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Moultrie Camera Review Page

Moultrie

Digital Game
Spy 100

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

Click here to view a simple camera mount project you can do yourself!

 

2/25/06 - Read This Statement to Moultrie before Continuing!

This camera is one of the cheapest yet performs very well.  The camera uses a 6 volt lantern battery which will last a couple of months on standard resolution (10 to 20 pics per week) and with a rechargeable lead acid battery and available solar panel (aimed at the morning sun) should go all year.  Battery life will decrease with the high resolution setting and when the majority of the pictures are at night using the flash.  The camera is easy to program and set up.  The trigger time is about 3 seconds and the flash is marginal.  Again this camera should be aimed up or down the trail for a longer sensing time.  This camera really shines with its daytime pictures. 
The camera's manual is written with the thought that the user has a general knowledge of how digital cameras and such work. Even though this camera is straight forward in its programming methods, some might like a better outline to follow to complete the time date and ID functions. A small instruction sticker on the inside of the door might aid folks in the field without their manual.

10-05-05 update:

We spent about 30 minutes on the phone with the tech folks at Moultrie this morning and we discussed the system operating versions of the cameras. The Game spy and Game watcher 100 cameras have had three different versions. The 2.32 v is the oldest and this was followed by the 1.2 and now the 1.5 versions. The newer cameras do not have the solar panel terminals on the outside of the case. They recommend that you use the rechargeable batteries and just hook the solar panel alligator clips to the battery springs and close the door. There is no software upgrade available by the factory for the older software versions. The customer service number is 1-800-653-3334 8 to 5 CST M thru F.

12-7-05 update:

 We had one of our Moultrie 1.3 cams  that we had nicknamed the “the Moultrie Extreme”. The reason for this was that it had a tendency to be over sensitive and take pictures untill filling the SD card and run down the battery. Even though it would do this on occasion, it would still sense and take pictures of animals. On 1 December 05 I wrote a letter explaining the fault and returned this camera along with the letter for repair. Today is 7 December and UPS just brought me a box containing a new camera. It is not a replacement Spy100 it is a new 3.1 Game spy 200. This proves that this is an exceptional company and they have not only an excellent customer service they have a very good repair and return service. Another reason for keeping this camera company's products on top of our recommended picks.

03-20-2006 Update on Moultrie GS-100 and GS-200:

The following is a list of things that we have learned by way of E mails, Outdoor Forums, Phone conversations, word of mouth and from our personal experience. I will say that the cameras that we purchased and tested seemed to perform very good until recently, we have had one of the GS-200s to show some signs of problems. (SD card lock and White out)

  • Poor sensing.

  • SD card locked indication on LCD but camera functions normally.

  • Bad battery life.

  • Severe difference in trigger time from day pictures to flash pictures.

  • Whiteout pictures randomly.

  • Moon phase quits being displayed on pictures.

  • Flash pictures have saucer eyes.

  • Limited sensing range. (sometimes corrected by the “fix.” (sensor lens replacement)

  • Camera just dies and will not boot up with fresh battery. 

Most of these problems were discussed with a Moultrie management person and we were promised an answer by E mail last week. As of yet we have not received any word. Bill

 

Trigger time is 3 to 4 seconds
Flash Tests
Sample Photos
 
Movie Sample (windows media format)

Note: These sample pics are unmodified.  They are original size and may take a while to download on a slower connection speed.

 

Moultrie

Digital Game
Spy 200

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

Click here to view a simple camera mount project you can do yourself!

 

 

 

Another Simple Mounting Bracket Idea:

2/25/06 - Read This Statement to Moultrie before Continuing!

Model MFH-DGS-200 Game Spy 200

This is Moultrie's latest camera rated at 3.1 MP on its highest setting. The three settings for resolution are 640X480, 1204X768, and 2048X1536 enhanced. The AVI movie setting is 320X240 at 10 seconds. Out of the box, the first thing that struck me is that the manual was just one sheet folded up. This took me back to my first encounter with the Leaf River. First impressions are often wrong because the programming is very straight forward and easy so the instructions were more than adequate. Having just over a 2 second trigger time at 80+ degrees says that this cam should perform very well in the field when the temps are 50 and below. No external solar panel terminals was one of the few things that appear to be a negative. The factory folks say just hook the solar panel clips to the battery springs and close the door. (I personally am going to file a small notch for the wires to exit)  I tried the factory method and the case crimped the wires so I would be sure to take care and see that the panel wires exit the case at the bottom and are not crossed  to prevent the possibility a short and of moisture getting inside the case. There is a little different switch/button arrangement between the 100 series and the 200 series with a big dummy button above the mode button that I seemed to want to push to change modes. We are looking forward to testing this cam and it should be chasin game this weekend (November 12, 2005).

03-20-2006 Update on Moultrie GS-100 and GS-200:

The following is a list of things that we have learned by way of E mails, Outdoor Forums, Phone conversations, word of mouth and from our personal experience. I will say that the cameras that we purchased and tested seemed to perform very good until recently, we have had one of the GS-200s to show some signs of problems. (SD card lock and White out)

  • Poor sensing.

  • SD card locked indication on LCD but camera functions normally.

  • Bad battery life.

  • Severe difference in trigger time from day pictures to flash pictures.

  • Whiteout pictures randomly.

  • Moon phase quits being displayed on pictures.

  • Flash pictures have saucer eyes.

  • Limited sensing range. (sometimes corrected by the “fix.” (sensor lens replacement)

  • Camera just dies and will not boot up with fresh battery. 

Most of these problems were discussed with a Moultrie management person and we were promised an answer by E mail last week. As of yet we have not received any word. Bill

 

 

Trigger time is 2.5 to 3 seconds
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures

More Samples on the ChasinGame Gallery!
 

(sold by WalMart, dubbed the
Wally World 100
)

Moultrie

Digital Game
Watcher 100

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

WW 100 (Wally World) Moultrie Game Watcher 2.1 MP
Out of the box this cam resembles all previous Wally World models. A plain black box and no solar panel terminals. When you open the case the only difference in appearance is the LCD screen which has printed indicators for different functions like battery condition and amount of pictures taken. Programming this camera was somewhat different than its predecessor but easy and the manual is easy to follow.

***The “Sure Shot”  function that Moultrie has incorporated into this camera is a pain in the foot. It takes two motions to set it off. The first motion does nothing but if the cam senses a second motion the picture will be taken in under one second.

Put on a feeder or mineral lick this camera will do a fine job. If positioned across a trail it would probably miss the first deer but catch the second animal within one second. This being the case aiming this camera up and down the trail would be mandatory. Flash range is good to 40 feet and the same as all other Moultrie's tested. Cost on this camera with tax was $106. The camera comes with the normal cables and a couple of small bungee cords. No means of security for this cam was in the box also. I am working on a new design for securing all of the Moultrie models and should have pictures posted soon. This camera will be placed on a feeder this afternoon and will have an old standard black DGS-100 Moultrie V 2.3 with it for a side by side evaluation.

08-06-06 Update:  We had four cameras looking at the same feeder. There were two IR cameras and two Moultrie 100 cameras. The two IR cams took 150 pictures each and neither Moultrie took pictures. Thinking that we may have done something wrong, we re-programmed the Moultries and put them back out. One of the troubling things we found with the Moultrie (Wally World 100) was the LCD display. The new display has the numbers letters in a very fine script that is super hard to read unless the light is exactly right. This time we were sure that the “ready” indicator was on before we set the cam out. Trying to program this cam under a tree in the early morning would not work out very well unless you had a third hand to hold a small flashlight. We will have results to post in a couple days. This cam is definitely on its way back to Wally World for a refund.  

The over night test proved that we must have had a little bit of dumb azz when we did the first set up. 57 pictures and no white outs yet there was evidence of the flash going off in the early afternoon. The pictures were sharp and clear for the MP rating. We might hang on to this cam for another week just to make sure that what we previously experienced was us and not the camera. The test goes on.
 

Part 2 of this dumb azz review will find both Anthony and myself going back to basic camera review school. The other DGS 100 that we were running parallel with this cam failed to take pictures also. Closer review of that cam found that we had chosen a very anemic battery which lasted long enough to turn the camera on, but not long enough to take any pictures. Everything has been put back to square one and the field tests re started. Of the group of pictures that were taken last night the flash seemed to do a very good job and reaching far out past the feeder illuminating small deer that was 40+feet away.

 

We have completed the review of this cam and our last (part 2) findings are that this camera has very acceptable pictures. The sensing ability seems to be on par with out Moultrie GS-200 "NV". The battery life seems to be somewhat of an issue. Our fully charged 6 volt lasted two days and we had less than 40 pictures. This camera will be a very good candidate for the old hook up the solar panel and run the wires out the bottom and close the door as we had to do with the early models of the GS 200. We are waiting for our rep to bring us one of the new Game Spy 2.1s to see if we get similar results. 

 

 

Trigger time is around 1 second***
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures

Moultrie

Black Moultrie GS-100
Model MFH-DGS-100V2

(Late 2006)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

 

Plain Jane Black Moultrie GS-100 review (late 06)

Basically the same camera as the Wally World camera tested earlier. I was curious just what was better about the Game Spy over the Game watcher. This model also does not have the solar terminals and programs the same as the Wally World GW-100. Triggering on this camera is different on this camera. When left dormant for a while with out activity the camera will go to sleep and it takes a 3 second window to wake it up but once awake will trigger within one half second, and after the delay will trigger again under a second if motion is still present. Every time I pick up one of these Moultrie cameras I have a habit of inspecting the seal to see if there is any defects. The reason for this is we had one of our forum members who had a Moultrie in a creek bottom and a flood came and the camera was under water for several days. The camera had no ill effects other than being covered with mud. Try that trick with any of the 06 Cuddebacks and see what happens. The 2.1 MP rating is in order for most tasks in the scouting camera arena. Properly situated this camera will handle most field tasks very well. Knowing the ability and quirks each of these cameras have a person can pretty well situate the camera in such a manner that it will perform well. We have always loved our Moultrie cameras and the way the company has supported its customers. There was a down period in 05 where there seemed to be many things that caused all the outdoor forums to light up with complaints but this company stuck right in there and kept replacing cameras until now days I rarely see any problems mentioned. This camera can sell any where from just over a hundred dollars to around one hundred forty dollars depending on the source. In high risk areas where there is a chance of theft many folks seek out the less expensive cameras and use some of the security measures mentioned on this site. This camera has features like the laser aim, no loss of program during battery change, front viewable status which we wished we could see on some of the other comparative priced cameras. Trigger time is under one second after wakeup and flash looks to be the same as the Walley World 100 but I will re do this test in the morning to confirm. We just have to get a set of field test pictures and see how good they are. Flash range tests show good flash to 40 feet and this 50 degree morning this camera would sense me at 40 feet also. The sensing range and flash range seem to be very well matched on this camera. As with the Wally world cam this camera has the hard to read LCD screen. The new fine print makes it hard to read in low light conditions like early morning under the canopy of trees. Once we get some test pictures the plan is to match this camera with the Wild view 2 and Bushnell 119200 if our Bushnell is returned from repair in time to do this test in a timely manner.

