Best Budget Trail Camera | Cheap Game Cams that Provide Great Value! [2019]

 

Trail cameras can be affordable and still deliver decent photos and videos…but if you’re new to hunting or are unfamiliar with these gadgets, it is easy to become confused, or to purchase a device with a bunch of expensive features you’ll never use. But trust us—you don’t need to go broke to get a great trail game cam; you can even get one for under $100.

In this comprehensive buying guide, we explore some of the best budget trail cameras available on the market today.

Our Top Pick

The Campark 14MP 1080P Wildlife Camera takes the crown in this series of reviews. This model has a ton of features for even the best budget camera. It has a powerful 14MP image sensor, a fast trigger speed, great battery life, and a wide angle of detection—all geared to suit your scouting, tracking, and hunting needs.

8 Best Budget Trail Camera Reviews

1. Campark Wildlife Trail Camera – Best Overall

Our well-rounded top pick is a multi-tasker—great for hunting, wildlife and farm monitoring, and home security.

Key Features

  • 14MP image sensor
  • 1080P HD video resolution
  • 3-second trigger speed
  • 42-piece 840nm IR LEDs
  • 120-degree wide angle lens
  • 65-foot detection range
  • 6V external power port
  • Supports up to 32GB SD card
  • 8 AA batteries

One of our favorite attributes of this trail camera is its fast trigger speed: 0.3 seconds is one of the fastest speeds you can get in budget trail cameras.

With a 14-megapixel sensor and high-quality lens, the camera produces excellent quality pictures. Nighttime videos are also of impressive quality, thanks to the 42-piece, high-tech, low-glow infrared LED flash.

The Campark is powered by 8 AA batteries and is equipped with sensors that help to enhance battery life.

What bothers us about this Campark model is that it can be tough to remove the SD card.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Invisible flash
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • SD card can be difficult to remove

Conclusion

The Campark is an excellent trail camera with a straightforward system. It’s easy to use and produces excellent images. While a bit challenging to install, it is still an excellent choice for all skill levels.

Overall Rating: 4.7/5.0

 

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2. Bushnell 14MP Trophy Cam HD Aggressor Trail Camera 

Going for just under $200 with a slew of amazing features, the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor is one of the best trail cameras for the price.

Key Features

  • 14MP image sensor
  • 2-second trigger speed
  • 1080P HD video resolution
  • 48 no-glow flash LEDs
  • Detachable anti-reflection cover
  • Field-scan time-lapse option
  • Adjustable PIR sensor
  • Support up to 32GB SD card
  • Weatherproof

The most notable feature of the Trophy is its detection capability: it can capture a picture within 0.2 seconds of sensing movement. However, the camera’s video detection capability is quite slow. It takes about 2.5 seconds to begin recording and another 2.5 seconds to store the recorded video.

Nonetheless, it can still serve your game tracking needs effectively. The Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor takes great pictures in full sunlight; photos are somewhat grainy if taken in the shade, however. This camera takes nighttime photos with low-glow red LEDs, which doesn’t scare animals away.

What I don’t like about this trail camera is that its 14 megapixels are achieved through interpolation. Interpolation is the practice of adding pixels after the photo has been taken to increase its size. That means your images will not be true 14-megapixel quality, but rather about 5-megapixel quality.

Pros

  • Ideal for both hunting and security
  • Exceptionally fast trigger speed
  • Good quality images

Cons

  • Only functions effectively under excellent AT&T network coverage
  • Uses interpolation

Conclusion

This Bushnell Aggressor may be somewhat costly but is worth it. The crisp HD images and videos, exceptionally sharp nighttime imagery, various adjustable settings, and super-fast trigger speed make it a strong trail camera, despite a few downsides.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0

 

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3. Victure Trail 16MP Game CameraBest for All-weather Conditions

If you are looking for the best weatherproof trail camera under $100, we suggest you try this Victure trail game camera.

Key Features

  • 0-inch LCD display screen
  • 16-megapixel image sensor
  • 1080P video resolution
  • 5-second trigger speed
  • 65-foot detection range
  • Supports up to 32GB SD card
  • 38 infrared LEDs for night shots
  • Storage formats: photo – JPEG; video – AVI
  • Multi-shot mode
  • Time-lapse mode
  • Powered by AA batteries
  • Waterproof

Victure Trail is an affordable camera with a fast reaction time and has sensors that help you know when to switch between various modes. With IP66- upgraded waterproof design, the Victure Trail camera has an ultra-secure casing that protects it from harsh weather conditions, water, dust, and impact.

I don’t like that it takes the Victure a while to recover after the first shot.

Pros

  • Durable and weatherproof casing
  • Good picture quality
  • Adjustable sensor settings
  • Daytime/nighttime sensor

Cons

  • Less than average recovery time

Conclusion

The Victure trail camera is an excellent choice for anybody looking for a cost-friendly, high-resolution trail camera. If quick recovery time between shots isn’t important to you, then the Victure is a perfect choice.

