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How Long Do Your Trail Cams Last?

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How Long Do Your Trail Cams Last?

Old 11-18-2021, 09:50 AM
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Default How Long Do Your Trail Cams Last?

I've been running trail or game cameras since 2016. I've tried Browning, Stealth, Moultrie and Cabelas brands. My favorites so far are the Cabelas due to some of their features like being able to look at pictures in the camera and their performance at night time. I leave mine out 365 days a year and change SD cards, batteries, do maintenance, etc. in the field so they can stay up all year round. This year, one of the lens covers for the motion sensor broke on a 5-year-old cam and Cabelas actually refunded it for me at the current price point for a new camera. A 2nd camera lens cracked and Cabelas told me the warranty is only for 1 year now and I'm out of luck. The cameras are still functional and I've been unable to find any replacements lenses (they were made overseas obviously).

My question is how long are your game cameras lasting and what brands, warranties, etc.? I'd switch to another brand if they offered better performance, longevity, etc. so am curious what performance everybody else is getting with their respective game cameras.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:43 AM
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well this is a good topic to see what others get
I personally have been running trail cam's since the late 90;'s, with 35 mm film camera's(still have some and last used they still worked about 2006 or so when I stopped using them)
as for trail cam's I also run many l of mine 24-7-365, or should say I run all of them, but some are at properties far away and some times battery's die and be dead a while till I get to them,
right now I am running about 25 camera's of mixed brands, mostly Wildgame Innovations as I typically get therm the cheapest and they seem to work the best for the costs( last 15 or so I bought I paid like 40 bucks for them with batteries and a SD card included) but over the yrs.
I have run a lot of higher end models from cuddleback, and Buckeye, reconyx, and also many others in between these higher end one and lower end models, I did try a few of the earlier cell cam's that emailed you pictures, but they were just too hard on batteries when I tried them so stopped using, and haven't got into the newer one's friends have and love them, but I don't have the desire to get into hem!
that said, typically the higher end camera's worked and lasted there longest as they should!
but having too many get stolen, I found the cost wasn't worth the improvement over the cheaper models, and didn;t sting as much when they got stolen or damaged(had a few shot and smashed after they coulld';t get them off the tree), and always on private and posted land, never on public land ?? go figure?)

BUT as for life of cam's
I typically get 2 good yrs without problems from MOST camera's that WORKED well from day one
any cam that had issues from day one, never lasted long, trail camera's seem to be effected a lot by how they are handled in the process from factory to store to Buyer, being dropped, lots of vibration in shipping or?? seem to screw camera's up!

I also seem vibration screw them up riding on a ATV rack, being taken out to be placed!

some times I get 4-5+ yrs , but that's NOT the norm for me, my camera's be in heat of close to a 100 and 10 below zero or more with wind chills for sure below that!

things I found over the yrs that help make cam's last longer, or have less issue's , is ONLY using the SAME SD cards in EACH camera, and NEVER mixing them between cam's, for what ever reasons, I find when I mixed cards into cam's, cam's would start having odd issue's, or fail not so long after wards
same goes with using certian brands of SD cards, , sum SD cards just caused cameras to act up or stop working!
and I also found some camera's just didn;t like some brands of batteries!

things I do to make my life easier, is for every camera NOT in my yard where I can pull SD cards and check and replace ASAP<
I keep 2 sd cards for each camera and I number the SD cards and camera so there a matching set and will ONLY use these two cards in that camera, this way I always have a SD card to replace when I check camera, pull one reaper with other and move on!

and I also found its WAY cheaper to buy SD cards and batteries in bulk, I've gotten SD cards off ebay for fractions of what Walmart others sell them , same with batteries!, almost shocking how cheap I have gotten bulk off ebay at times!


as for warranty claims, I have TRUED I think with a dozen or so makers , some more than once, and my experiences have been up and down, some times, it just came down to WHO you talked too, and not the company they worked for that made the difference more than brand
as sadly customer service is a trait many workers don't understand or care too!
only one I NEVER had a issue with was buckeye camera company, (think they changed names now) they were always willing to help and work with me, but again the costs of there camera,'s they should LOL

