Top 7 Cheap and Best Trail Cameras Under $100 in 2017

If you ever want to observe wildlife or go hunting, it is a good idea to be prepared with the right gear. Given the things that you can see from the outdoors, a good trail cam can come in handy. In reality, finding the best trail cam under 100 dollars shouldn’t be too complicated.

And yes, you don’t have to throw a lot of money just to have a good working camera for the outdoors. Unfortunately, a lot of people doing outdoor activities have no idea which trail cam works best for them especially when they just have a small budget.

For the basics, let’s get a deeper understanding what the trail camera should be all about. For starters, a game camera is mainly used to record animal activity both in the day and low-light conditions. It is important for the device not only to provide you with the best image considering its price but also durability, given the conditions that it might get exposed to. The good news is that there are many cheap and reliable trail camera options in the market today.

What to look in a cheap trail cam? (Buyer guide)

How exactly are you supposed to pick the right inexpensive camera for your needs? Here’s a simplified guide how you can make the most out of your budget.

  • Budget
  • Picture quality
  • Detection circuit
  • Battery life
  • User friendliness

Of course, you will have to take a closer look at the picture quality of the trail camera. One of the things that can tell you more about the picture quality is the megapixels. However, also consider the reality that it is not just about the megapixels. The quality of lens will also play a role in the quality of the image in your trail camera. It is always a good idea to pay close attention to the sample photos of the camera, especially those that have been submitted by its users.

The Best Trail Cam Under $100

Apeman Trail Camera is another great option for people who need to bring a high-performance camera that can take crisp photos and detect motion when hunting. It features brightly colored photos that make this trail camera a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

This budget-friendly option has gained popularity not only because of its price point but even because of its overall performance. The Apeman Trail Camera with Infrared is an 8-megapixel camera that can capture images and videos both in day and night.

If you are observing movement in pitch black situations at night, it has an infrared feature that allows the camera to take black and white images at night. The Apeman Trail Camera makes use of 26 pcs black LEDs for its low glow infrared feature. It also takes up to 9 photos per movement that it has detected while it triggers in less than second upon tracking movement within its range.

It also has a superior wide view angle compared to most products in the market making sure that you get more surprising shots along the way.

If you are the type who plans on recording videos, this camera makes one of the best options since it supports recording of both video and sound and can even record up to 3 minutes. Another great thing about the Apeman Trail Camera is that it has a 2.4 inch LCD screen that allows you to preview images that the camera captured during your setup.

It also has a triggering distance of up to 15 meters, more than enough to get a observe movement from a decent range. This is also something that you can rely on especially during wet seasons with its IPS4 Spray Water Protected Design.

The trail camera is powered by 8 pieces of AA batteries. Though it doesn’t have rechargeable batteries, you can still rely on the trail camera to perform continuously for hours. It has an energy efficient design that can last for up to 6 months long.

Pros

  • Fast trigger speed of under 1 second
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    Shoots up to 20 meters
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    With low glow infrared technology
  • 2.4 inch LCD

Cons

  • 8 megapixels
  • Picture quality at night is not that impressive

Not everyone is a pro when it comes to doing outdoor activities. This makes the ENKLOV Wild Life Hunting Camera such a great option. It is a simplified option that has three basic capture modes: photo, video, and photo + video.

This trail camera is considered an entry level equipment that has 8MP and 720p recording quality. Unlike most trail cameras that have a rechargeable battery, it makes use of AA batteries. But with its low energy consumption design, it has been engineered to last for a long time without changing the 8 AA batteries. In fact, it can last for up to 6 months without charging according to the manufacturers. It also has a slot for 32 gig SD card in order for you to take as many images as you can.

The camera allows you to capture images up to 15 meters away. It also encompasses an 80-degree field of view allowing you to have a good angle in order to detect movements of animals that you want to record on your device.

It also has a trigger of less than 1 second. Unfortunately, the camera may have to recover for up to 5 seconds if you are going to shoot continuously with the unit. This means that there is a chance that you will miss some movements still if the animal is actually moving fast.

