Top 10 Trail Camera for Wildlife & Game Reviewed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera
Test Winner: Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera
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Trail cameras come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to do a lot of research before purchasing one. Higher specifications don’t always mean a better camera and going solely by big brands will leave out a lot of great choices. With a small checklist and some facts, finding the best trail camera takes only a few minutes. The two big names to pay attention to on the list are Moultrie and Bushnell. There are other big names in the industry, but these two brands have stood the test of time. Even their older models have something to offer when facing off against newer models from other companies.

Standout Picks

Moultrie A-30 camera
Moultrie game cameras have to always be included in a top ten trail camera list and the company is one of the big leaders in the industry. Barely snatching the top spot away from Bushnell, the A-30 is a rock of reliability out in the field.
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Bushnell Trophy Cam
Bushnell is on the list back to back, this time with the more conservative Trophy Cam HD Essential. Buyers that don’t care much for wireless functionality in their hunting cameras will prefer this model.
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Wildlife Camera
Abask released the best wildlife camera after a positive flow of customer support for the previous model. This version is improved in many ways while still keeping the same great price of the original.
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Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera
The Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 trail Cost and value camera is a robust and dependable choice for any hunter. It is easy to operate, produces nice pictures and takes them at an impressively fast speed.
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$136.66
Browning Strike
Browning is the first big name on the list with its popular Strike Force HD. Reliable and fast, this is the camera to use when you want results.
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Moultrie A-25 Game Camera
The Moultrie A-25 Game camera might be a more entry-level one for capturing wildlife in the outdoors, but it's still a reliable choice in our book. With this one, you'll still get crisp images that help you enhance your hunting game.
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ApeMen Trail Camera
Apemen isn’t exactly a new kid on the block, but they aren’t a familiar name to the average consumer. This didn’t stop them from creating one of the best cameras on the list with some pretty respectable specifications.
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Tec.Bean Trail & Game
TEC.BEAN’s patent camera counts with HD IR features. Thanks to the highly sensitive Passive Infra-Red motion sensor (PIR), any movement will trigger the camera. Furthermore, the Trail and Game camera counts with a 940nm invisible dark LEDs to support its use in the dark. This camera is very resistant. A tough case and resistance to water, snow, and col make this device an ideal choice for outdoor circumstances like hunting and trace trailing.
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Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
Much like a lot of others on this list, one of the standout features of the REconyx HyperFire 2 trail camera is with its fast trigger speed. That's why we put this one on our list. That, and because it is quality-made, durable and produces good content for hunters all around.
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$399.99
GSM Stealth G30
A highly protective case and an intuitive setup come together to form the GSM Stealth G30. This camera gives its users the option to customize their practice with a user-friendly backlit menu programming. Its camo design allows it to blend perfectly into the environment, staying out of sight from pretty much any animal in the surroundings. This camera includes an SD Card slot up to 32GB of space but doesn’t include the card itself.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Value

Price is the first thing we looked at since a lot of the features were similar, even among the best game camera. For products that had higher prices than the rest, they had to show great promise in other areas.

That means a high priced trail camera that made the top ten was exceeded expectations in our other listed criteria. Usually, it would win in the media quality category, but it wasn’t unheard of for high priced wildlife cameras to also excel in their durability. Trail cameras are made to be out in the elements for months at a time, so high durability will always be worth the extra cost.

Durability

Durability was our next criteria, and it led to a lot of products being left off of the list. With a lot of the beginning products having incredible media quality, it was a substantial loss of well-known names and generic inclusions. Unfortunately, durability is the one feature that has to be above average, at the very least. This criterion was measured based on the case itself and how well it protected the camera inside. Extra points were given for high weather resistance and long-term warranty programs.

Model

The design was criteria that showed up on our radar and was geared towards how well the products blended into an outdoor environment. By default, the camo was given a high score. Glossy finishes stood out too much and made themselves noticeable when the light hit them at an angle.