Overall Rating: 4.3/5.0

 

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4. Moultrie A Series Game Camera – Best for Photos

Founded in 1980, Moultrie has consistently produced high-quality outdoors equipment, including trail cameras. The A Series Game Camera is the company’s most affordable product, and has a bunch of great features for the price.

Key Features

  • 12MP image sensor
  • 7-second trigger speed
  • 24 IR flash LEDs for night vision
  • 60-foot detection range
  • Supports up to 32GB SD card
  • 8 AA batteries

This camera can sense animals up to 60 feet away; that’s a great detection range for the price. Daytime photos and videos are of impressive quality, thanks to the 12MP image sensor. The Moultrie A Series game camera is powered by eight AA batteries, which gets you at least 17,000 images.

There are two things I don’t like about the A series. First, pictures taken at night tend to be grainy. The detection range is also lower compared to other game cameras in its class.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Low detection range
  • Grainy night photos

Conclusion

While this Moultrie game camera can take both photos and video, it does better with photos. We feel it would not be a good choice if you are planning to do a lot of video recording. We’ve got more Moultrie trail camera models here.

Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0

 

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5. Crenova Distianert DH-8 16MP 1080P HD Trail Camera – Best for All-weather Conditions

Here’s another great trail camera that goes for about $100. The Crenova Distianert DH-8 packs a lot of valuable features under its tough-looking, hard shell casing.

Key Features

  • 16MP image sensor
  • 1080P HD video resolution
  • 3-second trigger speed
  • 80-foot detection range
  • 42 advanced IR LEDs
  • 120-degree FIELD OF VIEW
  • Supports up to 32GB SD card
  • IP56 waterproof
  • 8 AA batteries

Equipped with 3 passive infrared sensors, the Crenova Distianert DH-8 can detect and capture pictures while saving power. With 42 high-tech infrared LEDs, the camera allows you to capture great nighttime images and videos. 850nm invisible infrared technology adds to the clarity of nighttime pictures. Its active sensors allow it to perform exceptionally well in virtually any weather condition, including snow, freezing temperatures, and wind.

Another great attribute of the Crenova Distianert DH-8 is that it is IP56 water resistant, and can withstand harsh conditions. The trail camera is powered by 8 AA batteries, which can last at least eight months when the camera is in standby mode.

The only negative attribute of the Crenova Distianert DH-8 is that despite being a compact trail camera, it is considerably heavy, which may affect portability.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Great photo and video quality
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Heavy for its size

Conclusion

The Distianert Trail Camera 16MP 1080P Trail Camera is a great selection for its spectacular photos and high-quality video with crystal clear sound. It is heavier than others in its class, but that’s not really a deal breaker.

Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0

 

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6. Foxelli 12MP Trail Camera – All-purpose Model

Foxelli is a relatively new company on the trail camera market. Nonetheless, their trail cameras still deliver impressive results…and this 12-megapixel model is no exception.

Key Features

  • 4-inch LCD display
  • 12 MP image sensor
  • 5-second trigger speed
  • 42 no-glow IR LEDs for night vision
  • 65-foot detection range
  • 120-degree field of view
  • Supports up to 32GB SD card
  • 8, AA batteries

With a 12MP image sensor, the Foxelli Trail Camera produces excellent quality photos. It also delivers video in full HD resolution and captures nighttime photos with the help of 42 no-glow infrared LEDs.

The lens boasts a 120-degree field of view and comes with a 2.4-inch color display screen. It also comes with a well-designed, IP65 waterproof casing. The major downside is that it can’t detect motion beyond 65 feet, which is short compared to other models in its class.

Pros

  • High-quality photos and videos
  • Great features and specs for the price

Cons

  • Detection range could be better
  • No external power source capability

Conclusion

With all of its great functions and features, Foxelli is a great pick for anyone looking for a versatile trail camera on a tight budget. You can configure it any way you desire, and use it the way you want to. It’s user-friendly, but not without a few downsides.

Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0

 

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7. XIKEZAN 1080P HD Trail Camera – Best for Large Detection Area

Here’s another one of the best inexpensive trail cameras with most of the features you would want to see on a trail camera.

Key Features

  • 12MP image sensor
  • 1080P HD video resolution
  • 50-foot detection range
  • 2 to 1.0-second trigger speed
  • 4-inch display and setup screen
  • 120-degree field of view
  • JPEG, AVI display format
  • Supports up to 32GB SDHC card
  • 4-8 AA batteries
  • CE RoHS security authentication

With 12MP image sensor and 1080P video resolution, this XIKEZAN trail camera takes high-quality photos and videos in black and white. Moreover, the 0.2 to 1.0-second trigger speed is one of the best you can get for the budget—although the inconsistency in trigger times is troubling.

