This tiny game camera programs wirelessly from an app on your phone (with mixed reviews). The HD16 is pretty fast, takes good pictures and is battery efficient. The videos are poor and the micro SD card is hard to handle. -TCP Staff
Smallest camera on the market
Good picture quality
10+ month battery life (picture mode)
Outstanding detection circuit
Poor video quality
Micro SD card is really hard to insert and extract
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 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).
Photo resolution: 16 mpxl (interpolated)
Video resolution: 1280 x 720
Flash Type: Red Glow IR
Day pictures appear to be really good when there is no or limited motion. The color is really strong and the pictures have good clarity. It does tend to struggle with blur on moving animals, but overall, daytime images are very nice. Night images have average to above average night flash and stop-motion pretty well. Overall, we like the picture quality.
Video quality is weak, as you can see in the videos below. The resolution is only 720 and the color isn't accurate.
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 free2-Year warrantyyou receive from us) orreturn the camerafor a full refund (within 90 days of purchase). You have control of the process, remember,we work for you.
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, whichdigitally 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.
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 0.61 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 1.5 Ws | 2.2 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 10.0 Ws | 28.9 Ws
Hawk engineered incredible battery life considering the camera only uses 4 AA batteries. Big thumbs up in this department.
If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the Hawk HD16 would last9.9 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.
If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last2.8 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. This is the best video battery life currently on the market.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.67 s. / 2.6
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.97 s. / 2.0 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 80 ft. (max) | 28.4° (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 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: 82/100
Dimensions: 3.75" x 3.25" x 2"
Battery Type: 4 AA Batteries
External Battery Jack: 6-Volt
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 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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
While the app is useful for making the camera smaller (no setup screen), many users have found it cumbersome to always have your phone with you and go through the trouble of changing settings via the app.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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