So dull finishes were preferred, although we gave the benefit of the doubt to design choices that were made to protect a media-heavy trail camera. Only a few products didn’t make the list based on their design. This criterion got rid of trail cameras that were not based on an outdoor premise.

Use

Usability was a criterion that we considered for beginner/intermediate level users. So it covers the product's ease of use, access to advanced controls, quality of the manual and support options from the brand. Trail cameras are powerful devices with a lot of high-end options for capturing media. With so many settings to play with and tweak, consumers may get overwhelmed with the options. A product that doesn’t explain these options clearly will put the user in a bad position. The problem with that is bad usability will sour the customer on the entire trail camera experience.

Battery Life

Using bad batteries shortens the amount of time you can leave trail cameras outside. But even good batteries will suffer if the power management features of a device aren’t up to standards. We didn’t give points out for an average performance with the battery usage criteria. Our points were saved for trail cameras that had exceptional battery usage and options. This includes the ability to use half of the recommended batteries, extended power-saving features, low power modes, low power consumption and access to alternative power options.

10 Best Trail and Game Camera Reviews

1. Moultrie A-30

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Moultrie A-30 camera
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Moultrie game cameras have to always be included in a top ten trail camera list and the company is one of the big leaders in the industry. Barely snatching the top spot away from Bushnell, the A-30 is a rock of reliability out in the field.

The A-5 Gen 2 Reimagined

Their top-selling A-5 unit was everything you’d want in a camera, so they improved it by making it smaller which makes it the best game camera on our list. Along with the new size, they also improved a lot of the features, especially the battery performance.

The Flash

Some love to see what is lurking in the woods at night. While others tend to be creeped out by the mere thought of such things. Here is the solution to the dark photos where you can barely see the animal's eyes. The flash on this provides more illumination so you get a better picture quality.

Cost and value

It’s astounding that this is the lowest priced camera on the list, yet one of the most advanced. Customers will definitely get value with this purchase, even as an emergency camera. The top three spots on the list are a tossup, with no bad choice between them. Consumers looking for the most reliable option should settle with the Moultrie A-30 Mini.

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2. Bushnell Trophy Cam

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Bushnell Trophy Cam
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Bushnell is on the list back to back, this time with the more conservative Trophy Cam HD Essential. Buyers that don’t care much for wireless functionality in their hunting cameras will prefer this model.

Long Infrared Flash Range

With good positioning, you can take advantage of the 80ft. flash range. And with excellent positioning, you can completely monitor an entire zone without missing anything.

Trigger Speed

Having a slow trigger can be a problem in obtaining pictures before the wildlife runs off. too slow and there will be photos of leaves and trees. Bushnell provides you with an option that has a phenomenal speed for capturing pics at a moment's notice.

Cost and value

Since there is no wireless functionality in this model, the price goes back down to average. It is a great tradeoff for the value and keeps a lot of the core features of the Aggressor. Bushnell knows how to make great trail cameras, and was just shy of nabbing the top spot on the list. Buyers won’t regret this purchase and will get many years of use out of it.

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3. Wildlife Camera

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Wildlife Camera
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Abask released the best wildlife camera after a positive flow of customer support for the previous model. This version is improved in many ways while still keeping the same great price of the original.

Better Than Before
While the older model was good in its own right, the new version sports an upgraded resolution and better stability. And to top it all, the battery life has been improved.

Range
When placing a camera you want to know what the view range is going to be. This tells you exactly the area that will be covered. It hurts to see wildlife in the corner of the picture because it is simply out of range. This one offers the user a 120-degree field of view. Knowing this you can have an estimate of how much will be covered.

Cost and Value
This is a very powerful camera that sells for an average price. It’s everything the original model was but better. When the company decided to improve on their original idea, they created some really good. So far this is the best camera in Abask’s lineup, and it will be a long time before it is topped.

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4. Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$136.66
Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera
Opened view of Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera
Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 Trail Camera mounted on tree
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The Bushnell 16MP Trophy Cam HD Essential E3 trail Cost and value camera is a robust and dependable choice for any hunter. It is easy to operate, produces nice pictures and takes them at an impressively fast speed.

