To easily spot animals in the wild, finding the right trail camera is essential. If you pick a poor-quality device, it may frighten the game. Also, a cheaply made trail camera isn’t strong enough under the effect of rain and wind.
A good trail camera must combine a certain number of qualities to meet the demanding hunting task and ensure the continual surveillance task. However, finding a high-quality trail camera under $50 with advanced technology is not easy for hunters and nature enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for professional advice and recommendations of the best finest budget trail cameras under $50, you come to the right place. All the models we’re going to review are robust, long-lasting, and able to withstand exposure to bad weather. Although these cameras are budget-friendly, they still provide excellent value for capturing the moments that matter to you.
In the buying guide section, you will learn what to expect when shopping and what you should think when your budget is less than 50 dollars.
Best Trail Camera Under $50 for 2023
Ranking of the Top 10 Best Trail Cameras Under $50 in 2023:
- 1. KUFA T1 Trail Camera
- 2. VanTop Ninja 1 Trail Camera
- 3. KUFA Mini Hunting Camera
- 4. Victure HC300 Game Camera
- 5. Vikeri 1520P Trail Camera
- 6. Campark T20 Mini Trail Cam
- 7. APEMAN H45 Trail Camera
- 8. Victure Wildlife Trail Camera
- 9. Meidase SL122 Pro Trail Camera
- 10. GardePro A3S Trail Camera
1. KUFA T1 Trail Game Camera – Top Pick
While the KUFA T1 trail camera launched December in 2020, it adopted the latest upgrade technology in 2023. This device delivers 20MP pixel images and videos in Full HD 1080P. You will get a well-lit, razor-sharp photo that is hard to find in a trail camera that costs less than 50 dollars.
It is equipped with an LED display with a screen diagonal of 2.4 inches. This model is characteristic of high sensor and flash range, which is particularly fascinating for hunters. The infrared sensors have a detection range of 120 degrees and the maximum trigger distance is up to 65 feet.
It has a reaction time of less than a second and an invisible flash with up to 47 switchable no-glow LEDs that will not disturb animals when it blends with nature. Their range of action lies in a light spectrum of 940 nanometers. As a result, your flash is invisible, and no glimmer is perceived.
KUFA T1 trail camera is said to be very difficult to spot thanks to a camouflage pattern. Other functions of the device include password protection, a timer, a time-lapse, and a recording pause.
This model also includes a 32-gigabyte memory card that captures around 22,000 photos, or you can store almost 280 minutes of video film on the memory card. The maximum standby time is up to 6 months. However, this device doesn’t come with batteries; you need to purchase them separately.
KUFA T1 trail camera is ready to use. The package includes a mounting strap, a USB and a video cable, and operating instructions. It is weatherproof and waterproof class IP65. You can also use it as home security and farm guard. However, it was designed without a remote control. This feature ensures easy usability in remote areas.
- Pre-configured and ready to capture
- Delivers remarkably sharp pictures
- Waterproof and weatherproof
- Super fast trigger speed
- Excellent night vision function
- Only supports small-size memory card
- Buttons are a bit hard to press
2. VanTop Ninja 1 Trail Camera – Editor’s Choice
If you’re looking for a multipurpose trail camera under $50, the VanTop Ninja 1 is the best option for you. It is a basic and easy-to-use trail camera, designed for both security and hunting. It has a resolution of up to 20 megapixels and can record videos with a video quality of up to 1080p. It presents incredibly vibrant images and clear audible videos. However, if something moves quickly, the video quality would be decreased.
VanTop Ninja 1 trail camera has three modern sensors and you can customize the PIR interval and video length according to your needs. With a reaction angle of up to 120 degrees, the reaction distance is a maximum of 80 feet. However, we consider more than 100 feet for security purposes.
The trigger should react after a trigger delay of only 0.2 seconds in order to be able to capture every movement of the wild animals even for fast-moving wildlife exposed to the field. You won’t miss any movement that occurs in front of this device. But you need patience to set up this device properly.
The camera draws its power from eight AA batteries, which are not included in the package. You can also use it with an external power supply of 12 volts. The package includes a bracket for the wall, a mounting strap, three screws, and practical instructions for installation. A USB cable also comes inside the package.
VanTop Ninja 1 hunting camera has waterproof housing according to protection class IP66, which makes it ideal for any type of outdoor use. It has a camouflage design typical of game cameras and supports JPEG storage formats and AVI. This unit is also resistant to dust and fog.
This device supports a storage capacity of 32 gigabytes. keep in mind that this model only works with Micro SD cards, not SD cards. The only thing that can discourage you, this model doesn’t come with an SD card.