The camera features a low-glow infrared LED flash and can detect subjects as far as 50 feet—not very impressive, in our opinion. It also offers two battery configurations. If you want to minimize the weight, you can use 4 AA batteries. For prolonged stays in the field, opt for 8. You can also utilize the camera’s 6V DC power port.

The XIKEZAN trail camera is made of hardwearing and lightweight plastic. It can withstand cold or hot temperatures as well as wet weather.

Despite the great attributes, there a couple of annoying problems with this model. You have to really struggle to remove the SD card, and the LEDs are so bright that they might scare off your target when taking pictures or video.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Long battery life
  • Quality pictures and videos
  • Images stamped with the date, temperature, and moon phase

Cons

  • Short detection and flash range
  • Inconsistent trigger speed
  • SD card hard to remove
  • Infrared LEDs overly bright

Conclusion

Save for the few flaws, the XIKEZAN is a decent trail camera, and you should absolutely consider it in your search for the best budget trail camera. It’s fast, easy to set up, has a variety of menu options, boasts great battery life, and takes excellent photos and video.

Overall Rating: 4.1/5.0

 

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8. X-Lounger 1080P 12MP Game Trail Camera – Best for Beginners

If you are looking for a beginner-friendly trail camera, this sturdy-yet-simple X-Lounger unit could be an ideal choice.

Key Features

  • 4-inch LCD display
  • 12MP image sensor
  • 1080P HD video resolution
  • 5-second trigger speed
  • 85-foot daytime detection range
  • 65-foot daytime detection range
  • 24 black IR LEDs
  • Supports up to 32GB SD/SDHC card

This trail camera is easy to set up, even for a beginner. It boasts durable build quality and is loaded with features that are found in trail cams that go for double the price.

With a 12-megapixel camera and 1080P video resolution, you’ll get excellent quality photos and videos for the price. The 2.4-inch display screen allows for easy setup. You can also view videos and pictures in situ – you don’t have to transfer to your PC or other device.

This X-Lounger trail camera can capture pictures and videos within 0.5 seconds of sensing the presence of an animal—quite impressive for such an affordable trail camera. Moreover, the camera can detect subjects up to 85 feet away during the day and 65 feet at night…and this latter statistic is the one troubling feature of this camera.

We also love the fact that this camera comes with a tree strap and wall-mounting bracket.

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Durable construction
  • Great quality pictures for the price

Cons

  • Reduced detection range at night

Conclusion

The X-Lounger is a solid choice for anyone looking to get started with trail cameras and doesn’t want to make a huge investment. It has a variety of adjustable options so you can configure picture and video modes based on your specific needs.

Overall Rating: 4.0/5.0

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How to Choose the Best Budget Trail Camera

There are several things to look out for when shopping for the best affordable trail camera. This guide will help you choose a budget trail camera with the right features for your needs. If and when you have more dough to blow, do check out our top recommended trail cameras.

Trigger Speed

Trail cameras don’t capture images continuously; they only start recording when they sense movement. Hence, it’s imperative that it gets activated quickly after detecting animal movement. Ergo… choose a camera with a faster trigger speed.

Detection Range

It’s important to choose a camera that can detect movement from a considerable distance. This gives you a higher chance of catching images of your target. Moreover, you can mount your camera further away, minimizing the risk of spooking the animals.

Picture Quality

You want a trail camera that delivers good quality images. A camera’s megapixel count is one of the major factors that determine picture quality.

Another major factor is the quality of the lens. You are better off choosing a 10-megapixel camera with a good quality lens over a 15-megapixel unit with a substandard lens.

Night Vision

Most wild animals are active at night. Therefore, it’s a good idea to invest in a trail camera that can function effectively at night. Before you purchase a trail camera, find out how it illuminates the environment. While a white flash produces clearer images, they scare the animals away. Consider choosing a camera with infrared glow or no-glow flash, as it has a minimal chance of scaring off your prey.

Battery Life and Storage Capacity

You want to go for as long as possible without touching your trail camera, and you don’t want to interfere with the animals’ behavior by frequently entering their habitat. However, you’ll always need to touch the camera when replacing the batteries or the SD card. To avoid this, consider choosing a unit with longer battery life and high storage capacity.

WiFi or Data Connection

This is definitely a premium feature. It allows you to access the camera remotely from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. It’s a great feature to have, and we have our favorite models here. However, if you’re able to find it in a camera that costs less than $200, then consider it a steal.

Final Thoughts

Anyone of these budget trail cameras will deliver impressive results in both day time and nighttime recording. They feature great trigger speed, detection range, image quality, and battery life for the budget. The Campark 14MP 1080P Wildlife Camera, however, is especially a great choice for anyone looking for a high-performance budget camera. It is one of the easiest to set up and use, the price is right, and with its fast trigger speed and external power source capability, the Campark will give you the most bang for your buck, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie.

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