Photographing or filming wildlife is both a pleasure and a frustration! Wildlife trail cameras are great at capturing images of wildlife, without the need for a human to be present to start filming or take the photo.
The benefit of a trail camera is that you get film or photos of animals as they naturally are, rather than photos of startled or shy wildlife.
Wildlife trail camera are hidden from view and are put near to places where wildlife regularly goes. It could be well established paths, nesting sites, or to capture views of wildlife in your own back garden.
How do Trail Cameras Work?
Wildlife trail camera detect when an animal is near, which then triggers it to start filming or snap a photo. It does this by detecting heat and motion.
What to Look for in a Wildlife Trail Camera
The main points to look for when choosing a trail camera are:
Detection Zone – how large, in depth and width, is the area that triggers that camera into film or photo?
Trigger and Recovery Speed – how quickly after detection is the camera triggered into film or photo mode? Then, once finished, how soon is it ready to take a second photo or film?
Battery Life – how long will the batteries last before needing to be recharged. Longer lasting batteries are better for camera that are places in less accessible locations, and you also don’t want to disturb the wildlife you are trying to see by regularly disturbing remote trails.
If you are using a wildlife camera in your garden or close by, long battery life may not be as important. However, continually having to recharge and replace is inconvenient, so it makes sense to look for long lasting batteries.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good wildlife trail camera. There are many models suited to the educated amateur, that give brilliant results.
If you are looking to get started with your first wildlife trail camera, or perhaps want to upgrade on a budget, here are the best trail cameras under £50.
1. Campark Mini Wildlife Camera
This smaller than average trail camera makes it easier to place discretely, yet it still performs to a high standard that matches larger cameras.
At a Glance Stats:
- Wide angle lens, 120°
- 65ft / 20m depth detection zone
- 1080p video
- 12 MP camera
- Colour during day, black and white at night
- Takes a standard SD card (not included)
- Requires AA batteries
For a wildlife trail camera under £50, this one by Campark does a superb job. It brings clean and sharp images during the day and night.
When the light levels get low, such as evening and night, this camera automatically switches to infrared mode for night photography and filming.
It takes an SD card, from which you can download your images and film, and there is a two inch LCD display screen so you can view your photos on the camera also.
One of the disadvantages of this trail cameras is that it requires AA batteries. It states that rechargeable batteries are not recommended, however some users report using them with no issues.
Check the latest price for Campark Wildlife Trail Camera.
2. Victure Mini Wildlife Trail Camera
Another superb pocket-sized wildlife camera, the Victure delivers top quality photo and filming for a low price tag.
At a Glance Stats:
- 1080p HD video
- 16 mega pixel camera
- Small size makes it easy to transport and hide in place
- 0.4 second trigger speed
- Sharp images with subject within 30 feet
- Interval Recording, Time-Lapse, Timer, Password Protection, Time Stamp
- Micro SD card (not included)
This Victure Trail Camera is highly portable and discreet. Small enough to hide in nesting spots, near bird boxes or to hide in a small space, this camera delivers good results on a budget.
The low glow infrared technology means the camera is unlikely to be noticed by wildlife.
View your photos and film on the LCD screen. Photos are stored on a micro SD card.
The smaller size also means that batteries last longer.
No specifications are shown as to the viewing angles or distances. It is obviously a satisfactory viewing angle judging by the great reviews, it is just odd that the specifications are not listed.
As this camera uses a micro SD card, you will need a suitable device or card adaptor to view it on.
This Victure trail camera is often priced around £30, and it would be hard to find a better value camera. Check the latest price.
3. Toguard Mini Wildlife Camera
This trail camera is easy to install and produces clear images of wildlife during the day and night.
At a Glance Stats:
- Full HD 1080P video
- 12MP photo
- 0.5 second trigger speed
- 120° wide angle lens
- 20 meter night vision
- 2 inch LCD viewing screen
- Low power consumption
- Easy to operate and install
- Standard SD card / micro SD card (not included)
One of the best things about this wildlife camera is that the default settings are already suited to most wildlife applications. That means you don’t have to waste time learning how all the setting work if you are not technically minded, or just impatient! Simply add batteries and you’re good to go!
The Toguard wildlife camera uses both an SD card, or a micro SD with adaptor. Maximum size is 32 GB, so there is plenty of storage.
It also comes with a free mounting belt so it can be wrapped around a post or tree, and also a wall mounting plate, as well as screws to put it up.
Four AA batteries are required to power this camera, but it can also support an external 6V power supply. That means it can be left in place for longer with access to power.
The SD card is well tucked in and a little fiddly to remove, but it is not really a deal-breaker.
Overall, this wildlife camera is great value for money. Check the latest price.
4. Usogood Wildlife Camera
A high resolution camera for the price, the Usogood wildlife trail camera opens up a window on wildlife in the garden or on location.
At a Glance Stats:
- High resolution 14MP camera
- 1080P video with sound. Colour during daytime, back and white at night.
- No glow night vision. Infrared operates in darkness so no chance of being spotted by wildlife.
- 20 metre night time range
- 2.4 inch LCD screen for viewing.
- 0.2 second trigger speed
- 90° angle lens
- Time lapse mode
- Long battery life: standby time is up to 6 months
- Takes a micro SD card (not included)
The Usogood Wildlife Camera is a great entry level camera for any keen wildlife watcher.
The 14MP camera produces sharp images both day and night, so the detail with this camera is really good.
Adding to the quality is the fast trigger speed. At just 0.2 seconds, it means that fast moving wildlife are captured clearly, without blurring.
It takes 8 AA batteries, and although that is a lot, it means it is long lasting. This is great if you want to put in a place where you don’t want to disturb wildlife by having to visit. It also can be used with a 6V external power supply.
One disadvantage of this wildlife camera is that the specifications do not say how far the detection distances are for the daytime. Night vision is 20 metre detection.
When you use it, it will involve a little trial and error to gauge daytime distance. When you actually get footage of animals coming into view, you will know what the detection distance is! Judging by the good reviews, this is not a major issue. However, it is annoying that an important detail is not published.
5. Coolife Wildlife Camera
One of the best wildlife cameras under £50, the Coolife camera has plenty of high spec features that helps you to get fantastic video and photos of wildlife. It also has the bonus of coming with a free 32GB SD card!
At a Glance Stats:
- 16 MP camera
- 1080P HD video with clear sound. Video frame rate up to 60 frames per second
- 0.2 second, fast shutter speed
- 90° lens angle for excellent visibility
- Can be used in temperatures from -20°C to 60°C
- 32 GB SD card included
This trail camera is tough! It can cope with harsh environments such as hot, cold or wet climates. Perfect for the British weather!
The fast trigger captures clear photos of moving wildlife, so you can enjoy quality images.
Another good thing about this wildlife camera is that is supports AV output. That means you can use an AV cable to see photos and video on a TV. This makes it great for those who are not used to using computers, such as some older people.
It is hard to find some disadvantages of this camera. It performs above standard for a wildlife camera under £50.
A wildlife camera is a great asset to anyone who wants to get a glimpse into the lives of animals, either out in the wild or in the garden. A hedgehog friendly garden means you are likely to see some hedgehog action, and depending on where you live you might see foxes, rabbits and badgers too, as well as cats.
Trail cameras also make good security cameras that enable you to discretely film or photo any intruders that enter your garden.
Have you captured any good images with a wildlife trail camera? Please share your experiences and recommendations below!