- Outstanding performance
- Waterproof and durable
- Motion detection works well
- Friendly customer service
- Easy to program and includes easy-to-follow directions
- LEDs are visible to the human eye
- Not good on dark night as daylight
- Only support small SD card
3. KUFA Mini Trail Camera for Hunting
If you’re in search of a mini trail camera priced below $50, then take a close look at the KUFA Mini edition. This device is able to record videos in full HD recording quality and takes photos with 16 megapixels. With an interpolated image repetition frequency, intermediate images are calculated using mathematical algorithms and inserted between the existing images.
KUFA Mini camera also has a passive infrared sensor or a motion detector with night vision. Night shots are through the automatic exposure control and the 47 non-luminous LEDs with a wavelength of 940 nanometers are very sharp, making this device very concealed, which can get more vivid animal movements even in the darkness.
The wide-angle lens without typical fisheye distortion has a detection range of 120 degrees. The flash has a range of up to 65 feet and the camera itself has a release time of 0.2 seconds. The additional functions of the camera include password protection, a time-lapse function, a timer, and a recording pause.
This device is equipped with an LED display with a screen diagonal of 2 inches and has a surveillance mode for your own home. It is weatherproof according to protection class IP65. It is also lightweight; only 13.7oz.
If you want to save some extras from your budget, then the KUFA Mini trail camera could be a good deal. The package includes a memory card with a storage capacity of 32 gigabytes, a mounting strap, and a USB and video cable. It also comes with a multilingual operating manual.
This device only needs 4 batteries to reach the performance. However, the batteries are not included in the order. The maximum standby time is 6 months. It also supports solar panels for hunting cameras (not included).
- Ultra-high concealment
- Super infrared night vision
- It is pretty easy to use and set up
- Includes everything you need except batteries
- A decent little trail camera for the price
- Instructions are pretty useless
- Night vision photos are not really good
4. Victure HC300 Versatile Game Camera
Victure HC300 trail camera has 20 megapixels and a maximum video resolution of 1080P/15fps. This trail camera is equipped with three different recording modes and an automatic day/night sensor, which delivers very good photo quality at any time of the day. The time-lapse also takes good pictures.
The clamshell is designed to prevent moisture problems. Thanks to the protection class IP66, this camera is very efficient even in the rain. Victure HC300 trail camera adopts an anti-fog lens, making the camera lens and LED lights with the latest PIR motion sensor relatively independent of the outer casing.
It also features No Glow 38 LEDs which enable detailed black and white night vision images. It has a release time of around 0.3 seconds and supports JPEG storage formats for photos and AVI for videos. The available camouflage design is therefore hardly recognizable in the forest or terrain.
With the help of the 2″ color LCD screen, the photos can be viewed directly on the camera. However, the package doesn’t include batteries and an SD card. Also, the Victure HC300 model is a bit heavy and weighs 1.59 pounds. The dimensions are 21 cm high, 12.4 cm wide and 8 cm deep.
You can use this device for many purposes, even as a surveillance camera. We won’t say that it’s the best camera for many purposes, as the quality of its night pictures is not quite high enough for that, but it’s better than some of those that price three times. The functions are also pretty straightforward for first-time users.
- Best Time-lapse Feature
- Ultra-high Resolution
- Intuitive Setup and Use
- Powerful Multi-function Mode
- Good for long distance animal capturing
- Doesn’t come with SD card
- Batteries won’t last compared to the previous three
5. Vikeri 1520P Trail Camera
Vikeri 1520P trail camera takes photos with 20 megapixels as soon as it detects movement and videos in Super HD quality with 1,520p. Depending on the selected mode, the videos are between 10 seconds and 3 minutes in length. The camera triggers at a maximum distance of 80 at a speed of 0.2 seconds, which is impressive at this price range.
Thanks to the infrared flash with a wavelength of 940 nanometers and 48 infrared LEDs, the device should be able to take detailed black and white night vision images of nocturnal wildlife.
It is equipped with three motion sensors. This is kept in a camouflage design that is supposed to protect the device from theft because it is not easily discovered by humans and wildlife. It will survive up to 180 days of ultra-long standby time in very tough environments.
Vikeri 1520P trail camera is designed primarily for multi-purpose uses. You could apply it to wildlife observation and hunting, home/property security, farm area surveillance, remote crop, and more. The package also includes a 32GB memory card and 4 AA batteries. So you don’t need to provide your own memory card.
