Looking for a quick way to locate wild or lost animals? How about improving your home security? A trail camera helps in both situations. Unlike an ordinary camera, this type is designed to withstand harsh weather and stay on for long hours without any assistance necessary.
So if you’re looking to get one, check out our comprehensive guide on finding the best trail camera under 100 bucks.
Our Top Pick
The best trail camera for the money is none other than the Campark T45 Trail Game Camera. For a relatively affordable price, this device provides clear images and videos no matter the time of day. With superb night vision and quick-acting infrared sensors, this
|Moultrie A-25 MCG-13296||15.5||Infrared flash||Buy Now|
|Distianert DH-8||1.75||No Glow Flash||Buy Now|
|Campark T45||1.1||120° Wide Angle Lens||Buy Now|
|Browning Strike Force BTC 5HDE||1.3||Zero Blur for Clear Night Shots||Buy Now|
|Victure||1.33||Wide Range Night Vision||Buy Now|
Best Trail Cameras Under 100 in 2019
1) Moultrie A-25 MCG-13296 Game Camera
One of the most important aspects of any trail camera is the trigger speed. The Moultrie A-25 MCG-13296 captures movement with ease thanks to its 0.7-second trigger speed. This rapid response will help you take prize-winning photos of elusive creatures such as leopards and owls.
– Two-year warranty
– Backlit controls for nighttime use or while in hiding
– High-quality 12-megapixel resolution
– Relatively lightweight at just 15.5 ounces
– Flash range of 60 feet illuminates a wider area
– User manual needs improvement
– Shutter speed is inconsistent at night
The Moultrie A-25 MCG-13296 is an impressive trail camera that balances weight with performance. It is quick yet designed to be rugged enough for the unpredictable weather conditions outdoors. If you want a camera that can take up to 17,000 pictures with each full charge, this is the device for you.
The updated 2018 version of the Distianert DH-8 trail camera packs the same 12-megapixel resolution as the Moultrie A-25 MCG-13296. What sets it apart, however, is that this model has a faster trigger speed at 0.6 seconds — allowing you to take photos of the fastest animals in the wild.
– Easy to set up
– Multi-shot mode to take three photos at a time
– Password protection feature for added security
– Detection sensors work up to 65 feet away
– IP65 waterproof rating to protect from the snow and rain
– No zoom option
– The included strap has an average quality
The Distianert DH-8 appeals to users for many reasons: speed, clarity, and versatility. With so many camera features such as shot log, hybrid mode, and real-time replay, this trailer camera will help you capture and examine every photo. If you want a bevy of functions, this is the camera for you.
3) Campark T45 Trail Game Camera
The T45 model goes beyond the quickness of the first two trail cameras with its 0.3-second shutter speed. Plus, there is no delay once the sensor is activated. This will help in taking multiple shots of animals as soon as they appear in the frame.
– 42 infrared LEDs with low brightness to avoid distracting animals
– 14-megapixel resolution
– Energy-efficient passive infrared sensors
– 120-degree wide angle lens to capture more in each shot
– One-year warranty and 45-day money-back guarantee
– A bit difficult to remove the SD card
– Setup instructions initially didn’t appear in English
From the amped-up camera resolution to the impressive trigger speed, there is a lot to admire about this game camera. This is a device built not only for monitoring wildlife but also for protecting farms and houses alike. If you are looking for good value, the Campark T45 should be part of your options.
4) Browning Strike Force BTC 5HDE Trail Camera
This device has an unusual appearance even for a trail camera, but we can see this working in the right natural environment. In particular, areas with a lot of stones and light-colored wood are perfect for the Browning Strike BTC 5HDE. Still, there’s room for improvement when it comes to the camera quality.
– Long strap with reliable metal clamp
– Decent 0.4-second trigger speed
– 100-feet LED infrared flash range for nighttime use
– Compact at only 1.2 pounds
– Controls are easy to press
– 720P video resolution instead of 1080P
– The metal bracket is easy to unscrew and compromises the security of the camera
The Browning Strike Force BTC 5HDE makes wildlife tracking much easier. Even when it’s dark outside, you can count on the backlit screen for changing the settings. This is a trail camera that tells you the current time and temperature so that you are always prepared for the outdoors.
