Trail camera is more and more precise and sophisticated, allowing users to get spectacular shots of wildlife. It is also a useful device for hunters, used to observe the movements and behavior of animals day and night. Nature lovers also use it as an outdoor camera to observe flora and fauna. Others use trail cameras to monitor territory and even their home.
However, choosing the best trail camera under $100 is could be difficult if the goal is easily identifying the games in the wild. Because it is possible that the model is not strong enough and that it deteriorates under the effect of rain and wind. A battery quickly dies, often it will take you several hours to recharge.
If you’re looking for the best trail camera under 100 dollars, we’ve got you covered. Whatever your use of a trail or a surveillance camera, here you find all your needs.
Best Trail Camera under $100 in 2021
Trail cameras are specifically designed to be used remotely so the user can avoid disturbing wildlife. The problem is, there are so many models in the market and their quality is mixed. So it is not easy to compare them without having tried them first! We have tried and picked our favorite models under $100.
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1. Bushnell 119717CW Trophy Trail Camera – Our Top Pick
Our first choice is Bushnell 119717CW, you know that Bushnell is a trusted line of trail cameras from a USA company that has been producing outdoor and wildlife enthusiast products since 1948. This Trail camera is an economical choice that provides excellent night photography.
In the package, you will get the trail cam itself, a tree mounting strap, and an instruction booklet. It is a compendium of high performance for capturing images of animals outdoors, whatever the conditions. Its sensor has a range of 80 feet and its trigger speed is 0.3 s.
This sensitivity does not sacrifice image quality in any way: the resolution of photos can reach 20 megapixels, and that of videos is 720p. However, if you use the full resolution it’s going to take some space to store those images.
The menu bar is also great, you don’t need a degree to set it up.
Added to this, it has an automatic day and night sensor and a wide variety of adjustable parameters.
The assembly is solid and simple. It is also waterproof and reliable for tough weather. It built with 32 LED Night Vision flash, and will take up to a maximum of a 32 gigabyte SD card.
Please note that you are going to need eight AA batteries (can go up to 6 months) and a high-quality SD card of a decent size. It does not come with this package.
What users had to say about Bushnell Trophy 119717CW:
The following is a summary of the main pros and cons of the Bushnell Trophy 119717CW.
2. WingHome M6 Crystal Clear Night Vision Trail Camera
WingHome Professional trail camera equipped with LEICA M6 solution and Sony sensor, and can capture the best quality image and video even at night. It has 100° wide-angle view which provides a wider detection range to shoot distinctive and immersive videos and photos.
It comes with 6 high power low-glow IR LEDs and 4 adjustable IR flash modes so that you can adjust the flash settings to suit specific needs and optimize battery life. This unit also built with high-quality night-vision modes helping to achieve your preferred style of night-vision photos by easily adjusting the mode.
The trigger is super fast and catches all the deer and hogs coming and going from your game feeder. The built-in viewing screen with 3X zoom is a great feature and the images are crisp and colorful.
You can set it for how many photos you want to take every time, and how long of a video you would like.
The package contains camera, strap, USB cable, user manual, quick start guide. It also comes with 12 months warranty and lifetime customer service. Both the SD card and batteries are not included. It takes Normal Sized SD and Micro SD with Insert Adapter up to 32GB max.
Here is what users had to say after using WingHome trail cam:
A summary of pros and cons for the WingHome Trail Camera:
3. Campark T80 Trail Camera with Night Vision Motion
Campark T80 model is one of the best field of view trail cameras under 100 dollars on our list. It built-in WIFI function and App control, you can easily download the APP on your mobile phone and then connect with WIFI. However, the Wi-Fi range is 10 meters from inside the house and 12 meters from outside the house.
It is able to capture 20MP crystal clear images and 1296P video with super clear sound recording each time motion is detected of wild game. You can simply adjust the setting and check the photo /video on the phone directly. However, keep in mind that the T80 model is not a webcam, so the remote control has range limits.
This hunting camera produces detailed black and white night vision images and captures the moments of wildlife so that you will never miss a shot. Campark T80 can also be used with a solar power bank because it has a round charging interface at the bottom of the camera.
It comes with IP66 waterproof technology, and the sturdy case protects your device from rain and dust damage. It also works in tough environments like desert or tropical rain forests. Campark T80 with a threaded tripod and mounting strap, and it’s easy to install wherever the wildlife camera is headed.
The LEDs range is 65FT and controlled automatically, based on the light source available. You can set it to photo and video or just video or just picture. You can also customize how many photos to be taken before the video portion. However, it does not have an internal battery, it requires AA batteries.
