The Best Trail Cameras of 2012

By Jonathan Bales , last updated February 23, 2012

Trail cameras are an incredibly useful and often sophisticated tool to aid hunters in tracking their targets, even when they are not physically present. Trail cameras are placed on a tree or other object and take photographs at regular intervals or when they sense motion. Some people use trail cameras to simply enjoy seeing animals in their natural state, while others use them to see how often a particular animal frequents an area to help with hunting strategy. Once a novelty, trail cameras are now incredibly popular and there are a multitude of them on the market. Ranging in price from less than $100 to thousands of dollars, the range of trail cameras available in 2012 is vast. Listed below is information on some of the best.

Reconyx Hyperfire HC 600 Trail Camera

Retailing for $550, the Reconyx Hyperfire HC 600 Trail Camera is for advanced hunters. Producing high-quality 3.1 megapixel images, the trail camera has No-Glow High-Output Covert technology to reduce red glow. With an infrared flash, the trail camera can take high-definition photos of things up to 50 feet away in the dark. The trail camera's motion sensor allows it to take photographs only when necessary and the Rapid-Fire design can shoot at a near-video speed. With 1,080P resolution, these images are incredibly clear even at while shooting two frames per second.

During the day, the Reconyx Hyperfire HC 600 Trail Camera shoots color photos, and these alter to monochrome at night. All images have the time, date, moon phase and temperature printed on them, giving the user unique and useful information. The trail camera has an SC and SDHC card slot with up to 32GB of memory, although the cards are sold separately. On top of all that, the trail camera comes with Buckview advanced software with Google Maps Code-Loc password protection. Made in the USA, the Reconyx Hyperfire HC 600 Trail Camera uses 1.5 volt lithium batteries.

Moultrie Game Spy M 100 Game Camera

For a trail camera that is very well-made but will not break the bank, the Moultrie Game Spy M 100 Game Camera is the perfect choice. Running for $200, the trail camera is the perfect combination of quality and affordability. Perfect for advanced hunters and novices alike, the trail camera shoots amazing 6.0 megapixel images. Made in a miniature design, the camera comes with three operational modes, including a motion-sensing mode, time-lapse mode, and traditional plot camera setting.

Three digital zoom settings allow you to capture a variety of images, and the Illumi-Night censor has incredible infrared power for amazing night photos. One of the newest trail cameras on the market, the Moultrie Game Spy M 100 Game Camera is one of the few of its kind to produce 16:9 widescreen photos and video. With the ability to delay photographs by just 15 seconds or up to one hour, the camera's versatility is awesome. Finally, the Moultrie Game Spy M 100 Game Camera is one of the only trail cameras to produce sound. It is powered by either four or eight AA batteries.

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