Sporting a traditional camouflage look, the Victure Trail Camera is built to survive in forests. An innovative design feature is an open cover, which keeps the lens from developing any mists. Thus, the camera can take photos even when there’s a sudden rain or snowfall.
– The 16-megapixel resolution offers high-definition photos
– Low-light sensitivity to balance lighting
– Tight seals around the camera to prevent water
– Impressive night vision
– Several recording features such as time-lapse and timer mode
– Size of supported SD card only up to 32GB
– The plastic material of buttons feel flimsy
This camera ensures that you can continue your work no matter the weather conditions. Both videos and photos are clear thanks to the high-resolution camera and night vision. If you want to take rare wildlife photos in rainy areas such as tropical forests, the Victure Trail Game Camera will do the job for you.
The Victony trail camera offers a good balance of what users need. It takes high-resolution photos and videos at daytime. Second, its sensors work fast enough to capture movement in less than a second. Finally, it’s built to withstand both rain and sand — allowing you to work in forests, beaches, and deserts.
– 0.4-second trigger speed
– Durable housing to protect the internal system
– 120-degree wide-angle sensor for better visual coverage
– IP65 waterproof certification
– One-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
– Short illumination range for nighttime capturing
– Camera accumulates fog at times
Sturdiness is important when people go to the outdoors. Both walking and driving can lead to bumps that affect a lot of devices. If you intend to capture wildlife in the daytime, you can rely on rugged build of the Victony trail camera to stay operational no matter the terrain.
7) Apeman H55 Trail Camera
The Apeman H55 provides 16-megapixel photos, which puts its camera performance at the top tier. And the same goes for is video-recording prowess, which is at 1080 pixels. Furthermore, the Apeman H55 camera resists not only water but also dust thanks to its external casing.
– Photo information includes temperature
– Time-lapse mode
– Flash range of 65 feet
– Password feature for added security
– One-year warranty
– Requires a specific brand of batteries to work well
– Not compatible with rechargeable batteries
Getting your unmanned trail camera stolen is one of the worst things that can happen outdoors. Thankfully, the Apeman H55 reduces the probability of being stolen by offering password protection and not opting for a night flash feature. So if you want a secure investment, this is the device to pick.
8) Campark T70 Trail Camera
The second Campark trail camera on the list is the T70. While its trigger speed is 0.2 second slower than the T45, this model is no less impeccable. This device has 44 pieces of LEDs for flash illumination, which will improve the visual coverage at night or in shrouded areas such as rainforests and caves.
– Includes wall mount and screws
– No-glow infrared technology for nighttime monitoring
– IP66 waterproof rating also protects the camera from dust
– Camera functions such as hybrid mode and interval recording
– One-year warranty
– 32GB memory card capacity is not ideal for weeklong monitoring
– The user manual has incorrect grammar
This is a camera that’s perfect for beginners. Why? It’s easy to set up whether you want to mount or place it on the ground. Plus, its many camera settings will come in handy. For those looking for a power-efficient trail camera when it comes to battery use, the Campark T70 is the one to beat.
9) Toguard Trail Camera
This trail camera comes with what you’d expect from a high-quality model: 14-megapixel image resolution, 1080-pixel video recording, and a 0.5-second trigger speed. But what differentiates the Toguard camera from others is that its design is also made to improve your security at home.
– Compatible with both Windows and Mac computers
– 75-feet detection range even at nighttime
– IP56 certification to withstand rain, dust, and accidental drops
– One-year warranty and 45-day money-back guarantee
– Can last for many months on standby mode
– Water occasionally reaches the lens and ruins the clarity
– Location of SD card slot makes it difficult to reach
The image quality cannot be denied. Apart from the fact that images at night are in black and white, they remain as clear as possible to help you identify unusual movement. If you’re looking to capture clear images and videos in the dark to protect your home, you should get the Toguard trail camera.
10) Foxelli Trail Camera
The Foxelli camera comes with a wood camouflage pattern, which makes it perfect for monitoring in the woodlands or mounting it by a tree. Once you’ve captured several photos, you don’t have to wait to get the SD card on your computer. Instead, you can immediately view them on the LCD color monitor.
