Best Hunting Cameras Reviewed & Rated for Quality
A hunting camera is vital for monitoring animal patterns throughout the seasons. With the right information, a hunter can set traps and scout successfully without any surprises. Better technology has helped improve them over the years and made them more versatile than ever. Hunters that live in remote areas with acres of land have found that hunting cameras serve dual purposes; giving them piece of mind while away from home and scouting hunting routes. Whether you’re looking for a high-tech expensive device or something more basic and affordable, our list of the top 10 Hunting Cameras include a great variety of choices to meet all of your needs.
- 12MP Resolution
- Powerful Hardware
- Bushnell Trophy Cam HD
- 12MP Resolution
Moultrie, Bushnell, Stealth Cam and Browning have cornered the hunting camera market. The best hunting camera will often be a mix of their models, but there are a lot of lesser-known companies that have managed to break the list. Some of the best cameras on the list are from companies that decided to do something innovative with the regular hunting camera specifications.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
Hunting cameras differ from regular digital cameras in that they’re meant to be sturdy. They are left outside in place for months at a time. If there is a renewable power source, then they stay there permanently. With the sturdy casing that comes with each of these hunting cameras, there really is no real upkeep advice other than wiping off the case from time to time to avoid build up. And even then, that isn’t a necessity unless it is affecting shot quality.
Best Hunting Cameras
1. Crenova Game
There are two versions of this camera, one with just the base, and one with an included 16GB SD card. The reason the card is so big is because this is a 1080p camera, and a starter card of 4GB wouldn’t have last a good month. With the price savings of getting the bundle with the card, customers will be ready to go immediately after unboxing the item.
Features and Specifications
12MP resolution with 5MP CMOS sensor
1080p HD video with audio
Automatic IR Filter
42pcs LED night vision
120 degree coverage with two PIR sensors
IP54 Water resistant
2 year warranty
4 LCD screen
This low cost 1080p camera is a hard value to pass up for hunting enthusiasts. The option to purchase with a 16GB SD card only sweetens the deal, and shaves some cost off of purchasing it separately.
Crenova has been a pleasant surprise as of late, providing a hunting camera that could very well set the standard. No matter which version of this camera you buy, you’ll be getting a powerful device that will take awe-inspiring photos.
- Powerful motion sensors never miss any action
- Lots of settings to customize
- Great power management
- Video length up to 10 minutes
- Hyper Night Vision
- LCD screen is not as crisp as the TEC.BEAN model
2. TEC.BEAN 12MP 1080P HD
This is one of the few full HD hunting cameras on the market, with an extraordinary 1920x1080p HD resolution. Any hunter that has a full HD set or computer knows what a difference it can make to have this model over a camera that only does 720p.
Features and Specifications
12MP resolution with video recording up to 90 seconds
Up to 9 pictures per trigger
75 ft. night time range
5 full capture modes with an optional motion freeze
2 inch color LCD viewer
Password protected camera
The first media rich hunting camera on the list is actually a pretty good price, and not that expensive at all. Customers that want a lot of power behind their shots will be more than happy with this model.
This is the first 1080p hunting camera on the list, and may very well be the best. Hunters that are media enthusiasts will flock to this model over the others for its raw power.
- Powerful processing power with the hardware
- LCD viewer is rich and detailed
- Case is above average
- 36pcs No glow IR LEDs
- Waterproof IP66
- Best motion detection on the list
- Slow trigger speed (0.6 seconds)
- Average power management
3. Bushnell Trophy E2
Fast trigger speeds means better photos and videos. The latter is even more important, since missing the first second could make a huge difference in how special the video is to you. With a 0.3 second trigger speed, Bushnell continues its excellence in providing powerful cameras that dominate.
Features and Specifications
Available modes are 3,8 or 12MP
Low, Medium or High PIR
Trigger interval is programmable up to 60 minutes
720p video with audio up to 60 seconds
Field Scan 2x can be set between 1 minute and 60 minutes
When comparing it to the wireless Bushnell model, the Trophy Cam HD Essential E2 stands on its own quite well. The only thing missing is wireless functionality, with every other major feature seeming identical. This is a low priced Bushnell model that really glides by the competition when matching power specs.
