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Thread: which trail cam

  1. #1

    which trail cam

    I am looking at buying my first trail camera and have noticed there are quite a few different models. I have about 150 I can spend on this and wanted some advice on what is best. Are there certain brands to steer clear from or other functions in the cameras I should be looking for? Also if anybody has a second hand one they no longer want let me know. Cheers

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by s8mdevo View Post
    I am looking at buying my first trail camera and have noticed there are quite a few different models. I have about 150 I can spend on this and wanted some advice on what is best. Are there certain brands to steer clear from or other functions in the cameras I should be looking for? Also if anybody has a second hand one they no longer want let me know. Cheers
    Budget in a security box and security cabling as well, otherwise you may find the trail cam gone one day. So say 100 for the cam and 50 for the security bits.
    The Swann Outback is excellent and cheap, around 70 online, but mine didn't last long. The SpyPoint BF-8 -around 100- has been disappointing on picture quality. However SpyPoint has a large range and many more up-to-date models.
    'Black' LED or so-called 'stealth' LED doesn't give great results in B&W, the 'viseable' infrared is better for picture quality.
    The Aldi or Lidl Spycams are generally well liked - they are on offer ever so now and then. Have a look on FaceBook where there are Groups dedicated to wildlife Trail Cam footage.
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  3. #3
    I have been looking at the acorn cameras, in particular this model which gets some good reviews. Its a bit more money but sends message to phone etc. Anybody had experience?

    Ltl Acorn 5310MM 5310WMG 940NM 12MP 44LED Scouting Trail Wildfire Camera + 8GB | eBay

  4. #4
    Has anybody tried a dashcam for this purpose, i have one sat here and keep think as you do

  5. #5
    Ask yourself why you need a message on your phone, unless you are able to get to the location of the camera within 10 seconds of getting the message or are using the camera for anti-poaching then the message doesn't give you any more info about deer movement than going to the camera and taking the card home will. Also a lot of the cameras that send messages or photos seem to be pretty unreliable or require considerable configuration to get them to work, unless that has changed dramatically in recent times.

    For me the key things about a camera are trigger time, which should be as fast as possible, and sensing.

    Now some cameras claim fantastic trigger times until you investigate and discover that it only applies under certain circumstances. I think there was one a while back that was claiming under a second trigger time but if shooting video in the dark it actually took 8 seconds between the trigger and the video starting. That's sod all use to anyone. Many cameras take longer to trigger in the dark and video is much slower to trigger than stills. You might dismiss trigger time as being unimportant but if you put the camera out and start getting lots of frames with nothing in them it is possible that the deer has passed before the camera has taken the image.

    Sensing is also important - not all cameras are made equal when it comes to actually detecting a passing animal. Some testers have put out several cameras side by side and there are significant differences in the number of images recorded by each one. Of course when the camera is out in the middle of nowhere you don't know what you are missing when the camera fails to detect stuff so this is hard to quantify but it is the case than many cameras miss much of what happens in front of them. Quite simply if the camera doesn't detect the animal then you don't get a photo and you never know that you've missed it.

    Things like the number of pixels and picture quality and so on all are very much secondary as you are not looking to take photos for the family album but rather are just looking to get a general impression of what is there and the general pattern of movement. Most cameras can produce images of sufficient quality to give you this info.

    Illumination is also important but a key thing to understand is that a trail camera is always a short range weapon, it is something that works in the 10 - 20 foot range or across a small living room. If you are expecting anything more out of it then you probably need to adjust your expectations. In general "black flash" cameras do not give as much illumination as the normal infra red flash and my experience is that deer can see both of them but they do see the normal infra red more easily.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  6. #6
    I've got 2 Ltl Acorns from Amazon - cheap, do what I want and luckily don't need security apparatus.

  7. #7
    I have the Little Acorn 5210MM and it has proved pretty useful over the few years I have owned it. I do enjoy the fact it sends me pictures, I place it at locations that are too far to casually drop down to swap cards or inspect on site.

