Zeiss is a name long associated with optics, but the brand has only just launched its first two trail cameras, the Zeiss Secacam 5 and 7, following the company's acquisition of Secacam in June 2023.
Making a bid for our best trail cameras list, these are weather-resistant, and offer extensive network coverage using the European frequencies which are often harder to find for trail camera consumers. As such Zeiss is supplying an integrated multi-roaming SIM card which covers 35 European countries (including EU holdouts like the UK and Switzerland). That means the camera uses the best mobile network available where you place the camera.
The Zeiss Secacam 5 features 60 "black" LEDs which allow it to illuminate the scene in total darkness and capture video or photos. The camera features a 5-megapixel image sensor, and can interpolate images up to 12 megapixels. It is supplied with a 32GB memory card as well as the SIM and 8 AA (LR6) batteries are supplied, so it's ready to use from the box (Zeiss plan to make a solar panel available in 2024).
It has a triggering speed of less than 0.45 seconds and automatic flash strength adjustment to balance battery usage against bad exposure. Operation is via the controls and 2.4-inch display inside, or via the Zeiss Secacam App, which lets you remotely view images taken with the camera.
The Zeiss Secacam 7 is essentially the same camera, but built in a physically larger casing. That makes it a little less discrete – a little more difficult to camouflage – but on the other hand makes it easier to access in two ways. The door to the controls is beneath the lens, so the camera remains pointed in the final direction as you set it up – a composition benefit. Secondly, there is a removable battery magazine which is easier to change. Zeiss is simply offering you the choice.
The unit alone is £199 for the Zeiss Secacam 5 and £249 for the Secacam 7. The cameras will offer pay-as-you-go top-ups for photos and videos, or a monthly subscription to access the cellular services – some of these have AI options which will only show you the animals you want to see (e.g. deer, birds), and they can color the night images based on what it remembers from the daytime.