HC-300A Wildlife Camera Trap Review

Last week was my birthday and I was lucky enough to receive a HC-300A wildlife camera trap. It is an unbranded camera that is primarily used as a hunting trail cam, however it works just as well at capturing footage of wildlife for filmmaking. Due to the relatively low price of the camera, I was a little dubious about the quality of footage I would be able to get. Nevertheless, I was eager to get it out into the field and try it out.

Inside the box is the digital camera itself, a remote control, a USB cable, a TV cable, an angle regulator, a belt (for strapping the camera to trees, etc.) and a user manual. There is a small hole for a lock to be attached to the bottom door. When I opened the bottom door to insert the 8 AA batteries, the rubber strip used for waterproofing the camera pulled itself away from the hinged door it was attached to. After reading several other reviews, this is a common problem with the camera, however it can easily be fixed with a bit of glue and so far has been the only problem I have come across.

The battery compartment slides out easily by pulling on a metal clip, and an SD slot allows you to insert an SD card of up to 32GB. There is also a ¼” mounting hole on the camera base, so it can be fitted to a tripod if needed. The camera belt is impressively strong and comes with a metal clip for attachment. For full specifications see the photo below:

The sharpness of the photos can be a bit hit and miss at times, but generally they are pretty good. It was when I saw the footage though, that any doubts I previously had about quality were washed away. It has quickly become my favourite way of filming wildlife at night - I’ve used it every night since I got it! It’s easy to use and produces footage of a high standard.

Here’s a short video of a European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeu) I was able to capture on the second night of testing out the camera:

To make life easier, I’ve created a list of pros and cons which I hope you will find helpful in deciding whether or not a HC-300A camera trap is the right choice for you:

Pros:

  • Relatively cheap - They can be picked up online for around £40-£50

  • Can be set up to capture stills photographs as well as recording footage

  • 1080p recording capabilities

  • Small and compact - Can easily be carried around in any sized bag

  • Shoots colour images during the daytime and black and white images during the night for clearer photographs

  • Date, time, temperature and moon phase data is recorded on each photo

  • The camouflage design makes it less likely to be spotted by any potential visitors

  • Has a small viewing-screen to allow you to view any photos/footage before transferring them to your pc

  • Motion trigger technology - This means you can be fast asleep in bed whilst the camera automatically captures any nearby wildlife!

  • Really fun to use!

Cons:

  • 12mp camera is good, but you’re not going to capture any award-winning photography with it

  • Motion sensor can easily be triggered by leaves/grass blowing in the wind, as well as passers-by/domestic animals

  • Runs on 8 AA batteries

  • Trigger speed of 1.1 seconds - Could be faster

  • The 120o camera angle is nice, but a wider-angle would nicer to increase the likelihood of an animal being caught on cam. However this would likely increase the price anyway

Conclusion

There are a few drawbacks to this camera, however in reality they are so minor that they probably won’t cause you much nuisance. This is a superb piece of technology that I would recommend for any wildlife enthusiast, especially when you take into consideration the cheap price and great recording capabilities. It’s also really interesting to see what visitors you get in your garden at night!

*Disclaimer: I have no association with the items mentioned in this post other than having personally used them, nor have I received the item at a discount price from the manufacturer. The purpose of this post is to just be informative to the reader.

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