The Best Trail/ Game Cameras of 2020

Table of Contents

Trail cameras are some of the most versatile cameras on the market. Used by hunters tracking game, homeowners checking in to see what’s eating their garden veggies, or even setup for use as home security cameras, trail or game cameras are low-cost, high-impact devices. This best trail cameras review will explore some of the highest-quality tech in the category.

Editor’s Pick
Victure Trail Game Camera
Victure Trail Game Camera
Victure Trail Game Camera

This excellent trail camera balances ease of use with expert-level features, all without breaking the bank.

Doesn't expire

Top Contender
Campark T70 Trail Game Camera
Campark T70 Trail Game Camera
Campark T70 Trail Game Camera

This high-quality trail cam captures brilliant 14MP photos and HD video, and its low power consumption helps preserve battery life.

Doesn't expire

Best Mini Trail Camera
TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera
TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera
TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera

Compact but powerful, this trail camera is about half the size of a normal trail cam but delivers many of the same features.

Doesn't expire

Best Cellular Trail Camera
CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera
CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera
CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera

With 4G cellular connectivity, this impressive trail cam allows you to check in on your camera right from your phone.

Doesn't expire

Best Wi-Fi Trail Camera
Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera
Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera
Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera

This 20 megapixel trail camera connects to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to collect images and video directly from your phone.

Doesn't expire

Editor’s Pick

Victure Trail Game Camera

This trail camera from Victure makes capturing nature easy, and in all its vibrancy. With 1080p HD video, 12MP photos during the day and high-quality black-and-white photos at night, you’re guaranteed to get the right shot. Plus, its sensitive motion capture ensures you don’t miss any of the action.

Pros: The camera boasts great image quality day and night, and its .5-second trigger speed springs to action to catch even fast-moving subjects. Review your footage on the trail cam’s 2.4-inch HD LCD screen. Or, if you prefer, plug it into your computer for easy transfer.

Cons: The instructions are not the clearest, so setup can be a bit more complicated than it should be.

Related: How to Keep Your Pets Safe in and Outside the Home

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Victure Trail Game Camera
Victure Trail Game Camera
Victure Trail Game Camera

This excellent trail camera balances ease of use with expert-level features, all without breaking the bank.

Top Contender

Campark T70 Trail Game Camera

This trail cam from Campark features some of the best image quality in the category, with 14MP photos and 1080p HD video, as well as high-quality black-and-white photos at night. Its sturdy build quality and weatherproof design makes it rugged enough to handle the elements.

Pros: This trail camera delivers everything you need without overcomplicating the process. It features great image quality day and night and a weather-resistant design. Not to mention, its low energy consumption preserves battery life so you can go longer intervals between check-ins.

Cons: There is a slight lag in the motion detection, which can cut off the beginnings of some video footage or have some trouble capturing fast-moving objects and animals.

Shop Amazon
Campark T70 Trail Game Camera
Campark T70 Trail Game Camera
Campark T70 Trail Game Camera

This high-quality trail cam captures brilliant 14MP photos and HD video, and its low power consumption helps preserve battery life.

Best Mini Trail Camera

TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera

Trail cameras are great for capturing the natural world in part because of how well they blend into the setting. This mini trail cam can fit in the palm of your hand, which makes it great for hiding outdoors. But even though it’s small, it packs in many of the features you expect from a top-tier trail cam.

Pros: The camera captures 12MP photos and 1080p HD video to a micro-SD card for easy after-the-fact review on your computer. The trail cam features a wide 120 degree field of view, and a 65 foot night vision range. And it’s all housed in an ultra-compact housing standing a scant four inches tall.

Cons: The camera features LED status lights that can stay glowing at night, which can call attention to it.

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TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera
TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera
TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera

Compact but powerful, this trail camera is about half the size of a normal trail cam but delivers many of the same features.

Best Cellular Trail Camera

CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera

A truly top-of-the-line device, the CreativeXP 4G Trail Camera lets you take your photos and videos wherever you go. Receive instant alerts the moment movement is detected and check your camera’s feed right from your phone

Pros: With super simple setup and affordable data plans, the CreativeXP camera makes the upgrade to a cellular trail cam as painless as possible. It features 1080p HD video and a 65 foot black-and-white night vision range. But the main draw here is receiving instant alerts and checking in on your camera live. 

Cons: Because of the quality of the images and video, receiving them right to your phone can use a lot of data, so be mindful of your data plan!