Captures wildlife well
As we said, you can depend on this Bushnell trail camera. It captures images and videos of wildlife very well. All of the pictures are colorful in the day time, and the camera can even give you images from at night. The low trigger speed of the camera means that it is faster. The trigger speed is 0.3 seconds with a 1-second recovery. That means that this camera takes a lot of pictures, which means you can become a smarter hunter with all of the information.

Durable casing
This camera has a durable plastic outer casing that can withstand the elements. Again, it's why this one is a reliable choice. The casing has a sturdy latch to keep it closed as well as the USB port cover and batteries cover.

Cost And Value
This camera will give you a bang for your buck for sure. It is robust, withstands all weather conditions and produces great images and video.

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$136.66

5. Browning Strike

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Browning Strike
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Browning is the first big name on the list with its popular Strike Force HD. Reliable and fast, this is the camera to use when you want results.

Fast Trigger Speed
The 0.67-second trigger speed will keep all of the important pictures in view. It’s one of the fastest available and will make sure that you don’t miss any important shots.

Reduces Blur
Long gone are the days of blurry night photos. This one by Browning uses a technology that reduces the blur in the photos. Giving you a clear and crisp view of exactly what is out there.

Cost and value
Average priced, buyers can rely on the years of customer satisfaction surrounding this model. It’s still one of the best in its class by Browning. As one of the biggest brands on the list, the Browning Strike Force HD is a must-have purchase. Just make sure to have branded batteries or an external power source, and you’re good to go for months.

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6. Moultrie A-25 Game Camera

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Moultrie A-25 Game Camera
Open view of Moultrie A-25 Game Camera
Back view of Moultrie A-25 Game Camera
Moultrie A-25 Game Camera USB port
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The Moultrie A-25 Game camera might be a more entry-level one for capturing wildlife in the outdoors, but it's still a reliable choice in our book. With this one, you'll still get crisp images that help you enhance your hunting game.

Fast trigger speed
This trail camera from Moultrie has a 0.9 trigger speed. That's fast. With such a fast performance, there's less of a chance of missing a moving animal. This camera also balances the field of view well, too. Which, combined with a fast trigger speed, means the best images possible for animals that may be moving quickly.

Overall reliable
Moultrie trail cams are known for their reliability. It's a lot of factors rolled up into one. They are quality made, they produce quality images, and they are often technology compatible whether that's with your phone or a solar panel battery hook up. To mention of few. And this one is no different.

Cost And Value
Because it is quality-made and reliable, and because it produces great photos and HD video, this Moultrie camera is worth the price. Which, the price is incredibly affordable. You cannot go wrong with purchasing one (or more) of these trail cameras.

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7. ApeMen Trail Camera

Where to buy
Amazon Link
ApeMen Trail Camera
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Apemen isn’t exactly a new kid on the block, but they aren’t a familiar name to the average consumer. This didn’t stop them from creating one of the best cameras on the list with some pretty respectable specifications.

Water Resistant
Trail cameras will often be left in harsh environments year-round. Apemen housed their camera in an IP66 Spray water protected case, keeping harsh elements away from the camera.

Easy to Use
With a larger screen size, you can set this one up quicker and more efficiently than ever before. It makes for a much clearer display so that you can see what you are actually set on the camera. It also shows better pictures when you are in the field viewing them.

Cost and Value
With some pretty impressive specs, it’s hard to believe this is a low priced trail camera. It’s one of the lowest-priced 1080p cameras on the market, and well worth the value. The media-rich properties of this hunting camera are a perfect fit for the everyday outdoorsman. Apemen is on the right track with a camera that is already one of the best yet.

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8. Tec.Bean Trail & Game

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Tec.Bean Trail & Game
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TEC.BEAN’s patent camera counts with HD IR features. Thanks to the highly sensitive Passive Infra-Red motion sensor (PIR), any movement will trigger the camera. Furthermore, the Trail and Game camera counts with a 940nm invisible dark LEDs to support its use in the dark. This camera is very resistant. A tough case and resistance to water, snow, and col make this device an ideal choice for outdoor circumstances like hunting and trace trailing.

