Best wildlife camera to use?
29th April 2020 at 9:37 pm #22515
I recently set up a CamPark T20 camera in my garden and have had some success getting video clips of a hedgehog at the feeding station I set up but the camera burns through batteries like nothing I have ever seen.
The camera has all the features I would expect and I set the video clips to be short so it has only taken 5-10 minutes of video each night (including cats etc.) and the recording time between 9pm – 6 am but 4 new Duracell batteries were dead in 48 hours!
Any advice on if this is normal or a different camera to get is appreciated. T20 was £40 so hoping to not pay a lot more if possible29th April 2020 at 10:07 pm #22516
I use two Bushnells which I’m very happy with but they did cost somewhat more than £40. I get about 25 15sec triggers per night and the batteries last about two weeks. I was told to use Energizer Lithium.30th April 2020 at 1:34 pm #22537
I think you’ll find you will use up a lot of battery power if you are taking video at night, whatever camera you use. It’s better if you use more than 4 batteries, if you can, but I’m not at all surprised they only lasted that long.
I also have 2 Bushnells (probably the cheaper models of Bushnell, some of which can be quite expensive), one is fine but the newer one doesn’t seem to always pick everything up. I have a feeling it’s a bit of a case of luck, with many of the cameras, whether you get a really good one or not. But the picture quality on the Bushnells is good and you can set them to record night only, if you wish.
I was also told to use Lithium batteries, but they didn’t make the misbehaving camera work any better than high mAh (at least 2300) rechargeable ones do. (cheaper rechargeable batteries often have as little as 300 mAh which are unlikely to work for long) I normally use rechargeable ones now, despite the fact that it is not recommended and they seem to work fine in the older Bushnell and a Konig (not quite such a good picture but cheaper) and as good as the lithium ones in the newer one. But if you use rechargeable batteries, you will need to use the maximum that you can fit into the camera. Rechargeable batteries are only 1.2 v whereas normal ones are 1.5v. It seems most cameras need at least 6v so, where as 4 ordinary batteries make up 6v you need more of the rechargable ones. I don’t know whether some of the cheaper cameras only take 4 batteries, but if they do, rechargeable ones are unlikely to work. All my cameras take 8 AA batteries and I always use all 8.
I recharge my batteries daily for the camera with most traffic, but the other two I can sometimes get away with 2 or 3 days – depends on how much activity there is.
There are various other topics about cameras, etc. on the forum. If I come across any, I’ll add the links, but you may be able to spot some of them
Good luck.30th April 2020 at 1:38 pm #2253830th April 2020 at 1:39 pm #22539
Here’s one of the links:
https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/forums/topic/spy-camera/30th April 2020 at 4:25 pm #22552
Hi, for quite a while I used a DC power supplies for my cameras. You obviously have to get one with the correct connector for your camera, although many 3rd party ones come with a selection of male connectors and variable power settings. What I then did was run an outdoor cable (such as used for Pond pumps for instance) from an outdoor socket to the location near the camera and then place the power supply (connected to the outdoor cable) into one of those outdoor boxes for holding extension cables etc. This then provided constant power to the camera. Pros: – Constant power to camera, so no need for batteries. Cons:- Some cameras are designed such that you cannot access the SD card without disconnecting the power supply, which then results in the camera losing its settings. I also found over several months that the Power supply ‘plug’ started to rust as the connection was not 100% waterproof. After a few months and the fact that I got another couple of cameras I decided to go back to batteries. I use 8/12 re-chargeable Energizer batteries which have a 2300ma charge, but also recently bought some 2800ma from Amazon and will see how they last. Currently I re-charge all the batteries (36) using a couple of Energiser Chargers (CH1HR3) which charge 4 batteries (each) very quickly.4th May 2020 at 1:12 pm #22674
Hello we have a victure camera which is really good i have forgotten the cost but it wasn’t much you might want to give that a try. It records fro 30 seconds.12th May 2020 at 2:44 pm #23114
Thanks for all the advice.
The T20 cameras I have only take 4 AA’s and although they have a DC power port they don’t actually come with a cable. Although the instructions don’t recommend it I bought some Energizer Power Plus AA (2000 mAh) as they were £12 a pack but 2 for £16 in Asda and so far they seem to be much better.
