Is It Even Worth It To Buy a Good Trail Cam?

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Figured I was safe buying a moderately priced Cabelas brand trail camera. It took really great pics and I was very happy with it. For the six or so months that it worked. OK, Cabelas has a one year warranty which they honored with no problem. Second camera lasted 18 months.
Now, granted, this wasn't a 2 or 3 hundred dollar camera but 6 and 18 months repectively? Come on! So now I need a new cam and I'm wondering if I should just get a couple of $50 Dick's specials and plan on replacing them yearly.
 

pupchow

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My comparatively spendy Bushnell has been without fault for years now, AFTER I began using quality memory cards (SanDisk Ultra) in it. While it may not have the quickest trigger, it runs for months and months on one set of batteries. After having gone through a couple of budget cams, I've sworn them off.
 
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Take a look at the covert mp8 cameras. I love mine and have used them for a few years now. Battery life is amazing. I had a camera get water in it to a defective gasket. Called up covert and they had one shipped out next day with a return lable for defective camera
 

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I just bought 2 of the covert code black cameras my first game camerea purchase, i also bought 2 200lb feeders but thats another story.

As far as the cameras, there wireless so i can view them from anywhere. The picture quality of these cameras is amazing. I am alittle dissipointed with the nightvision. But i think my expectations were too high.they ll work great as game cameras. I just thought they may have a broader use as security cameras..
I sure hope the next versions will be amble to communicate with each other so as to be able to share thier IR capibilties....

I have an 18 camera security system with like 12 150 led floodlights. When there Is snow to reflect the IR it is daytime as far as my cameras are concerned.. the game cameras might be better if i try to use them closer to the object to be photographed... at 90' you couldnt ID a person... but youll probily be able to id a deer. So my expectations were too high for a purpose they where not advertise for.. i going to be looking if i can buy some ir floodlights that are like the ones in the camera that cant be seen by the naked eye..my other ir floodlights are more of a deterrent which i wont want when using the game cameras for game..
 
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Trigger speed is key. If it's slow, you'll get either an ass shot or nothing. Angle the cam where the deer just don't walk across it, they walk into it and away from it.

Nothing wrong with a cheap camera, as long as you put down something they can nibble on, you'll get lots of pictures .
 
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It is possible to get multiple seasons out of a game camera, if you are careful with batteries and keep the seal clean and lubricated. Most of the lock boxes also provide extra rain protection.

i going to be looking if i can buy some ir floodlights that are like the ones in the camera that cant be seen by the naked eye..my other ir floodlights are more of a deterrent which i wont want when using the game cameras for game..
Not all cameras are sensitive to all wavelengths of IR, so the trick is to match the IR lighting to the camera.

Most common are 730/805-850/940-950nm, and cheaper lights will emit more light closer to 700nm, so more visible red light. You can get a 850nm 30mm IR bypass filter, but if your camera isn't sensitive in that range, it won't improve your pictures.
 
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I've had really good luck with my Moultrie 990i's. They're Gen 1's so this will be my fourth season with them out. The Gen II's have received even better reviews.

I also have a few of the Moultrie 150i's however find the picture quality to be lacking when compared to the 990's.

Fitz
 
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Depends what you're expecting for the money you spend, I personally think the $80-$120 cameras do all we need them to do. Alot of times I'll use mine for coyotes so I spend a little extra for the black LED's, which i've found they canno't see as well like they do the red.

As someone mentioned above the batteries and memory card are often overlooked and cause problems in $50 cameras and in $300 camera's. COLD weather lithium batteries won't fail you, if you're missing pics at night and wonder why investigate this. I've had alklines dwindle down to literally no power at night, then I come check the camera mid day and the batter shows as full after it sat in the sun all morning. The also have memory cards that are rated for subzero temperatures. Something to consider.
 
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It's my first year with it, but I like my StealthCam G42. Takes pretty decent pictures. I might supplement it with the Cabela's cam mentioned earlier. Both are in the $100 range.
STC_0197.jpgSTC_0033.jpg

I did a TON of testing with it before I put it in the woods and GOOD LITHIUM BATTERIES ARE A MUST. The performance with versus without is night and day. Don't use rechargeable batteries, either. They just don't work right in these cams IME.
 
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I've been using a cabelas cam for about 3-4 years now. Only issue is the video function doesn't work any more and that happened after being out in one of the last cold winters we had. I think its time for a new one though anyways. Most likely will be getting the new cabelas 20MP black IR...$200
 
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Iv had great luck actually with my cheap tasco cams I leave on public land. Think I paid $30 for them and they take decent pics
 
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OP here with a little egg on my face. Turns out the problem was just a bad SD card so my Cabelas cam is still chugging along. I'm glad I posted though because I learned a lot from your responses and will be looking to add one or two of the cams mentioned to my AO.
Thanks
 
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Yea it's not worth it. I've had good luck with the Bushnell cameras they sell at wally world. I tried the Moultree cams they sell to but they always seemed to have a lot of pictures of nothing. No matter what direction they faced, night or day. Maybe the trigger speed was too slow and whatever had come by had already moved on. Not sure. But they've not been so hot for me.
 
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I was walking with my dog Sunday in the small patch of woods across the street. I spotted a tree stand and a game cam. I wish I could see the look on the guy's face when he pulls the pics and see a Jack Russell terrier looking in the lens. [smile]
 
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I had a bunch of cams. But they became a hassle to retrieve the cards and refresh batteries so I could look at 100 pictures of the same deer over and over again. I stopped using them last year. Just find sign and hunt. So far my luck is no different without them and already tagged 1 deer on Saturday.
 
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