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Old August 6, 2014, 09:38 AM   #1
JohnM
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Trail Cameras

Don't really see a sub forum for this topic, so I figure it might fit in here.
I know zip about these things. Lot of friends have them, every one different.
Reviews and catalogs are total information overload for someone as clueless as me.
After a lot of wasted time searching I came up with a Moultrie M880.
So now I'm looking for help here.
A good choice for a first pick?, yes/no, some better choice?
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Old August 6, 2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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I just bought the Moultrie M990-i, which seems to be about the same thing, but haven't put it through its paces yet in the field. It's done an impressive job, however, in the wilds of my backyard capturing images of my dog taking personal relief and people who happen to wander by. I'll set it up in the woods when deer season approaches, so in the meantime I'm using it as a security camera of sorts when I go away for a few days.

So far, I like it!
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Old August 6, 2014, 11:32 AM   #3
JohnM
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Hmm, that's another model I haven't seen.
Maybe after a while some guys will pop in who have used the cameras more with some comments.
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Old August 6, 2014, 03:08 PM   #4
docsleepy
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That one does a whole bunch more than the Moultrie that I have, and I'm very very happy with the Moultry that I have.
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Old August 6, 2014, 03:21 PM   #5
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Which one? The 880 seems to be listed as a good choice a lot of different places.
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Old August 6, 2014, 04:39 PM   #6
easy
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I have a few Stealthcam units. Some 7M, some 8M. These take good pics and vids. Only complaint is batteries. They use eight(8) AA that only last about a month in weather above freezing. When it get cold batteries last about two(2) weeks.
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Old August 6, 2014, 04:41 PM   #7
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I have a couple of M80's and another brand (I think it's a tasco). Of the M80's one is still going after 3 years, the other has been dead a year.
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Old August 6, 2014, 04:50 PM   #8
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I figure batteries will be a PIA.
8 cells is 12 volt, I bet I can get a motorcycle battery or such jumpered in if I want.
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Old August 7, 2014, 09:59 AM   #9
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Well, this was kind of a bust. I thought choosing a trail camera would be a hot topic with lots input about what to look for.
Moultrie has been mentioned, maybe I'll go for one of their top end models and hope it's a good choice.
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Old August 7, 2014, 12:13 PM   #10
bison
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I have had several of the Bushnell Trophy cams and like them a lot. Battery life is about forever... thousands of pictures and videos. There are a few others that are similar. Look for the small form factor ones that advertise long battery life.
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Old August 7, 2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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battery life depends on season... summer is warm and the batteries last months, winter is freezing and the batteries last days.
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Old August 8, 2014, 09:46 AM   #12
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That's pretty much common knowledge.
Lithium batteries are the best for cold temps.
Not everything can use them and they're spendy.
Guess there's supposed to be some direct AA replacements around, but I don't think I've ever seen them for sale around here.

Last edited by JohnM; August 8, 2014 at 10:26 AM.
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:07 AM   #13
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I usually have between 10/12 cameras out in the woods year around. I have been using the Wildgame cameras, but am now looking for a different brand myself. My cameras have been starting to give it up bigtime and the company has been squirming out of responsibility for them. I have some that haven't made it much over a month, and the company is saying it's the SD cards fault and everything else they can find.
I guess maybe I'll try some of the Bushnell models and see how they hold up. Battery life has never been a big problem for me as 4 batteries seem to go for a few months at a time.
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:20 AM   #14
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Glad Bushnell was brought up. Buddy told me he has one and it really works well.
I also noticed one of the top end models had a socket for plugging in an external 12 volt supply.
If I decide to have one going this winter when it's 30 or more below it'd be handy to be able to connect a bigger battery to keep it running.
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:28 AM   #15
Double Naught Spy
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Hey JohnM, these sites can be very helpful...