Buyers that aren’t interested in wireless functionality will find that this is the best Bushnell model to purchase. It’s fast, low priced and gets the job done day or night.
- Hyper Night Vision takes great images at night
- Battery life lasts up to a full year
- All photos can be data stamped
- 32 Low-Glow LEDs are almost undetectable
- No ability to add wireless through accessories
- Night LEDs are not totally invisible
4. Browning Strike Force
This model from Browning features an amazing 80 ft. adjustable flash range for long range detection. The power save design ensures that the battery doesn’t get drained quickly.
This item is equipped with a new video processor in order to provide you with the best picture and video. You can record 1920x1080 Full HD videos with sound for up to 2 minutes.
Cost and Value
Taking into consideration the advanced technology used in this device, it is a good investment for those looking for the best. One of these features includes Zero Blur technology for the clearest night shots.
Includes an all-steel mounting bracket
Features a large color view screen
Long flash range
Supports memory cards for extra storage
Directions may be difficult to follow
Battery may drain faster in the cold
5. Bushnell Trophy Aggressor
Straight out of the box the HD Aggressor is 3g capable. With wireless functionality already built in, the need to buy bulky or expensive wireless adapters is a thing of the past. The revolutionary wireless feature is only available in the US, so be wary if you’re an international user.
Features and Specifications
14MP with 720p video
48 No-Glow Black LEDs
60 ft. invisible flash range
Autosenses day and night cycles
3 second trigger speed
Free iOS or Android app
Case has a built on metal buckle
The wireless functionality out of the box is the seller, high price and all. Convenience wins in this instance for Bushnell as they are still the best choice for an easy to use wireless hunting camera.
With a high price tag it may turn off some viewers, but those that can’t live without wireless functionality will be satisfied with this option. Every other brand is still playing catch up with the wireless feature, and Bushnell is king.
- Wireless plans are offered by Bushnell
- Apps are very well done on both platforms
- You can check photos and videos from any wireless device
- Camera settings can be managed from any wireless device
- Photos and videos are incredible during day or night
- Many customizable options
- Video is not 1080p
- Wireless option doesn’t cover international users
6. Primos Truth Cam 35
The Truth Cam 35 features a trigger speed that reaches 1.5 seconds straight out of sleep mode. The reaction time stays true to its advertisement, initializing in a second a half and taking one picture every 0.3 seconds when active. But it doesn’t stop there, the triggering can be adjusted to take multi-shots from 1 to 9 images in odd numbers. All images save time, date, information about the climate and the moon.
Designed for concealment
The thin and low profile of the Truth Cam 35 makes it extremely hard to spot – you may even forget where you installed it. Furthermore, the case counts with the traditional Matrix camo finish. Being extremely easy to install, this camera can be placed in difficult positions to provide even more enclosement. The night vision LEDs emit invisible light, ensuring concealment during nighttime as well.
The Truth Cam 35 by Primos sits just around the average value of the items in this list. For its trigger speed, 35 IR lights, multi-shot feature and the resistance of its components, this camera is a good deal. While it’s not the highest end of hunting camera technology, it’s got quite a bit of quality to offer while assisting you on the hunt.
Very hard to spot
Multi-shot feature allows for 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 images per trigger
35 IR LED lights
Utterly flexible; may be customized in a wide variety of ways
Not properly protected against the elements
High battery consumption
7. Moultrie M-888
This is probably the strongest Moultrie camera available, with a blazingly powerful 14MP resolution. The highlight isn’t just about how powerful it is, but should be focused on the power saving features. Even when using the full 14MP resolution, the M-888 mini uses less power than comparable models with lower resolution cameras.
Features and Specifications
100 ft. IR flash range
7 second trigger speed
Moultrie Mobile capable
2 year warranty
Infrared flash illumination
Requires 8AA batteries
The really interesting part about the M-888 Mini is that by itself it ranks as #8 on the list, but if they included the wireless accessory and bumped up the video to 1080p it would run away with the #1 spot. In its current state the price is one of the lowest on the list, so the base unit is worth it as is.