 

Trigger time with out flash
Trigger time with flash
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures
Standard resolution
High Resolution
Movie
Click Here


Moultrie

MFH-DGW-4.0 (2007)
4 MegaPixel

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

Moultrie MFH-DGW-4.0 (D-40) Review 06-09-2007

This is Moultrie's low end camera that appears to be packed with a great deal of high end features. In appearance it looks like the 05 and 06 cameras less the solar panel terminals. The addition of an external battery port is up on the right side of the camera which is covered by a rubber plug. When the case is opened the inside of the camera is removable from the outer case. The bottom rear of this inside camera has a removable slide plate to access the battery compartment (6 D cells) which holds the batteries very secure once the cover is reinstalled. The SD card slot is easily accessed on the front right of the camera. A well designed single switch will move you through the functions while a separate set of buttons gives you the up, down, delete and select options. A pushbutton on off switch is at the top left of the front panel. There should be no problems in the winter, even with gloves on. I did not find any problems with the water seal gasket on this camera, it remained in place through testing. All the previously designed security brackets for the 05-06 cameras will work with this camera. The claim of 60 day battery life is assumed to be what they call “normal conditions” meaning no extreme temperatures and probably using the lower rez settings. This is an area of high interest to most users. Trigger time (unofficial) looks like between 1 to 2 seconds and on the medium setting the color flash pictures were a bit grainy. First impression is that this is going to be a very easy to use and nice camera to have for the price. Using a large capacity 12v SLA external battery and a high capacity card (up to 4 gig) should allow some extended field deployments if desired. The outside pictures taken on the high setting at 0800 in the morning were still a little fuzzy but very true in detail and color. I would have no problem owning one of these as my field scouting camera with its $100 price tag because it will do just about everything that I would need. Flash range and sensing will happen tomorrow morning and trigger times will follow after that.


06-10-2007 Update:  Did the flash range tests this morning and as advertised it is to 50 feet easily. The sensing range at 71 degrees this morning was 35 to 40 feet. We will get the trigger time tests and then to the field for all the movie and sample picture examples.
 

Note: One strange thing that I noticed. To simulate battery life I installed a set of used batteries which gave a reading of 80%. The camera would turn on but shut itself off before I could make it flash. We are going to have to determine if there is a threshold of battery strength which shuts the cam down. I installed one new battery which brought the level to 85% and the cam worked just fine. Long term battery life is advertised as being 60 days, so we will run the camera and monitor the battery level to see when it starts to shut down. During these tests I found that the camera when working would give me what appeared (unofficial) trigger time of around 1 second. I did not experience any of the sleep mode issues that were talked about in some of the early news leaks.
 

06-17-2007 update:  This cam had been in the field for about a week and monitored closely. With a setting of low resolution, the flash and picture quality with flash are both just fair. This test will now be revisited with the high settings. Daytime pictures are much better. Setting side by side with a Stealth I-450, this camera matched pictures one for one as far as sensing so us knowing that the WD series stealth cameras have always had very good sensing this $ 100 camera seems to function very well. Pictures were caught of fast moving deer crossing in front of the camera. These pictures were blurry but show that the trigger time is also very acceptable. Bang for the buck we find nothing wrong with this camera. Back to the tree for the picture quality test set on high.
 

06-23-2007 update:  One thing that we failed to mention is the automatic sleep mode when the camera is idle for a period of time. It takes a couple of seconds to get the first picture then it is in the fast trigger mode. This is the statement from the pamphlet:  To maximize battery life the camera "sleeps" when no activity occurs for 2 minutes when you enter the delay mode. It takes a couple of seconds (flash will be slightly longer) to "wake" the camera when activity occurs. ONLY AFTER THE CAMERA WAKES will game movement result in a picture.


 

Trigger time with out flash (1 second)
Trigger time with flash (1 second)
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures
low resolution
High Resolution
Movie

 

 

 


Moultrie

MFH-DGW-4.0 (2008)
4 MegaPixel

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

 

08 Moultrie D-40 MFH-DGW-4.0 4 MP white flash camera revisit review 08-15-2008

Being we did a revisit on a couple of the of the I series cameras and found that they fell on their face this year with some bad trigger times and some issues with the whiteout problems. I had a hard time locating one of these cameras in the normal system because they stay sold out. This morning I visited one of the stores looking for another item when they were stocking the shelves fresh from the factory cameras. I gobbled up one but had to leave it lying around for a while until I could get a Bushnell and another camera on its way to Anthony to do his part. With 6 new batteries in its stomach the cam fired up and allowed me to program it up in about a minute or two. With the function switch in the setup mode and a good long hold down of the on power switch I was able to use the up/down and select switch to get everything done. Back to the off position and the function switch moved to the auto position and the countdown started. Of course I had already installed a good clean SD card in the appropriate slot. I set the cam on the bench in front of the trigger time clock and with a couple layers of blue masking tape over the flash I did some unofficial trigger tests. All came out at one second and I about fell out of my chair with this good news. Now I left it set up and headed in for a sandwich so I could look to see if this sucker would go into that dreaded sleep mode. About a half an hour later I made my way back to the cam without it seeing me and waited for the clock to hit the twelve. The flash went off and the time recorded (Less than two seconds), even in the sleep mode this camera is over a second faster than those high classed Moultrie’s. This camera now has a couple years under its present design and so far seemed to function very well. The sales in this area show that it is one of the most popular cameras around. Wal Mart had 24 Remington Ghosts and zero D-40s The Ghosts have been there for over two weeks and not even one was sold. With the two second wake up time and the one second trigger for every picture after that makes this a very usable camera. Big black and ugly camera is the description one fellow who was asking to buy one from the store clerk who replied “you mean the Moultrie digital”? The fellow said “Yea that’s it” when the D-40 came off the shelf. I spent a little time with him and he became a programming champ in a very short time and he headed out of the store to the club to hang it on the tree. I think he just got a little of that addiction that has been rumored around the forums. I am not going to go through all the description and measurements because that is all in the original review last year. We are going to get some flash tests and sensing tests before moving to the hill for the pictures. For those potential white flash fans who are waiting to see what the Cudde Capture is going to do might just want to buy two of these for the same price. The cudde has what appears to be better pictures and maybe a little faster trigger but it has not been out there successfully for two years. We hope it is but we don’t know as of now. There is just not a lot of fast white flash cams out on the market this year.

08-16-2008 update:  The flash range testing went well and the white flash reached well past forty feet. The sensing range is also forty feet for this 71 degree morning. Compared to the I and M series 2008 cameras we tested this year this camera has it all over them with the exception of picture quality. You could have a stack of these cams for the price of one of the 60 series cams.

 

08-27-2008 update:  Well all you Moultrie I and M series cameras that have a 2008 birth date you need to hang your head in shame. Your little brother just put all you to shame. The pictures in our sample tests are pretty good for a sub $100 camera. The official trigger time came out to be around a second (2 seconds after sleep). Even when the camera went to sleep it still wakes up and snaps a picture more than a second faster than its more expensive siblings. This camera is being pumped out by some vendors for as little as $69 and as high as $99 for other vendors. This means that you could have two of these cameras and not put the same dent in the wallet as one of those new Capture cameras. The D-40 also has more features and a company that has stuck behind their products. We are very happy with this camera and it will be added to our stack of long term cameras to hold a spot in our inventory of cameras that will stay in the woods.

 

10-05-2008 update:  We have had a good time with this cam in the field. It has not let us down and we continue to capture a ton of pictures each week. This cam has been very good on batteries and somewhat weak in picture quality but for the price it has just kept on performing. We think this is a very strong performer for the price and we intend to keep it in the field until we wear a little of the bark off it. This review is closed    


 

 

Trigger Tests
with and without flash 1 second after sleep mode
Flash Tests

Samples High Res




 

 


Moultrie

I40 IR flash 4.0 MP

(2007)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 


 

Security:  I made a 7 ½ X ¾ X 1/8 inch bar (see picture) and drilled a hole in each end to slip a Python cable through and it appears that this will work just fine for most security situations:


 


Side view with battery plate removed.  SD card and accessories cables plug in here:



Card Puller
: A three inch piece of good electrical tape, folded in half and stuck to both
sides of the SD card makes card removal easy in the new M and I series Moultrie cams.



Potential Leak Issue
 

1/2 inch piece of 2X4 cut to a length of 4 3/4 inches and beveled on the end to 45% provides enough support
to the back of the case so over tightening will not warp the case and prevent the front of the battery compartment
from a possible water leak on the I and M series Moultrie.


A simple tin rain guard for I and M series Moultrie cams:


 


IR Stealth Option:
(see 06-17-07 update)

A small piece of smoked clear plastic 3 1/2 X 1 1/4 inches set in front of the IR emitters inside the case will possibly
do two things:
 
1. Tone down the red glow when camera is triggered to prevent from someone seeing the camera and spooking game.
 
2. A well camouflaged camera would still have the bright white square of IR emitters that would give away its location to that possible trespasser. Covering up the the emitters in this matter will help conceal the cam.
 
We made a similar cover for the Leaf River IR camera and it worked very well and we did not see any noticeable amount of loss of IR light in our tests. Our test camera was placed in an area which had a lot of passing traffic and the camera was never detected.

MFH-DGS-I40 IR Flash 4 MP camera review 06-09-2007
Having just gone through its big brother the I-60 this camera possesses many of the same features.  Lacking are the higher MP rating, remote feature, and some of the eye candy that is printed across the bottom of the picture. It has the same amount of IR emitters so the flash is the same and the case is black but maintains the same dimensions. There is three rez settings which are low, medium, and enhanced (interpolated) to reach the 4.0 MP high rating.

Both cameras function the same as far as flash range, trigger time and sensing range.

