The most versatile trail cameras have features like no glow flash, multiple PIR sensors to provide a wide detection angle, long detection and flash ranges, and adjustable settings. No matter the environment you put cameras like these into, you know that they will be up to the task. Plus with no glow flash, they can be used on public hunting land or as security cameras without attracting unwanted attention at night. However, unless you are willing to spend well over $100 we are often forced to choose between buying a trail camera that isn’t very versatile or breaking our budget.
That is why we were excited to find the GardePro A3S trail camera. Thanks to a great set of features and a low price point, we think this camera it has the potential to be one the most versatile and affordable no glow flash camera on the market!
So let’s get into our review and find out what the GardePro A3S has to offer!
Introducing the GardePro A3S Trail Camera
When getting a trail camera, you don’t want to compromise on quality, and GardePro seems to have spared no effort in making the A3S a versatile high-quality no glow trail camera while keeping its cost low.
So let’s find out if the A3S is as good as it seems.
- 24-megapixel photos
- 1080p video resolution
- No glow flash
- Long flash range
- Long detection range
- Wide detection angle
- Fast trigger speed
- Fast image recovery time
- Easy to set up and use
- Great price
- IP 66 weatherproof
- No included mounting bracket
- Doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity
Review of Key Features and Benefits of the GardePro A3S Camera
One of the critical things to look at in a trail camera is the image and video quality. The A3S won’t disappoint you with its 24-megapixel photo resolution. Additionally, it can shoot clear 1080p videos with audio at 30 frames per second.
In addition to the standard photo and video modes that you find on virtually every trail camera, there is the photo+video mode, where the camera takes pictures before recording video. This is significant in diversifying what the camera captures.
The A3S takes advantage of Sony’s Ultra Clear Imaging Technology using their STARVIS Image Sensor. This back-illuminated pixel technology is designed to excel in low light situations and is utilized in Sony’s CMOS sensors that are used in surveillance camera applications.
Motion (PIR) Sensor
The motion sensor is a crucial feature of all trail cameras, as it triggers the camera to start rolling whenever motion is detected (unless the camera is set to time-lapse mode). This GardePro trail camera has three motion sensors, one on each side along with a central sensor. The side sensors have a detection angle of 30-degrees, while the central one has a 60-degree angle. The side sensors give you the option to turn them off if needed. In total, when all three sensors are on, the camera has a 120° detection angle, with an 82-foot detection range that is longer than most of the trail cameras out there.
Furthermore, the A3S has three adjustable sensitivity settings; high, medium, and low. In most situations, it is advisable to go for the high setting. However, it is nice to know that you can turn the sensitivity down if it is set up in a place where you are getting false triggers.
The GardePro A3S has one of the fastest trigger speeds in the market at 0.1-seconds. With such speed, it will be hard for any moment to pass by the camera’s lens without being captured.
The A3S’ recovery time is also impressive at 0.5-seconds. In case you are not familiar with the term, recovery time is the amount of time it takes for the trail camera to detect movement, capture an image, save the captured image, and be ready to detect movement again for another picture. So this means that the A3S can take successive photos and videos without having to worry about missing any key moments in between.
Many trail camera companies don’t share the recovery time for their cameras. This goes back several years when it was common for cameras, especially affordable cameras, to have really long recovery times. So a lot of times we don’t mention recovery times in our reviews, but with GardePro sharing this information – especially since it is so fast – we wanted to share this with you too.
Taking shots in the dark can be a challenging affair for most trail cameras especially if you don’t want to spook game animals or are trying to capture something that is farther away from the camera. This is not the case for this GardePro model. It has a 36pcs, 940nm no-glow flash with an impressive 100-foot range. When taking pictures or recording video at night, it will provide good illumination and won’t scare away the object you are capturing.
The camera has a standard size, with dimensions of 6.1 x 4.4 x 3.0-inches. Given its number of LEDs and 3 PIR sensors, the A3S is pretty compact and has a very manageable size, which helps minimize the chances of theft or vandalism and makes it easy for those times when you need to carry multiple cameras through the woods.
When you turn on the time-lapse mode, the camera will start recording at specified time intervals that you select. It is the go-to mode if you are experiencing false triggers that you can’t get rid of or if you want to monitor an area that is beyond the range of the PIR sensors. A thing to know about this operation mode is that it turns off the PIR sensors so the camera can’t be “triggered” as it normally would.
Some people may also like to use time-lapse to record lengthy or slow occurring natural events.
Hours of Operation Timer
The A3S has another amazing element in the hours of operation time. This feature, which has started to become more common on trail cameras in the past few years, allows you to specify the times that the camera is operational.
If you don’t need the camera to monitor the area it is in 24 hours a day this is a terrific feature as it helps conserve battery life and storage space on your memory card. Plus, you won’t have to bother sorting through a bunch of images and videos that are from a time of day that you don’t care about.
To tweak the camera’s settings or view pictures and videos in the field, you have a 2.31-inch color LCD display. While most trail cameras have a color LCD screen these days, it is good to know that the A3S has one too since it makes using the trail camera so much easier.
As with all trail cameras, you will need a memory card to store your photos and videos. The A3S uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards with a maximum capacity of up to 128GB. Class 10 cards are recommended.
