Are you looking for an affordable trail camera that works well but doesn’t break the bank? As technology improves, trail cameras are keeping pace and now offer better features at a reasonable and affordable price. From hunting and wildlife observation to security and surveillance, here are our reviews of the best trail cameras under $100.
|Campark T45 Trail Camera|
|TOGUARD H45 Trail Camera|
|Campark T70 Trail Camera|
|TEC.BEAN 12 MP 1080P HD Trail Camera|
|Foxelli Trail Camera|
Three Types of Trail Cameras
There are three main types of trail cameras. They are:
White Flash Trail Cameras
A white flash trail camera is very similar to a regular digital camera with flash. Useful for researchers or wildlife photographers, it will take color photos at night. It can also frighten wildlife.
Low Glow or Red Glow Trail Cameras
A low glow or red glow trail camera uses infrared transmitters to photograph in the dark. These have a faint red glow that can be seen when looking directly into the camera. They have been known to startle wildlife. They can be seen at night which limits their usefulness for security or surveillance work.
No Glow or Black Flash Trail Cameras
A no glow or black flash trail camera uses the latest in night vision flash technology. They are able to capture images without a visible flash. This makes them ideal for security and surveillance as well as wildlife observation.
Trail cameras come with a wide variety of features at a range of prices. From expensive to affordable trail cameras, you can pick the option that fits both your wallet and your needs.
Check out this video for more information on the different types of cameras and how to set them up:
Quick Tips for Using a Trail Camera
Always make sure to use the correct size SD card for your trail camera. For most cameras, the SD card must be purchased separately. Some use a standard size SD card, while others require a Micro-SD card. Check the maximum memory as well. Most can only support up to 32GB max.
Formatting the SD Card
Most trail cameras require you to format the SD card before inserting it in the trail camera. A few allow you to format a new card in the trail camera. Either way, the SD card needs to be formatted before use.
Basic SD Card Use
Always turn off the camera before inserting or removing the SD card.
Most trail cameras will stop recording new images or video once the SD card is full. They won’t overwrite old images. However, check the manual of your trail camera to make sure before use.
Trail Camera Battery Tips
Check your manual to determine the recommended type of batteries for your trail camera. Rechargeable batteries are not recommended for some cameras.
For the best experience, don’t mix old and new batteries.
Some cameras will not take night images if the batteries are low. The night vision LEDs draw more power than day images.
Improving Image Quality
Always check for and remove any plastic protective film over the camera lens before use.
Trail cameras are not designed to take photos through glass windows. The flash can reflect off the glass and obscure the image.
To avoid overexposure, mount the camera at least 1-2 meters off the ground and align it parallel to the ground. Or, install it higher and tilt the camera down to the desired area.
To prevent false triggers, trim brush or low hanging branches that obscure the viewing area.
Our Top Picks for the Best Trail Cameras Under $100
The best trail camera is easy to operate, budget-friendly and fits your needs. For general wildlife observation and monitoring the activity in an area, low glow trail cameras are a good option. For hunters or security and surveillance, a no glow trail camera is the better choice. Including both low glow and no glow trail cameras, here are our top picks for the best trail cameras under $100.
Campark T45 Trail Camera
The Campark T45 Trail Camera is a popular low glow trail camera. It takes 14MP images and full HD 1080P videos. For dark nights, it uses 42pcs infrared LEDs to take black and white night images without a bright flash. With 3 passive infrared sensors and a 0.3s trigger speed, it quickly detects and captures movement.
The Campark T45 uses a 120-degree wide angle lens for a wider detecting range with a detection distance of 20m (65ft). It has a 2.4” LCD screen. It’s waterproof and will operate on either 4 or 8 1.5V AA batteries. An external DC 6V power supply can also be used.
It uses a Class 10 32GB Micro-SD card (not included). The Micro-SD card must be formatted before use in the trail camera. The small size of the card makes it hard to handle and insert properly. Some customers said it goes through batteries quickly. For English speakers, change the camera menu language from Chinese to English.
