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Best budget trail camera?

Old 12-05-2013, 08:34 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 59
Default Best budget trail camera?

I am looking to buy a couple of trail cameras and was wondering what the best ones under $75 (ideally $50) would be. This will be my first trail camera and will be used on public land so I don't want to spend a lot. I'm not worried about super clear pictures...just trying to determine if there are any decent bucks in a given area. I know Menards has a Wildgame Innovations 6 MP Infrared Camo Digital Scouting Camera on sale for $57.88 and a Wildgame Innovations N6 Infrared 6 MP Digital Scouting Camera on clearance for $44.99 but I have no idea if these are junk or not. I can't use bait so I'm thinking that I'll have to hang them so they are facing down a trail (due to slow trigger rates). Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:44 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 114

The lower end, smaller, wildgame innovations cameras like the rage series and red series work pretty good and are pretty cheap. I think the N6 would probably be decent but never used one. Walmart has that Tasco trail camera for 50 bucks but It would probably be wise to stay away from that because the deer have to be within a few feet to trigger it at night. I've heard some good things about the primos truth cam also.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 59

Thanks for all the advice. I've narrowed it down to the following 3 cameras:

Wildgame Red 6

It's the cheapest ($44) of the three and I like the fact that I can buy two almost for the price of one of the Primos Truth 35 ($79). I won't feel as bad if it's stolen (I'm assuming there is a 50/50 chance of this right now since this will be the first time I use one on public land).
Trigger speed is around a second and recovery is around 22 seconds per a review.
It's sold at Menards so it's easy for me to buy one and return if not what I want. Also, I have some credit from returns so might be able to buy one or two extra.
The detection zone is poor and limited.....40-50 ft tops.
Mixed reviews. Some people like them and others don't. Seems to me that this might be a decent camera but it gets a bad rap because of some of their other poor cameras. Some play poor construction.
Battery life seems to be okay based on reviews but it runs on C batteries so no recharables.
Pictures can be blurry but I'm not too worried about that. Night time picture are very poor. I'm just trying to determine if there are mature bucks in a given area.....not looking for high quality pics to share with friends.

Covert MP-E5

Mid-priced of the three. Have someone who is willing to sell me two new ones for $100 ($50 each).
Slow recovery.....claims 36 seconds but I've read it can be over a minute. Trigger time is just over a second.
Wide detection zone.
Generally good reviews.
Good picture quality
Compatible with a python cable lock.
Runs on AA batteries so can use rechargeables.

Primos Truth Cam 35

Most expensive of the three ($79).
1.5 sec trigger speed
6.5 recovery speed so MUCH better than the other two.
Wide detection zone. The range is consistently out to 45 ft.
Picture quality isn't the greatest but again isn't all that important to me.
Excellent battery life.
Gets best reviews.
Easily compatible with a python cable lock.
I think the best camera of the three but also the most expensive.

Right now I'm undecided between the three so any help is appreciated!
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 2,529

I've been using 2 wildgame innovation 2.0 IR's for a couple of years now. They've worked well, and have a great battery life.

Here's a sample pic.

Last edited by Lunkerdog; 12-06-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 20

I have been using the Moultrie A5 camera all season and it has worked awesome for me. Really good quality pictures and video and long battery life too. The picture of the buck they show on amazon is not quite what you will get but its pretty close to that. Worth checking out for sure.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 80

We use the Bushnell Trophy Cams, they work fairly well and cost $99.99 and can even be found at Meijer and Wal-Mart. They are a little higher priced then the cameras you mentioned though. We found that Lithium batteries last 3 times as long as normal alkaline batteries.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:35 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,071

Walmart carries a $70 Moultrie that works pretty good.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:06 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Seymour IN
Posts: 597

I got 4 bushnell bone collectors for 69 bucks each at Natchez shooting supply.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 257

I really like my Primos 35. I have lots of other cameras but for the money I don't think you can beat it. I got mine for $60 on sale, but you can get the refurbished ones from Natchez Shooters Supply for $49.99 each if you buy two.

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Old 12-10-2013, 07:32 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northern WI
Posts: 853

There is also the Primos DPS day-only cam that takes photos every 10 seconds. Dicks Sporting goods now has them for $39 with free shipping. I have a slightly older model I have used for 3 years now - it is dependable. Mine could be set for every 20 seconds and with that setting you could go a month on a set of 8 AA batteries. So I just ordered another at Dicks. Not the best quality pics at long range, but you can see deer movement pretty well up to 75 yds away. Just used it in sub-zero temps and it even worked! (Although I think I will be lucky to get much more than a week on the batteries in this cold) And again, this cam only takes photos from sunup to sundown.

I have found that very cheap motion activated cams tend to fail - the two Wally-world cams I tried failed within days and I returned them. Natchez sounds like a great place to get a decent IR cam at a good price too - thanks bdan68 for recommending this.

Last edited by MZS; 12-10-2013 at 07:41 PM.
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