Your trail camera batteries will last longer and perform better if you remember some basics. What settings you use, and where you mount the camera, have a significant effect. We will guide you on how to save battery power on a trail camera without sacrificing picture and video quality.
What Settings Should I Be Aware Of?
Three settings on trail cameras have a major effect on batteries. This applies both to a standard trail camera or a cellular model. Namely: photograph quality, photo burst, and photo delay.
It’s actually quite easy to understand why these matter. In any case, let’s look further at how they put a load on camera batteries.
Photo quality affects batteries because larger image files use up more processing power. Better quality pictures take up more electronic storage and need more energy to manage.
How good must the images really be just to see the animal you’re hunting? Are you going to print them out for a photo exhibition? Remember that larger files use more power and shorten battery life.
A photo burst is where the camera takes several images when it’s triggered just once. Having this switched on is going to increase the total number of photographs quickly. Every time a picture is taken, it uses the battery.
In addition, think of what happens at night. Your trail camera must use many flashes, having to recharge after every single one. All of this takes place very quickly and uses even more battery power.
Just as with photo burst, photo delay results in the camera taking more photos. Imagine setting it up at a location where deer stay for long periods. Examples are where there are minerals, natural food, or food put out for them.
If you set the delay very short, then you just get a lot more pictures. Pictures of the same deer! Putting more images on your card uses the battery more, without giving more valuable images.
What About Weather Conditions?
All cameras are affected by weather. If you’ve sat in a hide in winter, you’ve seen how your phone battery drains. Cameras use more power in extreme cold temperatures, and batteries give less.
Think about it when planning to leave trail cameras out in areas with cold winters. Realize that there’s extra strain on your camera’s power supply.
I Have a Cellular Camera. What More Should I Know?
There are extra reasons for cellular cameras to lose their battery efficiency. These include signal strength and the number of transmissions the camera makes.
How Does Signal Strength Affect Batteries?
Cellular cameras are like cell phones: the quality of the signal affects battery life. What if a camera takes longer to find a usable signal, or the signal’s weak? The camera spends more time and energy transmitting photo files.
Try to find the signal strength when placing a camera in a given area. The faster it finds a good signal, the quicker it is to send the photos. That results in less strain on the battery.
The Number of Transmissions Counts
The number of transmissions your camera makes also plays a role. Some cellular camera makers offer you a choice of how often you receive images. All well, but this comes with a price.
The more often the images go out, the more battery power is used. Imagine the camera in an outlying area where a good signal is hard to find. Setting it to send photos at every detection is going to flatten the batteries.
We don’t recommend this setting with a 12V battery or a solar-powered camera supply. However, using solar panels and integrated batteries can help tremendously in other ways.
If you use proper settings and solar panels, you keep the battery charged. This combination will give you potentially unlimited battery life.
In the wild you have no control of weather, or when animals trigger your camera. What you can do is take this advice and save your camera batteries. Your trail camera can work for weeks and months without failing.
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