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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the market for a new trail cam finally.

I had two stealth cams several years ago and they were like 300 a piece when I bought them. But in the past two years they were both stolen. So its time to replace.

I've haven't fallen out of the loop of trail cams though last I remember moultrie had come out with some decent cams in the 200 dollar range and cuddeback was always decent and priced around 400. But I am clueless today on what is dcent.

Curious if you guys could help out with some reviews of decent cameras the price ranges and pros/cons of them.

Also what are the minimum specs I should be looking for? I'm a technology idiot so explain if you think a 5 year old won't understand hah.

Thanks in advance ya'll!!
 

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www.chasingame.com has a lot of tail camera reviews best site ive ever seen for trail cam reviews. goodluck
That guy does loads of independent testing on many modls of cams and posts his results on battery length, trigger speeed, distance capability, day/night optics, video capabilities and so on.....

He uses the cams in real word applications. Its not inside the factory testing-he straps the cams to trees on his property and leaves them for months at a time testing them with speed photography cards and the like-It's a great site!
 

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Also what are the minimum specs I should be looking for? I'm a technology idiot so explain if you think a 5 year old won't understand hah.
I will limit this to digital cams-as the day of the film cam is dead!(sory to you one or two film guys still running around)

Your first question is IR(infrared-no fash) or flash. Ther's a $100 difference between the two. While the flas realy won't spook game coming to a feeder, it will impact an "undisturbed" area where you set the cam up on a deer trail without bait to catch natural movement. Also a flash is a big sign for theives to follow.

Next question is trigger speed-the faster the better. About 1 to 3 seconds should be your goal. Moultrie and Cuddieback often have speeds in that range. A longer trigger speed is ok if the cam is over bait. For trail pics, just place the cam facing head on in the trail giving a front view as oppose dto a broadside view of the deer-that will allow the animal to be in the trigger zone long enough to trigger.

3rd question is viewability-if you get a cam with an SD card memory slot, you can simply change cards when checking the camera(about a $5.00 proposition) and place the card you just took out of the cam into your off the shelf digital cammera--no need for fancy viewers or special cables

4th question is battery type and life. I would never by a cam with a "rechargable battery" But I would make sure any cam I got had a battery life of at least 30 days on one set of batteries taking regular pics.

These are the basic questions to ask yourself. If you want to be realy HITECH, you can opt for special beels and whistles like solar power recharging and video imagng, but a base model cam is realy all you need.

I have the Moutrie I-40 IR model-at $180.00 its not to expensive, easy to program, very user friendly with a 2 to 3 second trigger speed-weather tightness is excellent, and there are plenty of aftermarket accesories to make it theft resistant. It takes excellent pictures, has SD card memory, and lasts up to 5000 pics on one set of d-cell batteries. Its a great all around cam
 

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I also have the Moultrie I-40 and would recommend it to anyone. It takes great pictures and lasts a long time on the batteries. In my opinion infra-red is the only way to go. I've seen results from flash cameras versus mine on the same property and the infra-red ALWAYS has more pictures. I bought one of these for my Moultrie and it locks the camera up to the tree very well. It wasn't expensive either.
Cam Lock Box(this guy makes them for almost every brand camera out there):
http://myownstore.camlockbox.com/Category_list.aspx
 

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The Reconyx R-55 is pretty much the current gold standard of cams and can be found for around $450. I purchased one last year and another this year. Comparatively they absolutely blow away the any of the cuddlebacks. I previously owned one of the cuddleback no-flashs which was a pretty much a top of line camera just a few years ago and I would give it about a 4 on a scale of 10 when compared to the R-55.

Realistically, the only reason not to go with the R-55 is the simple matter of cost. Understandably, $450 is more than people want to spend. However, I can not think of single thing about the cam that has ever disappointed me. In fact, one of the single best features are the handles that are integral part of the entire camera. They allow you to run a cable lock right through the cam a feature many other brands, cuddleback included, simply do not have.