This device is also protected against water under protection class IP66 and works well in bad weather or rain. It will record any animal movements in the wild with a 120° wide-angle lens even on rainy days.
The menus and controls are very intuitive. You can also easily install it wherever you want. Because the outer shell is very sturdy and solid. It can be installed with a tripod thread and a fastening strap in the field or in a forest as well as in a clearing. The tree strap is long enough to get around a 1-1/2’ diameter tree.
- Heavy-duty construction
- 1520P Video Ultra-High Resolution
- Easy Install & Widely Used
- The sound quality is crisp
- Fairly easy to operate
- Well finishing
- Night photos are quite grainy
- Mounting hardware is not robust enough
- Instruction manual is poorly written
6. Campark T20 Mini Trail Camera
The Campark T20 is a portable and mini-sized trail camera with overall dimensions of 70×105×40mm. You can install the device in any place, such as tree, wall, or even ground. And it would not be found easily due to the camouflage design. Although it is smaller than regular hunting cams, the advanced functions are still noteworthy.
It has a shutter release delay of 0.2 seconds and a flash range of around 65 feet. With 2 2-inch LCD color display, the Campark T20 Mini Trail Camera has a resolution of up to 20 megapixels and films videos with resolution in Full HD.
This device can be protected against unwanted use with a password. Also, it has a time-lapse function and is integrated with a timer. This model is operated using four AA batteries, which are not included in the package. However, you can use an external power supply unit.
Campark T20 camera has been certified according to protection class IP56 in order to guarantee good weather suitability. It will not have any effect even raindrops on the surface of the camera. Thanks to the waterproof housing, both the LED lights and the lenses won’t be damaged in the rain.
The native sensor resolution of this model is 5 megapixels and the wide-angle lens covers a range of 120 degrees. It can also be used as a home security monitor. You can easily tree mount it with the included mounting rope.
Night vision appears to be pretty good, but not good enough to capture small items. The detection range is good as well for fast-moving animals. The image quality is pretty good (not top quality or exactly 20MP). However, when you zoom in on the image, it breaks up pretty badly.
- Compact and small size
- Super fast trigger speed
- Sturdy and multiple uses
- Easy to install and won’t be affected by rain
- The package included a number of mounting options
- Lens injects a fair amount of chromatic aberration
- Buttons are a bit small
7. APEMAN H45 Cheapest Trail Camera
The APEMAN H45 is a high-performance cheap trail camera for capturing images and recording videos of animals outdoors whatever the weather conditions. Thanks to its weatherproof and robust plastic housing, it is very sturdy because of its durable characteristics that nothing can escape.
APEMAN H45 trail camera is equipped with 1 sensor with a detection angle of 90°. The device is also characterized by excellent quality night images. The integrated infrared light with 26 LEDs and a wavelength of 940 nanometers offer a range of 20 meters for black and white images even at night. However, the daytime pictures are more crisp and clear than the nighttime.
APEMAN trail camera offers image quality of 16 megapixels and is capable of producing videos having a rating of 1080 pixels. Also, it has a microphone to add sound to the video image. It features an intuitive interface that makes setup and operation straightforward, even for those new to this.
The device itself detects the change from day to night with a triggering speed between 0.2 and 0.5 seconds. The 2.4-inch LCD screen allows fairly easy navigation. Its power is enhanced by putting it into standby mode as long as no movement is perceptible. In this way, it can operate for a period of up to 8 months.
APEMAN H45 trail camera is also equipped with a USB 2.0 port as well as a PC interface. You just require eight AA batteries to operate it. It features dust infiltration and the waterproof rate is IP65. It is not a high-end trail camera, but if you take care of this it will take care of you.
- Easy to set up
- Multi-functional design
- User-friendly menu
- Lightning trigger speed
- Long service life
- Excellent value for the money
- Doesn’t include adapter
- The strap could be a tad better
8. Victure Wildlife Trail Game Camera
Typically, Victure 20MP trail camera has been designed for entry-level and budget-conscious hunters and security seekers. Even though this model is competitively cheap, it is equipped with significant features, especially when compared to similarly priced cameras from other brands.
To avoid any confusion we need to clear something at first. Victure originally released the HC300 with a 16MP camera, and then they updated and improved it by adding the 20MP camera along with some other things, which makes it the best model below the $50 mark. However, you can pick both of them for the same purpose.
It can capture full 1080p HD resolution videos to see the wildlife that goes across your property, helping you see clearly what they are doing. However, most trail cameras in this list offer that, so it doesn’t stand out from the competition one way or the other here.
