Best Trail Camera Under $150: I Bought 9 for Unbiased Testing

Are you looking for a trail camera and are overwhelmed by the large number you have to choose from? Are you wanting to know which one is the best? If you are asking yourself any of these questions, this post is for you!

After spending 100 hours testing 9 different brands of trail cameras, these were our favorites.

I tested 9 trail cameras to see which one is the best. Check out my results below!

How the Cameras Were Tested

All of the following 9 cameras were tested in 11 different categories, and each was given a final score. The categories include price, build quality, ease of use, daytime image quality, trigger speed, nighttime image quality, wide-angle quality, video quality, battery life, memory card size, and image preview.

These cameras were tested in two different environments, indoors and outdoors, and while they each performed differently in the opposing environments, the performance of the camera outdoors took precedence over the performance indoors, as that is where the cameras are primarily intended to be used.

The camera that I gave the highest score overall is the Stealthcam. While the Browning Strike Force HDX Pro has the highest overall scores, the scoring of the other 8 cameras is provided for your comparison, I preferred the Stealthcam because of the daytime image quality, video quality, and battery life. Many of the aspects of the Stealthcam scored fairly high after testing, but other trail cameras also received high scores, so they should not be ignored just because there are better cameras out there.

Let’s talk about the details of each of these trail cameras.

1. Browing Strike Force HDX Pro

I gave the Browning Strike Force HDX Pro a final score of 83.

CategoriesScore
Price7
Build Quality9
Ease of Use9
Daytime Image Quality7
Trigger Speed3
Nighttime Image Quality7
Wide-Angle Quality9
Video Quality5
Battery Life6
Memory Card Size9
Image Preview9
Final Score:83
(Source)

After adding up all of the scores, the Browning Strike Force HDX Pro came out on top. However, while it received the highest score, I do not necessarily consider it to be the best trail camera that I tested. It scored so well majorly due to the high-performance capabilities of its ease of use, wide-angle quality, and memory card size aspects, all of which earned a score of 9, but the next camera we will discuss has aspects that scored higher than this camera did. Some of these aspects are more important to me and are key to what makes up a good trail camera.

2. Stealthcam

The Stealthcam was given a final score of 73.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality6
Ease of Use6
Daytime Image Quality9
Trigger Speed5
Nighttime Image Quality6
Wide-Angle Quality7
Video Quality9
Battery Life12
Memory Card Size5
Image Preview7
Final Score:73

I deemed the Stealthcam as the best out of the 9 that were tested. This is a result of the significantly high scores of price, being scored as a 9, and well as daytime image quality and overall video quality being scored both as 9s also. The main score that put this camera towards the top of the list was the battery life quality coming in with a score of 12, which is the highest score that any of these tested cameras received in any category. That is truly a score that just can’t be beaten!

All of these top-scoring aspects (price, daytime image quality, overall video quality, as well as battery life) are the most effective aspects that should be kept at top priority when purchasing a trail camera, and the Stealthcam provides high scores for all of them. This makes me consider the Stealthcam to be better than the Browing Strike Force HDX Pro, even though the Stealthcam scored lower than the Browning Strike overall by ten points.

3. Alphacam Premium

The Alphacam Premium was given a final score of 72.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality5
Ease of Use7
Daytime Image Quality5
Trigger Speed6
Nighttime Image Quality5
Wide-Angle Quality8
Video Quality5
Battery Life8
Memory Card Size9
Image Preview5
Final Score:72

Coming in as the second runner-up to the Stealthcam, the factors that helped keep this one ahead of the others were both the wide-angle quality, as well as the battery-life quality, both receiving scores of 8. The best part about this trail camera is the memory card size, which I gave a score of 9.

The lowest scores of the Alphacam Premium were in the image quality categories, so it doesn’t take great pictures. This is a massive disappointment, as when you place a trail camera somewhere, you want to be able to look at quality photos and videos in the morning when you take it down. The last thing you want to see is fuzzy images and video quality. Because of this, it is better to pay more for a better-quality trail camera.

4. Browning Dark Ops

The Browning Dark Ops was given a final score of 67.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality8
Ease of Use3
Daytime Image Quality8
Trigger Speed7
Nighttime Image Quality8
Wide-Angle Quality4
Video Quality8
Battery Life6
Memory Card Size9
Image Preview7
Final Score:67

In 4th place overall, the aspects that received the highest scores were memory card use with a score of 9, as well as build quality, daytime image quality, nighttime quality, and overall video quality coming in with a score of 8.

The categories that brought down the Browning Dark Ops camera were ease of use and wide-angle quality. This camera is not the most user-friendly, and if wide-angle shots are your favorite, then this is probably not the camera for you.

