Trail Camera Black Flash vs Infrared

Trail Camera Black Flash vs Infrared


Trail Camera Black Flash vs Infrared: Which one is best?

Tired of spooking or scaring away animals and wildlife due to the constant infrared light on your trail camera? Several outdoor companies noticed this exact problem and have worked to solve it by creating black flash trail cameras. But are they better than the standard infrared? Let's have a look at the trail camera black flash vs infrared.

Direct Comparison

Trail Camera Black Flash

  • Black flash
  • 20MP resolution
  • 50 ft. range
  • Video recording
  • Grainy night photos

Trail Camera Infrared

  • Infrared
  • 12MP resolution
  • 65 ft. range
  • Video recording
  • Quality night photos

Breaking it down

We’ve put these trail cameras side by side in three major categories: picture quality, how well they’re camouflaged in nature, and how many additional functions and features they have. Let’s see how they compare.

Picture Quality

Picture quality is definitely the most important feature on a trail camera. You want a high resolution, a large night illumination range, and reduced blur. We’re calling it a tie on picture quality.

Trail Camera Black Flash 

A trail camera with black flash comes in several resolution sizes, but the best ones are around 20MP (megapixels) or higher. They have an advanced low-light CMOS image sensor that enhances both color and clarity.

Thanks to their extensive night illumination range, you can see amazing details even in low lighting. But the picture quality can be grainy. The camera holds steadily, and the infrared motion blur is reduced. You can also zoom in to see details. Look for a camera that has a flash range of at least 50 feet.

Trail Camera Infrared 

Infrared trail cameras come at lower price ranges, with a sacrifice to the quality. The picture resolution is usually less than 20MP and could be as low as 12MP (megapixels). The invisible infrared technology is 940nm (nanometers) and has a fully automatic IR filter.

The flash illumination technology has 26 LEDs. Although the resolution is lower than the black flash and can be grainier, the range is much bigger. Even less expensive models can shoot up to 20 meters (65 feet).

Winner: Tie

Nature Camouflage

One of the most important features of a trail camera is its camouflage out in nature. It’s got to be unobtrusive to not scare or spook the wildlife. Otherwise, you’ll have a whole lot of blank pictures!

Trail Camera Black Flash 

The black flash is called that because the camera can illuminate an animal without that animal detecting the glow. Instead of a blinding white flash or even an infrared glow flash, there is no flash at all. Black flash trail cameras are sometimes called No Glow IR cameras.

They use LED emitters to transmit the same type of infrared light in a standard IR camera, but it’s above the 940-nanometer spectrum. It’s only detectable by a small percentage of species. The black flash camera is far superior to the infrared out on the trail.

Trail Camera Infrared 

Standard IR (infrared) lighting is the go-to for trail cameras. It uses LED emitters to transmit it over long distances. Some cameras can show as much as 50 yards. However, the infrared camera is visible in nature, due to the red blinking light appearing on the camera.

This tips off animals and wildlife that something non-natural is in their environment. It’s more difficult to conceal an IR camera in the wild.

Winner: Trail Camera Black Flash

Additional Functions

Both black flash and infrared flash trail cameras come equipped with extra functions and features. These include trigger speeds, battery life consumption, and multiple modes.

Trail Camera Black Flash 

For the same price range as an infrared camera, the black flash trail cameras don’t come with multiple functions and modes.

They do have a very fast recovery speed of about 1 second after taking the first image. You can adjust the viewing area, and they record up to a 30-second video with sound. They take 8 AA batteries.

Trail Camera Infrared 

The infrared trail camera has many more modes and functions than the black flash. It can track moon phases, the temperature, interval recording, and has a timer, too.

In standby mode, it can operate for up to 6 months. There’s a really fast trigger speed of less than 0.5 seconds, so animal movement is captured quickly.

Winner: Trail Camera Infrared

Final Recount

Trail Camera Black Flash: 2/3

Trail Camera Infrared: 2/3

Winner: Trail Camera Black Flash

Pros and Cons of Each



Trail Camera Black Flash

  • Animals cannot see it
  • Higher in price
  • Fast shutter/trigger speed
  • Images often grainy
  • Low reliability

Trail Camera Infrared

  • Better picture quality
  • See longer distances
  • Needs no visible light
  • Animals can see it
  • Shorter battery life

Final Verdict

Your trail camera should not only take excellent photos and be durable enough to withstand the weather, but also have a long-lasting battery life and be virtually undetectable out in nature.

That’s why the Trail Camera Black Flash wins over the Infrared. Animals won’t know that it’s there, which prevents them from being spooked. You’ll also enjoy excellent picture quality. It doesn’t have the range of the Infrared, and the Infrared has more functions, too.