2015 Trail Camera Test

2015 Trail Camera Test

TrailCams


Few products have changed how we hunt, particularly whitetail deer, the way the trail camera has. Trail cameras allow us to scout 24/7, evaluate the age and trophy quality of the animals we are hunting, and help us pattern specific animals.


Our test evaluated the cameras in five key areas: speed, resolution, noise/light signature, ergonomics and features. Since some of a trail camera's most important work happens at night, we tested the units in both daylight and darkness. While we like these tests to be all-inclusive, the simple matter is, there are too many cameras out there to test for one article. So we gathered up the units that offered the widest range of features and got to testing.

NOISE & LIGHT SIGNATURE


A camera that emits an audible or visible signature can spook game, which is a bad thing. You can't photograph game that has run away, and a really smart animal may decide to avoid the area altogether for a few days afterward. We took each unit into a pitch-dark room and activated the motion sensors while looking directly into the camera. We graded each unit based on lack of sound and light signature that was emitted while a photo was being taken.

MOTION SENSITIVITY

Each camera was placed int eh same location, and the test subject walked perpendicular to the camera at a distance of 30 feet. A consistent walking pace was used to determine how fast each unit responded to the motion and took a photo. Each camera was set to maximum sensitivity.

NIGHT RESOLUTION

The same setup was used to test the resolution at night, in a wooded area with almost no illumination. We wanted to test not only quality of the cameras' optics, but also the effectiveness of the infrared illuminators. This test is what separated the men from the boys.

RESOLUTION

A facsimile of the USAF 1951 test target was placed at ground level, 10 yards from a mounting point. The testing took place in a shady area to prevent any washing out of the image by direct sunlight. Each camera was set to maximum resolution and placed facing the target. The test results can be seen below.

Kodiak | Series Cameras

Kodiak day test

Kodiak night test

Bushnell | Trophy Cam HD Agressor

Bushnell day test

Bushnell night test

Wildgame | Buck Commander Nano 20

Wildgame day test

Wildgame night test

Minox | DTC 400

Minox day test

Minox night test

Stealth Cam | G42NG

Stealth day test

Stealth day test

To see the comprehensive results of our test, including which camera nearly got a perfect score, pick up the November issue of Petersen's Hunting.

Recommended for You

North America

Big-Game Adventure Beckons in Quebec

Lynn Burkhead

Whether you're pursuing black bears, moose or whitetails, Quebec will put you on the right...

Clothing

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

SHOT Show

HUNTING's Booth Babes of SHOT Show 2014

David Draper - January 21, 2014

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 16: Cedar Break Bucks

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

Recipes

8 Best Venison Marinades

Hank Shaw - August 20, 2013

Perhaps the most common question I get about cooking venison is what marinades I use the most.

Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw - July 24, 2013

A thick venison steak, grilled to a turn and flavored only with fire and salt, is quite...

See More Stories

More Accessories

Accessories

Air & Ground: Best New Treestand and Ground Blinds

PH Online Editors - January 19, 2018

Primos Double Bull SurroundView Ground Blind (Lynn Burkhead photo) Here are a few of the...

Accessories

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

PH Online Editors - November 06, 2017

Here are some great gift ideas for the hunter on your shopping list. It's never too early to...

Accessories

Next In Line: What's New From Browning Trail Cameras?

PH Online Editors - January 19, 2018

Tom Rainey shares some of the latest product offerings from Browning Trail Cameras. For...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×