Coming out of the box this camera had the sticky gasket problem that was mentioned in the 6.0 review. When packed at the factory the front cover wants to stick to the gasket in some areas and when the cover is opened it tends to slightly lift the gasket out of its grove. If this was missed and not slid back in place it could result in a water leak. Once the gasket was put back in place we did not experience it becoming loose again during the many times we opened the case. This appears to only be the case when it is opened fresh out of the box. I did water leak tests as I did with the Cuddeback cameras and found no leaks once the gasket was properly re-installed.

The 7 ½ inch bar described for use with the 6.0 will also work for this camera’s security.

Packing a $100 dollar cheaper price tag than its big brother and me being more in favor of cameras that take very good low MP pictures (smaller file size) makes missing those bells and whistles seem less important. If camo is important to you, just get a roll of that camo cloth tape that is used to make archery equipment look like a tree and use it to hide your camera. Just don’t do to good of a job because this camera does not have that beacon feature and you cant call it up from a distance.

Finally things in the trail camera business have brought the suppliers to the point where all the desirable features are there and the choice gets harder.
Moultrie has began to rock the industry for the second time (excluding early 06) with this years new cameras. Having trigger times just over a second and a selection of features that have been talked about here over the past three years. These appear to be very good cameras. With all fingers crossed we are hoping that everyone’s field experience does not uncover some hidden difficulty. The sleep factor that was rumored to affect these cameras, did not surface during our testing but we will be putting one in a situation for a day plus situation without being triggered and see if we can sneak up on it and catch it in a nap. The camera is presently deployed on a very sunny open area with a corn feeder and in about week we will be able to provide some sample pictures. Our private purchase of these same models through normal channels found no differences in function than the ones that came straight from the supplier. This is a test that we must do to prove that by chance we might receive cameras that may have been gone through prior to us receiving them. This would make it unfair to the average buyer. To date we have only on one occasion had this happen with a small company that now seems to feel they are better off dealing with the industrial research folks than the hunting sports folks.

With all the information being put out about good rechargeable batteries and with the new solar panel (available this fall from Moultrie), this camera with a 4 gig card should be able to stay out for a very long time without any maintenance. The next option would be to use the external 12v SLA battery with a 12v panel hooked directly to the battery. Caution: Do not exceed 15 volts when doing this according to the folks at Moultrie. 

08-14-2007 update:  This is another camera that made it to the field without getting its trigger time tested. The field results are very impressive and the more we look at this camera the more we would probably choose this one over its big sister the I60 because we see no need for that tiny view screen and the remote feature has not been needed for way we do our scouting. Being cheaper is also a reason to choose this camera. I have been so totally impressed by the function of the I 60 that I was not really paying much attention to this camera. Just having a black case and basically much of the rest is the same, leaves operational functionality the only issue. Well this camera passed with flying colors. I do not need a 6 MP camera with those large file sizes to do my scouting. I cannot say anything bad about the I 60 because it also works very well but it also costs more. The sleep mode that we kept on looking for is just not there. These cameras will latterly last a couple months on a set of batteries and take thousands of pictures. The I 60 has been out over two months and taken over 3k pictures and 200+ movies and it is still on the hill banging away right now. The I 40 is there, also, just not as long. Picture quality is very good and we can not fault this camera in any way on that point. We have some more rez settings to go through plus the flash and trigger tests to do and we can go on with the battery life testing.

 

08-19-2007 update:  This can came off the hill just long enough to get its trigger time tested (less than 2 seconds) and was put right back out at another rez setting . We are liking about everything about this camera. Both the day and night pictures have good quality. Three things about this cam that are needed, 1st do not tighten the strap to tight when mounting, 2nd build yourself a locking bar for using a Python lock to secure this camera, 3rd cross your fingers and hope that Moultrie gets off their duff and supplies us with a downloadable update to help with the whiteout issue. With all that in place this is going to be one hard camera to beat.

 

08-20-2007 update:  The flash range testing was done this morning and as with the I-60 this cam proved to have very good illumination past 40 feet. I was doing the Wildview 5 test at the same time and it was remarkable just how much faster this camera is on trigger time and delay time. I found the delay time to be a little less than the advertised 1 minute. Sensing range was out past 35 feet which surprised me because the WV-5 could only see me at 25 feet. 76 degrees and sensing testing makes for some difficult times in most cases but this cam passed with flying colors.

09-22-2007 Moultrie Firmware (whiteout update) internet download review:  On one of the outdoor forums there was a comment about this new download to correct the whiteout issue. This fellow said “I hate to admit this but Moultrie did a good job putting this together”. Well, We do not hate but are glad and happy that this has finally been accomplished. It is obvious that these folks did their homework and put together a download that does work.

There was only a couple of minor issues worth mentioning about the whole process:  At one point, the instructions tell you to connect the USB cable and then copy files onto camera SD card. At this time they make no mention of the number of screens that must be clicked through in Windows XP to accomplish this while XP recognizes the new hardware.  These instructions are very precise and must be followed exactly to the letter. One small glitch occurred twice while we followed the instruction correctly.  This was when we activated the firmware level 1 update, we got the message "FILE NOT READY".  We got this message 2 to 3 times but just kept trying and it finally loaded the level 1 firmware correctly.

The overall process is 5 steps for the I series and 4 steps for M series. Step 3 has you download the firmware files from the Moultrie website onto your computer.  Steps 4 and 5 walk you through loading the firmware onto the camera and activating the "firmware update" process.  We found the process easy but make sure you follow the instructions exactly.

09-29-2007 update Moultrie whiteout upgrade M and I series:  This past year we have seen where companies have outsourced their production overseas are starting to see problems arise. The pre production units seem to work just fine but when the post production units start to hit the market there seems to be a margin of difficulties in function that the users are finding. We do not know that this is the case with the new I and M series Moultrie’s but it is suspected. When these cameras hit the market they seemed to be exactly what many folks were wanting. We really liked all models and still do but now that we have gotten deep into the testing we see that the original problems dealing with the whiteout issue has mushroomed into a new set of difficulties with these cameras. Most folks felt that it was more of a hardware issue dealing with the light sensor than a software issue. This may be true but Moultrie has attempted to correct this through a firmware upgrade. We have seen a degree of improvement with the I series but no change with the M series.  We cannot exactly duplicate the light conditions of the pre download, but we can get close. With the I series we see a definite improvement in amount of whiteout, but in this process this firmware update has created another problem. This problem is the lack of color pictures during good light conditions. It takes some pretty strong sunlight before this camera will switch to color. On an average we are seeing color pictures between 11 AM and 4 PM. During this period we see that the cameras will sometimes switch back and forth between monochrome and color. We have seen some reports that some folks feel that the picture quality has also been degraded somewhat. With our cameras we cannot state this because of the varying light conditions on the pre and post pictures. Moultrie engineers have done lots of work creating this download but we feel that it is still lacking and still has to be tweaked. The M series is a total disappointment and just has not been fixed. We are still getting more than 50% whiteout pictures. On one of our M-40’s it seemed to get worse after the download. What it has come down to is that both the I and M series cameras must be taken out from under the forest canopy and put in the bright sun in order to work properly. Reports that the trigger time was also affected has not been proven in our tests. We hope that Moultrie takes notice and does a little more work on these great cameras.

**The reviews on the 2007 Moultrie cams will be on hold pending further feedback from Moultrie concerning issues with the recent firmware upgrades.

03-16-2008 update: 
This review was put on hold waiting for some data from Moultrie so we could complete the review. They have failed to answer our requests so we will close this review.  

 

Trigger time with out flash (1.5 seconds)
Trigger time with flash (2 seconds)
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures
Low resolution
High Resolution
IR Photos


Color Photos
Movie Samples

 

 


Moultrie

I40 IR flash 4.0 MP

(2008 REVISITED)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

 

Moultrie I 40 revisit review 06-15-2008

Last year we did a review on this cam and all the basics remain the same. We will be only looking at those areas that may have changed in this new look at this camera. We liked this camera from the start and wrote it up as a good camera. Then the multitude hit the field and the problems started to show up under long term use. Things like black out and white out and other issues were seen. This did not hold true for every cam out there but that select few took their toll the popularity of this cam. The factory folks finally got off their duffs and put out some firm ware fixes that eased the situation somewhat. This is not a perfect cam by any means but has worked well enough that it has become the most popular camera sold in 07. We have scheduled some shoot out types of reviews coming up as soon as we get a handle on all the new cams that we have to review that are new for this year. This required us to have on hand a new this years model of this cam to put along side a few of the $200 cameras when we get to those shootout reviews. In the mean time we will put this camera through a few paces to see if there are any issues that have not been corrected. I went out and purchased a fresh from the factory I 40 for this purpose. This is a non cherry picked cam and is just off the shelf like any normal purchase. The firm ware on this cam is L1_11037, L2_40704 and the new batteries are energizers. Trigger times show that is average of 3 seconds. We have been spoiled by the new tiny Scoutguard cameras and when we get hold of this big old cam and hang it on the tree it is a little cumbersome. We recently started a review on one of the new Leaf River cams and it has an external on off switch which makes it nice when we need to do a card change. With this cam we have devised a locking bar with a Python cable for security. When we do the card change we have to remove the cable all the way and open up the front of the camera and then turn off the switch. Then we need to open the battery compartment to get into the card during the change. Then we have to reverse the procedure to secure it back on the tree and re aim. Not a big price to pay but aggravating none the less. Even with these minor issues we still like this camera so far and it has worked well for us. We are going to take a very close look to make sure 08 is a better year for this cam and see if we can say “we really like this cam”.
 

Well I just got the data to fill in the above slots for trigger time and Houston we have a problem Things have gone south with this cam. A solid 3 second trigger time is what is happening now. That puts this cam back out in the league of the slower cameras but still fast enough for some applications as long as you know its speed the cam can be placed so the slower trigger time will still be effective. This is not the first time we have done are visit and found that what was a fact originally is now gone to hell in a hand basket. These areas are not constantly checked by the receiving folks that supply us and the factory folks will slip some stuff into the system thinking they will not be caught. Well they just got caught.

06-21-2008 update:  We had some friends down the road who has some of these new cams to take a look at theirs for us so we could get a broad spectrum look at cams that were out of a different lot number. The results were the same and we now know that this camera has a solid three second trigger time and still hangs onto that black and white thing with the pictures until it is very bright sunlight. One of our favorite cams has slipped down hill a bunch. The factory folks are still taking a look at this and we have not heard any of the feedback that we have requested from them.

