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Foggy Pictures? Here’s Why!

It’s hunting season and now is the time to rely on your SmartCams more than ever. The weather is getting cooler, and the deer are moving. Pictures are rolling in all day and night. A buck finally shows up, however, it’s hard to see anything about him because the pictures are foggy and blurry. This can be very frustrating and cause you to wonder “why is my camera acting up now after working perfectly all summer?” We get these same calls year after year at the same time of the year. In this article, we will address these issues and how to help prevent them from happening.

Why Is This Happening?

The cause of these blurry images is moisture build-up on the lens. This build-up of moisture is caused by changing temperatures, dew points, and humidity. We’re not going to cover all the science behind what goes on to generate this moisture issue, but we do know that we see this occur after a cool night as the air starts to get warmer. However, this is also true in the reverse. As the camera sits in the sun all day, the lens gets warm, and as the cool nighttime air hits the lens, condensation will form causing foggy images. This seems to happen very often when the camera is set up on a field exposed to the sun all day. It’s an endless cycle that will continue if there’s not a consistent temperature or wind to prevent the moisture from collecting. In some cases, it could even be fog in the air which the sun hasn’t evaporated yet. So, now we know that changing temperatures causes this issue so let’s talk about how to prevent this from happening.

How to Prevent?

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to prevent this from happening as the weather isn’t something we can control. Some good practices can help though. The first thing we can adjust is camera placement. As mentioned before, this moisture issue seems to happen much more often when the camera is placed in, or on the edge of, a field. To keep the camera from being exposed to the sun all day, try backing up the camera into the shade of the woods a few yards. If there is a shady side of the field, try moving the camera to that side. This will help to keep the lens from heating up and causing moisture to build up when the cool nighttime air hits it. Another good practice is to elevate the camera to about 5′ off the ground at a 10° downward angle. This will help the moisture to run off the lens easier instead of collecting on it. It is also the perfect angle for maximum motion sensor performance and is the overall best practice when placing out your SmartCam. Anti-fog products are also an option; however, they will not prevent moisture but can help to clear the lens more quickly.

Try using these few tips to help take cleaner pictures of those target bucks this fall.