Choosing Camera Trap Models

With a plethora of different models of camera traps now on the market, model choice is a big decision when beginning any camera trapping study. This is especially so because the growth of options has been driven mostly by demand from recreational hunters, not researchers, meaning that many of the options may not be suitable for meeting research objectives. With that in mind, we have compiled below a list of resources to use when selecting the camera trap model that will best suit the needs of your study. However, we note that models change quickly, and we also stress that for most research applications we have found Reconyx cameras to be the most reliable brand.

Resources for Choosing a Camera Trap Model


Rovero et al.'s 2013 paper provides an introduction to camera trap features that are necessary to keep in mind when choosing a model. It also recommends what to look for for specific study designs. Other papers that touch on important specifications for camera trap models are Trolliet et al.'s 2014 paper and Wearn and Glover-Kapfer's 2017 camera trapping review document.

Trailcampro uses standardized tests to produce up-to-date reviews of camera trap models that include model's stats to help choose the camera best suited for your study. 

The Zoological Society of London performed an empirical test of a variety of the most common models in their 2017 buyer's guide to camera traps for researchers.

Apps and McNutt's 2018 paper outlines their reproducible test for camera trap specifications and offers insight into what is important when considering if a particular model is fit for a particular research purpose.


Some of these resources may not be open access. If an article is not open access, we recommend contacting the corresponding author to request a copy or checking common repositories such as Research Gate for now. We are working to make the resources within the library more broadly available in the future.