 

06-29-2008 update:  The reports just keep on coming about this cam. More and more we are hearing the same about the three plus second trigger times. Now comes the next issue involving this camera. (See examples) This camera will run well into the morning (9 to 10 O clock) with out ever switching to color. This is happening every day. We have tested many cameras here including some of our original I 40s and they had some whiteout issues early on but still switched over at the correct time. Right now I am going to have to say that I would have a very hard time recommending the 08 I-40 camera. If you should be one of the lucky 07 camera holders and it is working without issues, hold on to it because that has proven to be a great camera. The $ 200 camera shootout that was planned will probably not happen because one other of the contestants failed miserably with the trigger time tests and now has a battery problem. That leaves the Scoutguard sg550 that seems to be getting on in the field just fine.

 

09-04-2008 update:  We went ahead and fielded this camera to put it under regular field operations and it failed miserably. Then it just plain failed and would not flash. This is going to be another candidate for the 100 yard target range. This is a shame because last year this model really shined after we began to get some updates. This review is closed.

 


 

Trigger time
3 seconds
Samples
note:  these pics should be color but are still black and white.  Look at the times on them.

 

  

 

Moultrie

I60 IR flash 6.0 MP

(2007)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

Security:  I made a 7 ½ X ¾ X 1/8 inch bar (see picture) and drilled a hole in each end to slip a Python cable through and it appears that this will work just fine for most security situations:


 


Side view with battery plate removed.  SD card and accessories cables plug in here:

 


Card Puller
: A three inch piece of good electrical tape, folded in half and stuck to both
sides of the SD card makes card removal easy in the new M and I series Moultrie cams.



Potential Leak Issue

1/2 inch piece of 2X4 cut to a length of 4 3/4 inches and beveled on the end to 45% provides enough support
to the back of the case so over tightening will not warp the case and prevent the front of the battery compartment
from a possible water leak on the I and M series Moultrie.



A simple tin rain guard for I and M series Moultrie cams:


 


IR Stealth Option:
(see 06-17-07 update)

A small piece of smoked clear plastic 3 1/2 X 1 1/4 inches set in front of the IR emitters inside the case will possibly
do two things:
 
1. Tone down the red glow when camera is triggered to prevent from someone seeing the camera and spooking game.
 
2. A well camouflaged camera would still have the bright white square of IR emitters that would give away its location to that possible trespasser. Covering up the the emitters in this matter will help conceal the cam.
 
We made a similar cover for the Leaf River IR camera and it worked very well and we did not see any noticeable amount of loss of IR light in our tests. Our test camera was placed in an area which had a lot of passing traffic and the camera was never detected.

5-26-2007 First look at the new Moultrie I 60 IR flash 6.0 MP with on board viewer. This is a very impressive looking camera and new for this year they have chosen to do a all new case design. The massive IR array appears to be of single focus compared to the Leaf River array which uses different focus IR emitters in their arrays. This 72 count array should do a good job in the illumination area and is advertised as being good to 50 feet. Our tests will take a close look at this. This camera can be set up in any one of 4 resolutions from VGA up to 6.0. New for this year Moultrie has included a built in viewer for those folks who wish to see the results of the cameras performance in the field. I want to take a close look at the color day and IR night functions of this camera because it appears it is being done through one lens. This may incorporate a mechanical filter to accomplish this task. It will be interesting to put it to task in the field. Pictures will be stamped with the standard time and date along with temperature, moon phase and barometric pressure. External power port is also incorporated which is a big plus and this can also be used with the not yet available solar panel which is suppose to maintain six rechargeable D cells if you chose to go that route. Moultrie advertises this camera as being able to perform up to 150 days on 6 good alkaline batteries which is some very good news. Grape vine has it that this is accomplished by having the camera to go into a sleep mode with a 1 to 2 second wakeup time then the camera will go into the instant trigger time mode. This is one of the areas that seems to be of great interest to a lot of folks so we will be paying close attention to this detail. 

With all the information being put out about good rechargeable batteries and with the new solar panel (available this fall), this camera with a 4 gig card should be able to stay out for a very long time without any maintenance. The next option would be to use the external 12v SLA battery with a 12v panel hooked directly to the battery. Caution: Do not exceed 15 volts when doing this according to the folks at Moultrie. 

The built in security feature and remote beacon feature is also a plus for this camera. I am going to be doing a lot of work to come up with some type of extra security for this fine camera to insure that it doesn’t get legs and wander off with one of the occasional uninvited visitors to our properties. Being this cam is so very new and has a lot of features this review will probably be very long and intense, unless we have some type of an unanticipated failure.

06-09-2007 UpdateThe OD green case measures about 11 inches tall and is 6 ½  wide with a depth of about 4 inches. A single thumb screw will open the case that is hinged in the top. This front cover has some sort of detent built into the hinge to hold it in the open position for programming. The right side of the case has a removable cover 5 ½  by 2 ½  inches that is held on by two more thumb screws. Under this cover is the battery compartment which has a hinged retainer for the batteries which also has another thumb screw.

Just in front of the battery compartment is the USB, SD card, and TV out slots. Once the batteries are installed there is only a small recessed area (see picture) to access the SD card slot. Winter time installation of the card would be impossible with gloves on. I can see that folks will probably do the same with the card with the tape trick or tweezers as we saw on other cameras which had card access issues.

Mounting the camera is done by a narrow strap (provided ) through two slots in the back of the cam. There is an adjustable thumb screw at the top of the back of the cam which has a point to hit the tree and allow for angle adjustment for aiming. Bad news when we opened all of our cameras up and found that the small rubber seal that is suppose to be the water seal, has a tendency to stick to the front cover when the door is opened it gets pulled out of its small track which it is suppose to be seated in. We had to very carefully reinstall this seal on each camera. Once put back in place, it appeared to stay in the track. We will have to see what happens when the camera has a prolonged stay in the field and is opened up for the card and battery change. Folks should with new cameras should inspect this seal and make sure it is in place and not twisted in order to insure water tightness. 

As we suspected the color day and IR night pictures is accomplished with a mechanical filter that worked very well with no hang-ups like we experienced in the 07 Bushnell recently tested.

Programming is very much like all the older models and is easy and straight forward. Playing around in the yard with my wife’s flowers in the background proved that this cameras daytime pictures on the low setting produced very sharp and clear pictures. When we did a quick check of the trigger time in a dark hallway we concluded that this camera is pretty fast. This was judged buy seeing how quick the IR array came on and not by the clock. We found on a previously tested camera that just because the IR array was on that did not mean the picture was being taken during the first micro seconds of the flash. This will be done in front of our testing clock soon. Because of this narrow access to the SD card I had on two occasions failed to have the card fully seated and after extensive testing I had to access the internal memory in order to view the results. Care must be taken when putting the card in and insure it is seated all the way in.

The view screen is inside the front cover and is very small and we found it lacking when trying to see detail in the field.

The flash range tests showed that this large array lit up the world out to 60 feet easily. The sensing range on this 72 degree morning was 40 feet and during the day, which was 96 degrees it consistently would catch me walking across at 20 feet and pretty well center me in the picture. The burst mode (3 pictures) were 10 to 13 seconds apart.

Providing security for this camera is greatly on my mind and presently looks like a 1 inch wide bar through the strap slots with holes in the end to accept a python cable is going to be our approach. I will work on this today and try to get some pictures out. The normal security code can also be programmed in for those who still have enough memory to use it. Me I would forget the code and loose my note telling me what is was supposed to be. Some folks call this as having a senior moment.

The documentation (10 pages) is well written and easy to follow. We were able to do all the programming and changes without having to refer to the booklet. I will say that so far I am extremely impressed with Moultrie's new cameras. They are fixing to put a hurtin on a lot of competition if the trigger times prove to be as fast as we think they are and because the picture quality and functionality of this camera is definitely there. It is hang it on the tree time.
 

06-17-2007 update:  Before and after tests using this cover showed that the IR light was noticeably decreased on the Moultrie but was not as noticeable on the Leaf river. Flash was still good past 30 feet but the background foliage was very dark. It would still be a good idea to use this when a higher degree of camera concealment is needed.  (see comparison photos below)

07-13-2007 I-60 remote featureTo test the remote function of the I-60 I went into the program and selected handheld and remote. I set the cam on a stand watching a small fountain on my back deck just outside the sliding glass doors. During the hot afternoon sun the finches really like to come and take a bath. As they would arrive I would hit the capture button and the picture would be taken. I then selected 15 second movie and put it back on PIR just to see if the camera would see the birds and trigger a movie. Well, it worked great. I was assuming that the movement of the water would also trigger the cam but it did not. This widens the use of this great camera. You bird watchers need to go to the local sporting goods store and ask for a Moultrie I-60 and get yourself set up for some great fun


Use the I60 and the remote to capture stills and movies of birds at your bird feeder or bird bath:


Some cool movies I captured of the birds playing in my birdbath:

07-22-2007 update:  We have had both of our cams out for a good period of time and  they just seem to keep on pleasing us. The first set of batteries, have produced a total of 1440 operations, 200 of that were movies. The battery still reads 53% and is still going. We see that this cam definitely likes to be put out in the open areas with the north south orientation being of great importance. When placed in the shade we are getting a few of those dreaded whiteout pictures that plague a lot of today’s cameras. Both of the cameras have been exposed to weather and we were careful not to tighten the strap too tight to prevent any battery compartment leaks. With all seals reinstalled we have had no further issues with them coming loose and did not have any water leaks. To put it bluntly we really like this cam and hope that Moultrie follows through with the mentioned downloadable software update to ease the whiteout issue.

08-05-2007 update:  This camera has continued to run and take pictures on its original batteries now and the count is over 2000 pictures plus 200 movies and the battery reads in the 50% area. Even with what some folks are complaining about the whiteout thing this cam continues to amaze us. The noticeable clunk when the cam decides to execute a picture is somewhat bothering. We have had many of the pictures taken by this cam where the animals are really wondering what is going on and are looking directly at the cam. In a situation where the prize ol buck is sneaking through this might cause him to take notice. Even with our feeder/cam wise crowd, they take notice and do look at where the noise is coming from. The noticeable challenge by stealth with the I-450 and its performance has been noticed even though the 450 is not IR it is still in the running because of its excellent performance. Another cam that has risen in popularity on some of the outdoor forums is the Bushnell 11-9302. We really like the fact that when products hit the market and folks find it hard to choose we feel that the manufactures have taken notice. Soon the new Recon 5.0 will be with us and it will probably also be opening some eyes as all of its predecessors did. Right now this cam rules.   

