Trailcams


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bpl
September 7, 2010, 06:14 AM
I anyone aware of any recent and relatively objective reviews on trailcams? I need to buy 1 or 2 and am baffled by the options. I do have a Cuddeback Capture (non-IR) which I have not deployed yet. I'm worried about the flash at night and whether or not it will spook game and change their habits. I thought maybe an IR version might be better, even though lower resolution. Thoughts?

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cowpoke
September 7, 2010, 08:21 AM
Dont worrie about the flash. I have taken pics of deer,hogs,bears,panthers. They dont seem to maid.

shaggy430
September 7, 2010, 09:05 AM
I don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on a trail camera so I looked into the Wildgame Innovations line of cameras. I got a great deal (less than $100) on an IR3 infared 3 megapixel camera and am very happy with it. I don't see any reason to spend more. Pictures are clear and trigger speed is fast enough.

Double Naught Spy
September 7, 2010, 10:03 AM
Visible light flash can bother animals. If they don't take flight after the first time, then that may be back and get used to it. Some more skiddish animals won't be back.

IR illumination (not really a flash) will still bother some animals, but not as much. They will see the faint glow of the LEDs and hear the camera cycle, but there is no blinding flash. With visible light flash, you have both the flash and the sound of the camera cycling.

Something else to consider is that visible flash cameras can be seen from a good distance away, even in the woods. Depending on where you are putting your camera, that visible flash can be a beacon and help it to be found by folks who would like to steal it.

The same seems to go for spotting animals. While waiting for hogs in the stand and getting ready to pack up and go home, I have tried to see how different animals react to me lighting them up with a flashlight (100-200 lumens at 30-50 yards). Some deer were completely unbothered. Some bolted. Raccoons usually were not bothered at all. Rabbits sometimes were and sometimes weren't. So far, every hog I have lit up has bolted. These were animals I was trying to shoot.

By contrast, none really seem to care when I light them up with an IR illuminator for viewing through a NV scope. Some will notice the faint red glow and look toward me, but it is not startling. The certainly don't notice if they aren't looking in my direction.

FLAvalanche
September 7, 2010, 11:50 AM
All I can tell you is to avoid the Bushnell trail cameras at Wal-Mart. I have yet to have one live long enough to make it through it's first set of batteries.

I have one running Bushnell left and it's the one I bought at Bass Pro.

I prefer an IR camera over a flash. I don't think the flash spooks anything but the IR is definately less intrusive. Find something that shows time, date, moon phase and temperature on the pictures. That will help you establish patterns for your game. If you plan on leaving it running for long periods of time look for something with good battery life and can handle larger memory cards.

IndispensableDestiny
September 7, 2010, 04:55 PM
I have a pair of Moultrie I-40 4 megapixel infrared flash cameras. The worked all season on one set of batteries and took good pictures. My only issue is that the mount straps that came with the camera were crummy, and I broke the mounting ears by using bungee cords. I have some D-ring hangers setting in JB weld epoxy as a repair.

4 mega pixels is plenty, cameras now come with much more, but it's not needed.

Ike R
September 7, 2010, 05:27 PM
My wildgame innovations camera is holding up very well in the rain and humidity down here in SE Texas, the pictures are fairly clear and the video capture is real nice (but it is a battery drainer)

v8stang289
September 7, 2010, 08:36 PM
I've had a primos truth cam 35 for about 2 weeks now. It takes quality pics and videos, and has IR flash. It uses SD cards and is about 100 bucks. Here are a few pics mine took. They also have time and date stamp on the pics to determine patterns and such. Only issue I have so far is during transitioning periods of light to dark and dark to light. the IR sometimes triggers and the pics can be very white looking.

bpl
September 7, 2010, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the replies!

v8stang, those pics look pretty good.

Double Naught Spy
September 7, 2010, 09:16 PM
Not to rain on your parade, but I have not been all that pleased with my Primos Truth cam in the sense that it seems to have poor sensitivity compared to other cameras I have tried. When it does take pictures, it takes nice pictures, but it seems to miss the little creatures.

With that said, maybe it is a good thing in that you don't get as many blank pics that are triggered by birds swooping through. So if you are scouting deer and don't care about the rest, then it may actually be a very good option. I had mine set up at a water hole and it missed coons and armadillos that were caught by another camera watching the same hole.

As for the "very white looking" images, you will get those with any IR camera. I have used Moultrie, Stealth, Bushnell, and Primos and they all do it.

The Primos is just 3 megapixel and the images are fine. Unless you want amazing detail images, you really don't need that many megapixels. For most of us interested in scouting information, 3 is way more than sufficient. I have had a Moultie I60 that did 6 megapixels and didn't think the pics were substantially better than the 4 megapixel I40 versions by Moultrie.

I really do like how the Moultries work (setup, data bar, pic quality, trigger speed), but every one of mine has had problems with the LCD.

v8stang289
September 7, 2010, 09:36 PM
The sensitivity of mine seems to be ok, I have several pics/videos of squirrels and crows to prove it lol. I've checked mine every 4-5 days and have had 130-140 images or 80-90 videos each time. My sample of one doesnt really tell us much so their quality may be hit and miss and sensitivity may be a problem on some of them. Like i said i've only had it a couple of weeks, but i'm pleased with it so far.

bison
September 8, 2010, 12:25 AM
I have a Primos Truth Cam 46 and it's been great so far. Long battery life and good pictures. The sensitivity has been fine, if anything it's too sensitive even on "low" setting. Am very happy with it.