– Lightweight at just 1.05 pounds
– 120-degree wide angle lens
– Waterproof case with IP65 certification
– Includes USB cable and tree strap
– 120-day money-back guarantee
– Camouflage color fades a bit with extensive use
– Water still enters the device during severe storms
This Foxelli device functions well whether it’s placed in the woodlands or at the front yard. If you intend to capture elusive bird species or catch ill-intentioned individuals in your property, all you have to do is get the Foxelli trail camera and mount it to a tree of the same color or pattern.
What is a Trail Camera?
First and foremost, a trail camera is meant to benefit hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. Since there are many creatures that are hard to spot due to their habitat and aversion to humans, such a device helps to document them with relative ease.
All you have to do is to prepare the camera and the control unit. Then, you take them to your desired location and ensure that they are disguised among the foliage. This is why a common trait of trail cameras is the camouflage pattern of the overall casing.
The goal of a trail camera is to take photos without being noticed by any creature. Thus, the device does not use flash lighting to illuminate the dark. Instead, it relies on multiple infrared LEDs to create clear images and videos in black and white at night.
What are the Benefits of a Trail Camera?
It’s clear that trail cameras help hunters and animal rescuers to look for animals in the wild. They no longer have to stay in the area just to catch a glimpse of what they’re searching for. But trail cameras today are used for more than just recording animal activities.
For one, trail cameras today are capable of recording high-quality videos and images. This makes them a good option to reinforce one’s own security at home. With its camouflage design and silent capture feature, trespassers in your property won’t notice that they’ve been caught.
Trail cameras can also be used by photography enthusiasts. They can explore camera setting such as time-lapse mode, timer mode, and interval shooting. Plus, anyone will appreciate the durability of trail cameras — these are devices designed to withstand rain, snow, sand, and wind.
What are the Factors to Consider in Buying a Trail Camera?
Trail cameras perform several functions, but not every device is as reliable as another. To help you choose the right trail camera, here a few aspects to note:
#1. Battery Life
There is no use if the trail camera immediately runs out of power. Most trail cameras use six to eight AA batteries, but some require specific brands for maximum energy efficiency. Always read the battery power specifications so that you find one that lasts long enough.
There are trail cameras that can stay on for eight months on standby mode. Others offer an external power source so that you can still use it even if you run out of batteries. Furthermore, there are models that do not recommend rechargeable batteries, which means you always have to buy new batteries.
#2. Image and Video Quality
Many wildlife photographers and hunters need to record the most elusive wild animals. Even if a trailer camera manages to take a photo or video, it’s not useful if it’s not clear. Apart from checking the megapixel count of the camera, you must check the lens quality.
There are trailer cameras that offer 12MP resolution while others come with 16-megapixel cameras. And while most cameras do great at daytime, there are only a few that can take very clear pictures at night. These nighttime images might be in black and white, but what’s important is how detailed they are.
On a related note, a good feature is a built-in screen. This displays not only the date and time but also allows you to view the recent shots. Take note that some trail cameras require you to connect the device first to a computer in order to check the pictures and videos.
#3. Storage Capacity
Typically, images and videos are stored in SD cards. What’s different among trail cameras is the maximum capacity. If you’re going to use the camera for a day, it should be compatible with at least a 32GB SD card. The bigger the capacity, the fewer times you have to go and replace the SD card.
FAQs About Trail Cameras
1) What is considered a low-quality image resolution?
On average, an affordable yet high-quality trail camera has an image quality ranging from 12 to 16 megapixels. Trail cameras that offer between 1.5 to seven megapixels are considered average or even low-quality — and these are bad for capturing photos in the dark.
2) What type of flash consumes more power?
In order to have a wider visual coverage, trail cameras use flash. Infrared flash is more energy efficient than the incandescent type. Plus, the former is guaranteed to keep animals from noticing that they are being photographed.
3) What is a decent trigger speed?
Trigger speed is an important factor if you intend to capture animals that move quickly. The quality of a trail camera does not matter if it does not activate the moment a creature appears in the frame. Here, sensors matter a lot.
Slow trail cameras only capture a photo about four to five seconds after motion is detected. In contrast, the most advanced models can take a photo in less than 0.20 seconds. A decent trigger speed is between 0.5 to one second.
How To Setup A Security Trail Camera?
Harvey is a content marketer, traveler, fitness enthusiast with many other things. When it comes to outdoor and technology, Harvey is our go-to guy.