Now that game camera sales have slowed down post-Christmas, I have some time to write more blog posts. I'd like to break it down by manufacturer, and give thoughts on their game cameras from 2016 and what to expect in 2017.
To kick off the series, let's talk about Moultrie game cameras.
Moultrie Cameras in 2016
Moultrie continued their "Gen2" line of game cameras into 2016 with a few tweaks. Their most popular models were the:
- Moultrie Panoramic P180i
- Moultrie M999i
- Moultrie M888
- Moultrie M888i
- Moultrie White Flash
Moultrie Panoramic 180i
The Moultrie P180i saw huge improvements in 2016. They replaced the moving camera parts (on the old P150 cameras) with fixed PIR, IR LEDs, and 3 fixed lenses. We had been clamoring for this for years and it was nice to see it come to fruition.
I sincerely believe this was the most underrated game camera in 2016. The picture and video quality were outstanding (among the best all year) and the case design was slimmer, used AA batteries, and had almost no warranty issues.
The 180i just never caught on with customers, and if you ask me it was because of the warranty issues on the old P150's. This is understandable, but I really think consumers missed a great camera here. The video detection speed was slow, but the picture detection was incredibly fast and it detects an area that normally requires 3 separate cameras.
Moultrie M999i, M888i, and M888
These are Moultrie's mainstream game cameras and saw a few updates, but nothing dramatic. We still don't like the way their python bracket operates and video detection speeds were pretty slow across the board.
Outside of that, detection speeds were really good (specifically recovery time), picture quality was good (inconsistent in low light, though), and battery life was solid. Most impressively, night IR photos from the Moultrie M888 were best in class. It even won our Flash Range Test!
Look at the illumination on this photo!
Moultrie White Flash
White flash cameras tend to take a backseat anymore, due to decreased consumer demand. However, there are still a few people that love the color night photos.
Picture quality was the story with the White Flash, the day and night pictures were outstanding, earning a HUGE (que Donald Trump) picture quality rating of 93/100. Not many cameras get that high of a score.
Moultrie Field Modem
Without question, the Moultrie Field Modem was the biggest event in Moultrie's 2016 product line. The Modem has the capability of making all the above cameras, and the 2015 models, a cellular game camera.
I used one of these all fall in my backyard hooked up to the M999i. I've really enjoyed playing with it and yesterday it sent me this picture:
There are so many benefits to cellular cameras (worth a blog post of its own) but for me it is just pure entertainment. I get text messages from my wife all the time that read something like:
"Send me some cute pictures from the camera, I want to show people at work!"
I think the app interface on the Moultrie Modem is by far the most intuitive and in-depth. However, I really want them to fix the instant notification feature so that the camera and modem would work much better for security.
Looking Forward - Moultrie Game Cameras in 2017
Expect some big changes going forward, starting in the summer of 2017. Looks like all new product lines with the exception of the P180i and Moultrie Modem. 5 different series of camera models (far too many in my opinion) will provide a bunch of options and presumably different price points.
We never know what to expect in terms of quality or performance until we get production cameras in our office for testing, but it looks like we will have plenty of testing to do this spring and summer!
Thanks for reading!