However, it has an impressive trigger interval time considering that it is an entry level camera. ENKLOV Wild Life Hunting Camera can shoot every 5 seconds to 60 minutes interval time.

As for its ability to take images at night, ENKLOV Wild Life Hunting Camera is equipped with 26 pieces of 940nm black IR LED. This is undetectable to the human eye which makes it the perfect device especially if you are capturing the movement of animals that are very sensitive to light.

And because the trail camera is going to be used outdoors and will be exposed to different types of weather, the ENKLOV Wild Life Hunting Camera has a durable case with an IP54 high-level waterproof design that gives you peace of mind whether it is against rain or even corrosion.

Pros

  • Quick trigger time of less than 1 second
  • 80 Degree wide angle field. of view
  • Low-glow IR LED option

Cons

  • Makes use of 8 AA. batteries
  • 2.0-megapixel image sensor

The Wild Game Terra 8 is one of the best trail cameras that you can buy for less than $100. For this particular device, you just have to spend within the $50 range which might be the reason it is a favorite among many entry-level outdoor enthusiasts.

Another thing that makes the product a standout is the fact that customers love its easy to use design. It has a user-friendly operation that even first-timers will quickly figure out a few minutes after unboxing.

It is an 8-megapixel camera with 60 feet detection range. It provides a decent quality image that gives you the ability to observe wildlife without any stress. And since it has a 60 feet detection range, you can do it from afar in a safe spot and not worry that the camera is going to be noticed. Unfortunately, shutter speed isn’t too fast along with its reset compared to the other cameras in the market. Other than that, you can use the device without a problem.

It also has both daytime and nighttime photo and video capabilities making it the perfect tool especially if you are observing nocturnal animals with increased activity at night time.

The camera makes use of 8 AA batteries and with its energy efficient functions, the camera can last for up to 6 months without changing the battery.

Pros

  • Energy efficient​​​​
  • Durable and handy for outdoors
  • With less than 1-second trigger

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a rechargeable battery
  • Shutter speed isn’t too quick

If you have a working budget of less than $40 and you are not too particular about the megapixels in your camera, the Primos 6MP Bullet Proof Trail Camera can be a great option.

For starters, this 6-megapixel camera is easy to use. It has a straight-forward design that makes it such a simple setup that any beginner can take advantage of. All you need to know is that it has an SD slot where you can store your SD card to save your photos and that is basically it.

Though popular for its affordable price, the Primos 6MP Bullet Proof Trail Camera can perform decently. It has the ability to take high-quality photos despite the fact that it is a low-resolution camera. It can also be a reliable option if you are looking to use it in night situations. It has 13 low-glow LEDs that can capture images effectively at 30 feet.

It also has a compact design which particularly makes it a discreet camera option when capturing movements of animals in the wild. It is even colored green for it to blend into the bushes and trees.

Pros

  • High-quality image
  • User-friendly design
  • Takes images at night
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Cons

  • Lacking in other features
  • Questionable quality when exposed to harsh weather
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The Wildgame Innovations Terra 5 Game Camera is a 5-megapixel trail camera that provides great stills for its users. It makes use of a high-quality lens that provides you with some of the best images that you can get in both daylight and nighttime scenarios.

It can also be used to take videos. The Wildgame Innovations Terra 5 is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts that are into recording animal movements and play it back on your computer. It can capture 30-second clips and has decent video quality as well. Now, if you plan on using the Terra 5 Game Camera at night, this camera has a 21 piece LED infrared flash that allows illumination of animals within a 50-foot range. This is a camera that offers a decent range especially when it comes to observing animals that are sensitive to flash. However, the infrared is quite intense making it still a bit noticeable especially if the animal is just a few feet away from the camera at night.