all the rest were hit or miss pending again who I got to talk to !
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:31 AM
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From what I can tell, most trail cams seem to only warranty their cams for a year. I just found Exodus trail cams which warranty their cams for 5 years. Unfortunately they are sold out. I was hoping somebody had a solid camera they could recommend in spite of the warranty period.
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:47 PM
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I started with a very old Moultrie as a deal sweetener when i bought an inline from a fellow HNI user.
I tried it and got hooked.
I then bought a used Cuddeback.
i started in 2010.
And then i bought Moultrie 55s. Ive been running Moultries non stop. I have cameras 13 yrs old that still function.
I change batteries twice a year. I also had Moultries quit. At the best the Moultrie warranty was a sham. They won't fix a camera but will offer a discount on a new one.
Recently i stepped up to the cellular camera.
I bought 2 SpyPoint cell link which is a device that turns current trail cam into a cellular
it sorks but not that well. 100 free photos a month. I refuse to putchase a plan as the addon at 50 bucks wasnt worth it.
I jave a friend who guidrs. He has cell cameras in 3 states. A 2000 monthly cell bill.
He suggested i purchase Tactacam Reveal X.
They where sold out for quite sometime. But let me tell you it was worth the wait.
I absolutelt love the live updates on my phone and well worth the 15 bucks per month. I can turn on or off via my phone and deactivate or re up my service anytime. I was told to buy Verizon.
I like them do much i will phase all my Moultries out over time.
However
I am a bear box fan as i use them to secure my cameras and lock them down. So far ive only had one stolen
My own fault as i forgot to lock my box.
Warning.
The Tactacam metal lock boxes are pure junk. Their 3 piece design is hard to use. You cant lag screw to a tree and you must reposition the camera every time you need to service the camera.
I recently found another security box manufacturer and ordered 4 of those.
​​Frpm what i saw I'll be able to lag screw. Won't need to reposition the.camera each time and is of a higher quality metal wjich makes it more secure. Exactly what i need.
i just ordered 4 new Reveal XB. These have a GPS so if stolen I'll find them and you! Im now into the cellular trail camera era snd love it.
Warranties.
I dont hold much faith in msnufacturer warranties
Most are only good for a year. But i do research before i buy (unlike rhat tatacam teveal logo lock nox. I hot burned there
man the camera is awesome the box is junk!)

I teally enjoy my cametas. Mostly are just pictures. I havent dabbled in videos but i do have a few ot cametas rhat take a timed intervals of pictures over a wide area. So i get a timed panoramic view. Most helpful to really let me know what my food plots are doing.
JW
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Old 11-25-2021, 12:14 PM
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This is a wild spread for longevity in trail cameras. Mrbb gets 2+ years, Cal gets around 5 years and JW gets 13 years. It would be interesting to see which brands/models last longer and/or you can get replacement parts for.
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Old 11-25-2021, 03:35 PM
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here is question maybe that can give some insight too

on average how many pic do you get a week?
on many of my camera's that again run 24/7/365 they get 1500-2000 pic's a week ALL yr round!

and also, in what temp ranges do your camera's run and weather like environments, are they getting wet often, dampness, or in more dry places?

as this might add into life span or not?? who know's!

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Old 11-26-2021, 10:08 AM
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I hadn't thought about those influences. Good suggestions. So, how many pictures are you guys getting per week or month and what are your temp ranges and degree of wetness, etc.
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:43 AM
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Those are good questions. I've been buying and running trail cams (no cellular ones though) since 2016. I run my cams 365 days a year in temps from mid 30's to as high as 108+. No snow and less than 20" of rain per year. Occasionally2 of my oldest cameras (both Cabelas) have had the PIR lenses crack and fall apart. A 5 YO Browning camera tends to reset he date back to the manufacture date in 2015 from time to time. All of the cams take good day pictures. None of the cams take great night pictures but I'm learning how to increase the quality of night pics with settings and background (not always an option). So far, I've found that you cannot get replacement parts for the Cabelas cams but can get them for the Browning cams. Not sure about the Moultries or Stealth Cams. I haven't run cams as long as JW or mrbb so I would say my data is not as useful for predicting long term (over 10 years) longevity.
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Old 11-26-2021, 01:23 PM
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and don't forget humidity, as that alone can play havoc on electronics's

I know I go from many extremes here, from again minus 10 degree air temps to mins 30 or so wind chills, get rain typically several times a month almost all yr anymore, humidity alone can be 80+% at time, and high temps over a 100 degree's
so my cam's get a lot of weather , also keep in mind how lond do your camera's sit in the SUN< direct sunlight, wears and ages plastic's and other parts and can also effect temsp inside the camera

this is again why IMO< many folks get different life span's out of camera's
add in again, , I also feel many camera's get bad starts due to how they were handled from being built to to installed on a tree's post or??
as all electronic's again are prone to damages from many things from shipping like vibrations, being dropped thrown, bounced around and so on!

its just not that easy IMO, to say "X" brand Make or model is the longest lasting!

think of car's vehicles
some LOVE fords and others Chevy's and so on, yet others have nothing but bad experiences with the same things??
some can be lemon's from bad builds, bad parts installed or short life of them parts and so on!

so much so that there are LEMON laws on the books
other things suffer the same problems, just don;t get the legal support due to costs don;t make it worth while for lawyers to get involved IMO! or they would!

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Old 11-26-2021, 02:17 PM
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Humidity would be a big thing. We have almost no humidity in my part of CA.
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