PIR sensor and trigger sensitivity

In this article you will find general information about the PIR sensor and its sensitivities.


The location of the camera is essential for optimal operation of the PIR sensor. You can find more information about camera placement here


About PIR sensor 

Trail cameras use an identification system based on passive infrared (PIR) technology. It detects changes in infrared radiation (radiant heat) in front of the sensor, which vary depending on the temperature of objects and the characteristics of surfaces. For example, when an animal passes in front of a trail camera, the temperature in the field of view of the PIR sensor notice changes from ambient temperature to animal temperature, and back. The change in infrared radiation detected by the sensor causes the camera to trigger the image.


Note! The camera's PIR sensor responds if it detects motion AND heat in front of the camera. Because of this, a trail camera is ideal for detecting animals and people. The motion or heat in front of the PIR sensor alone will not trigger the camera. Also, the camera's PIR sensor does not respond to changes in infrared radiation if there is a window between the object and the camera. 


Trigger settings on the camera

All settings related to the camera's PIR sensor can be found in the camera settings under the Trigger submenu, which has a clock icon in the menu bar. This submenu includes PIR sensor sensitivity, trigger interval and timers. 


The sensitivity of the PIR sensor can also be adjusted remotely via SMS or via the app, subject to certain restrictions. 


PIR sensor sensitivity

PIR sensor sensitivity refers to how sensitive the camera is to changes in infrared radiation in front of the camera and take a picture. In the camera settings (Menu -> Trigger submenu -> Sensitivity), you can choose how sensitively the PIR sensor reacts to a moving object in front of the camera. The sensitivity scales are low, normal, and high. In addition, you can turn off the PIR sensor by selecting the sensitivity of the motion sensor to "off". When the PIR sensor is set to "high", it is more sensitive to taking a picture. In this case, the camera reacts to smaller movements and changes in infrared radiation.


Note! The camera's trigger time remains the same regardless of the PIR sensor sensitivity selected. You can check your camera's trigger time in the camera's user manual if you wish. From this link you can find downloadable manuals for trail cameras still on sale in PDF format. 


Suitable PIR sensor sensitivity setting

There is no single correct setting for the position of the PIR sensor, since the operation of the PIR sensor is affected by many things, such as temperature, season, lighting, environment, and object being filmed. For example, hot weather make the PIR sensor react less sensitively.


You simply need to test the appropriate position of the PIR sensor in the place where the camera is located and according to the subject being filmed to find the most suitable adjustment for your camera and that location. However, below we have compiled some tips that we hope will help you find the sensitivity for your camera.



  • The PIR sensor only reacts to significant infrared radiation, so the setting prevents the camera from taking unnecessary pictures.
  • The setting may fail to shoot if, for example, the object is moving fast or the change in infrared radiation in front of the camera is not sufficient.
  • Suitable when the object is, for example, an ordinary game.
  • Suitable for open areas where the camera shoots randomly and a known object.
  • Suitable for outdoors, winter and especially in early spring when snow is on the ground, as well as freezing conditions. 
  • This setting saves the camera's power supply and SD card from filling up.



  • Default PIR sensor setting and recommendation, from which the sensitivity can be adjusted if necessary. 
  • Suitable when the subject is, for example, an ordinary game.
  • This setting sometimes causes blank and unnecessary images, for example, in very windy weather.



  • The PIR sensor reacts to even the slightest movement and changes in infrared radiation.
  • Suitable as a setting when the object is fast-moving and small, such as small birds, and there is a lot going on in the area being filmed.
  • Often the best setting for indoor shooting or in hot weather.
  • The setting can easily cause empty and unnecessary images if there is disturbance in front of the camera, such as branches moved by the wind or thermal radiation is generated in the environment.
  • Of all the PIR sensor positions, this setting consumes the most camera power supply and fills the SD card.


  • The PIR sensor is turned off and the camera does not capture changes in infrared radiation in front of the camera. Note that the camera is turned on and consumes its power supply.

    Note! If the PIR sensor is remotely turned off, the camera may still take photos until the change to camera settings is saved and camera starts acting accordingly.


Camera PIR sensor and vehicles

The camera's PIR sensor must detect a change in infrared radiation, that is, the movement and heat in front of the camera are sufficiently different from the environment. The trail camera is optimized to film games, so different vehicles, such as cars, are often challenging for PIR sensors. A closed engine compartment may not release much infrared radiation when the vehicle is moving, even if the engine is running warm. Often vehicles are simply too cold as a target for the trail camera to react and trigger, even if the vehicle is moving in front of the camera. The trail camera may also trigger first when the vehicle is  close.


To optimize that your trail camera takes a photo of a vehicle, here are some things you can try:

  • Sensitivity. Try modifying the trigger sensitivity to more sensitive (SETUP -> Menu -> Trigger submenu -> Sensitivity).
  • Posture. Adjust the camera position slightly different. If the camera angle is incorrect, or the camera is positioned too high or too low, the motion sensor may not respond to a passing vehicle.
  • Distance. Bring the camera closer to the driveway you are monitoring, because if the vehicle drives even a little too far, the PIR sensor will not respond. If necessary, try another place.