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Affordable and reliable: Top trail cameras for nature enthusiasts

Explore the best trail cameras that offer value and performance for tracking wildlife and increasing home security

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By Wes Littlefield

Trail cameras offer a unique glimpse into the natural world, allowing nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts to observe animals in their habitat without disturbing them. They also serve as a valuable tool for hunters, providing insights into wildlife activity when you’re not in your tree stand or at the feeder. Additionally, trail cameras enhance security, helping to deter trespassers on your property.

When purchasing a trail cam, it’s crucial to consider three key factors: price, features, and brand reputation. These elements often intertwine, with advanced features commanding a higher price. However, if you’re in the market for a basic trail cam, you can expect to find one that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Our top 8 trail camera picks for nature watching, hunting and security

Here are our top pics for trail cameras.

Trail cameras for budgets of $500+

Reconyx HyperFire 2 Cellular Trail Camera

The Reconyx HyperFire 2 will send every picture directly to your phone, so you don’t have to spread your scent all over the woods to check your trail cam. It’s compatible with AT&T and Verizon users, shoots video or captures images, and has an infrared flash so that it won’t spook the animals at night. It’s the perfect choice for serious hunters or if you live far from your hunting spot.

Trail cameras for budgets of $100-$400

SpyPoint LINK-MICRO-S-LTE Solar Cellular Trail Camera

The SpyPoint Link-Micro S LTE Solar Cellular trail cam offers a user-friendly interface, so it’s easy to set up. Best of all, it has unlimited battery life thanks to the integrated solar panel with a rechargeable battery. The 80-foot infrared flash and detection range ensures it captures everything happening in the camera’s field of view while the cellular technology sends the photos to the SpyPoint smartphone app.

Cuddeback CuddeLink IR Cellular Camera

The Cuddeback CuddeLink IR cellular trail cam is different because the CuddLink network technology doesn’t need LTE cellular reception, so you can set these cameras up in remote areas. I especially love that you can have up to 24 cameras on one cell connection. Of course, there’s a fee, but it’s much better than having 24 different cell connections and the fees that come along with that! It also used a black flash or infrared flash to avoid spooking the animals you’re attempting to scout.

Browning Strike Force Pro DCL Trail Camera

The Browning Strike Force Pro DCL can capture pictures and videos, with sound, of animals up to 100-feet away. Although it won’t send pictures or videos to your phone, it is reasonably priced, uses an infrared illumination system, and is compatible with Browning Buck Watch Timelapse Viewer Software.

Stealth Cam Deceptor No-Glo Cellular Trail Camera

The Stealth Cam Deceptor No-Glo cell trail cam is budget-friendly, won’t spook animals, and works on multiple networks for wireless transmissions. The 80-foot detection range works in various weather conditions, and the black flash lights up images taken in the dark without scaring off the animal. The dual network coverage automatically uses the strongest cell network to always be able to send you pictures and videos.

Wildgame Innovations Encounter 2.0 Cellular Trail Camera

The Wildgame Innovations Encounter 2.0 cell trail cam has all the features of other cameras in this price range, yet the smartphone app makes it stand out. The free HuntSmart app is available on iOS or Android phones and uses an Artificial Intelligence Management (AIM) system to organize and analyze the pictures and give you additional information about the species.

Muddy Matrix Cellular Trail Camera

The Muddy Matrix cell trail cam allows you to capture on-demand photos and videos using the Stealth Cam Command Pro app. It also uses a dual network support system and has up to 80-foot detection. The dual network support means it searches out which carrier has the strongest signal in your area and uses that network so you can always connect to your trail cam. Lots of customers love the photo quality the most.

Trail cameras for budgets of $100

Tactacam Reveal X Gen 2 Cellular Trail Camera

The Tactacam Reveal X Gen 2 uses Low Glo IR technology to avoid spooking animals while capturing HD video and photos, which can be accessed via the app. This trail cam is very compact, which makes hiding it much more manageable. It’s also compatible with AT&T or Verizon cellular networks, so you can use the carrier with the strongest signal in your area. However, you don’t have to have the cellular service set up for it to take pictures. The best thing about this camera is the price, as it’s incredibly affordable, yet it has several features of high-end trail cameras.

About the author

Wes Littlefield has been hunting since he could carry a gun. Many of his most incredible memories involve hunting with his dad, daughter and friends because the outdoors is where he feels the most alive. He’s probably fishing, hiking or kayaking when he isn’t writing about hunting. Wes is the lead writer at and and operates