A game camera is a special hunting camera that captures images of wildlife. Typically, a game camera can take high-resolution still images and digital video by either using an infrared flash or taking advantage of ambient light conditions. The distance and clarity achievable with modern game cameras allow hunters to view wildlife in their area without disturbing the game. In the past, game cameras were mainly equipped with SD cards, which had to be read out. The current trend is toward cameras that can connect online to the hunter's smartphone or tablet and send the images in real time. On the one hand, there is no longer any need to drive to the hunting ground and disturb the game just to read out the memory card, and on the other hand, the images are available live.
The performance of game cameras varies widely, and the price differences are correspondingly large. The simplest versions start at about 100 euros and reach five to six times this amount at the peak. It is therefore necessary to estimate what you expect from the game cameras, where and for what purpose they will be used. So, one should consider what features are required or desired, and match that with one's budget. The most important characteristics for the image quality of game cameras, as with all cameras, is the specifications of the optics, the resolution of the image sensor and, for night shots, the strength and thus the range of the infrared flash.
Even the simplest game cameras can provide acceptable images during the day, with their image quality deteriorating dramatically at night. In the worst case, images shot at night are unusable-bad, since sows and predators are nocturnal. However, better and more expensive cameras not only offer higher image quality and a longer range, but also have practical additional functions such as continuous shooting, video recording and the storage of additional data such as moon phase or temperature.
The premium models among the game cameras send the recordings by SMS (which can cause high costs) or by e-mail, so that they can be viewed on a smartphone / cell phone. So hunters you are always up to date about what is happening in the precinct, and can intervene quickly if necessary.
If the game camera is to be used in an area with a high risk of theft, e.g. near a city, an inexpensive camera can be advantageous.
The reaction time of the camera is also crucial: If places are to be observed where game is only present for a short time or passes by quickly, the shortest possible shutter release delay should be observed - this is particularly important at crossings. If it is likely that the surveillance objects will stay longer, a slower game camera is needed. Wildlife cameras with a slow response time are suitable for monitoring stanchions or feeding areas, as the animals tend to stay there longer.
An important factor is also whether the camera triggers quietly or loudly. The fact that not all wildlife cameras trigger images without noise can be a problem in red deer and big game areas, as well as when monitoring houses or indoor areas.
Game cameras, often called observation cameras or photo traps, are digital cameras that take photos or video when the built-in motion sensor detects movement. Wildlife cameras are often equipped with a flash that can illuminate images with visible light or infrared light in low-light conditions.
In addition, wildlife cameras can be used for a variety of applications, such as capturing video of animals in the wild. They can also be used to monitor home and property while one is away, such as on vacation. Wildlife cameras can even be used to effectively secure remote recreational and commercial areas. Wildlife cameras are also commonly used in science and conservation for documentation.
In principle, you should pay attention to good workmanship and not buy a camera that is too cheap. Although models are already available from about 50 euros, these are usually not convincing by the quality of the recordings and go very quickly broken - without that a warranty of the provider would provide compensation. If you buy cheap, you buy twice.
Even in complete darkness, a game camera with a night shooting mode can take black and white pictures. In this case, infrared light is used to brighten the surroundings, which is not noticed by the game. Higher-end game cameras use radio transmission to send photos and movies to a designated receiver.
Every hunter wonders what actually happens in his hunting ground when he is not there. In order to answer this question, game cameras can be used - preferably several of them, in order to have a comprehensive overview of the hunting area. Game cameras do not only facilitate the hunting success for the hunter, it is also more gentle for the game because the hunter does not have to go to the hunting ground so often to reach it. In addition to hunting, game cameras are also suitable for monitoring one's own business premises, one's own home or the enclosed property.
Wildlife cameras can send photos or alerts in different ways. This can be done by SMS or by e-mail. The wildlife cameras have a transmitter module similar to that of a cell phone, which allows them to transmit images and notifications. As with other cell phones, a SIM card is required
Data is transmitted using different cellular protocols: 2G, 3G or 4G. The G in the name stands for generation, and each generation represents a significant technological improvement that primarily affects the speed of data transfer - the time it takes to send images from a game camera to a computer or smartphone.
Depending on the generation, data is transferred using different cellular standards: 2G (GPRS and Edge cellular standards), 3G (UMTS), and 4G (LTE) are the slowest and fastest.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a location for a wildlife camera: for privacy and security reasons, do not choose locations where there are numerous and frequent forest tourists. Trails, swimming areas, parking lots and the like are thus excluded. Areas that attract certain game species are fascinating, and at the same time hunting is possible: Kirrungen, Wechsel udn Suhlen. Tracing the territory can facilitate the place for a game camera.
Unwanted photos can be caused by branches and bushes moving in the wind. To prevent the camera from taking pictures of the rising or setting sun, it should be placed in a north-south direction. Wildlife cameras should not be placed at human eye level: This is not only for theft prevention - cameras mounted at knee height (wild boar, predators) or at overhead height with appropriate tilt (deer) provide better images.
The best and easiest anti-theft strategy is to not hang a wildlife camera in busy places or at eye level. Photo traps at knee or overhead height are much less likely to be detected than if they are mounted at eye level. In addition, all game cameras have eyelets for attachment with a cable lock. Sturdy metal housings are available for most popular game cameras. Coniferous or deciduous trees, shrubs and plants can provide excellent camouflage. Camouflage is an effective means of theft prevention, for example, using tree bark or similar materials. Many wildlife cameras can be secured by entering a PIN or password.