Observing wildlife is another example of an interesting use of hidden spy cameras. A number of challenges present themselves when using a covert spy camera outdoors to observe nature, fortunately there are specially-designed spy cameras dedicated to capturing wildlife on video.
By purchasing a dedicated trail camera you will save yourself considerable time and headaches related to working out the logistics of discretely filming animals.
Challenge 1 – Efficient Use of Storage Space
As modern wildlife spy cameras are digital you will not need to worry about old-fashioned video tape. Constantly filming a field or patch of woodland however would cause you to run out of storage space in a few days. It would additionally create hours of reviewing the recorded material in which no wildlife may be present (which is dull!).
It is due to this therefore that motion detection is used, so that video and/or photos are only recorded once movement has been detected by the camera. To help ensure that only the movement of actual animals triggers the recording (rather than the movement of trees in the wind), the sensitivity of the motion detection is usually adjustable.
The following wildlife spy cameras all efficiently use storage space by using motion/heat detection technology:
Challenge 2 – Protection from the Elements
Electronics and water do not mix. In the UK, though we have really mixed weather there’s often a lot of rain. When it’s not raining, there’s often dew, mist or fog. Wildlife spy cameras are therefore sealed against all moisture to help prevent any issues. It’s worth noting that though most wild life spy cameras will not cope with total submersion under water, they should survive heavy rainfall.
Challenge 3 – Powering the Cameras
Spy cameras are well known for being pretty power-hungry gadgets. Spy cameras can usually drain batteries in a matter of hours. This is particularly true of wireless spy cameras. How do you then power a wildlife trail camera that is required to work for days rather than hours?
As it is hard to escape from the use of batteries, the spy cameras themselves have been designed with long-term observation in mind. Therefore the wildlife cameras have a significantly improved efficiency in their power consumption (compared to other spy cameras). On standby, the average power consumption for a wildlife camera is 2-3 months.
The device will only switch on when motion is detected, so for areas where there is a lot of wildlife and therefore motion, or for long term observation you may wish to get a little more sophisticated. This can be achieved by purchasing a spy camera solar panel for your wildlife spy camera. These solar panels connect directly into the camera to top up the battery whenever there is sufficient sunlight (assuming there’s adequate light in the location you’ve attached your wildlife camera).
Challenge 4 – Footage Retrieval
The spy cameras above require you to connect a computer or remove a memory card in order to see the recorded video footage. If the wildlife camera has been placed somewhere with easy access (for example near to your place of work or to your home), then it will be fairly easy to use a laptop to access the recorded footage.
If you would prefer to receive any captured images from the moment the camera is triggered, you can use one of the wildlife cameras below. This type of spy camera will take a high quality image which it will then send a copy of to you by email or to your phone via MMS.
These devices will require positioning somewhere within range of a mobile phone mast, as the spy camera will need a mobile phone signal in order to send the pictures to your phone.
The following wildlife spy cameras contain 3G mobile-phone technology, allowing them to transmit data over the mobile phone networks to you, sending captured footage to you by email or MMS picture message:
Wildlife Spy Cameras – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q – Can the wildlife spy cameras both record video and take photos?
Yes. There are some wildlife spy cameras can take photos and record video simultaneously, such as the XHD Infrared Wildlife Camera DVR with Motion Sensor.
At what resolution can a spy cameras record video?
The range of spy camera resolutions (for the cameras on this page) varies between VGA (640 x 480) to XVGA (1280 x 960).
What is the typical megapixel (MP) resolution of the captured photos?
The cameras typically capture images that are between 8MP to 12MP.
Can wildlife spy cameras be used at night or in dark locations?
Yes! Many wildlife spy cameras feature infra-red LEDs that will illuminate the viewable area much like an invisible camera flash. These LEDs are used automatically once the spy camera detects that the light level has fallen below a certain level.
Is any additional information available on the captured images?
Many of the wildlife cameras can be set to record the date and time of the captured image. Some can even capture the camera’s ambient temperature too.