I am looking to build a camera trap for wildlife viewing, able to capture pictures (or even videos) in decent quality to be able to identify distinct features. I do however need to be able to see the pictures in real time, so the camera would need some sort of wireless connection to a receiving device such as a phone.

I thought of using an FPV setup as used in drone racing, but the quality and range seems to be quite low, and the strengths of an analog signal seem to be latency and fps, which are both not important to me. It would be nice to have some sort of digital signal to be able to do some editing, such as storing pictures. It would also be cool to connect several cameras to one device.

Are there any solutions to this problem? Would a raspberry pi/arduino setup work in some way? Thanks!

  • How are you planning to power it? It sounds very battery-hungry. – Peter Taylor Oct 20 '19 at 14:50
  • Get the animals to press a remote release themselves, but watch out for copyright disputes… ref: monkey selfie ;)) – Tetsujin Oct 20 '19 at 15:02
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    This question borders on being too broad, but in your last paragraph when you ask if a Pi/Arduino setup would "work in some way" pushes it over the edge, in my opinion. What trail cameras have you researched, and how have you found them lacking? What experience do you have in building systems such as you asked about — have you designed / built / cobbled-together a vision system, embedded system, or wifi-enabled lightweight computer before? How long do you want the system to run (for an evening, overnight, a week)? How close is the operator/receiver from the wireless-enabled trail camera? ... – scottbb Oct 20 '19 at 15:02
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    But most importantly, remember that this is a Q&A forum about photography, not about building vision systems. When it comes to building a system like you're describing, the photographic aspect is usually the easiest to deal with. Issues like battery life, weather hardening, system components for wifi, etc., can be tangentially related to photography in many cases, but when designing an embedded system, they aren't photography related (even if the end result is a trail cam). – scottbb Oct 20 '19 at 15:08
  • Thanks for the comments, I realize the problem is not the camera in the system. I was redirected to this SE from robotics. I have some experience in microcomputers, but have not tried to transmit image data before. I have also not found any trail cameras with wireless transmission of images. The range and runtime are supposed to be as long as possible.. – berndibus Oct 20 '19 at 17:37

It sounds like you're pretty much looking for an internet or Wi-Fi connected security camera. There are a lot of these, although they are generally made for video and photographs would be created by extracting stills.

  • Unfortunately, I cannot rely on having internet connection. Otherwise this would be my first choice. – berndibus Oct 20 '19 at 17:35
  • Many of these systems also support private networks or disconnected operation. – mattdm Oct 20 '19 at 17:36
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    @MichaelC Yes; thanks for the edit. – mattdm Oct 21 '19 at 10:02

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