08-13-2007 update:  I just pulled another 557 photos off this camera.  It is still on its original set of Duracell batteries and has taken a total of over 2500 pics and 250+ movies.  I compared the rate of pics from cooler times to that of the last 6 days.  Keep in mind we've had 100+ degree days.  I see only a fall off of around 10% and this could be due to deer movement.  This is excellent sensing for a camera still reading 43% on battery level.

08-14-2007 update:  More than two months have passed and the batteries are showing mighty low but this camera just keeps on taking pictures. Very good pictures at that. The whiteout issue is barely noticeable now when we place the cam where it gets more of the light away from the heavy canopy of the trees. Moultrie has done an exceptional job on this camera this year. The view screen on this cam has become a bother and my extensive attempts to try to utilize this feature is becoming pretty frustrating. It will tell you that you have a picture but very little else because the detail is so small that my attempts to use a magnifying glass failed. The other feature that needs to be discussed is the remote. My investigation on this showed that very few folks use this feature. I tested it and it did work great but for a scouting camera it would probably be of little use. If you could do without the very high MP (6.0) rating and the view screen and remote, this would make this cameras little sister (the I 40) look pretty good. Same case, same battery life, great pictures, and a cheaper cost. I forgot, you would also have to put up with that black case. What I am really saying is that both cameras are great performers and when cost is an issue a look at the lower priced I-40.

09-22-2007 Moultrie Firmware (whiteout update) internet download review:  On one of the outdoor forums there was a comment about this new download to correct the whiteout issue. This fellow said “I hate to admit this but Moultrie did a good job putting this together”. Well, We do not hate but are glad and happy that this has finally been accomplished. It is obvious that these folks did their homework and put together a download that does work.

There was only a couple of minor issues worth mentioning about the whole process:  At one point, the instructions tell you to connect the USB cable and then copy files onto camera SD card. At this time they make no mention of the number of screens that must be clicked through in Windows XP to accomplish this while XP recognizes the new hardware.  These instructions are very precise and must be followed exactly to the letter. One small glitch occurred twice while we followed the instruction correctly.  This was when we activated the firmware level 1 update, we got the message "FILE NOT READY".  We got this message 2 to 3 times but just kept trying and it finally loaded the level 1 firmware correctly.

The overall process is 5 steps for the I series and 4 steps for M series. Step 3 has you download the firmware files from the Moultrie website onto your computer.  Steps 4 and 5 walk you through loading the firmware onto the camera and activating the "firmware update" process.  We found the process easy but make sure you follow the instructions exactly.

09-29-2007 update Moultrie whiteout upgrade M and I series:  This past year we have seen where companies have outsourced their production overseas are starting to see problems arise. The pre production units seem to work just fine but when the post production units start to hit the market there seems to be a margin of difficulties in function that the users are finding. We do not know that this is the case with the new I and M series Moultrie’s but it is suspected. When these cameras hit the market they seemed to be exactly what many folks were wanting. We really liked all models and still do but now that we have gotten deep into the testing we see that the original problems dealing with the whiteout issue has mushroomed into a new set of difficulties with these cameras. Most folks felt that it was more of a hardware issue dealing with the light sensor than a software issue. This may be true but Moultrie has attempted to correct this through a firmware upgrade. We have seen a degree of improvement with the I series but no change with the M series.  We cannot exactly duplicate the light conditions of the pre download, but we can get close. With the I series we see a definite improvement in amount of whiteout, but in this process this firmware update has created another problem. This problem is the lack of color pictures during good light conditions. It takes some pretty strong sunlight before this camera will switch to color. On an average we are seeing color pictures between 11 AM and 4 PM. During this period we see that the cameras will sometimes switch back and forth between monochrome and color. We have seen some reports that some folks feel that the picture quality has also been degraded somewhat. With our cameras we cannot state this because of the varying light conditions on the pre and post pictures. Moultrie engineers have done lots of work creating this download but we feel that it is still lacking and still has to be tweaked. The M series is a total disappointment and just has not been fixed. We are still getting more than 50% whiteout pictures. On one of our M-40’s it seemed to get worse after the download. What it has come down to is that both the I and M series cameras must be taken out from under the forest canopy and put in the bright sun in order to work properly. Reports that the trigger time was also affected has not been proven in our tests. We hope that Moultrie takes notice and does a little more work on these great cameras.

**The reviews on the 2007 Moultrie cams will be on hold pending further feedback from Moultrie concerning issues with the recent firmware upgrades.

03-16-2008 update:  This review was put on hold waiting for some data from Moultrie so we could complete the review. They have failed to answer our requests so we will close this review.

Without Smoked IR Cover


With Smoked IR Cover

 
Note: On the trigger tests below, don't be confused by a second hand shadow off to the right. 
Trigger time with out flash
1.5 seconds
Trigger time with flash
1.5 Seconds
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures
Low resolution
High Resolution


Note: during the transition hours, morning and evening, we got several washouts.  This is due to the low light under the forest canopy and the flash going off during these periods.

Movie
(The following clips are originals in original size and highest quality setting.  Daytime clips are 15 seconds and night clips are 5 seconds)


(The following is a video I made that consists of around 200 movie clips I got off the camera and placed end to end, then time compressed by a factor of 7 and set to a Joe Satriani sound track.  This is not the original quality.  It is around 3 minutes long)


Make sure you check out the videos of the birds in a birdbath above too!
 

 

 

 

Moultrie

I60 IR flash 6.0 MP

(2008)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

Moultrie I 60 (2008) revisited review - July 22, 2008

Because of the degree of differences we found between the 07 and 08 I 40’s we decided to reach down in the old piggy bank and buy a 08 I-60 from an average vendor so we were guaranteed that it had not been gone over. Out of the box both gaskets for the main door and battery cover came out when those compartments were opened. Two hours later and about half blind I was able to stick that black spaghetti looking stuff back in where it was suppose to be. Further inspection of the case was without other issues except one of the battery cover screws was very tight and I had to play with it a little to get it to seat all the way in. Into the box and scooped up $8 worth of D cells and a good clean SD card and off to the trigger time table. I chose only to do the “with flash” tests because they are normally somewhat slower than without flash. Each time I triggered the cam I noticed the IR array would come on instantly and remained on for about 5 seconds. I was getting pretty excited and figured that we were going to have a very fast cam to brag about. A little over an hour of this and I was back to the office to view the results. You have seen these devices that have the little slide with a turtle on one end and a rabbit on the other. Well you can set this slide all the way to the turtle side.  Trigger times are around 3.5 seconds.  What a disappointment for Moultrie’s flag ship. This just sucks, and I do not understand how this has passed the QC folks over there in Alabama. I assume that someone just figured that when folks see the IR array come on that would indicate the speed but just because the flash goes off it does not mean that the picture is shuttered at that same time. I feel like someone dropped me off on the second floor and I just now hit the bottom. If it was bright orange I could probably make a pretty good 1000 yard target out of it. We are sure getting a stack of feeder cameras and the stack with trail cameras in it is not very big. This is a three hundred dollar camera, but it performs like a much lesser valued camera. The $115 Stealth I-540 IR will probably stand side by side with this camera and it will do 120 second nighttime videos. This is not good, come on Moultrie.

09-04-2008 update:  Oops, this one slipped through the crack and got stuck behind the trigger time station for a while. I guess because of its sorry performance we really did not miss it very much. It did make it to the hill but was pulled because about 99% of the pictures had no color. It will go back out for some more sample pictures and we will also try to catch a video also. This is going to be very short because of its lack of performance.  


09-09-2008 update:  Had a good time on the hill and captured a lot of pictures. This camera seems to work well but just wants to stay in that black and white mode all day long. We are getting a low percentage of pictures that are actually color but those mono pictures seem to have good detail I get the feeling that we have a wanta be Reconyx RM-45 on our hands. It is not even close to being like the 07 model that has the same name.

 

10-05-2008 update: This revisit can pick out some strong points. The day/night pictures that are outside the white and black out times are very good. The battery life is exceptional. We have had no failures with this cam. Now the bad points, trigger time is very slow, a big degree of pictures during transition times are not readable. We have recorded so many empty pictures (missed shots) that it is becoming hard to deploy this cam in any situation other than a feeder type of situation. Let’s hope that Moultrie gets off the stick and ties a knot in someone’s underwear in China and gets their great cams back in line with acceptable trigger times and no more whiteout pictures. This concludes this review.


 

Trigger time 3.5 seconds

 

Moultrie

M60 Std flash 6.0 MP

(2007)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

DGS-M60 Moultrie review 07-11-2007

This cam comes with the same OD green case as the I 60 model we just finished reviewing. In place of the IR array this cam has an impressive looking flash which has diffuser bars built into the glass which will probably spread the flash out nicely. The front cover is detent controlled so it will stay open when it is hung on the tree. Every thing including the programming is the same as the I 60. The rez settings are VGA, 1.3, 3.0, and Enhanced (interpolated) to 6.0 MP. The movie mode resolution settings are 320X240 on low and 640X480 on high. As with the I 60 this cam also will take up to a 4 gig SD card. Programming is easy and strait forward and was accomplished without having to use the pamphlet. The PIR sensing is 45 degrees and the optical field of view is out to about 50 degrees. I installed 6 (pre tested) duracells and am going to do my first impression tests then in the morning I will get the flash and sensing range testing done. Presently it is being held for the “sleep” test to see in Moultrie tried to sneak that past us. I pulled my I60 out of the field this morning after an extended stay and the batteries still read 99%. Lets hope this M series has the same appetite. Equipped with a built in viewer, this cam will allow the user to view the card contents in the field. This is a very small viewer and I found with my bi focal glasses that details are hard to pick out in even the best conditions. Bright sunlight makes the use of the viewer very hard to see. We still just swap the cards and due the viewing on the laptop or home computer. The same caution must be taken with this cam when mounting to insure that the strap is not over tightened. If the strap is over tightened the loop on the back of the cam will make the battery compartment shift a small amount which could result in a water leak. We have a small wood block fix which prevents this. I was told today that Moultrie also has a fix for this but I have yet to be able to confirm this. Security for this cam uses password protection and our security bar with Python cable will help prevent theft. The need to extend the SD card with tape also applies this cam. My stubby old fingers just do not want to fit down in that crevice to remove it. We have been extremely pleased with the function of the I series cams and feel that this white flash M series will be just as good. The raising of the rubber weather seal we experienced on the I series did not happen with this cam so maybe it was just a fluke that it happened on the IR I series cams we opened for the first time. With the I series we had to install the small card for the remote but this cam came with it in place and ready to use. The beacon (cam locater) can be used for those who loose track of just where they put their cam. I had fun with the remote feature by putting the cam on a bird bath and setting back with one of my favorite beverages and when the birds would jump in for a bath I would just hit the button and capture the action. With the I series cams we found that there was a tendency for the water drops to dry on the lens and cause a water mark which showed up in the pictures. These cameras are plagued with that dreaded whiteout thing where they are confused at day light and dusk, so our old practice of putting a roof over the cam cannot be done because it would further limit the amount of light going to the light sensor to control the flash. I am in the process of designing a clear plastic hood that would let the light through but keep the rain off. I have not figured out the angle to do this so that we do not get the flash coming back on the cam reflecting off the hood. I will try to get this done this coming week. The folks at Moultrie are working over time to insure that any thing that comes up with the 07 I and M series cams is taken care of in a timely manner. We hope to have a downloadable fix coming very soon for that minor whiteout issue. Well it is off to the fun stuff now.

