Hawk Ghost HD16 Black Review

Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:

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This is a discontinued trail camera. Shop new trail cameras here.

Hawk Ghost HD16 Black Review Hawk HD16 Black game camera review

Model #3751

Ghost HD 16 Black FAQ's


  • Smallest camera on the market
  • 10+ month battery life (picture mode)
  • Outstanding detection circuit


  • Micro SD card is really hard to insert and extract

Trailcampro Analysis

2018 is Hawk's introduction into the trail camera industry and they have caused quite the stir. The Ghost line of cameras are currently the smallest trail cameras on the market.

The Ghost HD16 Black does not have a setup screen, all settings are controlled from the Hawk Sync app that you download on your phone. Please keep in mind, the app is only for controlling settings, it does not send the photos the camera has triggered to the app - you still download them with the traditional method (from the micro sd card that is inside the camera).

One more important note, Hawk claims this is a no glow trail camera but in our testing we can clearly see the IR LED's and we rate it as a red glow camera.

Picture Quality:

Photo resolution: 16 mpxl (interpolated)

Video resolution: 1280 x 720

Flash Type: Red Glow IR

We are placing cameras in the field. We will post pictures and videos as they become available.

What if you purchase from us and aren't happy with the image quality?

This is a common question and we have a very simple solution. Call, email, or chat with us and we can take a look at the images and offer suggestions or immediately tell if something is wrong with the camera. If so, we will warranty the camera for you (with the free 2-Year warranty you receive from us) or return the camera for a full refund (within 90 days of purchase). You have control of the process, remember, we work for you.

Megapixel Ratings:

In the past, many people get confused with the megapixel rating trail camera manufacturers advertise. Companies inflate the mpxl rating to attract eyes to their products. They do this through interpolation, which digitally adds megapixels to a photo without actually improving the picture.

The best way to judge picture quality is to look at actual pictures. You will notice this the most when you zoom in on a full-size image that a camera has taken. The details of the photo will appear hazy or even digitized. This is normal, and to be expected.

Battery Life:

Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 0.68 mW

Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 1.5 Ws | 2.5 Ws

Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 9.6 Ws | 40.5 Ws

Hawk engineered incredible battery life considering the camera only uses 4 AA batteries. Big thumbs up in this department.

Picture Mode

If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the Hawk HD16 would last 9 months in the field on a set of 4 AA Lithium batteries. We consider this to be outstanding, especially considering the camera only uses 4 batteries.

Video Mode

If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 2.2 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. This is the best video battery life currently on the market.

Detection Circuit:

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.68 s. / 2.7

Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.04 s. / 2.0 s.

Detection Range & Angle: 80 ft. (max) | 32.2° (34.8° F.O.V.)

This camera has moderate speed in picture mode (a bit slow to recover) and pretty good speed, overall, in video mode.

The HD16 Black detected out to 80 ft. in our 2018 Shootout, which is a very nice number. Overall, this detection circuit is more than adequate.

Quality of Design:

Dimensions: 3.75" x 3.25" x 2"

Battery Type: 4 AA Batteries

External Battery Jack: 6-Volt

Case Design

As mentioned previously, this is the smallest game camera on the market. It is impressive Hawk was able to achieve this as it certainly makes concealing the camera much easier.

Even with the small size, The Ghost HD16 Black has a python bracket (slides through the front of the case) for a 5/16" Python Cable Lock and a 1/4" x 20 threaded insert (on the upper back of the camera) for a Slate River Stealth Mount.

It is worth pointing out the nylon mounting strap that comes with the camera is pretty silly. Instead of the traditional way of sliding the strap through the bracket and buckling two ends together... Hawk decided to make the user tie two knots on each side of the bracket and then buckle the strap together. This is a classic case of an engineer out-thinking themselves. It works, but it is extremely silly and serves no purpose.

The outside of the case feels solid to the touch, however, the battery tray button/switch and the internal micro sd card/on/off button switch feel cheap and flimsy. Also, it's safe to say we aren't fans of micro SD cards. They are tiny and hard to handle. Our fat fingers have a higher likelihood of dropping them than we do inserting them properly into a trailcam on the first try.

Ghost HD16 Setup Process

Getting the camera setup requires downloading the Hawk Sync App to your smartphone. Here are the steps involved upon completion of the app download:

  1. Open the app and create an account. This requires an email verification to be sent to you so be sure to have access to your email. It took us two tries as the first verification did not go through in the 60 seconds the app allows. The second email code went through much quicker.
  2. After the account is created, put lithium batteries and a micro SD card in the camera (be gentle with the micro SD when inserting into the camera). Turn the camera on.
  3. Hit the + button in the upper left of the app. Add a new camera. It should automatically locate the camera you are synching (be sure to have bluetooth turned on in your phone's settings).
  4. Change your settings from the app. The settings are completely up to you. That's pretty much it!

