June 20, 2017
By Darron McDougal
Faster trigger speeds, advanced mobile/app connectivity and otherworldly image resolution — to name only a few attributes — make 2017's trail-camera lineup the most technologically-advanced we've seen yet. From the dozens of impressive options out there, we've hand-picked what we feel are among the finest. Here they are.
Versatility at Its Finest
Stealth Cam, now in its 16th year, introduces the Ultra HD DS4K scouting camera with revolutionary 30MP high-res performance. It delivers 4K Ultra HD Video, and 42 NO GLO IR Emitters inconspicuously light up the night for clear black-and-white images.
A Burst Mode captures one to nine images per detection, and Matrix Advanced Blur Reduction clarifies and focuses images. Intervals between triggerings can be set from five to 59 seconds and from one to 59 minutes. The innovative Reflex Trigger boasts a < .4-second speed.
The adjustable PIR lets you control detection range, and dual image sensors offer four daytime resolutions and four nighttime resolutions so you can balance image quality with battery life.
Bearing the Buckmark
Browning Trail Cameras' Defender 850 ($239.99) raises the excellence standard. Not only does it deliver the quality and reliability you demand, but it's also equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality, an adjustable steel mounting system and the industry's finest Night Vision Technology.
To enhance the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth feature, Browning Trail Cameras offers an app that lets the user manage it without approaching the camera. The new Selectable IR Illumination feature offers users an Economy Mode that enhances battery life by 30 percent. Blur Reduction Mode increases the shutter speed to 1/40 of a second, and stretches the flash range to 100 feet.
Finally, the High-Power Mode reduces the shutter speed to 1/20 of a second at night, and extends the flash range to 120 feet. 20MP quality and true 1080p HD video with sound-record capability round out the Defender 850.
Fast and Reliable
Even the fastest-cruising bucks cannot outrun Moultrie's S50i trail camera ($199.99), which features 0.3-second trigger speed, and delivers a 100-foot infrared-flash range. Up to 28,000 images can be taken on 12 AA batteries.
Its 2-inch full-color display lets you review images afield, and the S50i is compatible with Moultrie Mobile, a scouting system designed for accessing and viewing images and videos on mobile devices. 20MP quality helps you identify minute details important to your scouting regimen.
Finished in Realtree Original, the S50i produces stunning 1080p HD video complete with sound-recording capabilities. A 2-year warranty covers the S50i, instilling great peace of mind.
Above and Beyond
The LTE-enabled LINK-S ($649.99) from SPYPOINT is a feature-loaded 12MP cellular trail camera. It boasts a 100-foot flash range via 42 LEDs, and a .07-second trigger speed ensures you miss nothing. A pre-activated SIM card is included, as well as 30 days of unlimited free photos.
The LINK-S offers a time-lapse mode, and the multi-shot mode captures up to 23 images per detection. A quick-start guide ensures easy set up, and a mounting strap and bracket are included. It has the cell-cam market's easiest activation; no need to deal with stores or network providers.
Video mode captures clips between 10 and 90 seconds, complete with sound recording. An integrated solar panel means the camera can run without batteries, although eight AAs (not included) can be installed for backup.
The Cabela's Outfitter Plus 20MP Black IR HD trail camera ($200) produces crystal-clear images and 1080p videos to help you more effectively monitor game. Nighttime images and videos are lit by 56 inconspicuous black IR LEDs.
The Outfitter Plus captures a 60-degree swath, and with 100-foot (daytime) and 80-foot (nighttime) detection ranges, even the wisest bucks won't evade it. An integrated 2-inch color LCD display lets you review images in the woods without a separate viewer or the hassle of juggling cards back to your office amidst a busy schedule.
To conserve battery life and card space, choose the 8MP or 14MP settings, or select 20MP for best quality with maximum clarity. The Outfitter Plus 20MP Black IR HD offers many setting options and modes for very specific scenarios, and it's backed by a one-year warranty.
