Whether you’re a professional hunter, wildlife enthusiast or a professional photographer, any noise that disturbs wildlife is something you avoid. But, before you even get to the point of needing to take that shot, you need to find the game first. That’s where a wireless trail camera comes in.
Camouflaged and quiet wireless trail cameras monitor the game trail, watering hole or clearing for you. For both the hunter or wildlife photographer, this device gives you not only time back, but also a strategic edge in locating your targets. It’s almost too simple.
First, power the camera by battery, charger or by connecting it to an external solar panel or other power source. Second, insert the SD card or other recording media and enable the 3G or 4G cellular network (or wireless/wife network if in range). Third, set the trail camera up with the lens trained on the area you’re scouting. Finally, site back and relax and let the camera do the job.
Understanding Wireless Trail Camera Technology: Wifi vs. 3G/4G/LTE
While we’ve reviewed both WiFi and cellular game cameras, it is important to note that they don’t offer exactly the same utility. The WiFi cameras don’t connect to a wireless network, they create one of their own. This means that you need to be in range of the camera’s WiFi network to monitor it in real-time.
In contrast, a cellular (3G or 4G/LTE) trail camera can be monitored remotely. These cameras have a SIM card, just like your iPhone or Android phone, and they connect to the cellular network they are made for. That’s a huge difference as 3G/4G/LTE trail cameras can be monitored remotely. It’s a significant and important different.
Hopefully, these two distinctions cleared up any confusion. The marketplace is full of options and a wide variety of wireless trail cameras at different price point. Each variant boasts of some special feature or the other. But we have created our simple list of some of the best alternatives that you may vouch for. We have selected them both by features as well as rating. The kind of quality that they help you achieve has also been taken into consideration to offer you a comprehensive array of options from across price ranges.
Best Wireless Trail Cameras: 4G LTE Cellular
- The Spartan GoCam 4G/LTE (Connected by Verizon) can be added to the existing Verizon data plan for $5.00/month as Connected Device. No long-term commitment required.
- The camera is powered by 12 AA batteries (alkaline, Ni-MH or lithium) and is a Standalone installation with no wires and no required external power source.
- The GoCam is compatible with the Spartan web portal and mobile portal, an ultimate camera and photo management solution.
- The Spartan GoCam 4G/LTE (Connected by Verizon) camera will feature ultra-fast image transmission, improved battery life and for the first time video transmission
- In addition to the expansive coverage areas provided by the Verizon network, Spartan GoCam also features data rates as low as $5/month to add to the existing Verizon data plan.
- Ready to Use Out of the Box: Sim card included. Simply purchase service from Spartan, set your desired picture parameters, and your camera is ready to use
- Easy Installation: The camera is powered by 12 AA batteries.
- Compatible with HCO Go Wireless web and mobile portal.
- Class-leading image quality.
- Includes a 2 Year manufacturer's warranty. Mounting strap included.
Our Take: Top Cellular 4G LTE Trail Camera
Spartan has been improving its wireless trail cameras iteratively for years. Their best product to date happens to be their cellular offering, the Spartan GoCam 4G/LTE for Verizon and AT&T.
This impressive, compact trail camera ticks all the boxes where image quality and trigger time, but that is table stakes. Where the best separate themselves from the good as far as cellular game cameras are concerned is how well their cellular connectivity works. In that regard, the GoCam simply has the best solution available today.
This camera comes with an IP65-rated construction, meaning it is dust-tight and water resistant. Installation procedure is fairly simple and the unit can be placed virtually anywhere that you can receive a cell signal.
Everything else about the camera is what you’d expect. There’s multiple photo modes including several time lapse options. Photo resolution is adjustable up to 8MP. As far as video clips go, expect 30-second long clips complete with audio. Finally, we think you’ll appreciate the usability of Spartan’s offering. The camera includes a 2″ LCD monitor with simple, well marked buttons and intuitive menus.
Connecting and managing the trail camera remotely can be done via App or a web portal which can be accessed with any web browser.
Best Wireless Trail Camera: WiFi
- 【WIFI Connection + APP Control】T100 game camera built-in WIFI and APP control function, download the APP on your mobile phone and then connect with WIFI. You can adjust the setting to view or download the photo&video on the phone directly. This trail camera is not a webcam, APP control has range limits. 【 Note: Due to the APP upgrade, the Android system APP has been changed to“Game Camera Pro”. Android new users please scan the QR code to download APP 】
- 【4K Native Video + 30MP Clearer Image 】The trail camera captures 4K native video and 30 Megapixel crystal clear images with clear sound recording, providing more high-quality and exciting visual details during daytime(black and white at night). You could easily hear the vivid world of wildlife. (Please Note: Due to the 4K native video resolution of T100 trail camera, the video encoding format of H.265 needs to download PotPlayer or VLC media player to play and set as a default media player.)