From the app, you can take a test photo or test the motion activation to make sure the camera is angled properly. We found the app to be intuitive and quick. In fact, we didn't even open the user's manual. We do want to point out that you have to have your phone with (and it has to connect to the camera) you to do any setting changes, this adds an additional layer that we did find to be frustrating at times.


Durability is unknown at this time. This is a new brand/model and it will take time to let that sort out. We do have some concerns over the way the battery connectors in the battery tray and how they connect. Whether that is a long-term issue or not is to be determined.

Don't forget, if you buy the Hawk Ghost HD16 from us, we back it with a 90-day Return Policy and a full 2-Year Warranty against defect. Simply call, email, or chat with us if you ever have an issue or question.

Enjoy our reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.

FAQ's: Trail Camera

Q: How do I view the pictures?

A: There are a number of ways to do this. Pictures/videos are stored on the micro SD card you place in the camera.

  • View pictures on your computer. Plug the SD card in a desktop computer or laptop via the built-in SD card reader or use a USB reader if your computer doesn't have one. This method works for most tablets as well. With this method, we recommend having two SD cards per camera so you can swap them in the field.
  • View pictures on your smartphone. Choose between the iOS Reader for iPhones and the Android Reader. Phone readers require an app to access the photos, you can read more about these via the previous links.
  • Trail Camera Viewers. While more expensive, handheld viewers are useful if you don't have a smartphone or run multiple trail cameras.

Q: Will this trail camera trigger on small animals (birds, rodents, etc.)?

A: Trail cameras detect on a combination of heat and movement, so, yes, small mammals will trigger the camera. However, if you are going after smaller warm-blooded mammals, we recommend getting the camera closer to your target. For best performance, place the camera in an area that would enable picture detection from 3 - 20 ft.

Q: Can animals see the infrared flash on this camera?

A: Yes. This is a red glow trail cameras, meaning it has a faint red glow when taking pictures or videos at night. Humans and animals can see this if looking at the camera. This does not "light up" the woods, though.

Q: Where can I purchase this camera?

A: From us! We hope to woo you with our incredible charm, two-year warranty, 90-day returns, free continental U.S. shipping, and technical expertise. If that isn't enough, we give you an 8 Gig SD card with this camera and you can call and talk our ear off anytime.

Seriously, though, we know you have plenty of options of where to spend your hard-earned money. The internet can be the wild, wild, west of too-good-to-be-true deals. If you choose to do business with us, we will go out of our way to make sure you are happy with the camera you select and the service we provide you.

We are passionate about testing and reviewing trail cameras, but most importantly, we are passionate about treating our customers the right way. We do things differently from what you have come to expect from other internet retailers and we hope you give us the opportunity to prove that to you.

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Manufacturer Specifications

  • 34.8° Field of View
  • 6-volt external battery jack
  • Accepts Micro SD Cards up to 128 Gig
  • Requires 4 AA Batteries (not included - we recommend Lithium Batteries)

trail camera warranty

Buy your next trail camera or accessory from us and we will protect your purchase with our 90-day return policy and our exclusive 2-year warranty.

Most manufacturer warranties are only one year. In our opinion, that isn't good enough. Our customers get a two year warranty, directly from us.

Trailcampro's 2-Year Warranty

If the trail camera you purchase from us goes defective within two years of your purchase, we will quickly replace it.

We strive to make the warranty process as quick and easy as possible. Simply fill out our warranty form.

Trailcampro's 90-Day Return Policy

We believe you have the right to return any game camera that does not meet your expectations within 90 days.

Our return policy lets you field test products, at no risk to you!

  • Buyer's remorse? Return the camera to us for a full refund (minus shipping).
  • Purchased the wrong camera? We will ship you the right camera.
  • Something wrong with the camera you received? We will replace it at no cost to you.

Want to talk to a trail camera expert? Contact our friendly staff.

Read our Customer Testimonials to find out what our customers have been saying about us!

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    Trailcampro L.L.C.

    3048 S. Clifton Ave
    Suite 108
    Springfield, MO 65807

    Trail Camera Accessories

    Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the Trail Camera.

    Energizer Ultimate Lithiums | 8 Pack


    - There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability and better night pictures. You will be happy you did. This 8 pack will give you enough batteries for the camera and a backup set.

    Extra Micro SD Cards

    Start at $14.95

    - SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free Micro SD card with the Ghost HD16, but most people use two sd cards. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.

    Verified Customer Reviews

    We ensure that every customer review comes from one of our real customers and not someone who works for the competing trail camera manufacturer. These are verified customer trail camera reviews that you can trust.

    We would love your feedback if you purchased this trail camera from us. We want your honest feedback, these reviews are a vital part in helping consumers choose the right game camera.