What experience hunters had to say after using the Campark T80:
The following is a summary of the main pros and cons connected with Campark T80 Trail cam:
4. BZK ArmyGreen HD Waterproof Trail Game Camera
BZK ArmyGreen trail camera equipped with 20MP ultra-high pixels and 1080P HD video resolution, which provide photos and audible videos in unparalleled clarity. It comes with a 2.4-inch LED display, you can enjoy every exciting moment in the animal world.
It combined with 0.2S trigger speed, which captures high-speed moving objects easily. With 3 PIR sensors, this BZK hunting camera provides the motion detection range of up to 120°. It doesn’t make any sound when taking pictures, so don’t need to worry about scaring away animals. This cheap hunting camera also has a Mini USB connection on it.
It also equipped with 47 no-glow LEDs, which provide an amazing night vision distance of up to 20 meters, and able to captures the moments of wild animals silently. It can shoot very clear pictures even on the dark night, without the animal realizing it’s being documented. The BZK ArmyGreen wild camera is also the perfect choice for photographing birds and monitoring wildlife.
The high construction rugged case design with IP66 waterproof to ensure it will work properly in rain and dust. However, if you prefer to cover a larger area, for example, to secure your property, it is a little better suited.
What really think new user about BZK [New Version] trail camera:
The new hunting camera, introduced in 2021, has been upgraded with all configurations is based on user needs. Once you purchase this unit, you will enjoy a one-year warranty.
The following is a summary of the main pros and cons of the BZK [New Version]:
5. Wildgame Innovations WGICM0611 Micro Trail Camera
Wildgame innovation micro infrared hunting trail camera captures high-quality images and videos with improved visibility from a backlit LCD screen. The device is characterized by the excellent night image quality, to which its flash with a range of 20 meters contributes.
Its photos offer an image quality of 16 megapixels, and it is capable of producing videos having a rating of 1080 pixels. It built with magnetic ball mounting system that allows you to swivel your camera in any direction.
You just need 4 AA batteries and SD card. You are able to take up to 32 GB of images and videos.
With the trigger speed of less than 3/4 seconds, you can capture nighttime and daytime HD photos and 720p video. It has multi-layer dot matrix LCD for easy programming. HUNTSTAND APP integration to sort, and organize and analyze pics. HS interface is great for syncs your wild game images with the weather.
It is the most versatile hunting camera that you can buy for less than 100 dollars. It has taken hundreds of pictures without a single flaw and very user-friendly. In our editor’s opinion, anyone who looking for good quality, versatile camera at a reasonable cost, this is the one they can get.
Users’ feedback after using the Wildgame WGICM0611 trail camera:
Here is a closer look at more features and the Trail Camera pros and cons.
6. Victure HC400 130° Detection Waterproof Trail Camera
Victure HC400 built with 20MP and 1080P high resolution which provides you with images and audible videos in unparalleled clarity. It comes with unique fish eye lens and 130° wide-angle sensors which enable you to shoot and savor the full-frame field views of the wildlife.
This functional trail camera equipped with 850nm advanced infrared LED lights, can capture crisp black and white nighttime images quietly and longer and wider visibility range in the dark. There is an adjustable strap and a tripod socket, so you could mount the trail camera with your needs.
This hunting camera performs well even in the rainy season because it comes with waterproof rubber ring and weatherproof plastic case. With 3 sensitive sensors, Victure HC400 will be triggered swiftly and precisely in 0.4s without delay.
This trail camera also provides you long time service without losing anything. To ensure quality, it comes with 12-month warranty after the date of purchase.
It has easy-to-use 2.4″ LCD screen, comfortable keys, various mounting methods with multiple functions of 3 continuous shots, and the adjustable PIR sensitivity available, to provide you with a better user experience.
The light is not visible but the red LEDs are visible on the trail camera if one is looking at it.
What people are saying about Victure HC400:
Here is a closer look at some of its pros and cons.
7. Wildgame Innovations Cloak Pro 12 Invisible Trail Camera
Wildgame Innovations Cloak Pro trail camera comes with ready to use out of the box. It has 12 Megapixel lights out with batteries and 16GB SanDisk SD card. It is equipped with 36 piece high-intensity black LED IR flash.
The camera has both video & photo options, and the video quality is pretty good. It can take pics at night without any flash.
With this package, you will get a bear box for it so you can lock it up and make it harder to steal. It will also help conceal the camera. This trail camera takes color photos during the day, but bright and clear depending on conditions.
The Wildgame camera itself is about 8-9 inches tall and about 5-6 inches wide. It comes with two cords to attach to a tree however they are not very long. The trigger speed less than 1 second. It comes with 2 Bungie cords that go around the tree.
It will detect up to 65 ft at night with no lights or flash animals won’t see it or detect it completely silent and stealthy. There is no “switch”. But there is a power button inside the bottom panel. The design blends very well in the woods and allows you to view God’s Beauty without out in the Cold.
What users have to say about the Wildgame Cloak Pro 12:
Here is a closer look at the additional features, pros, and cons of the trail camera.