Invisible dark LEDs
When things start to get dark, the infrared lights can take clear pictures in black and white in total darkness. The 940nm LEDs can’t be noticed by animals or even other people, concealing the device completely while it’s active. The infrared system also allows for videos at night. Furthermore, this function is optimized to consume very little power while being used as opposed to other devices that don’t last in dark mode.

Motion freeze
The motion freeze patent by TEC BEAN is present in their trail and game camera. This feature is ideal for the surveillance and hunting of reptiles, amphibians, and cold-blooded creatures. Its intuitive engineering reduces the sudden shots provoked by moving leaves or grass; this ultimately reduces the power consumption and the amount of SD card storage space being used.

Cost and Value
The TEC.BEAN Trail & Game is slightly above the average value, but this doesn’t speak about its quality. This trail and game camera is suitable for nearly any environment you may need to survey. Invisible LEDs for night activity stay true to their advertisement, producing no bright. An intuitive system makes smart use of the battery, helping the camera last longer. For what it costs, this camera offers a good deal.

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9. Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$399.99
Reconyx HyperFire 2 HF2X Covert IR Camera
Amazon Link

Much like a lot of others on this list, one of the standout features of the REconyx HyperFire 2 trail camera is with its fast trigger speed. That's why we put this one on our list. That, and because it is quality-made, durable and produces good content for hunters all around.

Best-in-class Night Images
Much like others on this list, produce great day pictures with realistic color and clarity. However, where the Reconyx really stands out is with its night images. This camera produces very clear night pictures and has a top-of-class flash range. The contrast of the night images is said to have excellent contrast, too. These are all very handy things when it comes to capturing wildlife at night.

Fast trigger and long detection
The picture trigger speed is 0.2 seconds (one of the fastest on this list. The recovery time is 1 second. So, this camera gives a lot of pictures. The same breakdown for video is 0.24s/4.6s. Also, this camera can detect wildlife at an 80-ft. range, which gives a lot of opportunities to get images of animals around.

Cost And Value
This camera has extra security settings, fast detection, long battery life, and is durably made. It's on the higher price point side, but we still think it's worth the investment if you can make it.

Amazon Link
$399.99

10. GSM Stealth G30

Where to buy
Amazon Link
GSM Stealth G30
Amazon Link

A highly protective case and an intuitive setup come together to form the GSM Stealth G30. This camera gives its users the option to customize their practice with a user-friendly backlit menu programming. Its camo design allows it to blend perfectly into the environment, staying out of sight from pretty much any animal in the surroundings. This camera includes an SD Card slot up to 32GB of space but doesn’t include the card itself.

Blacklit menu programming
An intuitive interface lets you access and customizes the settings of the GSM Stealth G30. The backlit menu is easy to read without producing too much brightness, helping you stay on the low while in the trail. Thanks to this menu you can adjust features like the range of focus, the automatization of the shots, the camera resolution and other video recording settings.

Matrix Blur Reduction
Indistinctive photos are no longer a thing thanks to the Matrix Blur Reduction system. It optimizes the camera focus around the target to obtain a clear shot. Its follow-up coordination prevents moving animals from creating a blurry shot. At the same time, this feature helps the quality of the images to stay true to the advertised definition, obtaining live colors and making sure you capture every aspect of the environment.

Cost and Value
The GSM Stealth features a pretty average cost; not too expensive, not too affordable either. It’s not the best trail camera out there, but it certainly is good enough for what it costs. The integrated technology, such as the Matrix Blur Reduction and the backlit menu programming really improve this product. Given its quality and the resistance of its components, we believe the price is only fair.

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Sources

  1. Craig Dougherty, Trail Camera Technology: Hunting Breakthrough, Article
  2. Steve Alderman, Why You Need Trail Camera Technology, Article