- Low Glow trail camera
- 42pcs infrared LEDs
- 14MP images and full HD 1080P videos
- 3s Trigger Speed
- Detection distance: 20m (65ft)
- 120-degree wide angle lens
- 3 PIR
- 4” LCD screen
- Uses 4 or 8 1.5V AA batteries or external DC 6V power supply
- Uses Micro-SD card (not included)
- Drains batteries quickly
- Switch camera menu to English
TOGUARD H45 Trail Camera
The TOGUARD H45 Trail Camera is a low glow trail camera. It takes 14mp images and full HD 1080P videos with sound. Images are color in daylight and black and white at night.
It is motion activated with a fast 0.3s trigger speed and 3 PIR sensors to swiftly and efficiently capture movement with less power consumption. The 120 degree wide angle lens and 22m/75ft detection range provide a wide viewing area.
The TOGUARD H45 has a 2.4” TFT LCD Display that allows you to view and delete images without a computer. It requires a Micro-SD card (not included) and uses 8 1.5V AA batteries or can operate on a DC 6B 1.5A power supply. Rechargeable batteries are not recommended.
The batteries last longer when taking images and drain quickly when using video. If the batteries are low, the images and videos may appear black. Use higher quality batteries or change them frequently for night videos. To extend the battery life, switch to still images at night.
The TOGUARD H45 also has a Firmware Update that can be accessed at their website here: TOGUARD H45 Firmware Update.
- Low glow trail camera with 42PCS Infrared LEDs
- 14MP images with HD 1080P video w sound recording
- Motion Activated
- 3s trigger speed
- 3 PIR Sensors
- 120 degree wide angle lens
- 22m/75ft detection range
- 4” TFT LCD Display
- Uses 8 1.5V AA batteries or DC 6B 1.5A power supply
- Micro-SD card (not included)
- Lockable case sold seperately
- Mini-SD card hard to handle, insert and remove
- Batteries drain quickly when using video mode at night
Campark T70 Trail Camera
The Campark T70 Trail Camera is a no glow trail camera. With 44pcs LEDs night vision, this camera is ideal for security and surveillance as well as wildlife observation. It won’t startle animals or alert others to its presence at night.
It takes 14mp images and Full HD 1080P video with sound and produces color images in daylight and black and white at night. With a trigger speed of 0.5s, it has a 40-degree sensor detection angle and detection range of 20m /65ft. The 2.4” color LCD screen allows you to view images without a computer.
Waterproof, it uses a class 10 32GB SD card. Format the memory card in the camera menu when using a new SD card for the first time. It operates on 8 1/5V AA batteries or an external DC 6V 2.0A power supply.
It has multiple functions including a time stamp with date, temperature and moon phase. Camera settings include a timer, hybrid mode, interval recording, and Realtime replay.
While some settings are fairly intuitive, a thorough reading of the manual may be required to adjust the camera for optimum performance. The trigger is more sensitive in colder weather. When adjusting the settings, the buttons beep and music plays when the camera is turned on and off.
- No Glow trail camera
- 44pcs infrared LEDs night vision
- 14mp images and Full HD 1080P video with sound
- 5s Trigger speed
- 40-degree sensor detection angle
- 20m /65ft detection range
- 4” color LCD screen
- Uses 8 1/5V AA batteries or external DC 6V 2.0A power supply
- Class 10 32 GB SD card
- Timestamp with date, temperature and moon phase
- Multi-shot modes
- Experiment with settings to get clear images
- Trigger more sensitive in colder weather
- Beeps and music when adjusting camera settings
TEC.BEAN 12 MP 1080P HD Trail Camera
The TEC.BEAN 12 MP 1080P HD Trail Camera is a no glow trail camera. With 36pcs no-glow 940 nm IR LEDs Night Vision, it’s suitable for both security and surveillance as well as wildlife observation. It shoots 12MP images and Full HD 1080P videos and sound with color images in daylight and black and white at night.
The TEC.BEAN 12 MP 1080P HD Trail Camera has five capture modes including photo, video, camera + video, time lapse and motion detection. It has a trigger speed of 0.6s – 0.8s and a detection range of 23m/75ft.
