Trail camera differences & comparison

by | Pakatak Products

This post is designed to give our readers a better idea of which trail camera they should choose and to hopefully answer some of the most common questions we’re asked.  There are many subtle differences and sometimes it’s hard to choose, so hopefully the following information will help you make a decision.

The first question we’re always asked is which is the best trail camera but unfortunately there is no correct answer to that one as every application is different and so a different camera might be better.

I’m trying to keep this guide nice and simple so it’s easy to read and easy to use.  Here are some of the most common things we’re asked..

Which is the best for video/image quality?

Ltl Acorn Mini30

Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 or Browning Spec Ops Elite HP5

The Ltl Acorn Mini30 above has two different night vision versions.  The first being the common 940nm covert infrared which gives off no tell tale signs at all when in operation.  The second Mini30 version is the “white light”.  The white light version acts a little bit like a security light, so when the camera is triggered the light will come on and illuminate the subject area, this means that it is not at all covert but allows the camera to record some fantastic colour night vision video and photos.

You will notice that there are also 2 different Browning trail cameras above.  These are basically the same trail camera but with different versions of infrared for night vision.  The Recon Force Elite HP5 has 850nm “low glow” infrared and the Spec Ops Elite HP5 use “no glow” 940nm infrared.  The low glow infrared will give brighter footage and a bit more night vision range but the leds (infrared bulbs) give off a feint, dim red glow when in operation.  The no glow infrared used by the Browning Spec Ops Elite is completely covert but offers a little less night vision range and brightness.

Which camera can hold the most batteries and so should last the longest in the field?

Ltl Acorn 5610A

Ltl Acorn 6210MC PLUS

Both of the trail cameras above can hold a maximum of 12 AA batteries but can actually run for shorter time periods using just 4.

(the Ltl Acorn 6210MC PLUS and Mini30 cameras have better weatherproofing and are considered more sturdy and robust than the 5000 series cameras as they are more recent designs)

Which cameras have a forward facing screen for easier positioning during set up?

Ltl Acorn Mini30 (external, detachable screen)

Browning Recon Force Edge or Browning Spec Ops Edge

Ltl Acorn 6210MC PLUS

cellular trail camera

6210MC PLUS showing forward facing drop down screen

A forward facing screen is something that some users prefer as it allows you to see exactly what the camera is seeing when setting up and positioning.

Which cameras can I view and control via my mobile phone?

Eagle WiFi Trail Camera

There are a growing number of trail cameras on the market today (July 2022) which claim this feature but none that we have tested as of yet are particularly stable or reliable, especially if the WiFi link is used for live viewing.  Live viewing would drain the power of any trail camera using AA batteries very quickly.  Watch this space as I’m sure one of the manufacturers will crack it soon!

Which trail camera is the cheapest & most popular?

Big Eye D3N Wildlife Trail Camera

Ltl Acorn 5210A

You cannot beat the Ltl Acorn 5210A when it comes to value for money as it’s priced so competitively, that is until Bushwhacker brought out the Big Eye D3N!  The D3N is priced even lower than the Ltl Acorn 5210A and is slowly becoming a favourite with our customers.

Which is a good starter trail camera for recording wildlife in my garden?

Any of them really!

They’re all great trail cameras for recording wildlife and they are all easy to use & supplied with our own step by step instructions & information sheets.  I personally prefer the Ltl Acorn 6210MC PLUS, the Mini30 models and the D3N over the 5000 series Ltl Acorn cameras as I think they are more sturdy & robust and (as they are 1 piece trail cameras with less seals) tend to stand up better to winter weather conditions.

Note about the 5000 Series Ltl Acorn Trail Cameras:

The 5000 series wildlife cameras were the original models designed and manufactured by Ltl Acorn many years ago.  They are still very, very popular with trail cameras users but they are older designs in trail camera terms.  They have more moving parts that need to be handled by the user than the more modern designs out of the Ltl Acorn factory.  Extra handling means that they are more prone to wear and tear over time.  Ltl Acorn have learned and listened over many, many years and continue to do so.  For this reason the newer models such as the Ltl Acorn 6210 PLUS cameras, the Ltl Acorn Mini30 cameras and the D3N Big Eye (which is even less expensive than the 5000 series cameras) are more robust than the early Ltl Acorn 5210, 5310 and 5610 models.

Which cameras have a wide angle lens?

Ltl Acorn Mini30

Ltl Acorn 5310WA

Ltl Acorn 5610WA

lens comparison

Should I go for a wide angle lens?

I would say only go for a wide angle lens if you are looking to cover a large, open area such as a field or driveway etc.  If you have a good idea of the subject area that you are looking to cover and/or are trying to record smaller creatures such as hedgehogs, birds & foxes then stick with a standard lens trail camera.

Which trail cameras will give me colour night vision video & images?

Ltl Acorn Mini30 (white light version)

colour night vision trail camera

Mini30 White Light – colour night vision example image

Which cameras can record video at 60fps?

D3N Big Eye Trail Cam

Browning Recon Force Elite HP4 / Browning Spec Ops Elite HP4

Browning Recon Force Edge

TIP: if you have a trail camera that records video at 60fps, I’d recommend using VLC media player to playback your recorded footage.  It’s free to downlaod and copes with the faster frame rates better than many other media players.

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