If you're in the market for a trail camera but are working with a tight budget, there are still plenty of options available to you. We will be highlighting some of the best trail cameras that you can purchase for under $100. These cameras offer a range of features and capabilities, making them suitable for a variety of uses, including hunting, wildlife monitoring, and property surveillance. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or a nature enthusiast, these trail cameras offer a cost-effective way to capture high-quality photos and videos of the outdoors.
How We Chose The Best Trail Camera Under $100
Some trail camera users believe that a camera that is relatively inexpensive is not as good as more expensive models. We, however, beg to differ. Even when they are on the cheaper end of the price spectrum, the vast majority of trail cameras never compromise on quality.
We examine the video recording quality, detection range, trigger speed, and other features of some low-priced trail cameras and compare them to those of more expensive models. Our selection of these 8 trail cameras as the best you can buy for less than $100 is based on their overall performance.
If you're put off by the price tag, just wait until you see the quality and performance of these trail cameras in action. They will direct you toward the best trail camera under $100 that fits your needs.
The Best Trail Cameras Under $100
The best game cams with a more decent price tag include:
Camojojo Trace Trail Camera
Trigger speed: 0.02 seconds
Detection range: 80 feet
Video quality: 1080P
Special feature: Video Live streaming
With the price under $100, Camojojo trace is one of the best cellular trail cameras for the money,. The cell trail camera stands out due to its many convenient features, such as the ability to play videos instantly, without the need for HD, and the ability to stream live footage from your phone.
The camera has a built-in SIM card that primarily works with AT&T and can be used with their cheap data plans to play unlimited video and photos for just $11.99. It also has a 32GB built-in memory card that provides adequate storage to save recorded footage without purchasing an external memory card.
Other than the Camojojo trail camera having an industry-leading trigger speed of 0.02 seconds, it is also designed with static and maps in its application. This assists the hunter in categorizing recorded media according to their preference and being able to map out key points around their hunting area for easier data collection.
Out of the many trail cameras I have used, Camojojo Trace LTE stands out above the rest for its ease of setting up and use. It also has a long detection range of 65ft with a low glow LED flash, ensuring image clarity even at night.
Their app has a lot of options, and the settings can be quite specific, but they can be difficult to understand if you're just starting out.
Campark TCO3 Low Glow Trail Camera
Trigger speed: 0.3 seconds
Detection range: 65 foot
Picture and video quality: 32 MP / 4k
Special feature: Low glow flash
The next camera that offers quality and affordability is Campark TC03 4K 32MP Low Glow Trail Camera, which costs $59.99. The trail camera has a 32 MP camera with an image sensor to provide clearer and smoother 4K videos. It also has been designed with an optimized motion sensor with a 0.3-second trigger, so it doesn't miss a shot. Though it is slightly slower than the Camojojo's motion sensor, it gets the job done.
The trail camera has a hybrid design that supports two power sources. You can choose to use an external power source or batteries. If you need a camera that has advanced ultra-infrared night vision, this camera will be the right pick for you as it allows a flash range of up to 65ft.
Besides the camera being able to capture 4K clear videos, it has a wide detection range of 1200, which gives the user a wider range. This range can record wildlife action of 100ft during the day and 65ft during the night.
Since it is not a cell cam, a user will have to manually retrieve an SD card to get the captured images and videos. Once it is also set on the max resolution, you will experience a significant battery drain that will make you replace them sooner than you planned.
Moultrie Mobile Delta Base Cellular Trail Camera
Trigger speed: 0.75 seconds
Picture and video resolution: 24 MP pictures / HD video
Detection range: 80 feet
Special features: Unlimited cloud storage
This trail camera will help you to stop guessing what species it captured through its advanced species recognition software that scans every image it takes. This technology allows the hunter to get notifications of the images they want on their connected device.
The Moultrie cell cam costs $59.98, an affordable price for a 24MP resolution camera with a 0.75-second trigger action that can capture footage from 80ft. The Moultrie mobile application also offers an array of features, such as activity charting and interactive maps, with a simple user interface.
The cell tail camera has a cell boost antenna giving the device a stronger mobile signal. This comes in handy when operating in remote areas with low cell service. Users also have unlimited cloud storage with free access to their images even after a subscription cancellation.
The cell cam lacks a built-in SD card to store the captured footage. Despite providing an option for an external SD slot, some users have experienced incompatibility issues.
Trigger speed: -1 second
Picture and video quality: 20 MP / 1080P
Detection range: 80 feet
Special feature: 6+ months battery life
The Bushnell Cellucore Cellular Trail Camera will cost you 89.99 only, putting it among the best cell cams under $100 in the market. Besides its ease on the wallet, the trail cam's ease of setup and use makes it stand out.
