by Jake Fisher - Thursday, December 4, 2014
The Moultrie M880i captures high quality 8MP photos with four different resolution options: Low (1280x720), Medium (1920x1080), High (2688x1512), and Enhanced (3840x2160), and can also shoot high-definition videos for up to 10 seconds. Its multiple capturing modes, NO-GLOW Infrared flash technologyuse and passive Infrared (PIR)motion sensor make this one of the most versatile game cameras on the market today.
In "Motion Detection" modes, you can choose to capture photos or video when motion or heat is detected. The "Time Lapse" modes capture photos at periodic time intervals of your choosing, and the "Hybrid" mode uses a combination of Time Lapse and Motion Detection modes at different times of the day.
I tested the M880i using the Motion Detection feature over a well-traveled deer trail from Sept. 1 to end of October and captured hundreds of pictures and videos both at night and during the day. Other than taking some of the cleanest, most detailed trail-camera images I have ever seen, the real surprise was the battery life. I set on the M880i on its highest resolution setting (Enhanced), and left it for almost 2 months in the field. When I finally pulled it, the LCD screen still displayed a battery at 99 percent! The eight AA batteries (sold separately) could have powered this camera all season. The result was fewer trips into my hunting area to change batteries, and by that I mean none, minimalizing the my chance of spooking game. Most of all, it gave me peace of mind knowing that the "big one" wasn't going to be missed for something as simple as dead batteries.
To test the time laps features, I placed the Moultrie M880i over one of my favorite waterfowl ponds two weeks prior to the start of Pennsylvania's early season opener. I was able to pattern the birds by taking photos every minute starting at 6AM and stopping at 10AM, then beginning to take photos again at 4PM until sunset. Again, thousands of photos were taken with battery life still above 50 percent. Oh, by the way, I used the same set of batteries at both locations.
Time Lapse images can be viewed in a few easy steps by downloading the Time Lapse Software onto your computer. It can be found here, and a pretty neat tool.
The camera requires external SD memory cards only, and will accept up to a 32GB card, class 4 or higher. The user manual warns that large memory cards may slow the response time of the camera, and I did notice a slight increase in response time when switching from the 32GB card to a smaller one, though the 32GB card performed fine in capturing images in the field. I always prefer a larger card when I can get away with it, and with the 880i, it was no problem.
Time Lapse images can be viewed in a few easy steps by downloading the Time Lapse Software onto your computer. It can be found here, and is a pretty neat tool. You can download your pictures, videos, and time lapse photos in the field using a card reader or external player.
Set-up on this camera was easy and only took a few minutes after a quick review of the user manual. The only shortcoming of the Moultrie 880i is the plastic buckle on the mounting strap. It broke the first time I tried strapping it to a tree. And though I would highly recommend having a "plan B" for mounting purposes, a sturdy ratchet strap is cheap, and I wouldn't let that deter me from all the features packed into the Moultrie M880i.
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