http://www.trailcampro.com/

www.chasingame.com (has both reviews and a good forum where people talk about what they own).
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Old August 8, 2014, 11:47 AM   #16
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Thanks, some good stuff in those 2 places.
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Old August 8, 2014, 12:45 PM   #17
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I have had an 880 for a little over a year now and have been generally happy with it. Batteries in cold weather (down to zero here) last 4 to 6 weeks. In warm weather they last 3 to 4 months. I have only used it in still picture mode. The sensor has a wider spread than the camera so sometimes I get pictures with no activity or only a head or some ears in it. It is sensitive as I routinely get pics of rabbits at night and birds during the day. A blowing branch or falling snow will also trigger it at times.
If you set the security code, enter it before changing cards as you won't be able to access pics on the new card when you pull it. The card isn't ruined and will record fine once it is inserted after the code has been entered.
I've been spoiled by the color day time pics and wish the night pics were color also. I still enjoy and find useful the night pics. I just wish they were color also.
I suggest you mount it 8' to 10' up as the deer notice the infrared flash. Does and young don't mind it but it seems to bother the bucks if it is at their eye level.
I've had a 550 and an 800 also. They didn't hold well, failing after 4 months or so. I suspect, but am not certain, that moist air got inside and internal condensation killed them. So far, the 880 hasn't had that problem.
I may buy another 880 but am open to another brand if it will hold up.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by 95XL883; August 8, 2014 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old August 8, 2014, 12:58 PM   #18
skoro
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I've been using a Bushnell X8 for the past year and a half. Batteries last for a good 12 mo and it takes real nice IR photos at night. I've been very pleased with it.
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Old August 8, 2014, 01:13 PM   #19
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There's a model sold under the Browning name called Spec Ops () listed in the sites sent by DNS that has very good reviews.
Sounds like that one might be my choice, after some more reading.
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Old August 8, 2014, 04:03 PM   #20
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I'm not real sure why people get goofy over high tech stuff on game cameras. If the camera works, it works. I have a 50 dollar Tasco branded camera from Wallyworld I like just fine. The one thing it doesn't do that my Remington branded camera did is indicate the number of pics on the card when you check it. Other than that, I like it better. It uses cheaper AAs, is a lot more compact, came with straps and a buckle for around the tree, and the IR flash works better than that Remington all for half the price. 3 MP is fine. I'm not sure why I need 30 MP, 10x optical zoom, movie function, etc, etc, for a friggin' game camera.

If I had an unlimited hunting budget, lets say I was a multi billionaire, a Donald Trump type, I read about a camera that you could access via the net. It has its own cell link and you can download pix onto your camera from half way around the world. Be cool to set up a 2500 dollar fancy feeder on my place 100 miles from here, set up that camera, have solar panels charging the batteries in both. Go down there and dump 1000 lbs of corn and you're good for 6 months, never need to drive to check it. But, hell, it'd probably all get ripped off by the Seadrift rednecks down there. I've had two tripod stands stolen down there and they weren't worth, but a little over a C note. Of course, if I was Donald Trump rich, I could afford to hire armed guards on my 100,000 acre ranch or some such.

Alas, my feeder/camera is 200 yards into the woods back of my house.

/dreams
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Old August 8, 2014, 04:16 PM   #21
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Well I just ordered the Browning camera, it had more to offer I thought than either the Moultrie or Bushnell I was considering.
Cheapo Wally World, no; but 180 bucks total isn't bad.
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Old August 8, 2014, 05:02 PM   #22
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I have had many trail cameras over the years. I remember not too long ago when I had to go to the camera and replace the 35mm film, take it somewhere for it to be developed and then wait 2-3 days to see the same coons on 24 straight frames.
I had a gift card from Cabela's and actually ordered a camera today. A stealth cam P12 or something like that that cost about $99. I have a Wildgame Innovations camera set up in my back yard so I can get pics of all the spotted fawns. I don't remember the model but it works adequately and cost -$100.
I think the main difference in the $100 camera and the $350 camera is probably trigger speed as the more expensive ones tend to trigger much faster than the cheaper ones. I imagine that this means you get a few more shots on deer just moving through? I have been happy with all the cameras I have had over the past few years. The WGI one in my yard has been on the same 4 C batteries since last Fall and is still looking good. The attached picture was taken last night in my yard. The fawns are spotted which is difficult to tell in the night photos. That detail isn't important for MY purposes because I really just want to see what's around rather than figure a B and C score.
If I owned a high dollar hunt club and needed super high quality photos of the deer people were paying to hunt then I would probably buy the higher dollar ones. Since I don't need that I am fine with the 10 or so "cheap" cameras I have. One thing I do prefer is the models that use AA batteries. I use AA quite a bit whereas C and D batteries aren't used in much around my house. I also have the advantage of being able to check my cameras daily if I want. Battery life on all of my current cameras is several months at least but is somewhat lower in the winter months.
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Old August 9, 2014, 08:39 AM   #23
JohnM
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This question was posed by someone who never had one. Like all things you get what you pay for, I figured around $200 for one would be a good place to start and see no reason I would ever want more than one.
I left film reluctantly a number of years ago and use a couple fairly high end DSLRs. I can appreciate what a high mp sensor can do for image quality. I had to rely on various reviews for differences in trigger speed, flash types, etc.
The shear number and variety of the things on the market now made a choice tough.
I just want something that will get decent photos around the place, hopefully this thread will help others looking for that first trail camera to play with.
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Old August 10, 2014, 01:47 PM   #24
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I have three Uway UM562 cameras, and I like them a lot. I love the cellular feature.
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Old August 10, 2014, 09:35 PM   #25
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I too am looking for a couple or three affordable trail cameras.

My house sits on 5 acres and somebody has been walking through the woods and has been trying to get into my shop and storage buildings.

I need something that will work at night with an invisible flash. Plus I need to to let me have a clear photo of the target at least 60 feet away.
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