So why is there all the hoopla surrounding mini trail cameras? Part of it has to do with the fact that they are super compact and are about as light as a baseball. For many hunters, the appeal of a mini trail camera is easy to see. They are easy to install in places that larger cameras might not fit, and they are much less likely to be noticed by thieves or trespassers.
If you have spent some time on our website you already know that we have reviewed a ton of trail cameras. Many of these trail cameras fall into the category of Mini Trail Cameras.
Here is a table comparing some of the more popular mini trail cameras that we have reviewed.
Click here if you want to see a list of the mini trail cameras that we have reviewed.
What is a Mini Trail Camera?
First of all, know that there is no universal or official definition for mini trail cameras. A mini trail camera is simply a trail camera that is smaller and more compact than traditional, standard-sized, trail cameras.
Despite their small size mini trail cameras are just as easy to use as their larger counterparts and come with similar features. Then, when you consider their small profile, mini trail cameras are often more versatile and can be used in more places than larger trail cameras.
Reasons Why You Should Get a Mini Trail Camera
People might call them different names such as mini, tiny, small, or micro trail cameras, but whatever you call them mini trail cameras are one of the most popular segments of the trail camera market. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just follow the crowd and buy one too. You should get a camera that is a good fit for you and your needs.
So here is a list of reasons why you should consider buying a mini trail camera.
They Are Super Affordable
The price of mini trail cameras is often described as being low priced or having a cheap price. This is true. While you might occasionally find a mini trail camera with a higher price, the reality is that there are very few mini trail cameras that aren’t super affordable.
The affordability of mini trail cameras is a big reason why many people are initially attracted to them. This affordability is important for a couple of reasons.
It Allows You to Stick to a Budget
If someone is thinking of buying their first trail camera, but isn’t sure how much they want or need a trail camera it is really nice to have affordable options to choose from when making that first purchase.
Other people might know they like or need a trail camera, but don’t have a lot of extra money. For these people being able to find trail camera options that don’t break the bank is an important thing.
It Makes It Easier to Buy Multiple Trail Cameras
If you are anything like a lot of us, once you get one trail camera you start thinking of all the places where it would be helpful to place other cameras and you want to buy multiple cameras.
When looking to buy multiple trail cameras, price becomes increasingly important. You need to find a camera that will meet your needs and doesn’t have a bunch of unneeded bells and whistles so the price remains low. Lucky for us, mini trail cameras fit the bill for most situations.
Many Full Featured Models to Choose From
Right now you might be thinking, “Hey, you just said that these mini trail cameras don’t have unneeded bells and whistles. Does that just mean that these are crappy cameras?”
Not at all.
To be fair you won’t find a lot of lower-priced mini trail cameras that have the longest detection or flash ranges that are currently available. You also won’t find many mini trail cameras with no glow flash, the highest photo, and video resolutions, or cellular capabilities. The fact of the matter is that most situations don’t require the most cutting-edge features (adding them would only needlessly drive the cost up). That said, it is actually very impressive when you look at the features and specs that are available on mini trail cameras these days.
The list of strong features you should expect on mini trail cameras is longer than you might think. First of all, you should expect to get high-quality pictures with most cameras capable of capturing images of at least 16MP. The video quality won't disappoint either, with most cameras being able to record full HD video (1080p). With fast trigger speeds that are typically 0.5 seconds or less, it is hard for even fast-moving objects to avoid being captured by these cameras. Then to top it all off these cameras usually come with color LED screens and a mounting strap, which helps to make them very user-friendly.
Just a few short years ago you wouldn’t have found mini cameras with the specs that are on today's trail cameras. In the rare case that you would find cameras with similar specs, you would have expected two pay at least twice what you would for today's mini cameras.
Not only do today’s mini trail cameras offer solid specs, but features like color LED screens and time-lapse mode was next to impossible to find on such affordable and/or compact cameras a few years ago.
Easier to Hide or Camouflage
With their compact size and virtually every model having some sort of camo pattern on the exterior of the camera, it is much easier to hide or conceal the location of mini trail cameras.
Their Small Size Might Make Them Useful as Security Cameras
Many people use trail cameras as security cameras. One reason is due to their portability and their ability to last several months with a set of high-quality batteries. That said unless these trail cameras are mounted in such a way where they are inaccessible to any thieves, trespassers, or vandals you really need to think about how you are going to conceal the camera’s location.
Given their small size many people might be interested in using mini trail cameras to monitor their property for security purposes. Between their compact size and the variety of camo patterns found on the exterior of different models, it is much easier to conceal these trail cameras than their larger counterparts.
Less Likely to Be Stolen (easier to hide or camouflage)
Even if you aren’t using it as a security camera, having a mini trail camera that blends into its surroundings and is easier to conceal is still important to a lot of camera owners. Unfortunately, there are people out there today who would vandalize or steal trail cameras when they see them in the woods. So whether you hunt on public land and post your trail camera(s) there, or you hunt on private land that has occasional trespassers, having a mini trail camera that is less conspicuous is a bonus for a lot of people who worry about vandalism or theft of their cameras.
Mini Trail Cameras are More Portable
If you get to the point where you are constantly running multiple trail cameras you will appreciate the fact that mini trail cameras are more portable than the larger, more traditional-sized, trail cameras. After reading that you might be wondering what we are referring to here. It isn’t as if normal-sized trail cameras are the size of coffee makers after all.
What we are talking about are those situations where you want to load up a pack with a bunch of trail cameras and go post them out in the woods. It is surprising how much easier it is to carry around a bunch of mini trail cameras and how many more of them you can load into your pack when compared to their larger cousins. This is especially true when you aren’t able to or don’t want to, drive up to each location where you want to post a camera.
Things Most Mini Trail Cameras Don’t Have
When buying a trail camera, or any other thing for that matter, you really want to know about what features it has and what features you need.
As it relates to the majority of mini trail cameras, many of them won’t have certain specs or features. Part of this is to keep the size of the cameras small and another part of it is to keep the price of these cameras low by not including things that most users won’t want or need. Some of the things that are less commonly found on mini trail cameras include:
- Wireless connectivity with wifi and Bluetooth
- Cellular capabilities
- Motion sensors with super long detections ranges (think well over 60 feet)
- Flash ranges of well over 60 feet
- No glow flash
- Super high-resolution videos and photos
We are not saying that it is impossible to find mini trail cameras with these features. They are just less common and probably won’t be found on the most affordable mini trail camera models.
If you aren’t sure what features you want to have on your next, or first, trail camera you might want to check out our trail camera buying guide where we break down the different available features and options.
Things Not to Worry About (Actually Things To Feel Good About) With Mini Trail Cameras
When you start looking closely at mini trail cameras you will start to notice a lot of similarities between cameras that are offered between different companies/manufacturers. These similarities are not only in the features and specs of the cameras, but you will also find that some cameras even look alike.
Here is an example of two cameras that other than the camo pattern on their exterior, look very much alike.
So are these similarities something that should set alarm bells off in your head or give you something to worry about when buying a camera? Actually, no.
Most trail camera manufacturers don’t make the components that go into their cameras. Instead, they purchase these components from suppliers. Furthermore, it isn’t uncommon to find out sometimes that different trail cameras, from different brands, are made in the same manufacturing facilities. All of this is done by the trail camera companies to be more cost-effective so they can offer affordable trail camera models to consumers.
Between being affordably priced and having the versatility that comes from their compact size mini trail cameras are a great choice for many people whether they are buying their first trail camera or adding to their fleet of cameras.
List of Our Reviews of Mini Trail Cameras
Click on any of the reviews listed below to see our full review for the following mini trail cameras.