Buyers that are willing to build on this model with Moultrie accessories will be really happy at the outcome. And even for customers that want to buy the unit only, they will end up with years of great pictures.
- Moultrie Mobile Field Modem MV1 makes it wireless
- Hybrid option allows passive and time-lapse automation
- Best power management of any camera on the list
- 100 ft. flash range with Illumi-Night sensor
- 40 degree field of view
- 720p video
- Wireless function requires separate purchase
8. Primos 12MP
There is no escaping the fantastic quality of this model, and for it to be #9 speaks a lot about the camera quality. Besides sporting 12MP it also uses no glow flash at night for capturing photos. Even when compared to the top 3 cameras on this list, it’s debatable if they beat out this Primos model.
Features and Specifications
720p with audio up to 60 seconds
No Glow infrared
Python lock compatible
Time lapse up to 60 minutes
Of course the first thing that comes to mind is how unbeatable the camera quality is coupled with the price. But beyond a beastly camera, everything else is average. Even at its current low price, this is a hard deal to pass up if you don’t want to spend double for a hunting camera with similar photo qualities.
If Primos made the case more appealing and added in better power saving features, well then this would have shot up to the top 3 spots. Even with some slight cons in other areas, there is no denying the quality of the camera in this unit.
- Possibly the best pure camera on the list
- Only needs 8AA batteries
- Lightweight at 10.1 ounces
- Camera takes great night pictures without alerting prey
- 720p quality is above standard
- Case is below standard
- Battery life is subpar
9. XIKEZAN Waterproof
The warranty needs to be highlighted for the company since they are offering a 1 year manufacturer warranty. Xikezan is not a known brand by many, and yet over the course of their companies time has done a fantastic job with customer service. So if there is any reason you have a problem with the product, they have a good track record of being very customer friendly.
Features and Specifications
Trigger speed of 0.8 seconds
Programmable trigger interval
5 picture multi-shot feature
8 MP camera
720 HD video with sound
50 ft. motion detection
Uses 4 or 12 AA batteries
This is one of the lowest priced cameras on the list. Usually Moultrie would fill the low cost niche, but this Xikezan offers some serious value for both hunting and home security. Factor that in with the warranty and this turns out to be a surprisingly good deal.
There is nothing to be afraid of for new customers purchasing a Xikezan hunting camera. The company has proven they have what it takes to compete, creating a great camera with a lot of advanced features.
- Full charge can take up to 12,000 images
- Takes great night pictures
- 5 pictures per multi-shot
- 12 AA batteries can last up to 1 year
- Supports Micro SD cards up to 32GB
- 720p Video
- Flash range is one of the shortest on the list
10. Amcrest ATC 1201
A proper camera can’t work with low resolution, which is why the ATC 1201 captures the still images at 12MP and records in 1080p video. The result of a truly professional grade hunting camera is HD images and video unmatched by other private platforms. The colors are captured vividly so you can appreciate each detail of the surveilled area. Moving bodies pose no challenge to the resolution and focus of this camera.
The ATC 1201 includes a 2-inch LCD sporting a user-friendly interface along with a tough case with weatherproofing equipment. This particular model meets the weatherproofing IP54 standard for resistance. Enjoy the experience of hunting in almost any climatic circumstance where traditional cameras would normally not be suitable. Additionally, the snug fit prevents the camera from hitting the case upon any sort of impact.
This camera is one of the best values of the list. Its cost can only be beaten by the 12MP camera by TEC.BEAN. The Amcrest ATC 1201 has been tested for harsh outdoor circumstances, passing the weatherproofing IP54 standard for resistance. The image quality and durability of this product alone are enough reason to buy it for such a low cost. It’s hard to get a deal that beats this one.
Reliable 12-month warranty
Same-day shipping from their
Complete after-sales customer support
Vivid colors and accuracy during nighttime
The red light is bright and if positioned incorrectly it may scare wildlife away
The remote controller is hard to understand
Criteria For Evaluation
Evaluating hunting cameras is similar to regular digital cameras, with the focus instead being shifted to media quality, night capabilities, trigger speed, media manipulation and durability. Pricing also helped to shape the list, but these five things were the biggest of the bunch.
