The Moultrie M880 Gen2 is brand new for 2015 and comes with a complete redesign from last years M-880. This is a red glow infrared trail camera, meaning the infrared LEDs glow red when taking a photo or video at night.
Quality of Design
Dimensions: 5.75" x 4.75" x 3.25" |Battery Type: 8 AA Batteries |External Battery Jack: 12 Volt
The case design changed quite drastically from previous years. The latch is huge, which so far is a plus. It has been relatively easy to open and close, even with cold fingers. The buttons for programming and the battery eject tray are all positive and work well.
The python lock bracket is an extremely poor design. The loops are angled which makes the camera sit funny on a tree if you are only using the python lock and not the security case. It would also be pretty easy to torque the camera in a way to easily snap the brackets. We don't like this design at all, the only way to truly correct this is to use the camera with a security case.
The programming takes some getting used to. The programming from the 2013 Moultrie M-880 was simple and easy to use, but ever since then the programming has grown in intricacy. We have received quite a few calls from our customers needing help programming their camera (which is unusual for a non-cellular trail camera). Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular settings:
5 s. - 90 s. video clips
Time Lapse: 10/30 s. / 1/5/10/15/30 min. 1/2/3/6/12/24 hrs. w/ 1 or 2 prog. / day
Photo Stamp: Time, date, temperature, moon phase and camera name
Picture + Video Mode: No
Start/Stop Time: No
Password Protection: Yes
SD Card Overwrite: Yes
PIR Settings: Yes (High/Low)
Flash Settings: Yes (Motion freeze on/off)
So far, durability remains consistent with the industry average for a camera made in China. We expect this to remain constant.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.97 s. / 4.5 s. |Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.49 s. / 7.7 s.|Detection Range: 50 ft.
The picture trigger time is just under one second, which by today's standards is average. The picture recovery is 4.5 seconds is fairly typical of many modern trail cameras.
This is the first year we are incorporating video trigger and recovery times into our rankings. This will make the rankings even more accurate and stringent. The trigger time for videos is 1.49 seconds (which is above average) and the recovery is 7.7 seconds (which is middle of the road).
Detection range on the Moultrie M880 Gen2 is right at 50 ft, just as the manufacturer claims. By today's standards, this is below average. Overall, this detection circuit isn't slow by any means, however, it would benefit from some improvement.
Photo resolution:8 mpxl (Enhanced, High, Med. & Low)|Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 no audio |Flash Type: Red Glow Infrared
Daytime pictures have excellent color and contrast. Last year, the Moultrie M-880 had serious focus problems. This camera, the 2015 Gen2 model, has produced mixed results on day pictures. Many of the pictures we are collecting are incredible. The color is perfect and the focus is really good. On other cameras, the pictures still have great color, but animals and objects are clearly out of focus. So which is it? We are hoping the out of focus pictures are anomalies, but we will continue to monitor and test this.
Night pictures appear to be excellent. The contrast is perfect making the pictures appear sharp and clear. There is a bit of blurring, but not too bad. Flash range is a very solid 50 ft. Night pictures are a definite strength of this camera.
We are starting to include video quality in our rankings for this year. We will judge the day and night videos separately, just as we do with pictures.
The daytime videos have good color and solid clarity. This model does not record audio with the video. The night videos look great so far, the contrast is excellent and the flash range looks to be very strong. Night videos will only take up to a 30 second video. You can view all our current Moultrie M-880 Gen2 videos with the playlist below.
Resting Power (on): 0.96 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 2.18 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 10.04 Ws
The resting power is incredibly low and impressive. The daytime power consumption is also really good but something takes a turn for the worse when it takes a night picture. 10.04 Ws is too high.
While this camera can operate on alkaline AA batteries, we greatly prefer Energizer Ultimate Lithiums in our cameras. They are much more consistent and will last an incredible amount of time. Even with the high nighttime power consumption, if this camera were to take 35 day pictures and 35 night pictures every 24 hours, this camera could last 7.1 months in the field (with lithiums).
This camera will not work with rechargeable batteries.
Moultrie M-880 Gen2 Review Conclusion
Overall, this camera has good battery life and excellent night pictures/videos. The day pictures look really good except for some clarity issues; which depending on how closely you inspect your photos, may or may not be an issue for you. The python bracket is frustrating for anyone wanting to secure the camera with a cable lock, and you will need to read the owner's manual to fully grasp the programming. This camera is very middle of the road. A few good things, a few bad things and everything else is very average.
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