Just like other Wildgame Innovations camera, it has a less than 1-second trigger that gives you the chance to capture animal movement as it gets detected by the camera. It also takes burst photos. Unfortunately, it can only take 1 photo every 3 seconds which can be quite frustrating if you are observing animals that move fast. It also doesn’t have a lot of features that can give you a lot of options as a user. However, the good thing though is that it is very compact in terms of size and can also operate quietly without any problem.

Pros

  • Easy to use and set up
  • Compact design
  • Durable design
  • Captures high-quality images
  • 21-piece LED infrared flash for low light functions

Cons

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There are a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts that are becoming serious about their hobby. Whether it is simply observing animals in their environment or hunting, it comes in handy to have a camera that not only takes a great image but can also have a great overall performance.

The Wild Game 10 Megapixel Crush is a great option if you plan on having clear photos and videos outdoors both in night and day situations. For starters, compared to the other Wild Game trail cameras, this option is probably one of the best options that you can purchase.

Aside from providing you with crisp and high-quality photos and videos, you can also expect this camera to blend in the environment well. It makes use of Trubark HD texture which makes it true to its classification as an outdoor trail camera. It also has a high-intensity IR flash using 27 pieces of LED. And because of the number of LEDs used for its infrared illumination, the Wild Game 10 Megapixel Crush trail camera can detect movement for up to 75 feet. That makes the device a great tool, especially when observing animals both from afar and those that are just within a few feet from the camera.

It also has a fast trigger allowing you to not miss on the animal that goes within its range. This device is powered by 8 AA batteries but has been known in the outdoor niche for its efficient energy use. In fact, according to some users, their camera could even last for months without replacing the battery.

But of course, there are still some things that the manufacturer could improve on when it comes to this item. For instance, there should be a place where to lock the cable whenever the camera is going to be installed on a tree. Other than that, this can be considered as a perfect under $100 trail camera.

Pros

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    Simple to use
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    Energy efficient
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    Durable
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    Discreet
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    Takes high-quality images

Cons

  • Hard to set up on trees

Are you the type of outdoor enthusiast who typically encounters a rough environment outdoors? For those who simply love the outdoors and the rough terrain that goes with it, the Stealth Cam 10 Megapixel Trail Camera makes a great choice.

It becomes a great choice mainly for different reasons. Primarily, this trail camera has a durable design that makes it a reliable tool for outdoor enthusiasts. It can withstand different weather conditions that you might encounter once you are in the wild. In addition to this, in terms of picture quality, it has 10 megapixels and even allows video recording of 5/10/15 seconds.

It also has an SD card slot that goes up to 32GB. This allows you to have a decent amount of both photos and videos from your trip. You might argue that 32 gig isn’t much. In reality, considering the 10-megapixel resolution that the camera has, this is already enough on most occasions.

What makes this camera a favorite among wildlife enthusiasts is the fact that it has a lightweight and compact design. This allows them to easily pack the camera without any trouble in their backpack together with the rest of their outdoor gear.

This type of camera is also reliable especially if you plan on staying outdoors for a good number of hours. It has an energy efficient design that gives you the chance to capture animal movement within its range even overnight without a problem.

Just how far can it record images? The Stealth Cam 10 Megapixel Trail Camera has a 60-foot range, which is more than enough to capture wildlife activity. It also has a burst rapid-fire mode to make sure that it doesn’t miss even the slightest animal movement. The camera delivers 1 to 3 images per triggering which allow you to get a clear picture and angle of a moving animal.

And if you think that you need to retrieve the images to your laptop to free up some space or to store the images and videos, the camera has a mini USB output that can quickly upload your photos to your camera.

Pros

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    Easy to use with its simple setup
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    Compact design
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • 10 megapixels
  • Grainy night images

Wrap up

These are some of the best trail cams that you can get under $100. Although the trail cams under $100 lack some of the advanced features, they are more than essential for a casual hunter. In case if you are planning to use multiple trail cams at different locations, and somewhat paranoid about getting them lost, getting cheap trail cams I've mentioned above makes sense.

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