Buy a Trail Camera

If you want to buy a trail camera (or camera trap) in order to discreetly observe nature, here is an article to give you my opinion on trail cameras.
The 4 models that I will review here are: Numaxes SL1008, Tec.Bean SG-009, Wimius H6 and Clobo HC002.

For the Wimius H6 and Clobo HC002 models, these are trail cameras that I have recently bought. So I can only give you my opinion after a few days of use.

Before I start, here’s how I use my trail cameras. This will help you to better understand my approach and my selection criteria to choose and buy a trail camera.
My traps are placed most often on the tracks and crossings that animals go on. I will do more videos rather than taking pictures.
Two points also to take into account, the trigger speed (in order to avoid missing anything as much as possible) and the angle of view and of motion detection (PIR).
I am looking for infrared LED trails cameras, rather than the ones using a flash / speedlight. Those last ones scare more the animals.
The goal for me is to be able to observe Wildlife without disturbing it (at least as little as possible, because certain mammals can see certain spectra of infrared (IR) light).
I’m just trying to better understand and know the habits of the wild animals, so that when the time comes, I can try to take pictures of them during the day.
Since I plan to place several cams, I am looking for affordable trail cams, offering a good quality / price ratio.

I don’t use bait nor food, sound or scent system etc.
I clearly do not encourage baiting the animals, making them move for nothing or hunting them afterwards, with the collected information / observations.

Example captured with models : Numaxes SL1008 and Tec.Bean SG-009.
Species : badger, fox, roe deer, lynx, red deer.

For the record, to begin, I didn’t know anything about trail cameras.
I bought my very first trail cameras by choosing the Numaxes SL1008 model (2 cameras at 90 euros each, in January 2017), and I was quite satisfied with them for my use.
Looking for covering a larger area, or different areas, I ordered two new photo traps in April 2017: 2 Tec.Bean SG-009 cameras, at 94 euros each.
For several months, I abandoned my trail cams, then I used them again during the winter of 2019/2020.
At that time, I was still expanding my research and observation area. I decided to order two more trail cameras.
After almost 3 years with the same products, I wanted to see a bit the evolution of the market which has really expanded (maybe too much?) and found myself in the middle of the profusion of trail cams.
So I browsed the web, sales sites, Youtube, manufacturers’ sites, sites about hunting, photography etc and came to buy these two models: Wimius H6 and Clobo HC002 for 50 dollars each.

If you are on the quest of pixels for the photo mode, keep in mind that in this price range, the 8, 12, 16 and 20Mp are almost all based on a 5Mp sensor, and the photo files are obtained by interpolation.
In terms of resistance regarding weather, impacts, dust, etc., I invite you to learn more about the IP code on WIkipedia.

Some tips for placing your trail camera:
– Check the batteries and the memory card.
– Do not place it facing the sun.
– Avoid areas with heavy vegetation (branches, grass, etc.), if possible, which could move with the wind.
– Do not place the trail cam too close to or directly in front of a burrow.
– Avoid places or paths visited by hikers or other people.
– Avoid getting the camera back or replacing it during the same hours you saw the animals on the videos it captured.
– Add a lock system or anti-theft device.

Example captured with models : Numaxes SL1008 and Tec.Bean SG-009.
Species : badger, fox, roe deer, lynx, red deer and Wildlife photographer ^^.

My review on the 4 models of trail cameras: Numaxes SL1008, Tec.Bean SG-009, Wimius H6 and Clobo HC002

Numaxes SL1008 trail camera:
Specs: HD Video, viewing angle 50°, PIR detection angle 48°, trigger speed < 1sec
This is my very first model of a trail camera. The video quality on night mode is not ideal, but the LED lighting provides a good coverage distance.
The detection time may seem "long" (<1sec), so it is better to place it at an angle to the axis of the passage of the animals. Robustness and autonomy wise, I find it very good. It has been in the cold, snow and rain, for several weeks.
The camera has no video screen to view the camera rendering. Simple digital display of information.
Ease for the settings, is correct but not always clear at first, if you no longer remember the instructions from the user manual ^^
The camera is made in solid color, so I put camouflage tape on it. Invisible LEDs.
I still use it of course :)

Tec.Bean SG-009 trail camera:
Specs: Full HD Video, viewing angle 60°, PIR detection angle 65°, trigger speed 0.6-1s
Better image quality for night video. The case is already camouflaged.
The LCD screen is very practical and easy to use.
Trigger speed is a bit faster but not much (from 0.6 to 1 sec).
The important feature of this trail camera, that will be part of my selection criteria later, is the fact that the camera and the LCD screen are not on the element that closes the trail cam.
So you can fix your cam, adjust your composition, then close the trap.
Tested under the same conditions as the Numaxes SL1008, everything is ok.

Wimius H6 and Clobo HC002 trail cameras:
Specs Wimius H6 : Full HD Video, viewing angle 90°, PIR detection angle 90°, trigger speed 0.5s
Specs Clobo HC002: Full HD Video, viewing angle 130°, PIR detection angle 120°, trigger speed 0.2-0.6s
Tested for few days during good weather, heavy rain and snow. I have to test them more extensively because I found some very wet parts, which were supposed to be protected, when I went to gather them.
On both trail camera models, there is the possibility of adjusting on 3 levels each, the sensitivity of the motion detector (PIR), as well as the brightness of the LEDs.
I have to explore a little more with these two parameters to find the best rendering. Both are currently set to the average value.
In terms of image quality, both are superior to my very first trail cams, and the Clobo HC002 has a better rendering, I think, than the Wimius H6.
You can judge for yourself with the videos, and I’ll probably be updating the article in a few weeks.

Example captured with models : Numaxes SL1008, Tec.Bean SG-009, Clobo HC002 and Wimius H6.
Species : chamois, badger, fox, common blackbird, tawny owl, lynx.

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