Incandescent Flash vs Infrared Trail Cameras

by HuntingFreak

Flash Trail Camera vs Infrared

One of the biggest debates when it comes to trail cameras is incandescent flash vs. infrared. Knowing the pros and cons of each type of trail camera can help you make a decision about which is best for you.

Many trail camera reviews have been done on these two types of cameras. We have also tested both types extensively in the field over the years and we have clearly found advantages and disadvantages of each.

Incandescent Flash Trail Cameras

The biggest advantage to some of the incandescent cameras is the picture quality. The resolution and quality is generally better to that of an infrared camera although in recent years certain infrared cameras picture quality have really improved but they can be expensive.

Incandescent cameras capture full color images both during the day and at night while the infrared cameras only take black and white pictures at night.

Some big disadvantages of the incandescent are the slower trigger speeds and decreased battery life compared to infrared cameras.

The flash of these cameras can also spook some game depending on the situation. It may seem like lightning to some animals but we have seen evidence of game spooking when the flash goes off.

The flash also acts as a beacon for other humans and lets them hone in on the location of your camera.

Infrared Trail Cameras

The biggest advantages to note with infrared trail cameras are the extended life of the batteries and the increased trigger speeds. Wait! So I’m going to save money on batteries and catch more game on camera? Yes definitely two big pluses.

Some draw backs of the infrareds are black and white night images which may not be a big deal to some and sometimes the pictures are blurry.

Other than that the infrared cameras don’t spook game or draw the attention of other humans.

So basically infrared trail cameras will take pictures quicker to capture more images of animals, will last longer on a set of batteries, and won’t spook game.

But if  high picture quality is what you are after an incandescent flash camera should be your first choice.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Emmit August 27, 2013 at 10:53 am

Great information. Please keep it coming. Now, deer can also see infrared light, so I wonder if it is more the noise the incandescent flash cameras make rather than the light it makes that spook some deer?


HuntingFreak August 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

My guess is that you could be correct. I think it can be either the light or the noise or even both just depending on the deer and the situation. Even with a quiet camera during the day with no flash I think some deer can just sense something is wrong or maybe they can hear higher pitch camera noises that humans can’t because I have seen pictures of deer taking off like the camera spooked them even during the day and with a camera that makes no noise. Most of the deer however are curious about the cameras and will come up close and inspect them. That’s when you get 150 images of the same deer…lol.


Easton Rimer August 27, 2013 at 1:15 am

Nice comparison Barry, I got a better understanding after reading your post. Thank you.


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