2010 Moultrie I-45S Camera Review - June 05, 2010 Back to Main Review Page
   

2010 Moultrie I45S

 


 

2010 Moultrie I-45S 4 MP low glow red flash digital camera review

After the fiasco we went through with weeks of trying to dry out or clean out the card slot last year where water and trash made its way into the camera through that slot. I swore that I would not go through that again. Well another camera with that case design fell out of the sky into our review laps, so we will once again attempt to get through the review without incident. We have in place our tent to cover the camera when ever we deploy it and have it on the tree. That tent remains in place when ever the case is open and the camera is on the tree. This is to prevent bark particles and moisture from dew and rain from falling off the trees and entering the switches and SD card slot. So much for history and procedures, now we have to use this camera. This is the second 4 MP Moultrie from the 2010 line up and the first review has had some difficulties with picture quality. I started to see some field reports about this camera with its two cameras (no moving filter) and saw a couple photo samples. This camera is equipped with the Game Management facility that you will be paying extra for if you do not intend to hook up to their cell system. The idea of two cameras is not new and several cameras that we have tested used this to keep from having to switch from day to night photos/videos by moving a filter. This makes for a very quiet operation and with the low glow setup should be a positive setup against spooking game. 

This camera with its case design we do not like but the addition of the extra camera is a big plus. This in combination with the low glow setup might prove to be a winner. They say quick response time (their words for fast trigger) and advertised as producing what they call “Cabelas catalog” sharp clear 4.0 mega pixel resolution for color day photos and IR night photos. They still insist on leaving the delay period to a minimum of one minute which most find as being not acceptable. Video for daytime is 5, 10, and 30 seconds. Night is lowered to 5 seconds only. The pictures/video’s are imprinted with a information strip that includes date/time/, temperature, moon phase, and camera ID. 

Case is a mat black similar to the new Spypoint FL-A, and should hide very well on a tree. The size is 6X7 ¼ X3 ¾   inches which is the same as last year. There is the black glass over the flash array (advertised as 50 ft.) to give it the low glow designation. A large circle of plastic covers the two camera lenses just above the wrap around type PIR sensor lens. The External power port and Cell ports are on the bottom. On the back are just the strap slots. No security prevention is built into this camera. There will be a need for a security box from them or one of the after market people to protect the camera when deployed in those less than safe areas. The strap and cables are included in the box. Programming after installing 4 pre tested Ray O Vac D cells was simple and easy. Moultrie’s battery holder is keyed so you cannot put it in wrong but aggravating to do when it is tree mounted and to insure you have them “locked in”. The typical joy stick up/down, left/right select buttons operate the program on the LCD panel. Do this off the tree unless you want to take a chance of getting trash down the open holes. If you choose to do this on the tree cover up the SD card slot hole and buttons or use a little roof to protect these areas. 

I took my micro magnifier and needle probe and inspected the SD card slot first thing and it was dry and clear and no packing material or such slipped down onto the contacts. A clean SD card and off to my un official clock to test trigger times. I just did without flash and was seeing times around two seconds. I then went into my dark room and checked out the flash brightness. They have done a real good job tuning the flash down to a dull orange glow, I could see the glow at 25 feet but I knew where the camera was located. The duration seemed to be about one second and not the blip I was hoping for. Anyway it was hard to detect without paying very close attention to the cameras location. The spook factor should go way down and with the dual camera setup there is no filter clunk. My first impression as to the picture quality both IR and good sun was that they are far better than the I-35 but I would not say they have knocked a home run either. We will learn more about this cam when it gets deployed in actual field conditions. The cost being $250 puts it in competition with many other cameras but this one has the facilities to be tied to the optional ($150) cell modem when the owner wants to get into the wireless camera game management system. Full specifications are as follows. 

 

Hanging on to the past with the choice in their cameras to have the terrible delay time of one minute minimum is beyond belief. This takes a whole bunch of the function away from any of the cameras that do this. The thought of replacing a sorry delay time with burst 3 shots does not get it because what if thirty seconds later the big guy walks out and the camera is still waiting for that one minute after the last three burst. This is a complaint mainly to convey the million or so Moultrie users desire that have been voiced to me about the long minimum delay. Great cameras can be made better if the voice of the crowd makes it into the ears of the right people. 

06-05-2010 update:  This has been a bad week and one of the cameras we had ahead of this one went south with its function and had to take a trip back to the factory repair folks. This advanced things a little and we got to the trigger times which came out at 2.5 with flash and 1.5 without flash.  Next it went to the hill and got the flash range tests done which proved to be 50+ feet but with a somewhat fuzzy picture. Sensing range also was worked into the schedule and it would pick up out to 35 feet on this 81 degree evening. The eight plate tests show that when zoomed the 8 was readable but a bit fuzzy. Filter clunk tests did not have to be done because of the dual camera configuration. We happened to just look inside the lid and seen no gasket but we feel that water would have a hard time getting in with the lid closed. We are a little concerned and will try to check if there is any way the ants could find an entrance point up under the lip of the lid. When returning to the field to check this camera, make sure that there is no trash or moisture from dew or rain on the lid because it will end up inside the camera when you open the lid. Dry it off upon arrival prior to raising the lid to get the card.

06-06-2010 update:  I spent some precious time researching just what the field was saying about the 2010 Moultrie line up. The biggest single thing was the delay period. We understand that if you limit night video to 5 seconds and use an extended delay period you will be limiting the amount of work the camera has to do. In this limited process you get some very good battery life. We hear that most can put up with the lousy pictures and so so trigger times but the delay function/ battery life issue seems to surface a lot. The rave about getting 6 months out of a set of batteries (lots of extra cost) has a big effect on people’s choices as what to purchase. The missed pictures because of the delay, also has a big effect on camera choice. There are manufactures presently that are selling cameras with great delay, great pictures, and great battery life. We are beginning reviews on a couple of cameras this week that meet that criteria and they actually sell for less. We present the data for everyone to compare and make their own choice intelligently. This camera has above average function compared to the two previous 2010 cameras from that company we have looked at. Last year we had got all the way down to the base model before we found a winner in our estimation. If the 35, 45, and 55 series cameras all had a 10 second delay, we feel that other functions would take on a lesser value and lead to greater sales. We are going to gather a few sample pictures/video this week and call it quits on this camera. 

06-14-2010 update:  The past few days we hooked up on a busy feeder but for some strange reason we only got 145 pictures. We pulled the card and reexamined the programming and set it back out in video. Once we gather the video samples we are going to close the review unless we receive a request to hold it open for some reason. Interest has not been high so far though the function seems to be a little better than others tested. Eventually we will probably get our D-55 out and start that review. About a dozen cams are lined up ahead right now. 

06-15-2010 update:  Made it through the video portion of the testing and found this cam did a little better than the I-35 but still somewhat fuzzy. One of the things we picked up on with this camera was how they take a picture prior to the video of what ever triggered the camera and this shows the date time and what it was. This is cool except that after the trigger time, a photo is taken, written to the card then finally the video starts and we have multiple examples of something disappearing out of view just as the video starts (see example video). A better approach would be to place a date time stamp on the video and avoid the extra time it takes to record and save a photo prior to starting the video recording. This is going to be the last test on this cam so we will close the review now and unless things change we will not re open the review until more interest is generated.

Video delay issue:

 

Flash Range Test (camera only)
(click for full size original)


 

Day Range 8 Plate Test


 

Trigger Time without flash 1.5 seconds

 

Trigger time with flash around 2.5 seconds

 

Photo Samples Enhanced

Video Samples

 

   

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