8. Browning BTC 5HD 850 Trail Camera – Ease of Use
This hunting camera has, through the patterns of its camouflage and its design, a military and futuristic character. I mainly love how easy this device is to set and use. The image quality is excellent and it works well during the difficult season. For the price, the Browning hunting camera could be a great choice.
The camera records its photos and videos to an SD card like a regular digital camera, so access to the internet is not needed. Intended for more outdoor use, it has a robust construction, is waterproof and does not allow dust to infiltrate. It automatically detects the change from day to night and adapts accordingly.
The study of its characteristics will show that it fully meets what is required of such a device. There is no noticeable flash when this camera triggers. SD card has a great location on the side and is easy to remove. The range can extend up to about 20 meters and image capture is then triggered in 0.4 seconds.
This is an all-around hunting camera that’s good at everything but not great at anything.
The battery life is very good though especially in picture mode and will last more than 3 months. The night shots are great, actually some of the best. Overall, the great camera takes good pics doesn’t spook the deer.
What past users have to say after using the Browning BTC 5HD 850:
Here is a summary of the main pros and cons of Browning BTC 5HD 850:
9. Meidase Game IP66 Waterproof Wildlife Trail Camera
Meidase trail game camera captures 20 Megapixel crystal pictures and full HD 1080P videos with sound recording features that are difficult to find in the same price range. These are great at taking pictures of what is going on. The pictures are also clear and easy to see on the built-in screen. They are easy to camouflage if necessary.
This hunting camera equipped with 38pcs upgraded no glow 940nm infrared LEDs, and night vision flash which goes up to 65ft. It comes with 3 passive infrared sensors, motion-activated technologies, detect games in incredible 0.2s~0.6s. The trigger distances up to 82ft, and you won’t miss game movement.
It built with user-friendly menu settings, comfortable keypad, and 2.4” colorful LCD screen, you just need to take a regular memory card max capacity of 32GB. Quite simple to operate, need less than one minute to start. With includes USB cord, you can quickly playback pictures or videos on the camera screen on your computer.
There is a lot of different setting also available. It can be used as a security indoor camera.
It has slots in the back of the plastic case where the supplied strap runs through so that you can strap it to a post or tree. Meidase hunting camera is completely waterproof and designed for outdoor, field, wildlife nature deer scouting or hunting, yard/garden.
A closer look at what past users said about the trail camera:
Here is a closer look at the pros and cons of the Meidase SL122M trail camera:
10. WingHome QTY-07 Infrared Trail Camera
Last but not least, you already know that WingHome has been developing trail cameras for more than 15 years, and they are one of the biggest trail camera manufacturers in the world and achieved millions of users’ trust. Each of their hunting cameras is designed and manufactured by their own team of engineers.
However, WingHome QTY-07 built-in 58-pcs 940nm infrared LEDs, which takes color photos and videos while there is sufficient daylight and provides crystal-clear photos and videos. It not only takes brightly colored photos during the daytime but also clear black & white photos at night.
It has 5 megapixels CMOS which creates 14 megapixels photos by interpolation. The video length of this game camera is up to 59s.
It captures fast-moving targets with the precision of 0.3-sec trigger speed and 65-ft detection range. All pictures are stamped with the date, time, temperature, moon phase, and battery status.
This unit comes with 100° wide-angle view that provides a wider detection range to shoot distinctive. The wide-angle lens is great for getting more pictures. It is also equipped with the latest technology, this 350C hunting camera removes the fisheye effect without degrading quality.
It has 2″ LCD screen and built with Mic which can record voice while recording video.
The camera comes with a very long strap that goes through 2 holders on the device. Generally, this means that the camera faces directly out from whatever you strap it to.
A closer look at views from past WingHome QTY-07 trail camera users:
Here is a summary of WingHome QTY-07 pros and cons:
How to choose the right hunting camera?
Before you make the purchase, you should consider some of these key features like field of view, night vision, megapixels, shutter release, durability, battery life, etc.
Field of vision
Do you want to capture long and wide shots? If this is the case, then you need to consider not only the range in terms of depth but also the side view angles that the lens can accommodate.
You should know that there are fully panoramic camera options, but they usually don’t have a great range. So consider what is most important to you based on your usual hunting conditions so that you can purchase a device that will allow you to find the right balance.
The ability of the device to capture videos and images in the dark could be an essential feature if you want to use the device at night or in low light conditions. The goal here is to find a device that allows you to capture quality images or videos overnight, but that won’t have such a bright flash at the risk of scaring wildlife away.
Choose the LED carefully and look for a device equipped with infrared technology as discreetly as possible. Most of the time, this kind of device has panels that light up by triggering movement or detecting heat.
