When looking to buy a game camera, there are many common features available to choose from.
Listed here are the most popular features and a description of each.
When choosing a Game camera, as well as any digital camera, the resolution of the pictures plays a big factor. Keep in mind if you go with an InfraRed Camera, you will not get color pictures at night, and the camera may take pictures at a lower resolution at night. If your camera has a regular flash though, you will be able to capture color pictures at night. Your camera’s resolution will also determine how big of a memory card you will need, and how many pictures can be stored on the memory card. The better the resolution, the more memory you will need.
Recording video with your Scouting camera can give you some more insight to the activities of the game you are scouting. This newer capability of game cameras will not be an option on all cameras, and will only give you limited video taking capabilities. On some cameras, you will be required to choose video or standard pictures, and will not be able to take both at the same time.
Multi shot or burst mode
Taking multiple shots in a limited time, sometimes called burst mode lets you capture your game in action, but doesn’t take of the space that video requires on your memory card. Burst mode will give you a little better insight to exactly how your deer are moving down the trail.
Mounting your Scouting Camera
The most common mounting method is by using a strap to wrap around the tree, securing your game camera to the tree. You will also find that some cameras can be screwed into a tree or post to mount. It may also be advised to provide your own strap or bungee cord to secure your camera, since the straps from the manufacturer are sometimes not long enough, or rugged enough.
Securing your Game Camera
Keeping your new game camera secure will probably be at the top of your list if you plan on placing it in a public area. There are a number of security options available, ranging from built in, to external third pary devices. Some cameras offer features such as a keypad to unlock the device for operation, or imprinting a name on each image, that cannot be changed unless you have a passcode.
There are also physical security features such as a place for a padlock, or ways of padlocking the whole camera to the tree.
Built in Image Viewer
Some Game Cameras come with built in viewers. This can be a handy feature, but you will find that it may have more downsides than upsides. Most game cameras with built in viewer are small, use up the batteries, and keep you at your scouting camera location longer, therefore leaving more scent.
It can be pretty handy for the initial setup of your camera though. This will give you immediate feedback about how good your images are, and if your camera is pointed in the correct direction.
Incandescent or Infrared
If you plan on capturing game at night, you will need a flash. The good thing is that almost all game cameras come with a flash. You just need to choose what type of flash you want.
The incandescent flash will allow you to take color pictures at night, but could scare the animals, and will take more battery power when using the flash, therefore draining your batteries quicker. The incandescent flash also cannot quickly recharge to take night pictures in burst mode.
The infrared flash wont let you take color game pictures after dark, but will will save you battery life, be nearly invisible to the game animals, and can fire off more quickly;y that an incandescent flash.
There are two common types of memory cards for game cameras. Compact Flash (CF) or Secure Digital (SD). Secure digital seems to be the norm for cameras, and are cheaper than CF. The amount of memory the game came camera can accept is important. If taking high resolution images, a memory card can fill up rather quickly, and leave your game camera useless until you replace the memory, or remove the images.
You will see that some cameras have a built in memory, but don’t let this fool you, usually the built in memory is very small, and will only hold a couple pictures.
Your game camera will require batteries of some sort to operate. For the most part, the more batteries the camera holds, the longer it will stay powered. There are exceptions though. Some cameras use more power than others. If the camera has an incandescent flash,m it will use more than a scouting camera with an infrared flash. If your camera will be in cold weather, or taking many pictures at night, you will yield less battery life also.
Rechargeable batteries. Some cameras offer you the ability to use rechargeable batteries. When using rechargeable batteries, you will probably not get the same amount of usage as you would using alkaline batteries, but the long term operating expenses will be reduced.
Many game cameras offer the option of attaching an external battery pack to the camera for extended use. If you will be taking a lot of pictures, depending on the camera, the batteries could die within just a couple weeks. Replacing the batteries this often can prove to be very expensive, therefore an external battery would keep the unit powered for much longer. With a lead battery, you could keep the unit powered to many months, and then would just need to recharge it when needed.
Having the capability for an external solar charger can keep your batteries charged and your camera operating throughout the year without having to change out the camera batteries, therefore proving very beneficial. You wwill just need to purchase the solar panel to hook to the camera or external battery. This will bring your initial price up a little, but bring the lifetime price down.
Low battery indicator
Many Game Camera models include a low battery indicator or battery life indicator of some sort. A low battery indicator will simply tell you the batteries need to be replaced, and a battery life indicator may tell you how much life the batteries have left before they need to be replaced. Having a battery level indicator can help you judge the amount of time you have before you need to replace the batteries.
Adjustable Trigger Sensitivity
This option on the deer camera lets you choose how sensitive the trigger is on your camera. At a very sensitive setting, your camera may snap a picture of small squirrels, or birds, which you most likely dont care about when you are just looking for that big buck. By adjusting the sensitivity down to be less sensitive, you may be able to get rid of some of the unwanted pictures. This is a setting that is nice to have, and will let you gain more control over what you are taking pictures of. This setting may also help you get better night pictures by not triggereing on an animal outside the range of the flash. If this happens the camera will take a picture, but the flash wont light up your target, therefore giveing you a blank picture.