I have the cameras set to record 21.00 – 06.00, 1 minute video clips and resolution and sensors to the max. I average about 10-15 clips per night (including 2 or 3 cat triggers) and so far the batteries are lasting about a week.
The main issue now is when to charge them so the batteries don’t run out but I’m not overcharging them? The way I always used to understand it was that it’s better to fully discharge rechargeable batteries to prolong their life but I understand the opposite is true for modern lithium ion batteries. These Energizer ones are alkaline so any expert advice is much appreciated13th May 2020 at 9:20 am #23147
I have used various trail cams for a few years now to capture all sorts of wildlife in my garden. I have a Stealthcam which is great for small triggers at long distance (so you could cover an entire lawn for example and get all the activity), but is not great with closeup work. The best value i have found for hedgehog footage is an “Apeman” – I use the black LED type, so that there is no visible infrared signal. It focuses to within inches and can combine a photo and video footage on the same trigger. I only use good quality disposable batteries and with upwards of 30 triggers per night (with a pic and 20 sec video) + birds in the day so maybe 100 triggers per day – i only change the 8 batteries every couple of months – more often in winter, less often in summer.13th May 2020 at 1:27 pm #23197
That sounds like great battery life considering the amount of triggers you’re getting. The Stealthcam is around £180 on Amazon which is a bit more than I want to pay for getting hedgehog footage at the moment, do people generally think the features/camera quality are much better when stepping up from the £40-£50 range to £150+?
After doing a bit of research online before buying mine it appears the biggest factor in video quality is the CMOS sensor and in the vast majority of cameras this is around 5MP and cameras with a higher rating tend to have the image interpolated up to 12/14/20+MP which actually doesn’t really improve the images and is more of a sales gimmick.
I’ve got 2 Campark T20’s now and they claim 20m trigger distance which sounds highly dubious to me and even if correct is maybe ok for large animals but useless for actually seeing hedgehogs in any detail at that distance. One seems to work ok at distances up to a few metres but the other one which is basically opposite but at a higher level pointing down has had hardly any triggers when I can see from the first camera the hedgy has been past several times easily within trigger range/angle of both cameras15th May 2020 at 1:15 pm #23365
I use Eneloop Pro AA’s
Never buy another battery again 🙂18th May 2020 at 3:15 pm #23550
Hi, I posted in the trail cam thread about batteries & the 1.5v alkaline vs 1.2v of rechargeable batteries, some of you might find it an interesting & surprising read. As for the high capacity nimh batteries, they’re not the best as they lose charge constantly even when not being used, you’re much better of using LDR type nimh (Low Discharge Rate, sold as ‘Pre-Charged’ ) rechargeable batteries, yes they have less mah than non LDR batteries but in certain situations they will last longer due to very little drain when not being used, for example during the day when many probably turn off their trail cameras or set it to only be active over night.
I’m finding the amazonbasics rechargeable batteries to be brilliant, using them in my tail camera & the solar powered garden lights. I opted for the 2400 mah, that’s the highest capacity LDR available & I’m getting longer life than I was with the previous 2900 mah in the devices I used them in. I only found out about the low discharge rate variant of nimh batteries last year & after using them for a bit I’ll never go back to normal nimh again!18th May 2020 at 3:43 pm #23554
Slight correction, Low Self Discharge (LSD) is the correct term, not LDR20th May 2020 at 12:10 am #23629
Hi Paul I read your post in the Trail Cam thread also, very interesting. I looked again at the packaging for the Energizer Power Plus (2000 mAh) I am now using and realised they are NiMH not alkaline as I first thought. I don’t know if they are Low Self Discharge but they last me about a week capturing around 15 minutes of 1080p video a night, how long do the Amazon Basics ones last you?
Also would like to know if the general advice is to discharge them fully before recharging to prolong the lifetime of the battery27th May 2021 at 7:40 pm #31452
I’m also a user of the T20 — they are a good little camera if you treat them well. I’ve done a video introducing and briefly reviewing the model which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAmok044Lfk
I’ve other videos on the channel, including of hedgehogs in my garden as well as some dealing with questions to think about when choosing a wildlife camera and pros and cons of different ways to power your camera. I hope people find them interesting. I’m still learning how to put a channel together, but it is fun learning!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.