Well the fun stuff came to a halt when the battery cover gasket came out of its groove and then it was a 2 hour ordeal putting it back in the groove with the help of my table magnifier and a half box of toothpicks. It appears that the design is for it to be held in place by pressure fit. As did with the I 60 (front cover gasket) this gasket stuck to the battery compartment lid and when I removed it the first time I was unaware that it had stuck to the cover. It is back in place now and I have pulled the lid several times and it appears to stay in place. My first sleep mode test came at two hours and the cam triggered in what was about two seconds. I am going to do an over night test on it to double check the sleep mode. During one of my indoor tests the flash caught me dead in the eyes though it was bright it did not blind me like the Stealth I 450 did. We will find out in the morning when we do the flash test.

07-12-2007 update:  This cam spent the night fired up and this morning I triggered it to see if it had gone to sleep and could not see any difference in trigger time which appears to be around 2 seconds. The flash range test showed good coverage past 40 feet and the sensing on this cam was very lacking. I performed this test several times. The temperature this morning at 4 AM was 70 (camera showed 75 degrees) degrees and this cam would only catch me at about 20 feet. Not believing the results I pulled my I-60 out and put it side by side with this cam and the I-60 would get me past 40 feet every time but the M-60 would only see me at about 20 to 25 feet. I feel there must be a problem with this cam and I will return it to Moultrie later to have them look at it. The battery door gasket appears to want to stay in place now that it has been re installed.

07-20-2007 update:  This cam was being readied for its trip to the woods and the battery door gasket wanted to come loose again. We had to reinstall it several times during the trigger time tests. We think we now have it in place and hope it stays there for its trip to the outdoors. The sample pictures show sharp and clear and the suspected sensing issue did not hinder the performance. In 80 plus degrees it was sensing a rabbit at 20 feet so maybe my early morning tests were not valid. The white out issue is still there and we got a few during the morning and afternoon testing. One of our previous tests on a 06 Cudde cam we found that the camera lens looked off to one side. Well, it happened again with this cam. With the camera properly set to watch the target area, its lens looked very low and we had to raise the bottom of the camera in order to keep the animals in the center of the picture. This was a minor adjustment but it shows that test pictures should be done prior to hanging it on a tree in order to know how to aim your camera. We are favorably impressed with this cams over all performance.

08-14-2007 update:  With a half a dozen cams in the mill this fellow got shelved and nearly forgotten. I was reviewing some of the reports and found that we needed to get on with this review so we pulled out another new M-60 from the box to put along side of this cam to maybe validate whether or not we had a problem on this cam. I need to also state that this last M-60 to come out of the box did not have any difficulties with any of the gaskets. This is on going and we should see the results on the comparison in a couple days. We are also in process of testing the M-40 at this time and feel that we may find that we will find the same comparison between these two cams as we did with the I-40 and I-60. We discovered a battery issue with the first M-60 and assume that is what was causing our difficulties. We will know more about this in the coming weeks.

08-22-2007 update:  With a new set of batteries and placed side by side with other I and M series cameras this camera still failed to sense the way the other cameras did. Most of the cameras were getting over 300 pictures and this cam only took 60 so we are very sure that this cam does have a sensing issue. I pulled it and got it off to its origin for a replacement. As soon as it comes in we will continue the test. We still have the other M-60 in the field and it seems to be doing very good.

09-22-2007 Moultrie Firmware (whiteout update) internet download review:  On one of the outdoor forums there was a comment about this new download to correct the whiteout issue. This fellow said “I hate to admit this but Moultrie did a good job putting this together”. Well, We do not hate but are glad and happy that this has finally been accomplished. It is obvious that these folks did their homework and put together a download that does work.

There was only a couple of minor issues worth mentioning about the whole process:  At one point, the instructions tell you to connect the USB cable and then copy files onto camera SD card. At this time they make no mention of the number of screens that must be clicked through in Windows XP to accomplish this while XP recognizes the new hardware.  These instructions are very precise and must be followed exactly to the letter. One small glitch occurred twice while we followed the instruction correctly.  This was when we activated the firmware level 1 update, we got the message "FILE NOT READY".  We got this message 2 to 3 times but just kept trying and it finally loaded the level 1 firmware correctly.

The overall process is 5 steps for the I series and 4 steps for M series. Step 3 has you download the firmware files from the Moultrie website onto your computer.  Steps 4 and 5 walk you through loading the firmware onto the camera and activating the "firmware update" process.  We found the process easy but make sure you follow the instructions exactly.

09-29-2007 update Moultrie whiteout upgrade M and I series:  This past year we have seen where companies have outsourced their production overseas are starting to see problems arise. The pre production units seem to work just fine but when the post production units start to hit the market there seems to be a margin of difficulties in function that the users are finding. We do not know that this is the case with the new I and M series Moultrie’s but it is suspected. When these cameras hit the market they seemed to be exactly what many folks were wanting. We really liked all models and still do but now that we have gotten deep into the testing we see that the original problems dealing with the whiteout issue has mushroomed into a new set of difficulties with these cameras. Most folks felt that it was more of a hardware issue dealing with the light sensor than a software issue. This may be true but Moultrie has attempted to correct this through a firmware upgrade. We have seen a degree of improvement with the I series but no change with the M series.  We cannot exactly duplicate the light conditions of the pre download, but we can get close. With the I series we see a definite improvement in amount of whiteout, but in this process this firmware update has created another problem. This problem is the lack of color pictures during good light conditions. It takes some pretty strong sunlight before this camera will switch to color. On an average we are seeing color pictures between 11 AM and 4 PM. During this period we see that the cameras will sometimes switch back and forth between monochrome and color. We have seen some reports that some folks feel that the picture quality has also been degraded somewhat. With our cameras we cannot state this because of the varying light conditions on the pre and post pictures. Moultrie engineers have done lots of work creating this download but we feel that it is still lacking and still has to be tweaked. The M series is a total disappointment and just has not been fixed. We are still getting more than 50% whiteout pictures. On one of our M-40’s it seemed to get worse after the download. What it has come down to is that both the I and M series cameras must be taken out from under the forest canopy and put in the bright sun in order to work properly. Reports that the trigger time was also affected has not been proven in our tests. We hope that Moultrie takes notice and does a little more work on these great cameras.


12-24-2007 update:  We have had a period of time waiting on the folks at Moultrie to formulate the level 2 update so we can proceed with this review. We have taken two M-60’s and upgraded both to level one update and then this week we took one of the cams and upgraded it to level 2 upgrade. They both have new batteries and are now side by side with identical settings to see if we can evaluate just how much better the level 2 upgrade performs over the one without the new level 2 upgrade. Should this work then we can say that we have our hands on a pretty fantastic cam. It will probably take a week to get the results but we feel that the long delay by Moultrie in getting this out means that they took their time and did it right.
 

01-05-2008 update:  With perfect sensing weather and a good chance to see just where we are at with the upgrade. The side by side test did show that the level 2 upgrade made a difference in the amount of whiteouts. We did still get a couple of those dreaded pictures, but only two compared to the unmodified camera which had many more. During this test we also stuck one of our M-40 alongside. This is an unmodified cam and the 40 series had a bunch of whiteouts also. The big difference was that the M-40 took more that twice as many pictures. We had corn piles at 5 ft. spaces and hoped to see just where each of these cameras lost its sensing. With the amount of tree rats and doves visiting the piles along with a pretty good herd of deer, we did not have a pile that did not have a critter on it. So our sensing test did not work. Once the piles are gone we will start out at 30 feet with a single pile and move in until the cameras start tp pick up the deer. This time of year I would think most cameras would be seeing the deer at 60 to 70 feet easily with these cold temperatures. Our gut feeling is that the upgrade firm ware does not affect the cameras sensing ability. We still want to prove this with more tests.

 

02-09-2008 update:  This has been a long drawn out test and after many days of side by side testing, we have concluded that the upgrade to the M series cameras have transformed these cameras into some real performers. Folks have to also realize that all this testing has been done during the cold months and we had no forest canopy to limit light to the cameras. We feel that once the trees begin to fill out in the spring the whiteout situation will slowly start to happen again but what we have seen so far this should be only on occasion and on gray days. On occasion we see some bad press on some forums about Moultrie, but this is mostly limited to customer service, which has slid down hill a little. This will pretty well conclude the review until we receive the new battery/panel configuration for testing. Then we feel that this camera with its already great battery life will be improved once again.    

03-16-2008 update:  This is the closure of this review. As with all its predecessors this camera still remains one of our favorites. We have basically punished this cam to the limit and it just stays out there and delivers. We are now waiting on the 08 cams to start a new year.