If you have any specific questions abou the cam let me know.

JC

Here is a sample of a typical RC-55 pic. (Obviously, the resolution of the actual picture is much higher but has been reduced to fit properly on this forum.)

 

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I will throw another vote out for the I-40's. If nothing else battery life alone makes this camera great. On occasion I do feel the shudder speed is slow and on other occasions I don't feel the camera snaps off enough pics making me wonder what I missed. All that said, I own 3 and for the money they are hard to beat.

Henro, thanks for the tip on the boxes, just bought two for cams I didn't have boxes for. My buddy makes them but it's like pulling teeth to get him to get them done. Be anxious to see how these compare.
 

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I have 3 Cuddeback Excites. Simple operation and good quality pictures.They are flash models and I watched Deer totally ignore the flash. I get about 100 days of battery life on 4 D batteries as long as the temp isn't below freezing. When its extremely cold I get 40 days on 4 D batteries. I think they sell for around $225.
 

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Jc how much is the cuddeback in comparison these days?
The no flash's are around 250 new on ebay.

As I mentioned earlier though they are almost archaic when compared to some of the newer cams. For example, with cuddeback I think the most pics I ever got in a week was the low couple of hundreds. With the RC-55 I generally have to limit the amount of pics I will even allow it to take and I still get several thousand a week on a regular basis.

If you have the cam over a pile of bait where the deer will stand in front of it for a long time the cuddeback is fine. However, 80% of the year most people are not putting our bait and that means you may only have seconds to get a pic. Where this becomes important is for example on a trail. In that case even if there are ten deer moving in a line once the first deer trips the picture if your cam is not ready to take another pic very quickly the other 9 deer might pass right by. Of course if you only got a pic of the first one..you would never even know the other 9 had been there. This time of year fast trigger speeds for trail watching is very important...because the bucks are traveling in bachelor groups and if your cam is only fast enough to take a pic of the first buck, once again, you may never know that there were more bucks with him.

Below is perfect example. Even though I had the cam on one of the slowest settings because I have gotten tired of looking through several thousand pics a week, I still got pictures of all three of these bucks travelling together even though they moved right past the cam pretty quickly. With the cuddeback, all I would have gotten was the first pic and I would have never seen the third buck, which I was specifically looking for, and I would have never known he had been there. (BTW..had I chosen to set the camera on a faster setting I could have had well over 10 pics of these deer before they moved on, however as I mentioned I don't have the time to look through oodles of pics of each deer ever week, so I slow it down considerably....over a fresh scrape though..now that is a different story!!)

Hope this all makes sense...I can explain some other stuff as well if you are interested.

JC



 

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Here is another set to give you an idea of the exceptional power a camera like the RC-55 has when compared to most of the competition. Below is a picture sequence showing a buck that spent only 16 seconds arriving at, checking, and departing a mock scrape I had created as he was working a scrape line.

In comparison...with the majority of camera's today's off the shelf camera's...all you would have seen is the very first pic and you would never of have had an idea if the deer even stopped at the scrape, let alone knowing that has also worked the licking branch before he left. (Indicating he was trully interested in the scrape and much more likely to return.)

For me at least...the ability to capture sequences like this are priceless and certain worth the extra $200 over a cuddeback with which I would have seen virtually none of this behavior.

JC
















 

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Deadbolt,

Are you making any decisions on this anytime soon? If you are, let me know what you are looking for as I spend enough time on classifieds forums that I may see something of interest to you.

JC
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Im just floating on it right now...I have alot of cabelas points I need to burn up so odds are I'll go through them but if a good deals pops up its hard to say no LOL.
 

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I have alot of cabelas points I need to burn up so odds
Just keep in mind there are alot of things you can buy at Cabelas that are no where nears as inflated as their cam prices.

Just for perspective...Cabela's charges $560+ for the RC-55 cam, meanwhile you can buy them brand new on ebay for $450.

JC
 
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