discussion / Camera Traps  / 9 February 2021

Best Camera Trap Models Database: Input Needed

Hi Wildlabbers,

We received a question from the National Geographic Exploration Technology Lab about the most popular low to mid-range camera trap models within our community right now.

Quite a lot of answers on this question are scattered throughout the forum from over the past five years, so now seems like a great time to make an up-to-date resource bank on what camera traps you all prefer for specific types of projects, and most importantly, why that camera trap works best for you!

Let us know what camera trap models you prefer, what types of projects, environments, or species you prefer them for, and why you'd recommend it. 

We'll compile your answers into a database for WILDLABS that can be updated over time with new models and uses.

Thanks, can't wait to see everyone's answers!


I wonder how many people really have a lot of experience with a wide range of camera traps to have a really good idea which one worked best. Many people and projects have experience with a few cameras, which fitted their budgets at the time. Some of those might have not worked so well, others were good enough to keep, but does that make those cameras really preferred? Or are they just preferred amongst the small range of camera traps used? Maybe it's better to ask which ones people have used, and how they would rank them.

We've tested a number of economical trail cameras over the past couple years in some harsh conditions. Our cameras are located in the Jama Coaque Reserve and greater conservation area just south of the equator in western Ecuador. We have intense rainy and dry seasons. These cameras have been mounted in the tree canopy as well as ground level. Here is what we tested:

Bushnell - several models of the Trophy Cam Agressor line

- We've used the Bushnell's the longest but have experienced a pretty high failure rate with them.  - They have been fairly good about honoring the warranty.

Browning - BTC-8A Spec Ops Advantage

- The Browing BTC-8A (x2) are still operating fine after ~2.5 years. 

Browning - Dark Ops Pro XD Dual Lens BTC-6PXD

- We have 22 of these in operations now. Two have been operational for ~2.5 years. The others have been used for a little over a year now. We've had 4 failures, one of those because the branch fell out of the tree that it was on (took pics on the ground for a while and then got moisture inside) and another was bitten by some sort of mammal (monkey, tyra, ?) and got moisture inside. The other two appear to have gotten moisture inside of them. So we are extremely pleased with the BTC-6PXD. We went with these because they only use 6 aa batteries and they were smaller/lighter than the BTC-8A.

We also use these with rechargable Amazon nimh batteries. We're getting 6-10 months of battery life!

I thought about trying out some different cameras but I've noticed that a bunch of the new Browning cameras I've looked at specifically say they will not work with rechargables. Super disappointing.