    For whatever reason it does not send me every picture it takes though, and I have never worked out why. Sometimes that is a blessing though, for example when a farmer decided he would change his mind and put a herd of cattle out to graze over a pasture I was watching! I had way too many pictures of cattle as you can guess.

    I just picked up a couple of the cheaper trail cams from Aldi when I saw the cost had dropped to fifty quid. Tests in the garden seem OK so far.

    I also have a OTG adaptor to mini USB so that I can look at cards via a smartphone.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John_R View Post
    I have the Little Acorn 5210MM and it has proved pretty useful over the few years I have owned it. I do enjoy the fact it sends me pictures, I place it at locations that are too far to casually drop down to swap cards or inspect on site.

    For whatever reason it does not send me every picture it takes though, and I have never worked out why. Sometimes that is a blessing though, for example when a farmer decided he would change his mind and put a herd of cattle out to graze over a pasture I was watching! I had way too many pictures of cattle as you can guess.

    I just picked up a couple of the cheaper trail cams from Aldi when I saw the cost had dropped to fifty quid. Tests in the garden seem OK so far.

    I also have a OTG adaptor to mini USB so that I can look at cards via a smartphone.
    Yes it looks a good camera at decent price. I like the idea of not having to go to the camera position every time to look at pics. There are certainly plenty to choose from. Definitely think best to start with a lower end one just to check picture quality and also to see if it gets pinched.

    Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    Ask yourself why you need a message on your phone, unless you are able to get to the location of the camera within 10 seconds of getting the message or are using the camera for anti-poaching then the message doesn't give you any more info about deer movement than going to the camera and taking the card home will. Also a lot of the cameras that send messages or photos seem to be pretty unreliable or require considerable configuration to get them to work, unless that has changed dramatically in recent times.

    For me the key things about a camera are trigger time, which should be as fast as possible, and sensing.

    Now some cameras claim fantastic trigger times until you investigate and discover that it only applies under certain circumstances. I think there was one a while back that was claiming under a second trigger time but if shooting video in the dark it actually took 8 seconds between the trigger and the video starting. That's sod all use to anyone. Many cameras take longer to trigger in the dark and video is much slower to trigger than stills. You might dismiss trigger time as being unimportant but if you put the camera out and start getting lots of frames with nothing in them it is possible that the deer has passed before the camera has taken the image.

    Sensing is also important - not all cameras are made equal when it comes to actually detecting a passing animal. Some testers have put out several cameras side by side and there are significant differences in the number of images recorded by each one. Of course when the camera is out in the middle of nowhere you don't know what you are missing when the camera fails to detect stuff so this is hard to quantify but it is the case than many cameras miss much of what happens in front of them. Quite simply if the camera doesn't detect the animal then you don't get a photo and you never know that you've missed it.

    Things like the number of pixels and picture quality and so on all are very much secondary as you are not looking to take photos for the family album but rather are just looking to get a general impression of what is there and the general pattern of movement. Most cameras can produce images of sufficient quality to give you this info.

    Illumination is also important but a key thing to understand is that a trail camera is always a short range weapon, it is something that works in the 10 - 20 foot range or across a small living room. If you are expecting anything more out of it then you probably need to adjust your expectations. In general "black flash" cameras do not give as much illumination as the normal infra red flash and my experience is that deer can see both of them but they do see the normal infra red more easily.
    The new scout guard 3g allow me to see what deer are in the area without travelling 100 miles. The SMTP makes sure I can take thousands of photos over 6 months for less than 25. They are far easier to configure than ltl acorn.
    Blaser K95 Stutzen - the ultimate deer stalking rifle

  10. #10
    I've got a little acorn 5210a & am unimpressed. Low light poor performance (probably due to IR frequency too far from visible). Daylight performance v. good as is battery life.
    Don't know about the 5310 but the frequency looks to me that it may give similar problems.
    Ask on the forum if anyone has had similar problems
    Good luck

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