5. Mossy Oak Gamekeeper

I gave the Mossy Oak Gamekeeper a final score of 58, which puts this camera in 5th place overall.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality3
Ease of Use8
Daytime Image Quality4
Trigger Speed9
Nighttime Image Quality1
Wide-Angle Quality5
Video Quality2
Battery Life8
Memory Card Size7
Image Preview9
Final Score:58

The highest score that this camera received were both for trigger speed and image preview both being scored as 9. While these are great things for a camera to include, what really brings this camera down is the low scores in the image and video quality categories.

With nighttime image quality at a 1 and video quality at a 2, you will definitely want to consider other cameras for filming at night. You may even want to consider choosing a different camera to place during the day, as the daytime video quality isn’t much better than the nighttime.

6. Spypoint Force-Dark

The final score for the Spypoint Force-Dark was 57.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality7
Ease of Use5
Daytime Image Qualityn/a
Trigger Speed2
Nighttime Image Quality3
Wide-Angle Quality4
Video Qualityn/a
Battery Life6
Memory Card Size7
Image Preview9
Final Score:57

While this camera received high scores for image preview, memory card size, and the overall build quality, the daytime image quality, trigger speed, and overall video quality scores brought down the overall score of the camera quite a bit, putting the Spypoint Force-Dark trail camera in 6th place.

7. Wildgame Innovations Terra 12 Extreme

The Wildgame Innovations Terra 12 Extreme’s final score was 50.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality2
Ease of Use1
Daytime Image Quality6
Trigger Speed8
Nighttime Image Quality5
Wide-Angle Quality6
Video Quality1
Battery Life8
Memory Card Size7
Image Preview7
Final Score:50

With an overall score of 50, the Wildgame Innovations Terra 12 Extreme was put in 7th place, this is mostly attributed to the highest score earned being an 8 and the lowest score being earned as a 1. It did not impress me at all. The terrible video quality and ease of use makes me not want to recommend it to you, but it is a popular camera on the market, so we felt the need to test it thoroughly.

8. Moultrie D4000i

The Moultrie D4000i was given a final score of 44, putting this camera in 8th place.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality4
Ease of Use2
Daytime Image Quality2
Trigger Speed7
Nighttime Image Quality2
Wide-Angle Quality2
Video Quality3
Battery Life8
Memory Card Size7
Image Preview7
Final Score:47

With the highest score being an 8, going to battery life quality, and the lowest score being a 2, going to ease of use, daytime, and nighttime image quality, and wide-angle quality, it is no surprise why this camera is not high on the list of recommended trail cameras.

9. Primos Autopilot

With the Primos Autopilot coming in with a final score of 37, the lowest score of all the cameras that were tested, it is sure to not be the best option when purchasing a trail camera.

CategoriesScore
Build Quality1
Ease of Use4
Daytime Image Quality3
Trigger Speed4
Nighttime Image Quality5
Wide-Angle Quality1
Video Quality0
Battery Life8
Memory Card Size7
Image Preview7
Final Score:37

The video quality for this camera was less than optimal. If you are wanting a camera that has high functioning aspects, regardless of the video quality, then this camera would be a good choice. If video quality is an aspect that is non-negotiable when choosing a trail camera, then it would be advised that you choose another camera rather than this one.

Even with the battery life scoring an 8, it should be telling that the camera is not the highest quality if something as less significant as the battery life is scoring higher than other aspects such as trigger speed and image quality. If the most sought-after aspects of a camera, trigger speed, and image quality are scoring as low as they have with the Primos Autopilot, then the camera overall is not worth purchasing and it would be advised to look at a different camera.

Pricing of Each Camera

A major component of purchasing a camera is how much it costs. Knowing the cost of a camera can either encourage or deter the buyer from purchasing one camera over the other. Here is a brief rundown of the pricing of each camera that was discussed above:

CameraPrice
Browning Strike Force HDX Pro$159.99
Stealthcam$179.99
Alphacam Premium$99.99
Browning Dark Ops$169.99
Mossy Oak Gatekeeper$139.99
Spypoint Force-Dark$139.99
Wildgame Innovations Terra 12 Extreme$38.88
Moultrie-D4000i$89.99
Primos Autopilot$59.99

The Stealthcam, which scored the second-highest out of the 9 and is the best of all of these trail cameras, is also the most expensive, coming in at $179.99. While the Wildgame Innovations Terra 12 Extreme was not the lowest scored camera, it is the least expensive out of the group being priced at $38.88.

With the Browning Dark Ops coming in at 4th place, it is priced as the second most expensive on the list. This is an example of you don’t always have to pay the most amount of money asked for to get the best quality camera.

It is important to do your research not only on the different aspects of the camera as well as the pricing. However, I have tested them for you, so all you need to do is find the camera that works well, suits your preferences, and fits your budget.

Comparing prices with cameras that may have a few more bells and whistles than the other cameras may not be as expensive as you think they are, and being aware of the price comparison between several different options can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.

In the end, it is up to you what trail camera you choose to purchase. If you only think that you will use the trail camera once or twice, purchase one of the cheaper options. If you will use the camera often, purchase one of the more expensive, high-quality cameras.

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