The Housing is built to be ultra-secure against weather, so it could be an excellent choice if you live in a place that gets frequent storms. The outstanding construction camera’s housing will even protect the device from moderate freezing damage.
Victure 20MP trail camera comes with a time-lapse feature, which is another nice bonus. It is programmed with a special sensor that detects when it’s time to switch between the modes without changing to mess with any settings.
There are other functions including a password protector and various recording modes. 2″ color LCD screen makes it view videos and photos taken historically easily. And the 90° detection angle on the motion sensor will easily meet most people’s needs.
- Durable and weatherproof
- Adjustable sensor settings
- Fast 0.3-second trigger speed
- Time-lapse photo option
- High MP Camera with HD video
- Flash range is only approximately 65 feet
- Average Range
9. Meidase SL122 Pro Trail Camera
The SL122 Pro feature-rich trail camera might surprise you with all that it offers. This device comes with superb features and the latest technologies. It has lots of settings that are very convenient for setting it up and controlling what you want to see.
The trigger time is between 0.2 and 0.5 seconds,. However, the detection range is just under 82 feet, which is not good enough in some cases. It can take extremely sharp color images during the day and high-resolution black and white images with a maximum of 16 megapixels at night take up. Alternatively, you can record videos in a maximum resolution of Full HD.
This device is able to take up to three recordings in series and videos with a maximum length of 30 minutes. There is a choice of three modes: Photos, Video, and Video + Photos. All recordings are provided with a recording stamp and, if desired, protected with a password.
Meidase SL122 Pro trail camera has an infrared black light with 36 LEDs and a wavelength of 940 nanometers. In this way, no bright flash should be generated that would frighten the animals. There is also a Wi-Fi compatible version available, but you need to increase your budget a bit.
It also has robust, waterproof housing with a silicone seal in accordance with protection class IP66. You can use it in a temperature range from -20 to +50 degrees Celsius, making it suitable for a wide variety of applications from hunting to animal & plant observation to home security.
You can monitor for up to 8 months without changing the battery (not included) which a user can expect from an ideal trail camera in 2023. Your purchase will be safe because the manufacturer offers 1 year warranty.
- Intuitive Menu on 2.4” Color Screen
- Ready for Any Weather
- Wide field of view
- Fast trigger speed
- Easy to use and set up
- 3 colors to choose from
- Lens gets a bit frosty when the temperature drops down to 25-degree
- Side door lock is too small for cable or padlock
10. GardePro A3S Trail Camera
Introducing the final product in our top 10 list, we have the GardePro A3S trail cam. It is an amazing no-glow flash trail camera at this price range. One of the most attractive features of this model is it uses Sony’s ultra-clear imaging technology which is specifically designed to perform well at capturing images in low-light situations. It takes clear color images during the day and can deliver detailed high-resolution black and white images at night using infrared light with 36 LEDs and a wavelength of 940 nanometers.
Videos in Super HD (1,080p) at 30 frames per second with sound and a recognition angle of 120 degrees should help to recognize more details from the animal world. The photo and video resolution can also be programmed individually according to the manufacturer.
GardePro A3S hunting camera is equipped with three PIR sensors and it has a trigger distance of up to 82 feet. As soon as a movement is detected, it only takes 0.3 seconds to trigger the camera.
It also has an LCD display with a screen diagonal of 2.31 inches and setting buttons on the front for control. The device is not only suitable for hunting but also as a security camera for your own home. The protection class IP66 is also suitable for use in the rain.
Additionally, the package comes with a USB cable and a video cable that match the USB port. Other accessories include an assembly strap, a metal bracket, three screws, and three expansion tubes made of plastic, which should enable quick assembly. However, you require eight AA batteries or an external power supply.
The only minor issue is that the camera must be tilted down, so the dew and moisture won’t affect the pictures. Otherwise, you will get ambiguous pictures. Ultimately, the GardePro A3S combines functionality, and reliability, making it a good option for individuals seeking a cost-effective trail camera.
- Long flash range
- Fast and accurate motion detection
- Fast image recovery time
- Easy to set up and use
- Straight forward menu
- Included strap isn’t of good quality
- Night photos are pretty good, but not as good as daytime
Buyer’s Guide: Best Cheap Trail Camera Under $50
Depending on the intended use, various purchase criteria are important to consider in mind, which we discuss in the following section.
A good game camera has a resolution of at least 12 megapixels. If you only use the device as a hobby and want to know, for example, whether your garden is infested by wild boars, a lower image resolution trail camera is sufficient. This also applies to everyone who only wants to monitor the game.
