2011 Moultrie M45 Camera Review - March 31, 2011

2011 Moultrie M45

2011 Moultrie MFH-DGS-M45 4 MP 60 count white flash IR Camera brief

As you can see I started this off with 2011 but that is not actually true. This camera was born back in 2009 and hit the Moultrie system in 2010 and is still appearing in the 2011 Moultrie catalog. There have been no changes to this camera since then according to my conversation with a Moultrie rep this after noon. You can notice that this is not a review but is labeled as being a brief which is just to get information about this camera out where more people can absorb a little of the data that makes this camera very unique.

I first started chasing down this camera back in early 2010 and since then my note pad grew to more pages than anything else except black flash. Last week while I was trying to clear out unfinished business I came across this file. I decided to try one more time. All of last year I tried to find at least one user of this camera so I could gain some data to see if it was one of the cameras that we might want to run through our review system. I found no dealers or users of this camera. It did not appear in the Cabelas catalogue or any other major source. Again last week I began to query dealers again and still found no dealer who had ever seen one or sold one. I then had to go to Moultrie customer service for some answers which was a lengthy process because they also were not aware of the flash design or whether it was strobe or IR. They finally pulled a camera and physically looked at it and put batteries in it and tested it to see if it glowed red or white and then we all knew that it was white IR flash. I thank the Moultrie customer service for spending the extra time with me and finally getting a little more information and I then decided to go ahead and get one in house and take a small look at it.

Moultries approach to good battery life is their one minute minimum delay and the 5 second night video. Well they did not disappoint us here because this camera has both those features we think. This is white flash IR and not strobe which makes it possible to do color night video which is not possible with a strobe camera.

This camera is built in the old lunch box case which all previous reviews had issues with because of the top exposed controls where water and trash can get into the SD card slot when mounted on a tree and trash or moisture from the tree above falls onto the control panel during card change and service. This is a solid water resistant case but bears minding when ever the top is open in the field to insure that nothing falls in the wrong area and causes a problem.

Here are the specifications:

  • 4.0 mega pixels

  • Rapid response time

  • Infrared (IR) sensor for immediate game capture

  • 50-ft flash

  • Compatible with Moultries Game Management System

  • Easy-to-read photo strip

  • Temperature, moon phase, time, date and camera ID on every photo and video

  • Display showing battery life remaining, pictures taken and remaining, and events occurred

  • Color day and night pictures

  • Color day and night video clips

  • IR aim and LED Quick Aim for fast and precise camera setup

  • Multi-shot pictures (up to 3 shots)

  • 15 seconds between multi-shot pictures

  • Upgradeable software

  • Picture delay, set 1-60 minutes

  • Three picture resolutions

  • Two video resolutions

  • 32 MB internal memory

  • Memory card slot accepts up to 16 GB SDHC card

  • Includes weather resistant casing, USB cable, and mounting strap

  • Easy-to-operate LCD menu-driven display

  • External power port for optional Moultrie Power Panel

  • Operates on 4 D-cell batteries (Included!)

As you can see there are three resolutions for the pictures and two video resolutions. It will take up to a 16 gig SD card and has a 32 MB internal memory. There are no surprises here as this camera is very much the same as the red flash cameras like the I45 we tested last year. We are doing this to see if we can generate some more interest in this white flash IR technology, because Moultrie seems to be the only company that has tried this and for some reason it was not pushed in the catalogs or on the forums. We will put it through some normal trigger and flash tests and analyze this application of white IR to see just how good it is. This means some field testing and not to much toward the technical aspects. We will ask for feed back from anyone that should also try their own camera. If the interest is generated maybe Moultrie will come out with new firmware and change a few things like maybe the addition of time lapse with 15 second delay.

To start off I will again have to state my dissatisfaction with this case. It is just plain old pain for me to use. Some may like it but when I need to watch the front of the camera and also access the controls the lid is hanging down over the front and is just not very handy to use. The next thought about having IR white flash opposed to a strobe makes me think of the 2011 advertisements for the new Cudde cameras. This year they have a strobe and a red flash IR as their offering. They advertize the strobe as giving 10,000 pictures per set of batteries and 50,000 pictures for the IR version. That is five times the battery life per given picture in IR flash. I cannot attest to Moultries battery life with this white flash IR system but I would think that it would be an improvement over the strobe choice. I ran some in house flash tests and I will say that you would want to be looking away when it goes off because it has a pretty intense flash. I tried to capture that on my point and shoot camera but it was always a wipeout but I can definitely say that it is white flash IR. The night color video is adjustable in time from 5 to 30 seconds (5. 15, 30) which is different than the 5 second night video we had seen before on Moultrie cameras as thought in the above paragraph. My observation as to trigger time so far leads me to think it will be somewhere between 1 to 2 seconds. Initial picture quality is good but not great. This camera is not setup with the new Illumi-sensor as seen on the I-40XT.