 

 
Trigger time with out flash (3 seconds)
 
Trigger time with flash (3 seconds)
 
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures
Low resolution
High Resolution


We noticed the occasional white out photo in the mornings and evenings:


 
Movie
Sample 1

 

 

Moultrie

M40 Std flash 4.0 MP

(2007)

http://www.moultriefeeders.com

 

Moultrie M-40 review 08-14-2007

We have been up to our necks with Moultrie cameras this past month. We first started with all the I series and then the M series. The higher end 60 cams were looked at and found to be some seriously fine cameras. Then we started to shift to the cheaper 40 cams and discovered that we were getting the same great performance just less some higher rez settings, view screen, and remote. All this with a much cheaper price. We compared the black case to the green case and feel that both will fit in the woods with the same amount of attention needed to conceal it from unwanted eyes. Just having a lower rez setting does not make this camera a weaker performer. It just means that you will have to deal with much smaller file sizes and have no problems Emailing a couple to your friends. The pictures are very good, both day and night. The color hue is more to the natural looking and does not have that orange look seen on some of the Cuddeback pictures. The I and M series all have the same method of programming and I laughed when I was reviewing one of the outdoor forums and seen where someone has said that “Moultries are so easy even a caveman could do it”. Please also remember not to tighten the strap to much when mounting this camera to the tree. This can result in the edge of the battery compartment being pulled open a little where water could enter the camera. We have a fix for this  by just using a small piece of wood cut from a 2X4. The down side of this is if you use this fix it prevents you from using the locking bar to secure your camera. The documentation is the same as the others and is understood easily and useful. My old v 232 GS 100 is still poking around and giving us some pretty great shots. When I first stuck that cam in the woods I thought that things could not get much better. Well time has stirred the production pot and it seems like everyone is hooked on this high MP cameras that pump out mega pictures. This camera can be turned down to 1.3 and believe me that is plenty and the pictures are just about anyone needs for scouting. In some cases where a picture is taken at a bad angle or light conditions cause a problem someone might find the need to do a zoom to try to figure out dome detail. These cases are normally rare and unless you are working for the national magazine and need that detail it not needed. We have the whole series of test to do to this camera so this is just the page one in a series of many.


09-16-2007 update:  With the stack of cams that are in the pool to move through the various stages of a review, this cam got set on the bottom shelf for a while. I pulled it back out and started some serious looks at its features and maybe discrepancies. While scanning some of the 60 or so forums looking for issues dealing with these cameras, I kept seeing some folks reporting that they wanted to stay away from this camera because of it having the dreaded sleep mode. What has happened is that I believe that there has been a degree of confusion between the D-40 and the M-40. The cheaper D-40 does have the battery saving sleep mode. This morning I completed a 12 hour test and could not find anything but a continuous two second trigger no matter what I did. So this camera does not have any sleep mode issues that I could discover. What I did discover is that the flash range is well past 40 feet and on this 70 degree morning it would continuously sense me at 50 feet. When I measured the delay period I found it to be a little less than what the setting was. During the high rez picture quality round, Anthony did not mention to me anything about whiteout with this camera. We however did see that happen with one of our M-60 cameras. We will proceed on through the low rez and movie testing and if we should experience any difficulties we will report that. So far this camera has been a pure pleasure to work with. Our plan is to also team this cam up with a side by side shootout with its direct competitor the Stealth I-450, using the same delay and rez settings. We went back and re purchased another I-450 just for this test and to do a long range comparison between these two cameras. A couple of months on a set of batteries and a couple thousand pictures is a hard reputation for other manufactures to match.

09-22-2007 Moultrie Firmware (whiteout update) internet download review:  On one of the outdoor forums there was a comment about this new download to correct the whiteout issue. This fellow said “I hate to admit this but Moultrie did a good job putting this together”. Well, We do not hate but are glad and happy that this has finally been accomplished. It is obvious that these folks did their homework and put together a download that does work.

There was only a couple of minor issues worth mentioning about the whole process:  At one point, the instructions tell you to connect the USB cable and then copy files onto camera SD card. At this time they make no mention of the number of screens that must be clicked through in Windows XP to accomplish this while XP recognizes the new hardware.  These instructions are very precise and must be followed exactly to the letter. One small glitch occurred twice while we followed the instruction correctly.  This was when we activated the firmware level 1 update, we got the message "FILE NOT READY".  We got this message 2 to 3 times but just kept trying and it finally loaded the level 1 firmware correctly.

The overall process is 5 steps for the I series and 4 steps for M series. Step 3 has you download the firmware files from the Moultrie website onto your computer.  Steps 4 and 5 walk you through loading the firmware onto the camera and activating the "firmware update" process.  We found the process easy but make sure you follow the instructions exactly.

09-29-2007 update Moultrie whiteout upgrade M and I series:  This past year we have seen where companies have outsourced their production overseas are starting to see problems arise. The pre production units seem to work just fine but when the post production units start to hit the market there seems to be a margin of difficulties in function that the users are finding. We do not know that this is the case with the new I and M series Moultrie’s but it is suspected. When these cameras hit the market they seemed to be exactly what many folks were wanting. We really liked all models and still do but now that we have gotten deep into the testing we see that the original problems dealing with the whiteout issue has mushroomed into a new set of difficulties with these cameras. Most folks felt that it was more of a hardware issue dealing with the light sensor than a software issue. This may be true but Moultrie has attempted to correct this through a firmware upgrade. We have seen a degree of improvement with the I series but no change with the M series.  We cannot exactly duplicate the light conditions of the pre download, but we can get close. With the I series we see a definite improvement in amount of whiteout, but in this process this firmware update has created another problem. This problem is the lack of color pictures during good light conditions. It takes some pretty strong sunlight before this camera will switch to color. On an average we are seeing color pictures between 11 AM and 4 PM. During this period we see that the cameras will sometimes switch back and forth between monochrome and color. We have seen some reports that some folks feel that the picture quality has also been degraded somewhat. With our cameras we cannot state this because of the varying light conditions on the pre and post pictures. Moultrie engineers have done lots of work creating this download but we feel that it is still lacking and still has to be tweaked. The M series is a total disappointment and just has not been fixed. We are still getting more than 50% whiteout pictures. On one of our M-40’s it seemed to get worse after the download. What it has come down to is that both the I and M series cameras must be taken out from under the forest canopy and put in the bright sun in order to work properly. Reports that the trigger time was also affected has not been proven in our tests. We hope that Moultrie takes notice and does a little more work on these great cameras.

02-09-2008 update:  This has been a long drawn out test and after many days of side by side testing, we have concluded that the upgrade to the M series cameras have transformed these cameras into some real performers. Folks have to also realize that all this testing has been done during the cold months and we had no forest canopy to limit light to the cameras. We feel that once the trees begin to fill out in the spring the whiteout situation will slowly start to happen again but what we have seen so far this should be only on occasion and on gray days. On occasion we see some bad press on some forums about Moultrie, but this is mostly limited to customer service, which has slid down hill a little. This will pretty well conclude the review until we receive the new battery/panel configuration for testing. Then we feel that this camera with its already great battery life will be improved once again.

03-16-2008 update:  This is the closure of this review. As with all its predecessors this camera still remains one of our favorites. We have basically punished this cam to the limit and it just stays out there and delivers. We are now waiting on the 08 cams to start a new year.

 

 
Trigger time with out flash (2 seconds)
 
Trigger time with flash (3 seconds)
 
Flash Tests
Sample Pictures
Low resolution
High Resolution


 
Movie

 

 


Moultrie

MFH-CCP Power Panel

http://www.moultriefeeders.com




Here is a photo of the bracket Bill modified to provide better stabilization when bungee'ing the panel to a tree:

Moultrie MFH-CCP power panel review 03-15-2008

Panel Purchased from TrailCamPro.Com


On many occasions lately I find things that are advertised on line and once we find a good source we order this item to review. We attempted to get this item from Moultrie but the request went unanswered. We then chose another vendor and made the order. The Item arrived yesterday and out of the box I was extremely disappointed. I had believed this item to be much larger because of how it had been displayed in the advertisements. On the other hand the smaller size would be much more concealable when placed in the woods for an extended period of time. The larger panels generally have much more efficiency, so we will be taking a close look at this while we do a long term review. The attached cord is 10 feet long and should allow for the most efficient placement when deployed. Of the 50 to 60 cams that we have ran off solar panels the past few years we can say that it is important that when deciding the location to mount the panel a few things must be considered. The first is the reason to use the panel is to extend battery life which means that in most cases the camera will be left alone for extended periods of time. The cam is fairly easy to conceal but the panel usually sticks out like a sore thumb. To select an area to mount the cam and to conceal the panel, overhead placement is best. Most folks will walk under things and not look up. The next thing is to have a clear shot toward the sun so it cannot be under the canopy of the trees or a big limb. It is also important to aim at the morning sun. This allows for the battery to recover more quickly during the quiet period which is late morning to lunch time. If aimed to the afternoon sun the efficiency of the panel will be affected. The panel at $ 90 is just about impossible to secure unless we figure a way to cover the knobs that hold the panel orientation. So this being the case proper placement can be important for those who use their equipment in areas where other folks may visit and decide they want to take it home with them without your permission. We had some good luck also selecting a very large tree and placing the panel on the ground behind the tree out of site. Many times the overhead locations actually move’s the panel closer to the canopy and will be less effective. If the base of the tree has a more open area toward the morning sun, this might be a better location provided it is secure.

We have a very distant area in a swamp that we monitor on occasion and this will be our long term test area for this device. One of my old I 60’s will be the test cam. I have a couple of concealment ideas that I might try to kinda dull the reflective frame on the panel. If this was several months ago I would have probably recommended that you just buy extra SLA high AHr batteries for much less than the cost of the panel. Now that lead has gone so high on the market the cost SLA batteries have through the roof and the panel makes more sense. We will also use the panel on other cams to see how well it works with other than Moultrie cams.


The next thing is the included instructions (operating instructions) which is just one large sheet of paper with printing on both sides. To put it bluntly there is very little intelligent instructions here. You are on your own with this thing. There is no mention of battery type that needs to be installed inside the camera or the start up procedure to insure that the camera is not damaged by the hookup. The web site is also a joke when looking for instructions for this device. We will just have to take it slow and work our way through this and try to write some amount on proper procedure so everyone using this $90 accessory can get a benefit from the purchase without wiping out a $300 camera.
 

The panel frame is 6 inches square and the actual solar panel face is a tiny 4 ½ X 5 inch rectangle.  
 
There is a small sealed battery compartment on the rear of the panel that is about 1 ½ X 4 ½ inches that holds a small rechargeable battery.


