Trail cameras are huntings tools and they are also used for home security purposes. To be useful in these roles they need to work properly. Some trail cameras have more features than others, and some are more basic than others. Trail cameras are also called camera traps, game cameras, scouting cameras and surveillance cameras.
They all need batteries to work so as to detect heat and motion. What are trail cameras is an important question as it helps you to determine what the best camera is for the project you have in mind.
Understanding how these modern trail cameras work will also guide you as to how to place the camera for best results.
What Are Trail Cameras - Your user manual for ongoing reference
If your camera is showing SD card error messages or you’re seeing black night photos, you’ll know that your camera isn’t working properly. This is when it is time to check out the Troubleshooting/FAQ section in your trail camera’s user manual.
The Bushnell Trophy Cam comes with a trail camera instruction manual to guide you on the exact way the camera works. They will explain the different parts of the camera, how to change settings, and even explain how to install the batteries and the SD card.
Problems are often due to something so simple that you probably just overlooked. But how do trail cameras work when you get names such as wireless and cellular trail cameras? Do they work the same?
Wireless is telling you that your trail camera has a wifi signal and sends images through a connection, while cellular means your camera works by sending images to a phone via a network.
What Are Trail Cameras - Infrared, flash, and time-lapse
An aspect of the working of these cameras is the PIRs or the Passive Infrared Sensors. Their work is to monitor the temperatures they pick up and when they sense a change, the sensor triggers the camera.
The PIR technology works in day- and nighttime. At night, the device switches to an infrared or IR mode. Some of the cheaper cameras have lower-quality PIR sensors that will wear out quicker.
Choosing a camera requires selecting a game camera with infrared or flash. Infrared cameras give off a soft red glow when on while a flash camera has a bright light that alerts you to its presence and which could alarm animals.
Trail cameras also work with something known as time-lapse, You can set the camera to automatically take pictures at the interval of time you choose such as every hour. You don’t have to worry because time-lapse doesn’t interfere with regular camera function.
How to mount a trail camera
Trail cameras work by being mounted to a tree, post or other fixed item. Most trail cameras come with a tree strap. When an animal or person comes into the area, the camera’s motion sensors alert the camera to a photo and video.
Quick rundown on how a trail camera works –
- An animal or human moves in the detection zone detected by the PIR sensor.
- The light meter reads the light, relaying the information to the exposure tables.
- The tables adjust the shutter speed and camera’s ISO.
- The shutter allows the light and image to the image sensor.
- The image sensor takes in the photo, sending the image through a computer program.
- The image is then uploaded and saved to the SD card.
You may not know everything about the workings of a trail camera but by knowing the basic concepts you can decide on your area for monitoring.
Another way to get to know your trail camera is to test it in different setups. If it does have a problem, follow the proper troubleshooting steps.
Through trial and error, you just somehow figure out how to get it to do what you bought it for.