Trail Cameras Post your trail cam photos, reviews, tips, and suggestions here.

Flash on camera

Old 08-20-2009, 02:20 AM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
DowningAir's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 192
Default Flash on camera

I have had my first trail cam in the woods now for a couple months. This model has a night flash and infrared option as many do. I have used nothing but the infrared option out of conerns of spooking deer, but lately I've been disappointed in the resolution of the images and was considering just using the regular flash.

My question is, should I be concerned of the flash of the camera scaring deer? Which option do you use and/or suggest?
DowningAir is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 02:53 AM
Nontypical Buck
PastorJim08's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 3,372

I would hate to make a blanket statement about all animals. That being said, I really don't think it makes any difference to most animals. I have had them stand and stare at my IR cameras just as much as my white-flash camera. I have also gotten pics of the same animals over and over on both types of cameras so I guess if it bothered them they wouldn't keep coming back but they do.

PastorJim08 is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 04:16 AM
Giant Nontypical
wis_bow_huntr's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Nekoosa Wi USA
Posts: 6,066

Ive heard it makes no difference. The quick flash doesnt seem to really bother them too much.
wis_bow_huntr is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 04:30 AM
Typical Buck
hossdaniels's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Person Co. NC
Posts: 884

Here is some stuff I read that I really liked from this site
Best site Ive found for general trail cam comparisons.

Incandescent Vs. Infrared

This has emerged as the biggest debate in the industry. Before we get much further, let's highlight some of the key points about each type of flash.
Incandescent Flash
  • Captures full color images at night
  • Resolution & quality are generally better
  • Resolution & quality are generally better
  • Uses more energy than infrared
  • Battery life is decreased compared to infrared
  • Trigger time is slower than infrared
  • Spooks some game
  • Deters some animals from entering camera area
  • Attracts attention of other humans to camera location

Infrared Flash
  • Captures black and white images at night
  • Daytime images can be either black & white or color
  • Nighttime resolution and quality are generally less than incandescent
  • Pictures are sometimes blurry
  • Requires very little power and no surge
  • Battery life is increased compared to incandescent
  • Trigger time is faster than incandescent
  • Infrared flash doesn't spook game
  • Infrared flash doesn't deter animals from entering camera area
  • Infrared flash will not draw the attention of other humans

Standard incandescent flashes spook deer
After testing dozens of different trail cameras in every setting imaginable there is no doubt standard incandescent flashes spook some animals. Having said this, I can also tell you some animals seem unaffected. In fact, we have seen sizeable bucks visit an incandescent camera site repeatedly and behave as if they were posing for the camera. However, the fact remains, Incandescent flashes spook animals. To confirm this I set up two feeders near the same area; one with a standard flash, the other with an infrared flash. Both feeding sites were identical in every aspect with the exception of the flashes. The infrared flash site drew roughly twice as many deer as the standard flash site. The occurrence of bucks at the infrared site was also significantly greater as well. Deer also stayed for longer periods of time at the infrared site. We all know big bucks are wary and frustratingly elusive. If your primary concern is tracking and bagging a trophy buck, I simply wouldn't risk scaring them with an incandescent flash.
Update 4/16/2007 -

It has been roughly 8 months since I set up my Incandescent vs Infrared feeding site tests. While I have changed out many different models of trail cameras, I have always kept each site strictly either an Infrared or Incandescent site. Initially the infrared site was drawing in roughly twice as much game as the incandescent site. However, it appears the infrared site has become increasingly more popular. I collected photos today and found 584 infrared pictures compared to only 111 pictures from the incandescent site over the same 10 day period. Clearly there are long term benefits to using an infrared hunting camera.

Spooking deer isn't the only thing to consider
Although not spooking game is important, infrared flashes also have many other advantages over incandescent flashes. Standard flashes require a tremendous amount of power when they are charging. As a result, they use considerably more battery capacity than an infrared flash. Most incandescent flashes draw in excess of 1 amp during use while most infrared units draw 25-50 milliamps. Also, the increased energy required by an incandescent flash slows trigger time. Trigger times on most infrared units are the same whether day or night. However, the nighttime trigger time of incandescent trail cameras is usually a full second slower than the daytime trigger speed.

If you're using trail cameras to scout and help you hunt, an infrared unit will take pictures quicker, last longer on a set of batteries and most importantly not scare deer from your hunting area. If a quality picture is what your after pick a incandescent model.
hossdaniels is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:20 AM
Nontypical Buck
pnut's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,421

The deer get used to the flash pretty quick and the picture quality will be a lot better than IR. What kind of camera do you have that does both IE and flash?
pnut is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:46 AM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
DowningAir's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 192

Thanks for all the info guys! It's a big help! Guess I won't really know if it makes a difference til I've tried it out. Prob take it out tonight and see what happens.

Hoss...thanks for the comparison! Great points and information for both cases.'s a Remington Ghost. Not my first choice of camera (got it as a christmas present) but thus far it's been fairly good. It's prob the cheapest 5 megapix. out there.
DowningAir is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 01:33 PM
Nontypical Buck
Hunting Kuk's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 1,211

simple question ill give ya a simple answer i have a trail cam with a flash on it i get good quality pics without spooking one deer!
Hunting Kuk is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 02:26 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 240

i dont think it makes a differenece ive had big bucks be in front of my cuddeback capture for 25 minutes at a time having a pic taken every minute. so i dont think it really makes a difference but thats just what i think.
bucksniper14 is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:29 PM
Nontypical Buck
ksfowler's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central Kansas
Posts: 1,289

I have not seen any effect on the deer. I have my camera set up over a feeder in the winter and i get picture after picture of the same deer at night. And it is kind of nice to get color pictures at night.
ksfowler is offline  
Old 08-20-2009, 06:05 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 993

Hasnt made any difference where i hunt.
leadoperator is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.