Tips & Tricks, Trail Cameras

How to Optimize Trail Camera Settings for Black Gate Hunting Trail Cameras

In this article, I will cover the settings for Black Gate Hunting cellular trail cameras, what they do, and how to optimize the settings to get the best performance, longevity, and reliability. The settings mentioned below are closely related if not the same for all Black Gate Trail Cameras. At the end of the article, I will share my personal preferences for my trial camera settings.

Transmit Frequency

This setting tells the camera how often to transmit media to your mobile app. This setting can be helpful when you want to lower battery consumption but is more helpful when images being captured are more important than transmission. By letting the camera run without transmitting, you will capture more moments in the field.

If you have the setting set to “Immediate”, the camera prioritizes sending images/videos rather than taking more images.

Setting the transmit frequency to hourly is a good idea to meet in the middle and prioritize image/video capture. Images will be sent to your mobile application every hour instead of immediately.

Camera Mode

This setting is self-explanatory but keep in mind that video mode uses more battery than images. Set this to your personal preference.

Take note that running in dual mode (if supported) can be counterproductive in some cases. Our cameras are designed to take a photo and then video on dual mode. This means that if you have a movement that is not in the frame for an extended period of time, you will get a photo and then a video of nothing. Photo and video are not taken at the same time but rather one after the other.

Image Size

Why invest in Black Gate Cameras for quality if you lower the image quality intentionally? While this is a joke, the image size can help transmission times. A low setting can help if you are in a bad cell reception area as well. This setting will also be the image size of the full image. We obviously recommend running the setting on “High” but if you desire (or need to test), this setting can be helpful.

All Black Gate Cameras deliver up to 3 times the thumbnail size of any other trail camera. This means that it can take 3 times as long to transmit the photo. Bad cell reception tends to be unstable for such long transmission times, so lowering the image size can help also lower the transmission times and improve the odds of getting your photo in a timely manner. Don’t worry though, our low setting is still higher than most other cameras’ high settings. We encourage you to play with this setting if need be.

Capture Number

This setting tells the camera how many images to take once triggered. The more images you take the better your odds of getting a nice clean image but does use more battery.

Setting “Capture Number” to more than 1 and running “Fast” for delay intervals is not recommended. I will explain more in a bit.

Delay Interval

The delay interval tells the camera how long to wait before allowing a new trigger event.

I mentioned earlier that it is common to confuse the relationship between Capture Number and Delay Interval. These two settings are not related. Setting the delay interval low and the capture number high will result in duplicate images (same timestamp) being sent to your app. Not only is this not recommended, but it uses a lot more data than needed.

Sensor Sensitivity

This is a personal preference. The higher the sensitivity the less motion is needed to trigger the sensor.

Take note that on the R4G Lite, sensitivity tends to run high. Using “Low” of the R4G Lite can produce a good functioning camera.

Night Illumination

This setting will determine how long/bright the IR lighting is for night images and video. We recommend “Fast” most of the time. Think of this as a light dimmer with low. medium, and high.

My Recommended Settings

These settings are my personal preference when I set up my trail cameras and tend to work for most scenarios.

General Use (Game Trail, Field, etc.)

Transmit Frequency: Hourly

Camera Mode: Photo

Image Size: High

Capture Number: 2

Delay Interval: 30 Sec

Sensor Sensitivity: Auto

Night Illumination: Long

Feeder/Bait Site Settings

Transmit Frequency: Hourly/Daily

Camera Mode: Photo

Image Size: High

Capture Number: 1

Delay Interval: 2 Minute

Sensor Sensitivity: Auto

Night Illumination: Fast

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