Media quality has to do with picture and video quality during all times of the day. It would have been unfair to just give HD cameras the win since lower definition cameras are still capable. To balance out quality with actual capabilities, we looked at how the pictures turned out rather than the actual hardware. By using this method we were able to separate cameras that pumped up their specifications but didn’t live up to expectations.
You can have the greatest camera in the world and it can still take bad photos. That is why our criteria for trigger speed was put in to balance out the list. This is the speed that determines how fast (and how many) photos can be taken at any given time. If the trigger speed is too slow, you’ll get blurry or out of focus photos. Trigger speed also has an effect capturing ‘magic moments’ with video, or at the very least raising the chances you’ll get to capture that moment.
The next thing we tested for was night capabilities, but only in models that supported it. Not all of the hunting cameras on the list supported night media, so we gave points to those that had it on the feature list and didn’t punish the cameras that didn’t. Even if night IR is a great feature, not every consumer will mark it as a killer feature. On the plus side, we found that the cameras without night modes had better battery management. That’s something to think about for users that leave their cameras out for a year at a time.
Media Manipulation and Durability
The two criteria’s that we tested last had to do with media manipulation and durability. With the former, we tested a camera’s ability to crop, correct and customize photos directly from the camera itself. This is a useful addition for buyers that want to edit their media but don’t have access to a computer. Being able to touch up media directly from the device is an often underrated feature of hunting cameras. They are never power, but still, a worthwhile addition, especially when the camera includes a nice screen. Durability is directly tied to the casing and not the camera, and a lot of brands excelled in this area. Points were given out to all that included the usual trifecta of shockproof, fog proof and water resistance. When you leave the camera out for long periods of time, the case has to be able to handle the elements, whether natural or not. Rain is one, while a long drop to the ground is also common. Length and quality of the warranty programs were also included in the criteria and shaped the top ten list to its current form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Viewers An Important Feature?
A: Only for convenience, since portable viewers can be bought for very cheap. Having a viewer on the camera definitely keeps you from having to lug around extra equipment-but it isn’t a game changer.
Q: Is There Really A Difference Between 1080p and 720p?
A: Yes, and the difference is pretty important when you’re viewing it on a full 1080p screen or computer monitor. You’re not going to notice the difference on a viewer, but when you view it on a compatible device you’ll see the extra details.
Q: Can You Use Any SD Card With The Camera?
A: Cameras have certain class restrictions with SD cards. Be wary of cheap SD cards that may look like a bargain, but won’t be compatible with your camera. Pay close attention to the class of card a hunting camera takes, as each model has a different requirement.
Q: If the Flash isn’t Invisible or No Glow, is it a Waste of Money?
A: Absolutely not. There are cameras that have semi-invisible flash that won’t alert prey when they snap. The only time a non-invisible flash may be noticeable is to the human eye.
Q: Should I Use The Camera Without The Case?
A: While it may offer better flexibility with certain mounting situations, there is a reason cases are protecting the camera. It doesn’t just protect it from weather conditions but from theft, water, and even animals. Your hunting camera won’t last a week without the case!
Q: Is It Hard To Mount A Hunting Camera?
A: Hunting cameras usually come equipped with all the materials you need to mount them. For basic mounting that includes the strap, it is all about making sure the camera is secure. Cameras that move, even a little, will take bad photos. So factor in heavy winds, weak points at the place you are strapping it to and also the difficulty of removing it from the current spot. Mounting isn’t hard, but it can certainly be difficult if the area doesn’t give you good angles. For that situation, purchasing a tripod or other standing pole can help. So no matter where you put a hunting camera, mounting it is easy if your priority is securing the device.
Q: How Many Photos And Videos Can A Card Hold?
A: For most hunting cameras you will need to purchase a separate card that holds the photos and videos. These can range in size from 1 GB to 32 GB, with the latter being the current standard. There are models that can go beyond that, and there are different variations of the type of memory a camera can hold. Videos will take up more space, but this is dependent on if it is standard or high definition, and if it also records audio. Using a camera’s limited built-in memory (if available) is not recommended to be used for regular storage if it is under 4 GB.
Q: Do All Hunting Cameras Support Video?
