This Moultrie 990i Review is based on the 2015 Gen2 model. The Moultrie 990i is a no glow camera trap that is has a handy internal viewer for quick views of pictures & videos the Moultrie M-990i has taken.
Quality of Design 3.7 Stars
Dimensions: 5.75" x 4.75" x 3.25" |Battery Type: 8 AA Batteries |External Battery Jack: 12 Volt
The case design has changed quite a bit from previous Moultrie cameras. The Moultrie 990i is a bit larger, but feels very sturdy to the touch. The latch is huge which has made opening and closing with cold fingers quite easy.
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 definitely takes some getting used to but after playing with it for several minutes we got the hang of it. The 2" viewing screen definitely helps with that, but don't be surprised if you have a few head scratching moments when you first try to learn it. The good news, is there are quite a few programming options such as overwrite, password protection, PIR sensitivity and Flash settings. There is even an AC option which we haven't seen before but after testing it didn't work as advertised. When we did get it to work, the camera was actually slower while using AC power. We wouldn't recommend using this. Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular settings on the Moultrie M-990i:
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)
Durability has been solid on this unit.
Detection Circuit 3.1 Stars
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.69 s. / 4.6 s. |Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.4 s. / 8.2 s.|Detection Range: 50 ft.
The picture trigger time is 0.69, which is well above average.. The picture recovery is 4.6 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 1.4 seconds (which is rather good) and the recovery is 8.2 seconds.
Detection range is right at 50 ft, just as the manufacturer claims. By today's standards, this is below average. Overall, this detection circuit would benefit greatly from improvements, however, it is fast enough for the majority of trail camera users.
Picture Quality 3.8 Stars
Photo resolution: 10 mpxl (Enhanced, High, Med. & Low)|Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 no audio |Flash Type: No Glow Infrared
2014 Moultrie models were severely out of focus. It seems that has mostly been corrected with the 2015 models. The clarity isn't perfect, but it is a huge improvement. Along with the improvement in clarity, the M990i Gen2 has excellent color. We can't think of another camera that has brighter daytime color.
The night pictures have decent flash range but can be a bit grainy and blurry at times. Overall, for a no glow camera we consider the Moultrie 990i gen2 night pictures to be well above average.
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 excellent color and decent clarity. The M-990i Gen2 is the only current Moultrie that records audio with the video. The night videos are decent but won't have the flash range of the red glow M880 Gen2. Night videos will only take a 30 second video. You can check out all the videos below. When one video ends, the next will begin and they are all from the M-990i Gen2 Playlist we created.
Battery Life 4.0 Stars
Resting Power (on): 0.96 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 2.32 Ws| Nighttime Power Consumption: 7.69 Ws
Battery life looks to be a strength this year with an exceptionally low resting power. The day consumption is also low and while the night consumption is a bit high, it is still very reasonable.
While this camera can operate on alkaline AA batteries, we 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 8.3 months in the field (with lithiums).
While working on the Moultrie M-990i Gen 2 reviews, we realized nimh rechargeable batteries do not work in the gen2 game cameras.
Moultrie 990i Gen 2 Review Conclusion 3.6 Stars
Overall, the Moultrie M-990i Gen2 has exceptionally vivid color on the daytime pictures and videos, great battery life and a nice 2" internal viewer built into the camera. The negatives are the slow-to-average detection circuit and a couple minor case design and programming flaws.
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