If you are used to using cameras, you probably understand the importance of megapixels. The higher the number of megapixels, the sharper, clearer and more defined the image quality will be. If you are using the camera for hunting only and just want to locate your game, a standard device may be enough for you.
For hunting, you will need images that are clear enough to better discern what you are looking at.
The faster the trigger speed, the faster your trail camera will take images. This way, you will have a better chance to capture any creature that passes in front of the device. You also need to keep in mind that the faster the device operates, the clearer the images will be. If an animal passes directly in front of your camera, the trigger detects the movement and shoots automatically.
There are some very impressive high-end quality models that come with advanced technology allowing the shutter button to be activated in less than a second.
If you go for buying an outdoor trail camera, make sure it’s weatherproof and animal-proof. Hunting creatures are prone to aggressive behavior and they don’t care about the money you spent on your new device. You should invest in a product that is tough, reliable, and able to withstand any riggers thrown in its path. You may even be the one unintentionally missing your shot and shooting your trail camera by mistake.
The longer the battery life, the better the value. You probably wouldn’t want to worry about recharging the batteries every time you use the device. The good news is that since many trail cameras have LEDs, they tend to run much longer. Many batteries can be used for a whole year. This is more than enough so that you can enjoy the device throughout the hunting season.
Angle of view
The angle of view is one of the important characteristics of a trail camera. It is a criterion that will determine the triggering capacity of the camera. The angle of view corresponds to the width of the shot. The wider the angle, the more the image will cover the photographed area.
A hunting camera with a low viewing angle will be around 60 degrees, the best ones will have 130 degrees (Most devices have an angle between 65 and 120 degrees). We then speak of wide-angle fields of vision. For comparison, a human’s field of view is 124 degrees. Note that the angle also has an impact on the detection distance.
Hybrid mode & recovery time
Recovery time means the time the camera needs before it can capture the next image. So obviously faster recovery time will give you more photos.
In hybrid mode, the tracking camera will take both a photo and a short video. You get the best of both worlds with just one trigger, but it’s usually only found on high-end models.
It may be useful to protect the camera from vandalism or theft when it is placed in a high-traffic area. For this, there are metal boxes in which the camera is housed. The entire device is covered with the box apart from the sensor and the lighting system. The box itself is firmly fixed to its support, or even locked to the latter using a padlock or an anti-theft device.
Storing memory on your hunting camera, you have two options: internal memory or an SD card. It is recommended to choose the storage option with an external memory card. There is no problem removing the camera to see the photos it has captured.
You can get an extra external memory card and just swap it out with the one inside. So it is much easier to get all the footage and there is no downtime for the camera. The memory capacity you need depends on your use of the camera, the settings you choose.
What is the range of the trail camera?
It totally depends on the make and model you choose, but most trail cameras should at least have a range of 15-30 yards. Obviously, the actual range will be affected by the conditions. And if the area where you are hunting has thick brush and undergrowth, the range of the device will be reduced.
Where to install a trail camera?
There is a lot of controversy within the hunting fraternity on this point, but as a general rule, a height of 3 to 5 feet above the ground is reasonable. Alternatively, you can try going up to 7 feet and tilting the device down. When it comes to location, try to find a place in the wild where you know wild animals are frequently active. So you will have excellent chances of taking interesting photos.
Can you use a trail camera as a security camera?
Yes, because most models are capable of taking photos and videos. Many of these devices also capture audio to accompany the video. Trail cameras also transmit an image by text or email.
What is the difference between a low-light IR camera and an IR camera without light?
If a small glow can be seen, the device is classified as IR low glow. If it has a brighter, more visible glow, it will be a bright red IR. Infrared cameras do not use LED emitters that transmit infrared light above the 940-nanometer spectrum. It is possible to include an SD card to save a maximum of images and videos. So it is clear that you can even use a trail camera for security purposes.
Is the trail camera flashing in the dark?
Nowadays, all the trail cameras available on the market support night shots. If you want to be able to use the device discreetly in the dark, then go for the invisible infrared flash. However, the IR flash only supports black and white images at night.
Is an infrared trail camera flashing?
“Trail Camera Black Flash”. This is called the black flash because the device can illuminate an animal without it detecting the glow. LED emitters are used to transmit the same type of infrared light in standard IR cameras, but it is above the 940-nanometer spectrum.
Do hunting cameras make noise?
Most digital cameras don’t make noise. Since discretion is the very objective of the hunting camera, it works without scaring the animals and they will not even have to be aware of its presence. It is for this reason that the device does not emit any noise during operation.
A good hunter must have the right tools to go hunting and the hunting camera is a great asset. It is an extension of the hunter’s eye, able to never let go of its attention day or night. Most hunting cameras are designed for the outdoors and to withstand inclement weather. However, the camera must have sufficient skills to perform its role of detecting and capturing images of the game.
You might be interested in this buyer’s guide: