discussion / Camera Traps  / 20 July 2023

Cheap camera traps with "Timelapse+" mode?

Hi everyone,

I have a fairly specific query about camera trap time lapse functionality. I am looking for cheap models that have something similar to Bushnell's "Timelapse+" mode, whereby it takes timelapse photos (e.g. 1 per day at specified time) PLUS photos/videos captured in normal IR trigger mode. 

The reason: I'm using the time lapse photos to take picture of the flood level within a flooded forest, but I'd like to also catch any animals using the habitat. I'm trying to do this on a shoestring budget. The Bushnell's start at $120, but the camera traps I used last season (with just a basic timelapse function) were ~$35! They worked perfectly for what I need, image quality is not that important, I just want that extra triggering while in timelapse mode...

Any help would be hugely appreciated!



The project I am working on for pinnipeds, we use both Stealth cameras and Cuddelink cameras. The stealth are definitely cheaper, and we used them for timelapse but I know they have timelapse and motion sensor options. It is worth looking at!

Thanks Michelle and Kim. 

Michelle, the Stealth Cam brand seems like a good cheap option. Many of those cheap brands do offer the timelapse mode, it's just not made clear whether they can trigger via IR while in timelapse mode, which is the crucial thing for me. Not all models have manuals available online, sadly. I'll keep looking!

Kim, Raspberry pi had definitely crossed my mind, but I'm almost a complete amateur in that realm... Ideally I'm looking for a "ready to go" camera trap solution, but if nothing comes up, I'll look at building one.

If your 35$ camera does both timelapse and IR trigger, but not at the same time, then maybe use two, one for each mode. It will be 70$, which is still 50 less than the Bushnell

Frank's idea of using 2 camera traps is inspired!

I've fiddled with cheap camera traps a bit, and some (most?) of them use a low power, inaccurate timer for the time lapse function instead of the accurate real time clock.  This is ok for Michelle's purpose, but not for Nick's as he needs to specify the exact time of day to trigger.

I made this interface to allow a camera trap to be triggered by an external device.  To it you could attach, say, a timer programmed to fire at the desired times, to cause a capture.  A $4 DS3231 RTC module could do the job, after the alarm times have been programmed into it with , for example, an Arduino.