A: No, although it is rare to see a modern one that doesn’t. Hunting cameras that don’t have video capabilities usually put all of their performance into the picture quality and trigger speed. These can be more valuable to users that don’t care about video and is also a great choice if the alternative option offers lackluster video and average picture quality. Hunting cameras without the video options are very much in demand, and will continue to be a top seller as long as they keep the other features in above average shape.
Q: How Big Of A Difference Is There Between Standard And High Definition?
A: The difference is huge, even for users that don’t attach a lot of their sentiment to finer details. Even if your goal is to just get a nice shot, there are a lot of things in the foreground and background that will be blurred, low detail or out of focus if the camera isn’t up to the task. Standard definition is useful when the trigger speed is high, and absolutely atrocious when the trigger speed is below average. With a high definition camera, slow trigger speed is more forgiving, so there is room for error if you have the power to spare.
Q: Can Generic Batteries Be Used With The Camera?
A: Yes, but at the cost of performance. This can be seen when using the more advanced features of the camera for long periods of time. It can be a bit taxing on the batteries if they weren’t built for high energy tasks, and if the camera has bad power saving mechanics, then the performance will suffer even more. Low-quality batteries can even affect the trigger speed, an essential function of hunting cameras. Always use branded batteries, even if it is for short periods of time or testing purposes. And when leaving cameras in hard to reach places, branded batteries are more reliable when trying to maximize the time before the next switch.
Q: How Is The Audio Quality With Videos?
A: Video quality isn’t tied to the audio quality of the camera. Hunting cameras don’t have great audio quality, with even the best getting by on good quality. So even if the camera sports 1080p video recording, the audio quality can still be poor. It is always best to separate the video quality from the expected audio quality when looking at features. It’s possible to plug in external mics to some cameras in order to maximize audio quality, with a slight upfront cost. The process is uncomplicated, and well worth the time if you’re interested in enhancing audio features.
Q: Will The Captured Media Look Good On A Large Screen?
A: When displaying captured media on a larger computer monitor or HD television, you begin to really see the difference between standard definition and high. The details will pop, and you’ll soon be able to tell how big of a difference the quality of the media matters to your setup. The way hunting cameras handle colors will also be on full display. Consumers that like to manipulate photos in an external program will only want to deal with high definition media for the best effect. For users that will not be viewing this on larger screens, then none of this matters.
Q: Is It Safe To Use Cameras That Don’t Have Good Resistance?
A: Depending on your setup, using cameras with low durability shouldn’t be a problem. A few hunting cameras have good enough specifications to be used as security cameras. In this case, they won’t run into any damage problems in a protected inside setting. For regular use in their intended outside setting, hunting cameras will be introduced to a lot of things that can damage them. This is regardless of their positioning, and there are even times where they will be attached to the very prey you are scouting. Luckily, the casing on the cameras are built tough- but some are tougher than others.
Q: Will Photos Taken At Night Be Good Quality?
A: Hunting cameras will either excel at night shots or fail completely. Cameras that are good will always put night shots as the main feature. This is of course something that is valued by any user, and instantly gives the camera full 24-hour access to whatever area it is using. The one thing that is common with all night capable cameras is that they are incapable of doing color photos or videos. And even if a camera does HD video in the daytime, that doesn’t mean that the night time photos will be of the same quality.
How to Make the Best Decision
Knowing where you’re going to be putting your camera is how you decide on which one to choose from when looking for the best hunting cameras. The first thing to figure out is if you’re going to be putting the camera in a remote location that you rarely visit. Wireless options exist so that you don’t have to visit this remote location just to check on the contents of the camera. Make sure to make use of a Moultrie wireless accessory or a Bushnell model with wireless built in.
If wireless doesn’t matter, then the next step is figuring out if you care about 1080p video. Up to a certain point, all of the cameras on the list take great photos during the day or not. The difference with the camera then comes down to its video capabilities. When you figure out where you stand on the video qualities of your hunting camera, then you’ll have a better overall idea of what the best purchase is.
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- Bone Collector, Wireless Trail Cameras 101
- Cabelas, Trail Cameras: A Buyers Guide
- Wired to Hunt, How Far Can a Trail Camera Take a Picture