The trail camera can capture crystal clear images through its 20MP lens with a night range of 80ft. It also has a sub-1 second trigger action fast enough to capture images and record footage. The company offers a two-year warranty on the product, which is a testament that it is made from durable, weather-resistant materials.
The cellular is connected by Verizon and AT&T networks and is strong in most areas in the United States, with data plans beginning from $10 based on usage. You can also access the cell cam application with multiple features such as convenient image sorting and Weather data image tagging.
Though I was able to get high-quality videos, Bushnell Cellucore has a limitation of up to 30 seconds at a go. You will also have to install an SD card to provide storage; the maximum capacity is 32GB.
Apeman Wildlife Camera H70
Trigger speed: 0.2 seconds
Detection range: 65 feet
Picture and video quality: 30 megapixels picture and 4K
Special feature: IP66 waterproof design
The Apeman H70 trail camera is an updated version of the H60 version that offers more advanced features than its predecessor. You will get 30MP as the highest phot pixel, up from the 20MP from the two earlier versions. The maximum video quality is also 4K giving you better video clarity during the day and night.
The trail camera has a trigger speed of 0.2 seconds, achieved through its impressive faster trigger seed of the central PIR sensor. It also has 40 pieces of low-glow IR LEDs that allow illumination up to 65ft helping to capture high-definition black and white wildlife in the dark, all at $67.99.
The trail camera's special feature that makes it stand out is its 2-inch LCD screen with a user interface for easier setup and instant viewing of captured footage. It also has a time-lapse function that allows it to capture multiple interval pictures that can be presented in a video.
There are compatibility problems that may arise from using an external memory card. The best option to avoid this problem is to use a class 10 SD card, preferably a SanDisk brand. The camera angle for the Apeman H70 trail camera is 600, which is a step back from its predecessor, which had a wider angle of 116 degrees.
Stealth Cam Browtine
Trigger speed: 0.8 seconds
Detection range: 60 feet
Picture and video quality: 16 MP and 480p
Special feature: Burst mode captures more detailed images
The Stealth Cam Browtine is a 16MP trail camera that stands out from the lineup of stealth cameras. Though it is only $48.30, it is loaded with many specs, with its best-seller being the time-lapse feature. The camera has a 60ft infrared detection range and a burst mode that can capture detailed information about the targeted area.
You can set the camera to capture high-resolution images of 480p, which offers 30 frames per second. It also has a relatively fast trigger speed that can detect motion and capture footage within the speed of 0.8 seconds.
The custom programming available for the trail camera is relatively simple, as it is easy to set up and operate. It also has a burst mode that simultaneously captures 1-3 images with a long detection range.
The camera can't capture high-definition images above 480 pixels. You will also have to acquire a memory card as it does not have internal storage. Some hunters have also reported having witnessed quite a bit of visible light from the IR LEDs, which can be able to scare away wildlife.
Wildgame Innovations Mirage 22
Trigger speed: 0.5 seconds
Detection range: 75 feet
Picture and video quality: 22 megapixels pictures and 720p
Special feature: 15-second video-playing feature
The Wildgame Innovation Mirage 22 is one of my favorites on this list, as it uses 36 high-intensity IR LEDs that assist in capturing high-quality images in the dark, and it can be yours for only $99.99. The camera can take 22MP clear images, and you can adjust the setting to either 10MP or 5MP. The changes in image and video quality can help you conserve battery power and store more footage.
The trail camera is designed with a 0.5-second trigger sensor and silent shield technology, making every action it makes silent. Since it is unnoticed by nature, it will ensure that the wildlife is not scared away.
The Wildgame Innovation Mirage 18 flash range is 80ft; this will ensure you capture game images from a longer distance, even at night. It can also be able to operate for one year or capture 30,000 images on a set of fresh batteries. The manufacturer also includes a set of batteries and an SD card upon purchase.
Adjusting the setting to a lower resolution will make the camera's lower-quality images that are blurry. Wildgame needs to work on its lower resolution settings to improve image clarity.
Bushnell by Primos Prime Trail Camera
Trigger speed: 0.3 seconds
Detection range: 80 feet
Picture and video quality: 24 megapixels, 1080p video
Special feature: temperature, time, and date stamp on pictures
At $79.98, this cellular trail camera is the last of the best trail cameras under $100. It provides clear footage at 20 MP and HD video quality. It allows you to see clearly the game animals in their natural habitat. It also has the ability to send and receive the footage fast; you can get it on your receiving device fast.
The Bushnell Trophy Trail camera has an 80-foot detection range that performs well both during the day and at night. The night vision is made even better with the low-glow feature that allows for night vision. The footage quality will drop a little because of the lower glow, but the pictures and videos you receive will be clear enough for you to see the animal's details.
