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Cheap Wildlife/Game Cameras At Aldi

2 August 2012 5 Comments

I’ve been wanting a game camera (also known as a trail camera or photo trap) for a long time, but haven’t been able to find anything here in Australia for under about $300. They don’t seem to be anywhere near as popular here as in America.

I was shopping at Aldi today, and noticed they had Tevion game cameras on sale for $129. I have a birthday coming up, so I quickly grabbed one!

I don’t have any affiliation with Aldi, but this is a really useful tool for homesteaders and gardeners at a fantastic price.

The idea is, you mount the camera on a tree or something and leave it. When an animal walks past, it triggers the motion sensor and the camera takes a photo.

This particular model has an infrared flash, so can take black-and-white photos at night without startling the animal. It can be set to either take a 5 MP photo or a 640×480 video when triggered. The case is weatherproof, so it can be left outside without worry.

One really interesting feature of this camera is that you can set it to take photos at a preset interval. I’d love to try that during some kind of construction project, so I could make a time-lapse video of its progress! Another cool use would be to photograph shadows in the yard throughout the day, to help work out what to plant where.

I can’t wait to try the camera out! Some kind of animal has been coming in the bottom of our property, near the dam, but I’m not sure what. I think it’s possibly a wombat. It’ll be great to set the camera and get a photo of it.

I’ve also seen signs of an animal scratching around the chicken pen. I don’t think it can get in, but again I’m not sure what it is and would love to find out so I know what I’m dealing with. I’m having trouble trapping some rats in the shed, too, so hopefully I can see where they hang out and where to set my traps. Oh, and I’m curious what the chooks and ducks get up to during the night :-).

I’d like to try to use the camera to photograph wildlife close-up as well. I should be able to get some great shots of birds.

If you have trouble with neigbourhood animals coming into your yard, this would be a great way to find out whose pet it is and get them to do something about it.

My friend Anna in the US has been using a game camera to try to see where the deer are getting into her garden, to work out where to place deterrents. She also found a time lapse camera for watching changes in the garden over time – something I’ll try once I’ve figured out all the animal issues.

What other uses can you think of for a game camera? Keep it clean and legal, please!

5 Comments »

  • Jamie said:

    You could use it to find out which chickens are laying eggs, and which ones aren’t!

  • Manda said:

    I had the same idea as Jamie! haha. Another idea – to see if there really are ravens or magpies stealing the eggs!

    I never knew these cameras existed. It certainly has me thinking of all the possibilities..

  • Jeff said:

    That’s a good price. Also have you ever thought of an IP camera or simple security camera. These are really cheap on ebay and have the advantage of allowing live monitoring and immediate motion detection alarm alert. (eg if something attacks the chickens, you may be able to stop it) It could be a good option if the area you want to monitor isn’t too far from your house and computer.

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Manda: Good one! I blame the crows for a lot of things, but maybe the chickens have just stopped laying :-).

    @Jeff: I had considered those cameras – a friend at work has one and loves it. Unfortunately there’s no power near the chicken shed, and it’s probably out of WiFi range from the house. I may well end up getting one eventually, though.

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