What is Trigger Speed on a Trail Camera?

what is trigger speed on a trail camera

If you have been researching trail cameras, one term you have probably come across is trigger speed. So, what is trigger speed on a trail camera? And is this feature significant?

Trigger speed is one of the most essential features to consider when searching for a trail camera for hunting or security purposes. If you plan to hunt fast-moving animals like a deer, trigger time is a significant feature to consider when shopping.

Most manufacturers usually quote the trigger time because they know the importance of this feature, especially for hunters.

This article will discuss in-depth trigger speed and why you need to consider it when buying a trail camera.

What is trigger speed on a trail camera?

Trigger time, commonly referred to as trigger speed, refers to how long it takes to take a picture or a video once a subject like an animal is spotted by the trail camera.

How fast your trail camera snaps pictures once it spots an animal like a deer can distinguish between spotting or not spotting a particular deer. Fast trigger speed means that the camera has less time to wake up. This is crucial as it allows it to take pictures or videos very quickly.

Trail cameras with fast trigger speeds can usually capture photos that are generally missed by trail cameras with slower trigger speed. Once the camera detects an image, the trigger time will determine whether the animal is still in front of the camera. A trail camera’s trigger speed can be as fast as 0.1 seconds or as slow as more than one second.

If you don’t want your trail camera to miss out on any movement, you should purchase one with a quick trigger speed. I recommend that you choose a trail camera with fast trigger time on still images because it will help you capture anything spotted by the camera, regardless of how fast they are.

Sleep mode is a requirement for every trail cameras. It helps them to save on energy, thus preventing the need to charge the battery frequently. Trail speed determines how first your trail camera moves from sleep mode to active mode. A trail camera with a slow trigger speed will not give great results when hunting.

By the time the camera takes a snap, the animal may have fled. If you are using trail cameras for security purposes, you need to purchase one with fast trigger speeds to catch thieves in action.

What is the difference between trigger speed and shutter speed?

Most people usually use these two words interchangeably, thinking they are the same. I also thought they mean the same thing, but I was wrong. These two words don’t mean the same thing. As discussed above, trigger speed refers to how fast the trail camera gets from sleep mode to active mode when it spots a moving animal.

On the other hand, shutter speed is the amount that the film or digital sensor is exposed to light to capture individual images or pictures.

What to do to ensure your trail camera never captures empty images

Where you place your trail cameras matters a lot. If you don’t want your trail camera to capture empty images, you must place them in the right location. Remember that regardless of how powerful your trail camera is, it will not capture any video or images if placed in the wrong location. So, always put your camera in a prime location, where it is likely to spot the animal that you are trailing.

Use a trail camera with fast trigger speed. This will ensure that even the fastest animals are captured or recorded. Only use trail cameras with a slower speed in stationary areas.


Trigger speed is a crucial factor to consider when buying a trail camera, especially if you want to use it for hunting or for security purposes. How your trail camera can move from sleep mode to active mode will determine whether you will capture empty photos or capture every movement that the camera detects. My recommendation is that you should choose a trail camera with a fast trigger speed.