It is also a cellular trail camera, currently accepting Verizon and AT&T. The stronger the Verizon network in the area you set this game camera up, the faster you will receive footage. You can get data plans for as low as $10, although the plan will depend on how much you use your trail camera. The 0.3-second trigger speed is also a point in this trail camera's favor.
The trail camera's rugged design is noteworthy as it allows it to withstand harsh weather throughout the year. Another thing worth mentioning is its low battery consumption, which can let you go for up to a month without recharging or changing. Its easy setup is also something to admire, as it is so simple even a novice trail camera user will not have a problem setting it up.
One of the biggest downsides I saw when using this trail cam was the spotty footage which ruined most of my night footage. The detection range also decreases to about 40 feet during the night, meaning you can miss out on a wider range of animals.
Before you settle for a particular trail camera to use this hunting season, there are a few things that you should consider before settling on a particular brand. Other than the cost being under $100, these are the features of a trail camera that I always consider.
Picture and Video Quality
The main purpose of getting a trail camera is to capture game footage so that you have a great hunting experience. Having the right camera ensures footage clarity both during the day and when there is low light. Picking a trail camera with a higher resolution will enable you to get crisp footage compared to a lower-resolution camera. Look for a camera with at least 5mp picture quality and 720p video resolution for the best quality.
Since a trail camera is designed to stay outdoors, it is important to have a strong build that resists all weather elements. You should consider talking to the customer care assistant to get information on their IP rating.
A brand such as Camojojo Trace LTE has an IP66 rating, which is significantly higher than other brands in the same price range; this ensures that the camera has one of the best moisture protection features. A trail camera with a rigid build will help you incur the additional cost of replacing it due to damage.
It is essential that you know the trail camera’s battery capacity before setting it into the wild. Since the cams spend most of their time in the wilderness, you need a brand that does not drain its battery fast, as you will incur enormous costs of replacing or recycling the batteries.
I prefer a trail camera that has a hybrid feature where it can draw power from different sources. Some manufacturers sell solar panels with the trail camera hence solving the power supply issue as it will be able to effectively function for a long time without frequent journeys to replace drained batteries.
Cellular Coverage Or Not
Trail camera technology has a long way since its inception. With improvement in technology, there is a significant improvement in the hunting experience. A cellular camera works the same as a normal trail camera but has an additional feature where it can send captured footage directly to the connected device.
The cell cams simplify the image and video retrieval process as you will not need to constantly go into the wilderness to take out the memory card from an ordinary trail camera. But if you prefer to have long walks in the woods and be more in touch with nature, then you would pick the latter.
Special Additional Features
While most trail cameras in the same price range have the same standard features, it will be in your best interest as a hunter to get a piece with additional perks. Some of the features that you should consider in your purchasing decision include GPS, weather monitoring, and species recognition.
Such features such as species recognition allow you to get a notification straight to your connected device when the camera identifies wildlife that you have an interest in. other bonus perks that might come in handy when settling for a trail camera include a time-lapse feature that enables you to get video quickly that shows what happens in a certain period.
What is a detection range?
Trail cameras rely on motion sensors to start capturing pictures or taking videos. They, therefore, have a detection range that triggers the trail camera to turn on once an animal comes within that range. The detection zone on most game cameras ranges from 40-100 feet. That means if an animal comes within 40 feet of the trail camera, for a trail camera with a 40-foot detection range, it will bring the game camera to life and start taking pictures or recording videos.
How do cellular trail cameras work?
There are two types of trail cameras, cellular trail cameras, and WiFi trail cameras. Cellular trail cameras depend on cellular networks for them to send footage to the receiving device. They work like regular mobile phones as they require SIM cards set up with the strongest cell service provider. For example, the Camojojo Trace LTE comes with an inbuilt SIM card that supports Verizon. This means that if the trail camera is set up and connected to Verizon, it will send the pictures and videos it records to your receiving device, allowing you to see whatever it captures.
How can I get my footage from a cellular trail camera?
There are many ways to access your footage. Most trail cameras have an SD card or an SD card slot that stores the footage it records. You can use this SD card as you would any other, downloading the footage to a different device. The Trace LTE camera has an inbuilt 32 GB SD card that does this.
However, there is a faster way to get footage from a cellular trail camera without you having to physically remove the SD card. Since cellular game cams rely on service providers, all you have to do is buy a data plan. The trail camera will use the network provided to send the footage to your receiving device. You can then access the footage from there. The Trace LTE also has a live stream option that lets you view the footage as it is getting recorded, a faster way to see your footage.
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