New trail camera reviews

2014 Moultrie M-880 Review

     - Last update 6/12/14

Quick Facts
Trigger Speed:
Recovery Time:
Detection Range:
Flash Range:
0.80 s.
5.2 s.
40 ft.
45 ft.
8 AA
5" x 4.5" x 3"

  • Vivid color in daytime photos
  • Good trigger speed
  • Battery life is outstanding
  • Time lapse software is superb
  • Out of focus pictures
  • Limited flash range
Trailcampro Analysis

     Moultrie was undoubtedly a leader in the trail camera industry in 2013.  They had a wide variety of cameras and all seemed to be packed with value.  The 2013 M-880 was one of our best sellers, as they took great pictures (both day and night) and were incredibly fast.  Our hopes would be that Moultrie would only improve on that in the 2014 M-880.

Detection Circuit
     The trigger time remained virtually the same as last year.  0.8 seconds is fast enough to catch nearly anything.

     Recovery time on this camera can vary according to your settings, so we will try to explain it in detail.  Under the standard setting of one picture per trigger,  the M-880 gives you the option of 5, 10, 30 or 60 second delays (along with 5, 10 or 30 minutes) for recovery time.  If you select the quickest setting, 5 seconds, the recovery time is precisely 5.2 seconds. 

     There is also a "3 shot (triggered)" setting.  Under this setting, the camera takes the initial picture and then stays in a readied state for an additional 7 seconds.  During the 7 seconds, the recovery rate is actually 1.5 seconds, for up to 3 pictures.  The disadvantage to this setting is the increased power consumption during those 7 seconds.  We will cover exactly how much the battery consumption increases a little later.

     For the sake of the star rating for this review, we scored the M-880 based on the 5.2 second recovery time.  This decreased the overall detection circuit score, but increased the score for the battery life.  Long story short, you can get a quicker recovery time from our posted 5.2 seconds, however, it will be at the expense of increased battery consumption.  You can weigh the pros and cons of each setting and evaluate based on your needs.

     The detection range has dropped from 2013 to 2014.  Last year, on a 62º day, the M-880 detected out to 70 ft.  This year, on an 80º day, the 2014 M-880 only detected out to 40 ft.  On this same day we had multiple other cameras detect out to 100 ft.  Overall, we would like to see a detection zone with increased coverage.

Picture Quality
     The picture quality seemed to undergo some changes from last year.  We touted the picture quality in the 2013 M-880's to be "outstanding."  This is not the case this year.

     The daytime pictures are clearly out of focus.  This is occurring on every field camera we have deployed.  The only time the camera is properly focused is when an animal is within 3 feet of the lens.  Normally, the focus on these cameras would be set to "infinity," but it appears in this case, it is not.  

     If you click on any of our sample pictures, look closely at the edges of the animals, trees, leaves and grass in the background.  On the flip side, the color is exceptionally vivid and if the focus issue was fixed, the daytime picture quality would drastically increase.

     The night pictures have undergone a metamorphosis from last year.  The flash range in this camera has gone down to 45 ft. and the pictures have a "halo" effect. This means the infrared light is focused on the center of the picture and not spread evenly left to right.  Below is an example.

     Once again, there is a flip side.  The pictures have great contrast and for the most part, there is a lack of substantial blurring.  However, with all things considered, picture quality is a big step back from last years camera.

Battery Life
     This is easily the most impressive component to the 2014 Moultrie M-880.  Resting current draw is barely a blip on the radar, daytime power consumption is a miniscule 220 milliamps.  Put everything together and you have a camera that could last a very long time in the woods.

Resting Current Draw
Daytime Power Consumption
Nighttime Power Consumption
0.10 ma
220 ma
947 ma

ma = milliamps

     As we mentioned earlier, if you plan on using the 3 shot triggered setting (for quicker recovery) you can expect your overall battery life to decrease.  The daytime power consumption is 470 milliamps and the nighttime power consumption is 2923 milliamps for 3 pictures in the 3 shot triggered setting.  As you can see, this greatly increases the battery power the camera consumes but in turn gives you the quicker recovery time.

     The M-880 operates on 8 AA batteries, located in a removable battery tray on the bottom of the unit.  Unfortunately, only alkaline or lithium batteries work in this camera.  The nimh rechargeable batteries don't fit properly and won't work in this unit.  For this reason, we would recommend lithium batteries.  Expect to get 8+ months of battery life if you put a quality set of lithiums in the M-880.

     We never recommend alkaline batteries as they have proven to be unreliable in any trail camera.  We tend to answer a lot of troubleshooting phone calls and alkaline batteries seem to be the #1 culprit of a malfunctioning trail camera.  We urge you to put a high grade lithium battery in this or any other game camera.

Ease of Use
The actual case on the M-880 has only seen small changes.  It remains a very good, solid camera case design.  The programming has been revamped.  It is still easy enough to navigate, but if you are used to last years model it takes some getting used to.

     The time lapse software has evolved quite a bit.  The pictures are now stored in a normal picture file, and they can be inserted into the Plotstalker software to be skipped through and viewed.  We LOVE the new software, it is both intuitive and functional.  Big pat on the back to Moultrie for this upgrade.  Side note: we do not have a Mac computer to test this software on, we have only used it on Windows computers.

     Durability on Moultrie cameras is pretty solid.  We see a pretty normal rate of return/warranty on Moultries.

     To sum up the 2014 Moultrie M-880, it took a significant but not permanent step back from last year.  We feel the picture quality needs to improve before it gets our recommendation.  Having a trail camera that is out of focus this bad does not work for us.
2014 M-880 Photos

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