2011 Moultrie M-80 Camera Review - May 10, 2011 Back to Main Review Page
   

2011 Moultrie M80



 

Note: we manufactured this bracket to overcome the non standard threads on the insert:

2011 Moultrie  M-80 32 count red flash 5 mp digital camera review

After a little bit of a rough start with the M-100 because of some card issues, which ultimately led to a new firmware update. My contact person at Moultrie totally let me down and did not follow up with anything I requested. Customer service how ever did a good job of taking care of me with that camera. We had other Moultrie cameras scheduled for review but they have been pulled from production which allowed an unscheduled unit to be tested. The M-80 is a clone of the M-100 with the exception of one MP and a view screen. Being we never use the view screen and are not in tune with the big MP cameras this camera fits very well into the scouting scheme. My suggestion if you are planning on a purchase of this camera is that you purchase through a vendor that will give you a direct exchange if you have a problem. One of my recent purchases was from one of the catalog vendors and they sent a return label along with the paid invoice in the package along with the new camera. This means that should I have problem it can be returned and a direct exchange can be made at no expense and I will not have to deal with that could care less contact person. 

I will say that this is a very slick little camera. I found great favor with the M-100 once the original problems were solved and this being just like it but it is the satin black instead of the camouflage. There are some vendors that do have this camera in an exclusive model that is also available in camouflage. This small size no matter the color does hide well on the tree. All of the features like time lapse and the night illumination are also part of these cameras features. There are no security features built in so an after market security box is a must for those who have the need because of the area deployed. The wide angle format that some like are part of its features along with a minimum 15 second delay period. The information strip that is part of the pictures has the time/date and temp/moon phase with camera ID. Most love video with sound and this camera will also handle that task. Our tests on the M-100 went well with the sound feature so we expect that we will see the same with this camera. You can use up to 16 gig (instructions says 32 but Moultrie says 16) cards and that along with the great TL programming should be a big plus in maybe deciding on this camera. The $140 price tag is keeping it in the medium cost range of this years offering and compared to cameras like the $230 Cuddeback Attack that is somewhat feature starved this camera should hold its place in this years market. The nice wide sensing system that Moultrie has will more than make up for the one and a half second approximate trigger time. That one fact will most definitely pull many sales away from those cameras that have the very narrow sensing zones. 

Specifications:

M80 GameSpy Digital Camera Photo Quality

  • LOW 1480 X 832 (1.3MP)

  • MEDIUM 1848 x 1040 (3.2 MP)

  • HIGH 2616 x 1472 (4.0 MP)

  • ENHANCED 3248 x 1824 (6.0 MP)

Video Quality

  • HIGH 720 x 400 @ 24fps

  • LOW 352 x 192 @ 24fps

Approximate photos stored 1GB SD card

  • LOW 3779

  • MEDIUM 1784

  • HIGH 890

  • ENHANCED 578

Approximate video time stored 1GB SD card

  • HIGH 20min

  • LOW 60min

Optional SD Memory Card 32 GB Max

Optical Field of View 55 degrees

Batteries Alkaline AA-cells

The above specifications show that there are 4 resolution settings and two video settings. The very low 1.3 MP setting during time lapse is a big plus for that feature. We very seldom use the enhanced setting so our pick is the 4.0 MP setting for most functions. The video is at 24 fps and is 720X400 on high and 352X192 on the low setting. The advertized sensing distance is 45 feet and will be one of the areas we will thoroughly test. If you take a medium sized card like the 8 gig size, you should be able to get over 7000 pictures on the 4 MP setting and I would think that a set of batteries will take you all the way through that time. With out the view screen all the programming is on the LCD and it is very simple and straight forward. There is no digital zoom on this camera which is a blessing because we found that we had a degree of distortion on the M-100 when we chose that function. It looks like maybe the battery life on this camera should be much better than the M-100 because no battery eating view screen and much smaller file sizes to be stored which both consume more power. Being both the M-100 and the M-80 are so parallel we suggest that both reviews consulted because they are so much alike. 

With a stack of pre tested AA Ray O Vacs in its tray I headed for the outside to get a sense of picture quality prior to continuing. I was not disappointed and would say that it is better than the last reviewed camera which was in the $230 range and had an initial short warranty which we are still waiting to see if it will be officially changed. Not only that but I feel this camera has much better sensing also. Back inside and a short test in the dark room also showed that this camera like its brother will light up the night. While I transcribed a tablet full of notes onto the computer I set up in time lapse for a short test and it worked fine. Their approach with multiple windows is also a much better system than the $230 camera. I hate to keep making the comparison but being I just came off that review and things are fresh in my mind those were my first thoughts as far as value and function. 