The 2.0-inch color LCD Screen allows you to view images in the field without a computer. It’s password protected for security and has multiple functions including a time stamp with moon phase, temperature and GPS Geotag.
A 16g class 10 high-speed SD card (not included) is recommended. A 32GB SD card can also be used but may cause the shooting speed to be slightly slower. Waterproof, it uses 8 AA batteries or 12V DC external (not included). Unfortunately, Carbon Zinc, NI-MH AA batteries, and rechargeable batteries are not recommended.
Customers said that it goes through batteries quickly. To increase battery life, change the settings to lower image resolution and video length. Also, switch the camera to ON mode once set up. TEST mode uses more power, but ON mode will switch to a power saving mode after 15 seconds of no operation. Also, it won’t take night videos if the battery is too low.
- No Glow Trail Camera
- 36pcs no-glow 940 nm IR LEDs Night Vision
- 12MP images and Full HD 1080P videos and sound
- Five Capture Modes
- 6s -0.8s trigger speed
- 23m/75ft detection range
- Password protection
- 2.0-inch color LCD Screen
- Multi-functions: timestamp with moon phase, temperature, GPS Geotag
- Uses 8 AA batteries or 12V DC external (not included)
- Drains batteries quickly
- Rechargeable batteries are not recommended
- Will not take night videos if the battery is too low
Foxelli Trail Camera
The Foxelli Trail Camera is a popular no glow trail camera. It takes 12mp images and full HD 1080P videos with sound and produces color images in daylight and black and white at night. Motion activated, it has a 0.5 second trigger time. The detection range is 65 feet and uses a 120-degree wide angle lens for a wide field of view.
Equipped with 42 no glow IR LEDs, it is ideal for security and surveillance as well as wildlife observation. The invisible IR flash won’t scare off animals or alert others to its presence.
Easy to set up, it’s adjustable, too. You can adjust the sensitivity, image quality, and intervals, if desired, to increase capacity. An LCD screen allows you to easily review images and video without needing a computer.
It has extra features, as well, including a time stamp with temperature and moon phase and can be password protected so your images are secure.
The Foxelli Trail Camera uses 4 or 8 AA batteries. If using rechargeable batteries, use only 1.5V rechargeable batteries. The 1.2V rechargeable batteries do not provide enough voltage to power the camera.
It uses a MicroSD card (not included). Customers said the MicroSD card was hard to insert and remove. Being so small, the card was hard to handle and easy to drop (and lose) in the leaves. Some customers said the camouflage case faded over time and doesn’t match the trees as well as it did previously.
- No Glow night vision – 42 IR LEDs
- 12mp images and full HD 1080P videos with sound
- 120-degree wide angle lens
- 65-ft detection range
- 5 second trigger time
- Adjustable sensitivity
- Easy setup
- 4” LCD screen
- Uses MicroSD card (not included) up to 32 GB
- 4 or 8 AA batteries
- Extra features – time stamp with moon phase and temperature
- Password protection feature
- Micro-SD card hard to handle, insert and remove
- Camouflage case may fade over time
When choosing a trail camera, there are several options to consider. Would a low glow or no glow camera work best for your situation? Do you plan to take photos or video? If taking mostly video, more power is required and you may be changing batteries more frequently. What type of batteries do you wish to use: regular alkaline or rechargeable? Do you need extra features such as time stamps, password protection or different capture modes?
While all of these cameras work well, our top pick for the best trail cameras under $100 is the Campark T70 Trail Camera. It’s an affordable no glow camera that won’t startle wildlife or attract other attention at night. Useful for both wildlife observation and home security or surveillance, this camera does double duty.
With a fast trigger time and 65 feet detection range, it can capture activity both day and night. You can use 8 1/5V AA batteries or an external DC 6V 2.0A power supply. It’s easy to set up and adjustable with multiple functions including a time stamp with date, temperature and moon phase.
These are our top picks for the best trail cameras under $100. While all of these work well, the best trail camera is whichever one works best for your own situation.