The U bracket for mounting is attached to each side of the panel with thumb knobs that when tightened close the bracket to the camera with small indentations on the bracket and camera to prevent slipping. The suggested method of mounting this bracket to the tree is with lag bolts. In our area here in Georgia the practice of putting anything into a tree on most hunting leases would be looked upon as a big problem. So now we must also come up with a sensible method of mounting this device without causing damage to the trees. The panel with internal battery is a chunk of weight so the average bungee cord would not work. There is no means of charging the panel’s internal battery at home inside. They suggest to taking it outside and leave it in the sun for 8 hours to bring the voltage level up to a usable level prior to taking it to the field. Right now a 12 volt Harbor freight panel and a UPS 12 volt external battery look real good. I can charge that sucker on my kitchen table. We own our testing property and we still do not wish to damage the trees by using the lag bolt method. My thoughts are to add something to the U bracket to accommodate a small ratchet strap like the ones used by buckeye. This method works well even with the larger and heavier panels. One other thing that might bother folks is the bright white sticker on the back of the panel that might give the cams location if not covered up when deployed. All of this initial poking around with this panel and then having to figure out some small modifications to fit our particular situation brings up a big question. Is it worth the trouble? Our I and M series Moultrie’s have a battery life using Energizer D cells of about 2+ months on an active area taking lots of pictures. If the cam uses 6 D cells and lasts 2 months then a years worth of batteries would be the cost of 36 batteries which is less than $30 a year. This means I could run my camera 3 years for the price of one panel. And when you use the panel you still have to have batteries inside the camera. Will my M or I series last 3 years and will the industry come out with new cams by that time that will make our present day cams look like junk? We do not know those answers but logic says “probably”. Now when catering to the purest hunters that have the need not to disturb the area for a longer period of time these panels would probably be a good idea providing you have a large enough card in the camera to hold all the pictures taken during that extended period. We will still do the long range review on this product but as of now I would think that most folks would just stick with the good old alkaline cells.

I took the glossy black U bracket that came with the panel and modified it with a small plate so I could use a ratchet strap and replaced the plastic knobs with ¼ X 20 eye bolts to accommodate a cable or chain to provide a method to lock the panel to the tree.

I chose to mount the panel upside down to show that the strap could handle the extra weight. The normal mount would allow better aiming toward the sun. I also used a small amount of Bow (archery) tape to the reflective edge of the panel to aid in concealment. The front of the panel will have to remain shiny but in most cases will be pointed up toward the sun and will only reflect to a small area like a mirror. Another couple of hours to get this thing woods worthy so we can proceed with the review.

 

Bracket with panel mounted upside down to better illustrate a higher degree of stress yet strap handles weight with no problem. Proper installation would be the other way so panel could be aimed more correctly toward the sun.




 

03019-2008 update:  I have my Stealth cam WD-2 IR  which has been pulling long term security testing hooked to the panel without any internal batteries. The cam displays 100% battery after I put the panel through its 8 hour warm up. For you folks that are pretty flush and want some battery back up for the old I-450 this could be a possible answer. There is probably limited need to run the Moultrie I and M series cams off this panel because of their already good battery life. It makes sense to maybe to consider using this panel on other 12v cams that have the appropriate external battery port with matching polarity. My WD-2 IR normally will run two months with just my external battery. The picture count weekly is around 200 on the 3 count burst mode. Should I take one of those Harbor Freight small 12v panels and paralleled the battery the cam might also last a very long time. The Camera is located very close so monitoring and card change is easy. If the situation was where I could not visit the cam weekly then the card would fill long before the battery ran out. In a security situation this is not good. In the case where it would be hooked to a Moultrie a 4 gig card could be used and as long as the rez was set low and picture count was down, the visit time could be a very long time as long as the panel does what they say it will do. Time will tell how this works out. Right now my little stealth cam is sucking the juice out of this little panel.
 

03-20-2008 update:  Over night the WD-2 IR took no pictures yet brought the battery level down from 100 % to 18 % and being directly in the morning sun the level has climbed to 28 % by 12 AM and I have 21 morning pictures on the cam. It does not appear to be very effective as a stand alone battery source to any cam. To be of any value a person would have to have some type of internal batteries in the cam. The instructions do not cover what to do with the camera, whether to use rechargeable or standard batteries. When this device decides it needs to recharge itself it appears to provide a shunt so that the internal batteries will take over without interruption. Once the panel has recharged itself the shunt will open and the cam will again run on the built in small battery in the panel. There would have to be zero delay between these switching so the cam would maintain programming.
 

03-20-2008 afternoon update:  A quick check at about 2 in the afternoon the indicator on the side of the panel again is back to 100%, this is a gain of 82% in 7 hours and the picture count is up by 6 pictures. So far it has kept the cam going. Should we have a gray day that recovery might not be possible. I do feel a little better about this product. That degree of recovery to me is a surprise. The panel is aimed directly at the sun in the open with no obstructions not like you would find with the normal forest canopy, which would be more filtered. Very late afternoon when the sun was low the reading started to drop towards 90 %.

03-21-2008 update:  Early morning reading 80 % and 21 pictures at 10 AM reading was 87 %. This basically

proves this device will sustain a camera provided there is sun available.

 

A lot of time has been spent trying to figure this device out and here is the conclusion. The instructions that came with the panel are inadequate. The Moultrie web site information on this panel as of now is basically non existent. This is what we have found out:
 

Out of the box charge the unit by placing it in 8 hours of sunlight not connected to the cam. Install regular alkaline batteries in your camera. Leave the switches off both on the panel and cam. Plug the cable from the panel into the camera. Turn the panel on then the camera. Place the panel facing as much sun that is available. This orientation should be towards the morning sun if your busy period (when most pictures are taken) is mostly in the evening, night and early morning. If your busy period is mid day then the afternoon sun would be a better choice. Using a bungee on the panel will probably not work unless it is very heavy and strong. Using a regular strap or ratchet strap will work fine with a small modification to the U bracket. The panel will work on other cams and will provide stand alone power as long as there are good sunny days. If there is clouds or weather in the area for more than one day the panel would run out of power and the cam would shut down if it does not have internal batteries installed. This device will provide power until an extended period (2 days) of limited sun occurs then the panel voltage level will cause the panel to shut down to recharge and when this happens it shunts the external outlet so that the internal batteries will take over and run the cam. Once the panel has been exposed to enough sun again it will automatically remove the shunt and the camera will again begin to run off the panel.



One of our I 60’s is going to get the job of getting a new 4 gig card and a set of alkaline batteries along with the panel and off to the bottom of the swamp property for a good long term test. I still think that $90 would buy a lot of batteries.
 

03-28-2008 update:  I spent a lot of time researching different adapters that will convert from one plug size to another so we now can just about adapt this panel to most any cam. The Moultrie I and M series cameras are pretty large and more difficult to conceal. We are presently testing cameras that have about the same features and performance and are the size of your fist. This puts these cams in a much better light as far as concealment and they come with a degree of security. I then use an extension cable like the one built for the Leaf River IR-X and remote the panel to a concealable position. This would make for an ideal setup in security situations. It is a shame that the SG-550 is 6 volts because it would be my first choice for this type of setup.
 

03-28-2008 update #2:  It appears that we have ruffled some feathers in the Moultrie establishment. They feel that their panel should only be used to support Moultrie cams. They are pretty unhappy that we found that the panel will also support a number of their competitor’s cameras. They noted that many of their future cams will be designed to go ahead and use this panel. We have no Idea of just how long the battery pack that is sealed in this device will last but my gut feeling is less than three years of continuous use. I base this on the amount of rechargeable batteries we use and every one has a predicted life and that is in the number of charges that it will go through prior to failing. The old nicad cells were bad and the NIMH also have limitations. Then we now have some cams that are using the LI technology which many of these new devices have failed already (one of my shop drills) which caused me to replace the battery. SLA type of cells could also be used but their life is shorter than the LI technology. This sealed unit does not have a means of just changing out the cells. It will require a trip to someone’s customer service department provided it is still under warranty. A scan of the box and the sheet that the device came with makes no mention of any warranty. If it is like normal, you will be on your own after one year, provided that there is any warranty at all. I presently have a can full of our expensive rechargeables of every description that have failed and now are waiting for that final trip to the recycling facility. The test will go on and we will also continue to do parallel tests with all compatible cameras with the external port.

04-01-2008 update:  The panel has been running one of our cams now in the field for over a week and the mid day reading was 68% and the picture count had only increased by 23 pictures. The panel is directed in the open at the morning sun and had a good four hours of it to obtain that reading. We received a short note from Moultrie stating that the panel was covered by their standard warranty and they do not have any of the replacement batteries in house but at some point in the future they hope to have them. This would require a trip back to the repair center provided it is still covered by warranty to have the panel broken down and new cells inserted and re sealed. Though it is not written any place we assume that that warranty period is one year.
 

04-04-2008 update:  The communications with the Moultrie folks has again opened up and we are receiving information concerning their products. The warranty information on their web site is found under their frequently asked question area which is a strange place. This is the link:

http://www.moultriefeeders.com/FAQ/MoultrieWarrantyFAQs.htm#productwarranty

They state that the period is one year provided that some requirements are met. They also stated that they are not unhappy that their panel works with other cams but have no data on that type of application so they do not condone that practice because of possible damage to those cams. We intend to provide that data. Should they eventually receive the necessary repair parts for that panel and they state when an item is returned to them and it is repaired it will again have a one year warranty.

 

04-05-2008 update:  The panel so far has worked with all the Stealth WD series, I series, and Wildview cameras. We are waiting on a new Spypoint to arrive and we feel that it also would function with this panel. The 08 Bushnell cams will have the external battery port but we have not seen them yet but they are due in here in May. The Recon cams will also have external battery ports judging from the early information that we were able to sneak out. All the HCO cams have ports but they are a different size and we are waiting on the cables to arrive. Once the cables get here I feel they will also be on the list.

04-09-2008 update:  Another week and at first glance the level reflected 87% but the cam had only taken one picture during the week. We decided to move the cam to another area where we had good sun and have a more active animal presence.

04-12-2008 update:  The new location pushed the picture count up to 40 pictures this week and the panel maintained a 72% reading. We have had a couple of gray days and this afternoon there is some rain which would account for the lower reading.

04-19-2008 update:  Picture count (25) was down this week but the panel maintained a 85% reading.

05-03-2008 update:  Picture count last two weeks (123) and panel dropped to 65%.

05-10-2008 update:  Picture count (143) panel dropped to 58%.

05-17-2008 update:  Picture count (103) panel up to 60 %


05-31-2008 update:  Picture count (185) panel back up to 79% (2 week)

06-15-2008 update:  Picture count (100) panel at 78% (2 week)

06-29-2008 update:  Picture count (320) panel reading 82 % (2 weeks)

07-05-2008 update:  Looked at the panel this morning and the reading was 85% and even though the picture count this week was low we are going to say that this device in conjunction to the I and M series cams that we have tested it with works and works well. This will be the last weekly report and we will continue the test and if we have a change in function we will then report it. Without the panel we would probably have only used about $12 worth of batteries to this point. The convenience of not having to always packing that sack full of batteries when you head to the field would be nice.

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