05-12-2011 update:  Another night and a nice clear morning allowed me to play a few more hours and to keep up my comparison with its big brother the 100 series camera. I am starting to feel that maybe this camera will hold the flag ship in their lineup this year. We did like the 40 XT but it is a lunchbox camera. This is in the same price range and carries the same function and can be deployed under a large leaf and it would be hard to see. There is a slight fuzziness to the pictures but even with zoom a 60 yard target will give up a lot of detail without a great deal of distortion. The bright night pictures do however have a little blur on moving targets but we have not seen an IR camera that did not have that same issue. A pair of these cameras for about the same price (if you shop the price is the same for a pair I found them as low as $110) as one of the last camera reviewed and would go a whole lot further and give better results, especially in the sensing category. We see the competition and their mini cameras and we will have plenty of great units to choose from in the very near future. Moultrie is right now busy selling cameras and taking away those potential slots one at a time because the others are not yet released. This is just like what Scoutguard did when it first came out. The market strategy is changing now at a rapid pace. 

Just like the M-100 camera, this camera will hold drops of water in the lens and PIR sensor area after a rain. If those areas are not wiped dry prior to opening the camera you will see a small amount of water inside the camera that should be dried immediately or it might get locked up inside the camera and cause fogging. The leak tests and drop tests did not show any issues other than what is mentioned above. My informal trigger and sensing tests were all good and no one should find fault there for this price.      

05-30-2011 update:  Once we had a hole in the line we stuck this camera on the testing station and it showed that the trigger time is at 1.6 seconds for both with and without flash. One of the neat features we have is to be able to set the measuring equipment up so we are just past the delay period so we are not wasting time. We should have done the delay portion of the test first just because the camera program says 15 seconds this camera is stretching it out to over 36 seconds which is more than double what it should be. That right there is a game changer for this camera. When I get my M-100 back to the lab I am also going to take a look at the delay period on it also. Day range pictures are sharp and clear and we could se no real problem with them. The night range pictures are just like the M-100 and do pump a lot of light down range. Please view the examples for your conclusion.

06-04-2011 update:  Lots of sample pictures that are lots of seconds above delay apart. The samples will show that this camera does do a respectable job in the picture quality department both day and night. Our camera operator got a little sloppy and did not pay attention to the aim so the night with flash pictures are more of a broad side blast than we would like. The aim was high so it shows some degree of IR burn on close subjects. 

We have been blessed out for negative comments on some of our reviewed cameras on some other of areas on the net and those included Moultrie, Stealth, and other brand names who in some cases are favorites and it was felt that even though there were honest comments made they should not have been made by us. We were very fortunate to have friends in the right places and were able to trace down and find the Gestapo De Attacemo or in latin (kamura asholzium). So we are now free to again mention that this camera has an issue with the delay period of being longer than the switch setting and that the factory is hard at work to correct that problem.

06-07-2011 update:  We set in video and were somewhat disappointed in the results. Please view the sample videos below and you will see what we mean. They are a bit fuzzy. We only have the time lapse function to test on this camera which will be later in the year. This review is closed.

07-18-2011 update: Battery life test lasted 5-31 through 7 17 and gave us 5120 pictures.

09-25-2011 notice:  It seems that Moultrie has made a good effort to correct the delay issue where the 15 second delay setting on the M-100/80 cameras had tested as having a duration of more than double. Our tests after installing the latest firmware update resulted in the 15 second setting coming out to be a repeated 20 second interval. This is much better and allowing for some of the slower cards this is acceptable. Good work Moultrie.

Moultrie site link: (subject to change)
http://www.moultriefeeders.com/softwareupdates/DGS-M80-Camera-Software-Update

Original firmware Retest: 33s at 15s delay


With new firmware Test: Approx 20s interval at 15s delay.





 

 

Trigger Tests
( without flash 1.64s)

( with flash 1.64s)

 

Flash Range
(camera only)

(Camera + XtendIr-B Black Flash conversion)
test not performed

 

Day Range/8 Plate

 


 

Sample Photos HIGH res
Sample Photos LOW res

Video Samples





 

 

 

   
   
   
   

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