Beginner's guide to trail cameras
Trail cameras are called many things - trail cams, outdoor cameras, camera traps, motion-activated cameras - but they all have one thing in common: trail cameras sense motion in front of them and are triggered to take photos or video without needing a person to operate the camera.
Modern trail cameras can have a huge array of features. Here are some of the common ones.
||Almost all trail cameras bought today are activated by a "passive infra-red" (PIR) motion-sensing system. They do not emit any signal. Instead, the ambient temperature of the area in view of the camera is monitored and when something moves through the field of view which is of a different temperature, the camera is triggered.
||All trail cameras that we are aware of will take photos when triggered. Most cameras let you program how many photos to take: from 1 to 3 photos is common. Some cameras support 1 to 9 photos or more.
||Most cameras will allow you to choose to record video instead of taking photographs, but not all. Some specialist cameras do not support video. Video formats can be low resolution right through to high definition.
||Some cameras allow you to record audio together with video. Be aware some legal juristrictions have laws governing the recording of audio. Some cameras allow you to disable this feature while others do not.
||This refers to the amount of time between the camera being triggered (sensing motion) and the first photograph being taken, or the start of recording video. A majority of cameras have a trigger time of approximately 0.9 to 1.2 seconds. This can be significant for many camera uses but you can use various techniques to work around this limitation. Some specialist cameras have a trigger time as fast as 0.2 seconds. These can be more expensive or have other feature limitations.
||This refers to how long the camera should wait, after being triggered, before becoming "active" again. For example, If you set the re-arm delay to 5 mintues, then once the camera has been triggered it will not be triggered again within 5 minutes, regardless of how much activity occurs in front of it. The interval you choose depends on your needs - do you want to continuously capture photos or video of the same animal for as long as it is in front of the camera? Or is it enough for you to get 1 or 2 photos to know the animal was there?
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There are many more features offered by trail cameras and they are changing all the time. We are experts in trail cameras and we're here to help.