Trail Camera Cold Weather Test Part 1

By Hunting NetworkDecember 30, 20089 Comments

LAST UPDATED: May 8th, 2015

Last week here in Northern Illinois we had some extremely cold weather move in with real temperatures near 0 and windchills of around -30.  With the harsh temperatures and extreme winds I spent most of my time inside where it was warm, but still had several trail cameras out in the field doing some late season scouting for me.  I figured that this would be a great time to check their performance and see just how well they were holding up under these conditions.  I had a Reconyx PC90 professional unit, a Predator Xtinction, and a Smart Scouter all set up in a small late season food source that would be perfect for testing.  So I set out with my friend and cameraman Paul Mazur to see how each unit was holding up. 

The Reconyx PC90

Predator Xtinction

Smart Scouter

We first drove my Polaris Ranger in front of each camera on our way to check them, then came back and walked in front of the cameras and then filmed an interview segment in front of them as well.  I knew this would give each camera an ample opportunity to capture some photos before I retrieved the memory cards and went back inside to view the results.  Click on this link or the image below to watch Part 1 of the tests as we braved the cold temperatures and crazy winds!

After the first round of testing Paul and I were able to view the results on my computer.  The Reconyx camera performed wonderfully and despite a sluggish LCD display in the cold temperatures it took the most photos of us as we ran our tests.  The sensitivity and burst mode on this camera are awesome as it performed just as well as it did earlier in the year under more pleasant conditions.

The Predator Xtinction also performed well and captured several video clips of Paul and I during our testing.  Again, the LCD display was a little sluggish in the cold weather but not nearly as bad as the older Predator Evolution models.  Cold weather performance seems to have been greatly improved in this camera.  You can click on this link or the image below to watch one of the clips we got from our Xtinction despite the -30* temperatures.

Predator Xtinction cold weather video test

The last camera, the Smart Scouter, did capture our photos but failed to send them to the Smart Scouter server and to my e-mail until the following day.  I'm not sure what caused this delay, but it was a bit frustrating as I had hoped for immediate results.  When you're paying a monthly service fee and a fee per image that is sent to your e-mail, you expect to have immediate results.  But even if they were slow in arriving, the Smart Scouter did take our picture several times.

The Smart Scouter did work and the pictures did show up, they were just a day late!

You can click this link here to the image below to watch a video of our results.

Justin is working on a cold weather review of three other cameras, the Cuddeback Capture and Moultrie I40 that he did the following day.  It will be posted shortly, followed then by a side-by-side comparison of all cameras and how long their batteries last in cold weather.  We plan on putting all of our cameras to the test this winter to see which hold up, and with fall short in these harsh conditions so stay tuned!  We are also adding to the battle ground the Cuddeback IR and the Camtrakker MK-8 so stay tuned.


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