How to Program a Trail Camera

a man demonstates how to program a trail camera

While buying a great camera is important, it is all for nothing if you’re not sure how to program a trail camera.

Trail cameras, also known as remote cameras, are cameras that are usually set to capture videos and photos of wildlife. This camera can be mounted anywhere and left to operate and take photos without supervision.

How you program a trail camera will determine the quality of footage you will get. Therefore, if you want to get great footage, you must know how to program the trail camera correctly.

How to Program a Trail Camera.

Step 1: Choose the right in camera settings

Like traditional DSLR cameras, trail cameras also have settings. The good news is that their settings are relatively fewer and more straightforward to work with. How you adjust the camera setting will determine the quality of videos and photos the camera will take. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you select the right camera settings.

Trail cameras usually operate automatically based on the settings. Once you adjust the settings, you can leave the camera in a specific location to take photos and videos on its own for a certain length of time. There are several basic settings you need to adjust before you start using the trail camera. They include a burst number, camera mode, sensitivity, and interval. Adjusting these settings correctly is crucial if you want to take high quality and detailed videos and photos. Below is a detailed description of these settings.

Burst number

Burst number refers to the number of pictures taken in quick successive either by pressing the shutter button or holding it down. This setting is crucial in trail cameras because it allows you to take several quick photos of an animal, thus providing information to help make your hunting easier. When adjusting the burst number, you need to factor in your storage space because the more shots the camera takes in a burst, the more space it consumes.

Camera mode

Camera mode refers to how you want the camera to take photos and record videos. There are many camera modes to choose from, including single photo, video, burst photos, time-lapse, and much more. You need to select camera modes that suit your individual needs. For instance, burst photos give the best result if you want to capture multiple images of an animal within a short period. On the other hand, if you place bait to bring the animal close to the camera, a single photo mode will give you the best results.


Sensitivity refers to the response of the camera to motion and heat for an infrared camera. Most trail cameras have high medium and low sensitivity settings. Choosing higher sensitivity means that the camera will be reactive even to the smallest movements. Choose a sensitivity mode that will give you the best results.


Interval refers to the time between each successive burst or single photographs. The trigger speed you choose will determine how many photos the camera will take and also how long the battery will last.

For instance, if you want the battery to last for long, you need to increase the interval so that the trail camera takes fewer photos.

Step 2: Choose the right location

Once you have chosen the right camera setting, the next crucial process is selecting the right location for your camera. Unlike traditional DSLR cameras, trail cameras operate automatically without supervision.

Where you place the trail camera will determine whether you will get the high-quality photos or videos you are looking for.

According to experts, the best place to install a trail camera is along the trail or where the animals eat most of their foods. You need to choose a location with the highest potential.

For instance, during the fall season, the best spot to install your trail camera is on natural scrapes or mocks. On the other hand, during the summer season, the best location to place your trail camera is on feeder stations and mineral sites.

Step 3: Choose the right camera height

The next step to programming your trail camera once you have located the right spot to place it is choosing the right height. You need to consider many things when selecting the height to set your camera, including the animals you are trying to capture and the security of the camera.

Experts recommend that the camera height is around the head level of the animal you are trying to capture. This way, the camera will take a perfect shot of the head and other essential body features.

Therefore, if you are trying to capture taller animals such as deer, the camera’s height should be higher. On the other hand, if you are trying to capture shorter animals such as wild rabbits, the camera’s height should be lower.

Choose a height that will provide you with high-quality pictures with little risk of being stolen or disrupting the animal’s life.

Step 4: Check the lighting

This is an essential consideration that most people usually overlook when programing their trail camera. The overall lighting of the area where your trail camera is located will determine the quality of photos and videos it will take.

If you want the camera to take high-quality images and videos, you need to avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Placing your trail camera in direct sunlight will cause glare in your photos.

Your camera may also be falsely triggered to take pictures if it is directly behind the sun due to moving shades and light. So, ensure that you keep your trail camera off direct sunlight.

Step 5: Test run your trail camera

The last thing you want once you have set and install your trail camera is to find out after the fact that it did not deliver as expected. It’s important to test run your trail camera before leaving it to run automatically to avoid missed opportunities.

This way, you will be able to spot any problem and fix it on time. The best way to know if the setting you have programmed is right reviewing it on the SD card.

Wrapping It Up

We hope that the information provided above has been of help. How you program your camera will determine the quality of images and videos it will take. If you want your trail camera to take high-quality pictures, you need to program it correctly.

We recommend that you follow the programming tips given above to get the best results from your trail camera.