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As you leave for work in the morning, you notice animal prints sprinkled across the mud-covered sections of your lawn. Some of them resemble small prints from birds, but you also notice larger pawprints. Aren’t you curious about the creatures that make an appearance when you’re not around?
When you have a wildlife camera, you can keep an eye on all the animals around you. These are some of the best trail cameras to give you clear footage of any wild visitors.
How to Choose the Best Trail Camera
There are several factors you have to consider when choosing a trail camera: video resolution, flash range, megapixel rating, detection area, trigger speed, and length of battery life.
If you want HD wildlife footage, look for cameras that have a video resolution of 1080p or higher. All of the cameras on this list have HD video quality, so you don’t have to worry about that. You’ll also want your trail camera to take clear shots of wildlife—the higher the megapixel (MP), the sharper the images.
A trail camera should have a wide detection range as well. Otherwise, it’ll only be able to detect motion and capture images in a smaller area (which may make you miss out on any action occurring outside of this zone).
Trigger speed refers to the time it takes for the camera to capture a photo after it detects motion. A fast trigger speed is crucial for getting a picture of an animal before it runs out of sight.
Best Trail Camera for the Money: Foxelli Trail Camera 14MP 1080p
The Foxelli Trail Camera really gives you a bang for your buck. It shoots crisp 14MP photos and HD videos that are just sharp enough to capture all the details. You can also use its built-in 2.4-inch LCD screen to browse through photos and videos before uploading them to your computer.
The 120-degree wide angle lens combined with a 65-foot detection range will ensure that no animal goes unseen. As soon as it senses motion, it’ll snap a photo within 0.5 seconds. In the daytime, the camera captures photos and videos in full color—at night, the footage and pictures appear clearly in black and white.
The Foxelli Trail Camera lasts for eight months on one set of batteries. With features like password protection, a waterproof case, time stamps, and a timer, you can’t go wrong for such a reasonable price.
Although you can store up to 32GB of photos and videos on this device, the SD card (unfortunately) isn’t included.
Best All-Purpose Trail Camera: TOGUARD Trail Camera 14MP 1080p
You’ll find that the TOGUARD Trail Camera is perfect for any purpose—whether you use it to watch wildlife, for hunting purposes, or to monitor your home, this camera prevails on all fronts. Not only does it come with the ability to capture high-quality HD videos and 14MP images, but it also can record sound.
TOGUARD’s camera includes three infrared (PIR) sensors that allow it to quickly detect movement and take a photo within only 0.3 seconds. Like the Foxelli Trail Camera, the TOGUARD also uses a wide-angle lens of 120 feet—however, it has a longer detection range of 75 feet.
You can also use this camera to capture vivid nighttime photos as well. It uses specific infrared LEDs to take clear pictures, without using a harsh flash that disturbs wildlife.
Best Trail Camera Under $100: APEMAN Trail Camera 20MP 1080p
If you’re looking for a trail camera with a fairly wide detection range and an even faster trigger speed for under $100, you should definitely consider the APEMAN Trail Camera.
This camera takes photos in a mere 0.2 seconds using a 130-degree wide angle lens. For such a fast speed, you’ll have to sacrifice image quality, as it only shoots 12MP pictures. Despite the low photo quality, it still records HD videos.
Its waterproof case makes it suitable for any project. Be sure to take advantage of its timelapse feature, timer, interval recordings, automatic time stamping, and keep it secure with password protection. The camera will sound an alarm when it starts to run low on batteries, so you’ll never have to guess when it needs replacements.
Best Cellular Trail Camera: CAMVILD 4G LTE Trail Camera
The CAMVILD 4G LTE Trail Camera might be a little pricey, but its unique cellular feature makes it worth it. This camera connects to AT&T or Verizon networks, sending photos and videos directly to your phone or email. Its 4G connectivity provides fast deliveries with an adequate signal range. If you don’t want to wait until the images or videos reach your phone, check out the captured clips of wildlife on its two-inch display screen.
The CAMVILD camera doesn’t skimp on image or video quality either—you’ll still get HD videos with clear 16MP photos. It’s durable in any weather condition and comes with a rechargeable battery. You won’t have to worry about recharging the battery either, as it has a whopping two-year lifespan.
To make the CAMVILD even better, it even comes with a free 16GB SD card and a card reader. For more storage, you can upgrade up to 64GB. Convenience combined with quality makes it one of the best game cameras and wildlife monitors on the market.
Top-Rated Trail Camera: Campark Trail Camera 14MP 1080p
If you’re looking for a device boasting thousands of positive trail camera reviews, then the Campark Trail Camera is your best bet. In addition to having a 120-degree wide angle lens, its 14MP photos and 1080p video quality will ensure that you capture all the best moments. It also comes with a trigger speed of 0.3 seconds, and a detection range of 65-feet.
You can trust that this reliable trail camera won’t scare off wildlife either. It takes great pictures at night, but it doesn’t use a flash that’s too bright. Like the other cameras, it takes black and white photos during the evening and full-color photos during the day. Before you purchase this camera, don’t forget to buy a microSD card and some AA batteries.
Keep a Closer Eye on Your Yard
You’ll get clear coverage of your entire yard with any of these trail cameras. Discover nighttime lurkers, or keep tabs on the birds visiting your feeders. Once you know what type of animals appear in your yard, you’ll feel much more in tune with the wildlife around you.
When you purchase one of these trail cameras, the chances are that you’ll have to buy a separate microSD card to store your pictures and videos. Don’t make your decision until you’ve considered the most common mistakes when buying a microSD card.