It will be interesting to see if anyone reports about camera avoidance using the white IR compared to the red IR cameras. In nature we all know that many plants and dangerous animals have chosen red as their warning color on their outsides to warn off predators. Maybe this may be the case with this type of flash. I did hear some degree of filter clunk on the change from day to night but I did not hear that snap that happens with the strobe flash. So far I am very impressed by this design with the exception of the lunch box case. It would have been great to see the same configuration in the same case as the 40XT or even better the M-100 case. If this catches on we may see yet another change in the industry. Our wayward M-100 and Stalker cameras found their way back so they still have a place ahead of this camera. We were well into those reviews so this just being a brief will probably happen parallel to others that are in the system as Anthony is busy over there I can be advancing this and other things.

04-01-2011 update: I ran a three camera test to see the old (last years) pictures/videos compared to this years M-100 and IR-40XT. All three cameras past everything very well but the 40XT seemed to have a little better sensing followed by the M-100 and last was the M-45. Walking at a normal pace at 20 feet across the FOV the M-45 would catch me centered most every time. The 40XT would catch me entering the zone and the M-100 would catch me about a third into the zone. We noticed that both the M-100 and the 40XT would chop off part of my head sometimes where the M-45 had real estate above to spare. The Wide pictures of the two cameras cropped the top and bottom of the pictures in order to give that wide look, where the M-45 had the old square picture and there was no loss of data. I still like all three cameras.

04-03-2011 update: Keeping on with our brief we captured some day range pictures and this camera just happened to be in line with three other cameras. The picture color saturation appeared to be weak compared to what the other cameras produced. The fact is that this camera did produce more natural looking pictures as what you would see with the naked eye. They were good pictures but still had a bit of fuzziness to them. The night pictures pumped light back past 60 feet and the night color pictures were sharp and clear but still had that slightly faded look to them. The sensing was back to about 40 feet at 76 degrees. This style of flash seems to work very well.

04-08-2011 update: Take a little time and view the sample pictures produced by this camera. You will see that the color saturation is a little weak but very clear. Being this is just a brief to inform we will just show the results as the camera produces. I personally like this camera and if a person would like to test their own it is just a matter of a call to Moultrie and ask for a referb camera and pay about $130 and you will receive a camera that is as close to new as you can get. I think it is a good buy. Just remember it comes in that big old lunch box case that many did not like. Next we will do a little video testing and we will be finished.

04-09-2011 update: Do you want a good reason to buy a Moultrie M-45 white flash IR camera? Well the video mode may be just the reason. The color night videos are pretty nice. The day video is just a little jerky but still is clear with good color. Take a look at the sample video and you will see what I am talking about. I am very happy with this and even though it does not have time lapse and is in a case left over from a construction site lunch period, it has found its place where no others have gone before. I think more may want to have one of these in their inventory very soon. I hope other manufactures jump on this and we have an option when we shop. But right now I think that my $129 went for something I can really enjoy. I am just going to have to get over the anti-lunchbox thing. This stinker has last years trigger times that we saw on most of the units we tested. The trigger times will be just over three seconds and believe me we worked to get that data. This camera did not like to be hooked into our testing system and fought us all the way. So we may have locked this camera to some feeder type of operation or a situation where the animals will be around for a little while.

04-11-2011 update: Just out of curiosity we hooked up a back flash XtendIR to this camera just to see what would happen. The results showed that it did work but not very well at all. There were visible objects in the picture but just barely. We can scratch this camera as being a candidate for conversion.

04-17-2011 update: We went ahead and performed all the tests for this brief to just get the message out that this technology exists and works. I was pretty happy with the results except for maybe the trigger times and delay times but I would like to see this reproduced in maybe something like the small new camera with the designation of M-80WFIR designation. As of now this brief is closed.

Flash Range
(camera only)

Day Range/8 Plate

Video Samples


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