Look here for unbiased trail cam reviews: http://www.chasingame.com/

Fernando
September 8, 2010, 02:20 AM
I got a Wildview STC-TGL5IRX1 (5mp) bought from ebay (it came from the states, actually, lolol). This model has an IR flash. If we use IR flash cameras, they won’t see the light but they will see the red leds. Some don’t mind, because they are in a group or are still young. In these pictures you can see a group of wild european boars, and it’s obvious that they can see the leds lighting up (see first pic). After a while everything goes back to normal, and in the second pic you can see a little guy sucking and all others hitting the corn. In the last pic, the little ones are laid on the ground.

http://i52.tinypic.com/2envp8m.jpg

But not all behave like that. In this next sequence, an older boar doesn’t play ball, lol. He clearly sees the red leds and although is has eaten corn from that box in all nights before that, now he won’t get near it and goes away.

http://i55.tinypic.com/f9o186.jpg
(I increased light when editing because the camera was a bit far off, hence the grainy pics)

IR flashes are a lot better IMHO because they are not as violent as the traditional flashs and the light is invisible (if the animal enters the feeder from the rear of the camera he will not see the leds until it is already too late to get out of the pic). IR flashs spook less.

So, if you intent to photograph dumb animals, any camera with flash will do it’s job, but if you want the big and cleaver meat to came back or to stay around I strongly recommend a IR flash.

Note: some traditional flashes may allow you to get faster pics, freezing the animal’s movements (less dragging) and bring more detail to the photo (because of the bigger light amount released), but all that may – and probably will – come with a cost.

FLAvalanche
September 8, 2010, 07:47 AM
As for the "very white looking" images, you will get those with any IR camera.

That's the one good thing I could say about the older Bushnell models. I never got white images. It has both flash and IR and has a setting for dusk and dawn. You tell it what time dusk and dawn happens and for a 1 hour period it uses the flash instead of the IR. Then when that hour is over it uses IR if it's dusk and then normal daylight mode if it's dawn.

I don't know if the new Bushnell cameras have that setting any longer but it's worth it if they do.

bpl
September 9, 2010, 09:06 PM
How do you tell when the batteries need to ge replaced? Is there an indicator?

FLAvalanche
September 9, 2010, 10:25 PM
Most have indicators of one type or another. Some have it on their display, some on the pictures. The older Bushnells have a red led on the front of the camera that lights when a picture is being taken (not the IR LEDs) and it will blink when the battery is low.

Best thing to do is to go on the manufacturers web sites and download the manual for the ones you've narrowed it down to. They usually provide much more information than the box or an ads.

DRYHUMOR
September 10, 2010, 06:34 PM
I had film type with light flashes, IIRC they were Moultrie. They took nice photos, but the flash seemed to bother the deer. They reached the point where they would avoid it/them. I pretty much gave them up. I did get a jam up picture of a big buck on his scrape once though. That one pic was worth the cost of the cameras to me. He was nosing his licking branch, and was (about to or just finishing) urinating on his glands onto the scrape.

I'd be curious to try some IR digital ones though, I have a friend who uses them. He can get something like 250 pics on a card. He has a battery rigged up with a solor charger that keeps his trips to the camera to a minimum.

IndispensableDestiny
September 10, 2010, 07:57 PM
My only issue is that the mount straps that came with the camera were crummy, and I broke the mounting ears by using bungee cords. I have some D-ring hangers setting in JB weld epoxy as a repair.
Well, the repair did not hold. So, if you buy the Moultrie unit, be careful to not break the mounting ears. Now I have to rig up a mounting bracket to hold them up using the bottom camera mount point.

Double Naught Spy
September 10, 2010, 08:01 PM
He can get something like 250 pics on a card.

Most cameras will take at least a 2 gig card nowadays and some will run larger. My cameras supposedly are set up for 2 gig but I run 4 gig in them with no problems. You should be able to get 1000+ images on a 2 gig card. So unless you are leaving your camera set to record 3 shots a minute for every minute of motion in a high traffic area, you should be able to leave your camera for a while. Of course the down side is if you mount your camera somewhere that it catches the foliage in motion during windy days and you end up with hundreds of pics of the plants moving back and forth.

A guy here http://www.talkhuntin.com/index.php?topic=3833.0 claims to get 2000 pics on a 1 gb SD card. He is likely using a lower image setting, but if all he is using the images for is scouting, then the quality of the images will be more than sufficient for his needs.

I prefer to run my cameras at the "best" or highest image setting because the images are better and I don't let my cams go unchecked for weeks at a time.

JuryRig
September 14, 2010, 12:51 PM
I have a Bushnell that I bought about 6 months ago. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00335ED5W/ref=oss_product
It works well, and the animals don't seem to notice the IR illumination at night. I use the video mode more than taking pictures. I set the cam up for a week and four bull elk (four to six points) were there most days. Unfortunately that unit is only open for spike bull and antlerless. Here's some vids of a place I was scouting for deer/elk a month ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGpcxhpgH5A

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