rechargeable batteries, a huge bonus if you want to keep your wildlife monitoring eco-friendly. 

 

Bonus tip: Check out this video to see some crystal clear footage from our top trail camera!

 

 

Riley Draper

Riley Draper

Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.