- 【Advanced Image Sensor】Super Low Light Sensitivity, extremely large aperture premium lens component, produce clear night vision in total darkness. This trail camera comes with multi-recording modes and functions(Date/Moon Phase/Temperature, Timer, Realtime Replay, Hybrid Mode Etc,) beyond your expectation. (Note: We recommend using SD/SDHC U3 Card)
- 【Advanced Night Vision + 65FT Triggering Distance】The trail camera equipped with IR flash 36pc 850nm infrared LEDs range 65FT(20m). With 3 passive infrared sensors, it will take clear pictures even in the dark night that you will never miss any exciting moments.
- 【IP66 Waterproof and More Sturdy】IP66 waterproof level are higher than IP56, the sturdy case extremely protects the game camera from rain and dust damage. You don't worry about any bad weather, the hunting camera can perform well even in tough environments, such as deserts, grassland, and tropical rainforest. It contains a threaded tripod and mounting strap, it's easy to install.
Our Take: Top Wifi Game Camera
As far as Wifi-based wireless game cameras go, Campark is a brand you’ve likely heard of. They have several models for sale. While most get good to very-good ratings, their latest 4k WiFi trail camera rises to the top. While some may balk at the $149 price (unless you catch it on sale) the extra you’ll pay is worthwhile.
First, let’s cover connectivity. As we’ve mentioned this camera isn’t cellular, is is based on Wifi technology. So, you’ll need to be within the range of the wireless network it creates to monitor or manage it.
The Sony image sensor takes crisp photos and the 4K video is excellent. The unit’s sturdy build quality is also worth note. There’s plenty of good options, including other cameras from this brand, but the T100 stands above the competition.
Tips For Buying Wireless Trail Cameras
It is quite clear that deciding on a wireless trail camera is not a matter of joke. You have to pay attention to a lot of minute details. That alone will ensure that you can decide on the most effective and efficient trail camera. Even the smallest difference is parameters can make a huge difference in the final output. Remember the main aim is to capture every movement, get all possible shot option but at the same time maintain great quality and clarity. So it is important that you also choose an option that addresses your objectives in a proper way and also brings forth a sense of satisfaction from the entire exercise.
Battery Life: This is a key game changer in most cases. If the battery does not last long enough and you are not carrying an adequate backup, your entire exercise can literally go for a toss. So when you are choosing between wireless trail cameras, it is important you compare the battery life of each one. Moreover, there are some that run on proprietary battery while others function on AAA or AA batteries. So the ease of getting back up is also important. That will ultimately decide how long you can run these cameras non-stop without any type of obstruction and hindrance. This has a very distinct bearing on the overall efficiency of the camera over the long-term.
External Power Options: Many cameras can be powered by an external power source such as a solar panel or battery pack. If you’re interested in external power, we recommend choosing a single manufacturer that makes not only the game camera but the accessory power bank or solar panel, too.
Night Vision: Just being able to offer shooting option at night is not sufficient for you to decide on a specific wireless trail camera. It is very important to analyze the relative clarity of the pictures as well as the optimization of the resources available. Moreover, you should be able to gauge how effective are the motion sensors and the quality of the light emitted. For night illumination, look for a blackout flash. Remember, it is essential to opt for low glare options. This alone can make sure that wildlife does not get intimidated by the glow of the flashlight when being shot or just if they are too close to the camera.
Resolution/Clarity: When we discuss cameras and photos, it is important that resolution and clarity will hold a key position in it all. Different wireless trail cameras have different degrees of clarity and resolution measures. The idea is to go for the one that offers maximum clarity within your budget. Also when you are judging clarity, it is important to check the output both during the day as well as at night. After all, you are looking for a camera that will hold you in good stead at all times without question. It is, after all, your most dependable partner in the wilderness.
Water-proof, Dust-proof: The wireless trail camera is used outdoors extensively. This means it is often subject to vagaries of nature too like sandstorm, rain or dust-storm. That is why it is important to look for ones that are available in the proper weatherproof casing. The core idea is to make sure that they have a fairly high degree of waterproofing option to maintain quality and ability to deliver continuously at a stretch. This will also safeguard the camera from associated damages like rust and corrosion too. That is what will make it a value buy.
There are a lot of options when it comes to deciding on the best wireless trail camera. But you cannot base your final decision just on any one factor. Increasingly the effort is to look for options that can deliver a comprehensive package. It has to highlight convincing quality but at the same time not compromise on convenience. Lightweight, waterproof, great picture quality are all different sides of the same camera you are looking for. It is very important that you go for an option that brings in a beautiful amalgam of all these elements in a constructive manner. That is what will help you get lasting picture quality and resolution.