On the Verizon Network
Spartan GoCam, an innovator in wireless scouting cameras, once again leads the pack by introducing the Spartan camera connected by Verizon 4G LTE.
The Spartan GoCam 4G LTE camera will feature ultra-fast image transmission, improved battery life and, for the first time, video transmission. In addition to an ultra-fast network, the Spartan GoCam 4G LTE will continue using the GoWireless app and web portal, which provide full remote camera management, including image and video viewing.
The Proof is in the Picture
Primos Proof trail cameras offer reliable performance in a user-friendly and affordable design. The Proof Cam Gen 2 | 03 BLACKOUT ($149) speeds recovery, extends detection distance and offers best-in-class performance at a reasonable price-point.
A .03-second trigger speed misses nothing, and 60 BLACKOUT LEDs ensure bright nighttime images without the conspicuous glow commonly associated with most infrared trail cameras. One-year battery life saves money and decreases woods intrusion, while 720 HD video and time-lapse delivers stunning quality and versatility to your scouting regimen.
A new auto-exposure feature improves light detection so you don't get whiteout shots. With 16MP quality, the Proof Cam Gen 2 | 03 BLACKOUT will make you a scouting champ!
Capture with a Capsule
An innovation-driven company, RECONYX has launched the MicroFire ($499.99), which is quite possibly the smallest game camera every offered. Its cylindrical shape is an industry first, eliminating the noticeable tree strap often used to secure a larger, square camera to a tree.
The MicroFire includes a minute-sized rotating mount that screws into your tree of choice; gone are the days when crooked trees weren't suitable for a game camera. The most impressive feature — besides its diminutive size — is that all controls and settings are managed via smartphone or tablet with a free mobile app.
With the intuitive app, you can check camera status, change settings or download images/videos wirelessly from up to 100 feet away. Finally, the MicroFire includes a 5-year warranty!
Wildgame Innovations takes game monitoring seriously; so seriously, in fact, that it doesn't stop improving its clever trail-cam lineup. Enter the Silent Crush 20 Lightsout. With less-than-½-second trigger speed, subjects will be centered in the image for optimal viewing.
A 100-foot nighttime illumination provides outstanding reach, and 42 invisible infrared IRs ensure images are well-lit without a conspicuous flash. Lee and Tiffany Lakosky approved, the Silent Crush 20 Lightsout delivers brilliant image quality with 20MP resolution.
And, Zero Detection technology ensures the camera operates silently so as not to spook game. Tru-Dual Cams technology uses two separate cameras for day and night images so you get the best image quality possible.
Meet the Aggressor
Bushnell's Trophy Cam HD Aggressor 24MP No-Glow camera ($189) is decked with too many features to mention. Perhaps most impressive is its true one-year battery life, which affords all-season scouting for game-monitoring enthusiasts.
Black LEDs are invisible to both game and humans, yet provide outstanding lighting for great-quality nighttime images. Its lightning-fast 0.2-second trigger speed ensures you capture what other cameras might miss. The camera also boasts a short 0.5-second recovery time so you can keep on capturing in places where game move quickly.
The Aggressor 24MP No-Glow is solar-compatible, and features an LCD color viewer for in-the-field review. A backlit five-way button control simplifies setting adjustments, and a cable-lock channel means you can secure the camera to the tree to prevent theft.
Second to None
Cuddeback's Dual Flash ($200) can connect wirelessly with CuddeLink, which enables images and videos from 16 different cameras to be transmitted to one camera. Yes, with this technology, you can check one camera instead of all of them, which eliminates dozens of intrusive field visits.
Integrated IR and Black Flash gives users the best of both worlds, which is extended yet invisible illumination. Super-Fast Recovery Speed means that the Dual Flash can captured a picture per second, although many delays can be programmed in depending on the area you're monitoring. Industry-leading trigger speed is just ¼ second, meaning you don't have to settle for blank images. 20MP image resolution delivers crisp, outstanding image quality.