Buyers Guide to Purchasing a Trail Camera - Exodus Outdoor Gear

Buyers Guide For First Time Trail Camera Purchasers

Learn how to purchase the right trail camera for your needs knowing these 4 key areas of specs.

What trail camera should buy? What features do I really need? Does that one send to my phone? 

Purchasing a trail camera for the first time can be a daunting and intimidating task with the vast amount of cameras available and confusing specifications. Since at one point everyone has been in this boat of uncertainty, we're going to break down each important spec and how it will impact use in the field. 

1. Flash System 


The big three are: white flash, infrared (IR), and black flash or no glow. Each have their time and place for everyone.

White Flash

White flash cameras help take awe-inspiring colorful night pictures and have a long flash range. However, the vibrant white flash can be invasive to wildlife and wary bucks. Also, trespassers will see the white flash and might inspect the camera after triggering it. 


Infrared or red glow cameras are a step up from white flash in the sense of human and wildlife visibility, but the night time pictures will not be color. If your purpose of the trail camera is for scouting deer, infrared is much less invasive than the white flash. Infrared flash modules typically have the longest flash range in comparison to white flash and black flash cameras. However, infrared cameras are still visible and have a faint red glow when taking a picture at night. 

Black Flash/No Glow 

If you're chasing wary old bucks and a serious whitetail hunter, black flash cameras should be your camera of choice. Black flash/no glow cameras are completely invisible to human eye and wildlife. Therefore, your camera can double as a security camera and scouting tool, all while going undetected at night. 

2. Cellular vs. Standard  

The rise of cellular trail cameras have gained a lot of attention over the last few years and for good reason. It's a remarkable advancement that allows hunters to hunt smarter and more efficiently.

However, just like anything there are a few catches to running a cellular trail camera. Before making a purchase consider the carrier that company is offering. Some manufactures are offering various carries, while others are sticking with one for the time being. After learning the carrier, make sure your hunting area has signal with the carrier in the area you plan on using the device. 

Standard SD card cameras still have many uses and advantages over the cellular cameras. If you're not concerned with getting instant notification or driving to check your pictures, traditional cameras are still a great option. 

The beauty of traditional cameras, is the fact they will continue to work hard for months on end with just a set of lithium batteries. Battery consumption on cellular trail cameras have been an issue for some manufactures, and if hunters have to go in and change batteries monthly, some could argue, it begins to defeat the purpose of having the pictures sent remotely. Which leads to the next point. 

3.  Battery Life

Battery life can be a deal maker or breaker for many consumers. Just know, when shopping for trail cameras, manufactures can skew their camera life by many variables and factors. When it comes down to it, be sure to be using the right batteries for your camera and read about each cameras battery consumption. 

4. Overall Build Quality 


Now I understand this isn't a key specification, but it is one of the most important components of picking a trail camera. Everyone has different needs for their trail cameras, but one thing everyone can agree on is when spending money for any product they want it to work. 

Finding the best camera within your budget is a challenge, that's why it's important to make an informed decision. That's why we always have an open line to answer questions you might have.

Determining your needs and wants for a trail camera will most dictate that decision. However, keeping these 4 key things in mind while shopping, it'll help prevent the dreadful buyers remorse. 

Have more questions about selecting a trail camera? Give us a call at 330-400-3034.