To get the most storage space, get the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC memory card. Getting the 128GB card will allow you to leave the camera unattended for very long periods of time and not have to worry about the memory card running out of space even if the camera is in a really busy area is set to take long videos. If you don’t need that much storage space you could save some money by getting the SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC memory card which will serve most people well, despite its lower storage capacity.
The A3S also offers Loop Recording, which if selected will cause the oldest files to be overwritten with new captured pictures and videos when the SD card becomes full.
Also, remember to format your memory card before using it in the camera.
You can restrict the unauthorized use of the camera by securing it with a password. You go to the settings and provide a 4-digit password to secure your outdoor monitoring utility. Then whenever the password protection feature is enabled, you will have to key in the password to access the camera.
The A3S should be pretty economical on battery usage, which should save you a lot on replacement batteries over time. It uses 8 AA batteries, which can last you up to 8-months in the camera while in standby mode. For the longest life and best camera performance we suggest going for high-quality options like Energizer AA Ultimate Lithium batteries. While you can use rechargeable batteries in the A3S, GardePro recommends that you DON’T since the lower voltage rechargeable batteries provide may cause performance issues with the camera.
Remember that you can set the hours of operation timer that we mentioned above to aid in lengthening the batteries’ service time.
- 24 Pack of Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Batteries
- Leak proof construction protects the devices you love (based on standard use)
- Powers your most critical devices ideal for your smart home devices, outdoor surveillance systems, digital cameras, and handheld games
- Holds power up to 20 years in storage for trustworthy backup energy, so you’re always prepared
- Performs in extreme temperatures, from -40F to 140° F, for year round, indoor and outdoor use
Input for External Power Supply
To extend the amount of time you can leave the camera in the field without worrying about its batteries running out of power, you can use the A3S’ input for an external power supply. Its power input is compatible with a 12V, 1A DC power supply unit with a 4.0 x 1.7mm plug.
The next feature comes in handy when you want to sort through your images and recordings. The image stamp contains information like the date, time, temperature, moon phase, and camera name (of your choosing). Using these details can really give you a leg up if you want to study animal behavior and look for patterns.
It is also worth pointing out that having a trail camera that has a customizable name on the image stamp can be really helpful when you have multiple trail cameras.
The following are some of the extras you can expect to find in the GardePro A3S’ packaging.
- Mounting strap
- Instruction manual
- Mini-USB cord
While it doesn’t come with a mounting bracket included, like some other cameras. However, it does have a 1/4″ tripod socket, which gives you another way to mount the camera. You can find many tree camera mounts or holders on Amazon, which will give you another quick and easy way to mount the camera, especially if you want to mount it from an elevated position and angle it down.
Areas of Use
Any time you have a trail camera that has a great image sensor, no glow flash, 3 PIR sensors with adjustable sensitivity levels you immediately know that it will be extremely versatile. The A3S allows you to use it for hunting, property surveillance, or even to capture great shots of the natural environment.
There are only two ways in which the A3S may not meet your needs. The first would be if you plan on posting the camera in a hard to get to position and would like to access the pictures and settings via WiFi or Bluetooth. The second scenario where the camera may not be a great fit for you would be if you need the camera to send you images over a cellular network as soon as they are captured. If you want to get a cellular trail camera for the first time you might be interested in reading our article, the Best Cellular Trail Camera Reviews and Buying Guide.
By not having features like WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity, in addition to not including a mounting bracket that people may not need or already have, GardePro was able to keep the price down on this trail camera. Then when you look at its great features and specs the A3S is an exceptional value.
GardePro A3 Trail Camera
The GardePro A3S is an upgraded version of the GardePro A3 trail camera, which we did a full review on previously. Other very slight differences between the camo patterns on the exterior of these two cameras and the A3S being able to capture 24MP pictures as compared to the 20MP images on the A3 model, these two trail cameras are the same. If you are looking for a traditional trail camera it is really hard not to be extremely happy with the performance of both of these cameras.
Both the A3 and A3S are very affordable and are often priced within just a few dollars of each other. You can check the current price of the GardePro A3 here.
Meidase S3 Pro Trail Camera
The Meidase S3 Pro trail camera is almost a twin of the GardePro A3S.Beyond the different camo patterns on the exterior of the case, the only significant difference between these two cameras is that the Meidase S3 Pro trail camera comes with a slightly different image sensor that allows the camera to capture 32MB compared to the 24MB images you can get with the GardePro A3S. That said, both cameras will capture great-looking images and videos and I would be more than happy with the results you can get from with camera.
To top it all off, these cameras are often priced within a few dollars of each other and have sometimes had the exact same price in the past. So given their similarities, it would be perfectly fine to get whichever one that has the camo pattern you like best, or whichever one that has the best price. If you want to see the current price of the Meidase S3 Pro click here.
The GardePro A3S is an excellent no glow trail camera. With its great image quality, 3 adjustable PIR sensors that have a wide detection angle, and a no glow flash with a range of 100 feet it is sure to stand up to any scrutiny. Couple those features with a low price point and it is hard to go wrong with the A3S.
You can check the current price of the A3S here.
Last update on 2021-09-27 at 15:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API