However, if you want to use the trail camera professionally, you shouldn’t save on the image resolution. But be careful: In addition to the number of megapixels, there are a few other factors that have an influence on image quality. So, the trail camera with the most megapixels is not automatically the best.
Video resolution is independent of the resolution of the photos. Many devices offer a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (Full HD). Other trail cameras only have the resolution HD ready with 1,280 x 720 pixels or even VGA with 640 x 480 pixels. Few devices offer a higher resolution than Full HD. Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) is hardly found in trail cameras.
Most trail cameras under $50 video resolutions are 1080P or 1520P.
Field of view
The field of view of a trail camera indicates the maximum area that the device can cover. Most trail cameras on the market have a maximum range of 80 feet. However, it should be noted that trail cameras only achieve this range under ideal conditions. That means excellent light and weather conditions and optimal placement of the photo trap.
The actual range is therefore often below the maximum value specified by the manufacturer. According to our test report, good trail cameras under $50 can cover an area of up to 65 to 80 feet.
The trigger time, also known as the response time, shows how quickly the trail camera takes a photo after the built-in PIR sensor has registered a movement. A very fast reaction time reduces the risk that the animal is not or not fully visible in the photo. A model with a short shutter release delay of 0.1 to 0.3 seconds is a must if the user wants to observe shy forest animals.
Most trail cameras have a release time of less than a second, which should be enough for wild animals that feel unobserved.
Note: Even the inserted memory card can have an influence on how quickly the camera triggers.
Most outdoor cameras run on four or eight AA batteries. The condition of the battery or how long the battery lasts simply depends on how often the camera is triggered. Regarding the operating mode, it makes sense to use rechargeable batteries of the appropriate size.
Besides battery-operated devices, there are also trail cameras for mains operation – practical when used near the house. A few trail cameras use solar cells to charge the integrated battery in their operating mode.
A surveillance camera with WLAN function can be connected to the home network. You can send the captured images and videos to your PC, laptop or smartphone. As a trail camera for use in the forest, these models are of course less suitable, but more convenient for monitoring own home.
Some wildlife cameras are equipped with a SIM card. Such a camera can send data to the smartphone, tablet or notebook. This means that it is no longer necessary to visit the camera at regular intervals in order to read out the recordings. The camera can only send the data if the cellular network is stable.
Since cell phone reception is very poor in many forests, it doesn’t work everywhere. Depending on the provider, there may also be costs for sending the photos.
A memory card is often, but not always, part of the order of a trail camera. An SD card with storage space between 4 and 16 gigabytes is mostly sufficient. However, some cards store up to 32 gigabytes. If you want to record a lot of videos, you should use a large memory card that can store up to 128 gigabytes.
Almost every trail camera on the market has a time-lapse function. To activate this function, a time interval that is set in the camera repeatedly takes a photo over a certain period of time. A time-lapse video can then be created from the numerous photos taken. Such videos are very popular when building football arenas or houses for example.
Checking the function or reading out the photos taken is sometimes a bit of a hassle. The SD card removing it, inserting it into a reader, and then reinserting it into the camera takes time. It is therefore useful if the camera has a color display on which the photos taken can be viewed. Such a monitor naturally increases power consumption, which is why the batteries have to be changed or recharged at shorter intervals.
Can I expect good image quality from a trail camera under $50?
Although you won’t get the highest-end image quality, you can find trail cameras with decent resolution (720p or higher) within this budget. Look for models with good sensor technology for clearer images.
How important is the detection range in a trail camera?
Detection range is crucial as it determines how far the camera can detect motion and capture images. Opt for a trail camera with a detection range of at least 50 feet to ensure you cover a significant area.
Are trigger speed and recovery time important?
Yes, they are vital. A fast trigger speed (under 0.5 seconds) ensures that the camera captures images quickly once motion is detected. A shorter recovery time between shots is also important to ensure you don’t miss any action.
Are budget trail cameras weatherproof?
Most affordable trail cameras are designed to be weatherproof, but the level of protection can vary. Look for cameras with an IP rating to ensure they can withstand rain, snow, and other outdoor conditions.
The choice of trail camera depends on the requirements of the user. A wildlife camera does not have to be expensive and you can afford it for under $50, but devices with many functions are of course more expensive. The quality of the well-made and top-level trail cameras sold between 80 and 100 dollars. We offered more efficient models. So if you are considering hunting, photography, security, or other usages, these models should work for you.
However, if you want to get a high-quality trail camera with good resolution, fast response time and many extra functions, you usually have to invest between 80 and 200 dollars.
Hope this guide helped you. See you soon!