Related: The Best Outdoor Security Cameras of 2019

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CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera
CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera
CreativeXP 4G Cellular Trail Camera

With 4G cellular connectivity, this impressive trail cam allows you to check in on your camera right from your phone.

Best Wi-Fi Trail Camera

Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera

One of the biggest hurdles to having a trail cam is the process of retrieving the images, typically from a micro-SD card. This Campark trail cam connects to your phone via Wi-Fi, allowing you to download photos and videos in seconds.

Pros: The Wi-Fi function is the main pro here, but the camera boasts a number of other impressive features as well. Its 1296p, 20MP resolution provides crystal clear images and video (with sound!), and its night vision captures detailed black and white images at a 65 foot distance. It’s also weatherproof to withstand the elements.

Cons: The benefits of most trail cams is their simplicity, so complicating it with downloadable apps and added technology might be a lot for users who want a basic camera.

Shop Amazon
Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera
Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera
Campark 20MP WiFi Trail Camera

This 20 megapixel trail camera connects to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to collect images and video directly from your phone.

Trail/ Game Camera Methodology

Best Trail/Game Cameras

Often times, game cameras are purchased as a lark; a piece of technology for a cabin or rural property used to curiously capture whatever wildlife happen to be roaming the area. As you get into upper echelons of the category, however, trail cameras can be serious security solutions, allowing you to livestream video of a property to look out for any potential dangers. When we were selecting the best trail cams, we considered:

  • Video quality and night vision: Just because these cameras are relatively low-cost on the spectrum of security cameras, it doesn’t mean their image quality should suffer. We looked at cameras that were not only good during the day with a resolution of at least 1080p HD, but cameras that would also capture quality black-and-white footage at night as well, requiring infrared sensors.
  • Motion Activation: Sensitivity and speed of motion activation are important for trail cameras on two fronts: first of all, you want the camera to be sensitive enough to where it will spring to action the moment motion is detected to guarantee you’re capturing moving wildlife. Yet, you don’t want the camera to be so sensitive that it’s always recording, because that can be a major battery drain.
  • Storage: The biggest hurdle of trail cameras for most people is the method by which your photos and video are made available for you to view. We liked cameras that featured an on-device screen where you could review photos, and also has a simple interface for transferring the photos to your computer, whether it’s via Wi-Fi, an SD card, or plugging the camera right into your computer. More points if the company gives you cloud storage!

Related: Security Tips for Your Outdoor Property

Trail/ Game Camera Tips

Choosing the best trail or game camera for your purposes will depend on the property you’re looking to monitor and how often you plan to check on the camera. Some trail cameras will be every day or every week use devices, while others will be more infrequent types of devices. When picking a trail cam, consider:

  • Battery Life or Power Options: Most trail cameras will rely on multiple batteries for their power. Look for how long the batteries last in the device, and whether settings on the camera can be adjusted to maximize battery life. Some cameras even offer peripheral solar panels to remove the risk of dead batteries entirely.
  • Weatherproofing: Trail cameras are more often than not left to the elements. Choose a camera that is rated to withstand water, dust, and wind, so no matter where it’s placed it won’t quit in inclement weather.

Recapping the Best Trail/ Game Cameras

Opting for a trail cam is a great way to get in touch with nature. If you have a cabin, beach house, or even if you just want to see what kind of wildlife is roaming your back yard, trail or game cams can be a fun and exciting look at what’s going on in the outdoors. Products at the high end of the category can even be pretty powerful security solutions. Have you tried a trail cam before? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve caught on camera? Let us know in the comments!

FAQs

What trail cameras send pictures to your phone?

Certain trail cameras feature cellular connectivity. Essentially, they have lower-cost data plans and work based on motion. When motion is detected, they take photos or video and send them via cellular network right to your phone. These devices tend to be a bit more expensive and require data plans. Some of the best on the market are made by CREATIVE XP, who make multiple versions of cellular trail cams.

What is a good trail camera?

A good trail camera will offer a few general things: they’ll have high-quality day and night imaging, a rugged housing, and a simple transfer interface for retrieving your footage. They also have customizable settings that enable you to maximize battery life. Some of the best on the market are the Victure Trail Game Camera, the Campark T70 Trail Game Camera, and the TOGUARD Mini Trail Camera.

What is the difference between a game camera and a trail camera?

There is no difference between a game camera and a trail camera. The designation of trail cameras and game cameras can be used interchangeably.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.