A game camera is used to discreetly capture images of animals that roam around and pass through your hunting area even if you are not around. It will help you study your area with regards to the type of animals that pass through, their sexes, the time they roam around, and other relevant information that can help you with your hunting. Important features you need to consider when buying a game camera include date and time settings, infrared coverage, resolution, trigger time, flash, memory, and other important innovations.
Buying a game camera takes a lot of considerations. Before making your purchase, you will need to know its brand, price, and features. A game camera is crucial to making your hunting successful, so you need to choose one that has the important characteristics of a good game camera. Here are the top features you need to look for:
Date and time settings
One of the most important features to consider when buying a game camera is its date and time settings. One reason you are getting this type of camera is to know what animals roam through the area and at what time. It is very important to check on this basic feature before getting a game camera. Some will also give you more information that may be useful to you, such as temperature and moon phase.
A game camera’s scope and ability to sense an animal passing in front of it is known as passive infrared range (PIR). It is important that you choose a camera with wider PIR so that an animal does not necessarily need to be at the center of the camera to be captured. There are game cameras with up to 180 degrees PIR angle that allows image capture of animals that pass anywhere in front of it, as well as those fast-moving animals. Furthermore, choose a game camera that can detect and capture animals at the farthest distance you wish to cover. A game camera’s site range can vary from thirty to more than one hundred feet from the camera.
Resolution is the image size produced by your camera and is expressed in megapixels. If your camera has larger megapixel, its image is also larger. Many people prefer cameras with higher resolution. Since all components remain the same, image quality is higher with larger resolution. However, you also need to consider that large image sizes take up more memory space. If your memory is limited, you might want to purchase a game camera with lower resolution without sacrificing too much on the quality that you need from your photos. This is especially fine if you mostly view captured images from your computer screen and you do not print many pictures. Otherwise, you can purchase a camera with higher resolution and have greater flexibility. For example, a 10-megapixel camera can let you choose between 3, 5, 7, and 10 megapixel resolution.
To capture more and better images of animals, it is also important to consider the trigger time of a game camera. Trigger time is the small period of time from the moment a motion is detected by the camera until the image is captured. The shorter the trigger time the better, especially when faster animals pass by.
Unlike the flash of a day-to-day camera, the one used by a game camera must not disturb the animals. Game cameras use either incandescent flash or black flash. Black flash refers to the infrared flash (IR) which does not emit any light that may spook the animals. Although using incandescent flash tends to perform a lot better than IR flash, many hunters prefer using the latter since animals cannot see or notice the IR flash. Plus, it consumes lesser battery power and it fires more quickly than an incandescent flash. Currently, some high-end game cameras integrate both types of flash allowing you to switch from using an incandescent flash to an IR flash.
When looking at the camera’s flash, you also need to consider its range. Effective range of flash is said to vary from 10 to 50 feet or more. Make sure that the flash range of your chosen camera will work for your hunting area needs.
Internal memory of most game cameras are usually very limited. However, these cameras typically allow external memory cards for greater image storage capacity. Most of these cameras come with memory cards as part of the package. SD cards are commonly used. So are Compact flash cards. Both are available in different memory capacities. When separately purchasing a memory card, make sure you consider your camera resolution as well as the estimated number of images you wish to store in your memory card.
Other important innovations
There may also be other innovations of game cameras you may find appealing. Other characteristics include security features to protect your camera from being stolen by other hunters or destroyed by animals, an external LCD to let you view the number of images that have been captured and other relevant statistics, video capability, and wireless capability that lets you view captured shots off the site.