How Many Pictures Can a Trail Camera Hold?

how many pictures can a trail camera hold

As technology advances, trail cameras are becoming more expensive. This is because of the increasing storage capacity that some of the latest models have. But what good is a trail camera if it can’t take pictures?

An article by Wikipedia states that many trail cameras are capable of snapping 10, 12 or 13 images per trigger. This means that once the camera detects motion, it will begin to take ten, twelve, or thirteen photos at what ever interval the user sets. If this happens and nothing is moving before all of the images are taken an “event” picture will be taken.

Event images are essentially just images that could not be identified as anything other than noise because there was no movement detected within the viewfinder. For example, if you set your camera on a tree stump in the middle of a national forest and 5 days later you return to find 15 pictures instead of 10 (the setting you chose), there is a good chance that every image will be an event picture.

However, this doesn’t mean that the camera has been malfunctioning. There was just no movement detected by the motion sensor during those 5 days so every image was considered to be “noise”.

In other words, if you have a ten image setting and you find twenty pictures on your SD card or within the unit itself, only ten of those images will actually be snapped at the time of any detected motion. The rest were written over as they were considered noise because there was no detectable movement between each picture (by comparison with another series of pictures taken in intervals).

So how many pictures can one trail camera take before it fills up its storage capacity?

As mentioned earlier, this varies depending on the setting that you choose. A ten image setting can yield anywhere from 10 to 15 actual images and a twelve or thirteen image setting may only yield six to eight real snapshots in between any noise or event shots.

This means that, when it comes to picture quality vs storage capacity, trail cameras are not much better than home security digital video surveillance systems because one camera will take just as many pictures, but due to the fact that trail cameras use much higher resolution settings (10 megapixels) than standard surveillance units (which usually range between 0.3 and 1 megapixel), they provide a clearer view of what is going on in the area around them; which makes them more effective at their job and worthy of their high price tag.

If you’re looking for a trail camera that will take more than ten or twelve images, you need to spend the extra money and go with one of the hi def models that allow up to 32 gigabytes worth of storage.

In fact, some trail cameras even have an internal memory feature so there is no need to purchase a separate SD or other flash card for this purpose. Not only can these trail cameras capture photos but they can also record video footage for later viewing.

In today’s digital age, outdoor enthusiasts all over the world are taking advantage of this technology because it provides a realistic view of what wildlife looks like in their natural habitats while allowing humans to remain undetected by the animals that live in those areas.

Picture Quality vs Storage Capacity Chart:

Images 3 Megapixels71514302861572211444228884577691552183104
Images 4 Megapixels5721144228845779155183103662073240146480
Images 5 Megapixels476953190738147629152583051661032122064
1 Minute Video (720p)210420840168033606720134402688053760
1 Minute Video (1080p)5010020040080016003200640012800
How many images and videos can stored on memory cards in trail camera.

*Note, all of these cameras are capable of shooting at least three pictures per trigger event. This chart is only to show the difference between picture capacity and internal memory capacity.  

For example, you may see that Moultrie A-30i has no external memory but it does have 32GB of storage. If your SD card fills up with images, your camera will store those photos on its internal memory until the SD card is free enough to allow more files to transfer over it again. The rest of the information in this article also applies to these types of trail cams as well unless stated otherwise!

Cameras with No External Memory:    No external memory means that the camera does not use SD cards for data storage, but instead has its own internal memory storage. Some examples include Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential , Moultrie A-30i , and Cuddeback Capture IR .

Cameras with 8 Gigabytes of Internal Memory:  8GB is enough room to store between 1,500-3,000 pictures on the highest resolution setting. A few examples of cameras offering this much internal memory are Reconyx XS Series , Stealth Cam GXW , and Moultrie A-5 .

Cameras with 16 Gigabytes of Internal Memory:  16GB will hold between 2,500-4,000 pictures on the highest resolution setting. Some examples include Reconyx HyperFire HC500 , Wildgame Innovations Micro Crush 1080i , and Stealth Cam 12MP .

Cameras with 32 Gigabytes of Internal Memory:  32GB is enough room to store 4,000+ high quality images at a time. Some examples are Reconyx XRT Series, Browning Strike Force HD , Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor , Stealth Cam PX Series , and Moultrie A-40 .

Size of Each Quality Setting:  If you buy a camera that only offers the most basic resolution setting, you will need to invest in an SD card with a larger memory capacity so you can use it for high quality images. For example, if you have a 8GB SD card but your trail camera is capable of taking 32MP (that’s the highest) photos, don’t expect to get anywhere close to 4,000 pictures per set of batteries because one photograph alone takes up over 1MB (or 2-3MB with the timestamp included).

Even though the camera will only take one high quality image per trigger, it still uses up that much storage on your SD card.

Memory cards are not cheap! For a 32GB memory card alone, you’re looking at about $30-40 dollars and that is if you get a good deal . I have seen them go for twice as much before so do your research and get a good price or else you’ll be spending even more money in the long run to upgrade your trail cam’s memory capacity.

Recommendations: If you want to get the most out of your trail camera, I would recommend getting one that has at least 16GB of internal memory or 8GB with an external memory slot if possible. It isn’t necessary but it will give you a lot more flexibility in your camera’s performance and its overall value.

How Many Photos Can A Camera Take?

This all depends on the camera itself because some cameras are set up to take only 1 picture per trigger while others can take 20+! Let me first talk about how trail cameras actually work…

Trail Camera Trigger Speed:

When game enters an area, it trips the motion sensor inside of your specific game camera which then activates the infrared flash that is located above the lens. If this happens within range of the PIR (passive infrared) sensor (which is typically 25-40 feet), an image will be taken . This whole process takes place extremely fast, taking anywhere from 0.5 seconds to 2 seconds depending on the photographer (camera).

If you’re looking at purchasing a camera that can shoot multiple pictures per trigger, it’s typically due to longer recovery times. Recovery time is the amount of time it takes for each image to be captured.

Because game cameras are designed to take one picture at a time, if triggered causes them to wait any longer than 0.5 seconds, there will be too much time between pictures . Cameras that offer multiple pictures per trigger usually have shorter recovery times (between 1-3 seconds) which allow them to capture two or more images in quick succession even though they still only take one photo per event!

Bill Toro

I’m Bill Toro. I have been invited by my best friends to go camping with them when I was bored with my life. That all It’s a game-changer for my entire life. This site is all about things I found interested useful while camping. It’s will be something that helps you have better camper moments.

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