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Recommendations for a Wildlife Trail Camera


Ian G W 17 398 3 England
30 Oct 2020 2:12PM
Hi.....could anyone recommend a Wildlife Trail Camera? It will be for garden use, looking at nightime activity of hedgehogs, wood mice and the occasional fox, and daytime monitoring of bird feeding stations.
Quality of the image and speed (trigger and shutter) are important to me.

I've looked at a few on Amazon, but the reviews are so mixed that I ended up more confused than ever!

Budget is 50-100, or thereabouts!

Thank you.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 709 England
30 Oct 2020 5:09PM
I'm looking into getting one too so I'll keep an eye on this thread.
Doing some quick searcing there's very little at that price level. A touch more to your budget would give more options.
This looks worth considering.
30 Oct 2020 11:09PM
Ive had a couple of trail cams and you will find out that at the budget end the results are hit and miss. I found the images to be only good for record shots of species seen rather than award making images to post on ephotozine.

Leaving the camera strapped to a tree in the wilderness brings on a bit of anxiety to whether it will be there in a week or so, the garden seems like a safe bet but wildlife may not be quite as exciting after a few attempts.

I think you are optimistic with your budget if you think you will capture woodmice on your camera at night they are more likely to be pixellated grey moving blurs

SteveSmile
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
31 Oct 2020 11:23AM
I had a similar experience - bought a reasonably cheap one that had great reviews and found the actual quality of the video was absolutely 5h17. If it says "Full HD" it is often up-sampled from quite low res.

You have to remember, most reviews are from people who are just happy to see a grainy shot of a hedgehog.

SlowSong Plus
12 9.3k 30 England
31 Oct 2020 11:58AM
I wish I could remember the make of the trailcam I had once, if only to recommend that you steer clear of it. I've looked on line but can't see the brand listed so perhaps it's gone out of business. Some are very fiddly to get to the battery compartments and I found battery use very low. Lots of the time it just didn't record anything despite me trying many recording options. Good luck.
PRC 6 275 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2020 4:53PM
I bought an Apeman 55 trail camera from Amazon a few months ago; currently being sold for 60. I would probably echo comments above. Picture quality in daylight is ok so it was good for seeing what was visiting our garden early in the morning. Night images are less good; some aren't too bad and it could be where I set it up and where it's pointing. The night images are nothing like as good as advertised and most are not as good as the customer images in the reviews. I chose a camera that has the 940nm infra red leds that don't show in the dark because I don't want it to advertise its presence in the front garden; I believe the shorter wavelengths give a visible flash. The Apeman 55 is supposed to be weather proof and has been so far.

I'd be careful of fake reviews (some reviewers actually say they've been offered goodies in return for a 5* review) and I got really frustrated with the product descriptions for the trail cameras in that price range; a lot of inconsistencies. I emailed two suppliers asking for confirmation of the correct specifications and bought from the one that answered.

Having said all this, the camera has shown us that birds (including a heron eating our pond fish), cats, hedgehogs and even a badger have visited our suburban garden. Just don't expect BBC wildlife programme quality!

Philip
Ian G W 17 398 3 England
1 Nov 2020 1:01PM
Thank you all for your input.....I suspected that my budget range was probably on the low side. I suppose it's a matter of deciding on what I'd get out ofvhaving one. My intention is my garden use only, so the point made that this could be a little boring after seeing the same things a couple of times is valid, and puts me off spending more. I think I can sacrifice quality of the images as long as I get the info (ie how many hegehogs etc) and so the Apeman range looks adequate - I see they've an upgraded model at 72 on Amazon, and I'm considering that one.

Thanks again,
Ian.
1 Nov 2020 4:43PM
Good luck with your purchase Ian, we look forward to seeing a couple of your images (good or bad)

SteveSmile
wizcon 7 56 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2020 5:32PM
Hi Ian
I am currently using a Victure HC 400 trail camera from Amazon using Ni-MH rechargable batteries. Battery life is very good. Great images/videos. Hope this helps.

Russell
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
2 Nov 2020 9:08AM

Quote:Hi Ian
I am currently using a Victure HC 400 trail camera from Amazon using Ni-MH rechargable batteries. Battery life is very good. Great images/videos. Hope this helps.

Russell



Rather than just saying "great images/videos", which is purely subjective, why not post a few samples? I'd love to see if the quality is better than mine, as the price point is similar.
wizcon 7 56 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2020 4:45PM
As requested some images from Victure HC 400
228295_1604335491.jpg
228295_1604335512.jpg
228295_1604335538.jpg
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
3 Nov 2020 9:06AM
Well, I can confirm that the quality of those is a lot better than mine.

Great to see you get hedgehogs, but I'd be worried about the snake though!

Wink
Ian G W 17 398 3 England
20 Nov 2020 1:02PM
Just an update on this - I ended up buying the Victure HC300 model, which I got from Amazon at ~45. As discussed above, the images aren't Springwatch quality, but more than adequate for what I wanted/needed. I'm impressed with the sensitivity - the attached video picks up a Woodmouse feeding at our hedgehog feeding station. This video was set at medium quality. The "jump" at ~ 5 seconds is where I badly edited 2 videos together. The camera does have a relatively narrow field of view (55 deg), but that allows targeting specific areas.



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