Moultrie Game Spy I60 Digital Trail Camera MFH DGS I60 Review:
The Moultrie Game Spy I60 is our top scoring trail camera to date. The folks at Moultrie have built a solid camera giving it an excellent durability score. With its high quality pictures and excellent feature set, the I60 also scored high in performance. The camera is a bit on the expensive side, but otherwise our review uncovered only minor issues. If you want a top of the line camera, with solid features and that is built to last, and you don't mind spending the money, we highly recommend you give the Moultrie Game Spy I60 strong consideration!
- Well designed - sturdy housing, controls on front, good protection from elements
- System test button provides peace of mind
- Can be hooked up to external 12 volt - yes!
- Info strip contains pressure, temp, date, moon, and location info - awesome!
- Vertical tilt thumbscrew and laser aimer help ensure proper placement - both are welcome features
- Expensive (especially with solar pack).
- Strap for securing to a tree is inadequate. Not easy to mount.
- Slot for memory card is difficult to manage (See tip)
- LCD panel is so small that it is virtually useless
- Picture quality can be suspect in certain situations
|Picture Size - Day:
||6.0 Mega pixelsApprox 1.4 MB image file size
2848 px wide x 2136 px high (96 px per inch)
|Picture Size - Night:
||Same as day
||6 "D"batteriesExternal: Plug-in for 12 volt or solar panel
SD Card (upto 4 GB max)Internal Memory - 32 MB
||SingleBurst (2-3)Video (AVI - 5/15/30 second clips)
Our initial test was 10 days long. The camera was setup along a trail overlooking a feeder and mineral block and setup to take 2 photos per trigger ("burst mode"). During the test, the camera had 520 triggers (2 pictures each of 260 events) and of those, 320 pictures contained wildlife in the frame - 62%. The camera held a full charge at the end of the test thanks to the solar panel with internal battery.
Our follow-up test was 2 weeks long. Setup in the same location, this camera had 986 triggers - 678 of which contained subjects in the photo. During this period, the camera had a 69% percent success rate which is excellent. In analyzing the pictures, we did notice three common issues that lead to less than desirable results with some of the captures. These issues are relatively minor, but we thought we�d bring them to bear:
- Dawn/Dusk issue
- High temperature reading
- Burst darkness
- Moisture Haze
The following are sample pictures from the Moultrie Game Spy I60 to illustrate the image quality. These images have been reduced in file size by 16% of their original for display here.
The picture below shows the image quality is excellent and the color is good too - this picture is crisp and shows excellent levels of blue, green and red. The picture shows a turkey vulture that just happened to land on the mineral block:
Below is a sample picture showing the nighttime picture with infrared flash. The effective flash range extends beyond 15 feet (listed at 50 feet on the manufacturer specs). We noticed most deer looking at the camera even during night pictures (makes us question spending extra for an infrared flash versus traditional 'white flash'). Night pictures are the same size/resolution as day pictures.
Our review indicated a strong sensor for this camera. The picture below illustrates this; you-ll see a pocket gopher in the bottom left of the frame. The picture has been 'animated' to better show the subject. Can you believe this little guy set-off the camera?
Next, the trigger time is pretty good (depending upon location & needs, trigger time may be somewhat irrelevant). Below is a picture of a raccoon scurrying past our camera location during night. There may be faster trigger times on the market, but this performed well enough to reliably capture the subjects in most situations.
The Moultrie Game Spy I60 is a well built camera. The housing feels sturdy and the design appears to be such that will keep the elements from affecting the camera. The controls are easily accessed on the front of the camera. The initial setup is a snap and the manual is refreshingly straight-forward and easy to use. With a simple connection to my PC, I was able to easily install a firmware update to the camera with no issues. The LCD screen is very small and the SD card slot location makes it a bit tough to retrieve the memory card. The laser aim finder is a nice feature as is the tilt adjustment on the housing of the camera - both features make it very easy to aim the camera accurately. We have yet to identify a practical use for the remote, so this feature seemed like added cost without benefit.
We chose to pair this camera with Moultrie's Power Panel (solar/battery), you can see that review here. When it comes to power, we simply feel that sportsmen shouldn't be burning through batteries left and right to run these cameras and should opt for rechargeable batteries or perferrably 12 volt batteries. Therefore, we see the Power Panel as a logical pair with this item - so, when considering the price of the camera ($300), the power panel ($80) and a SDHC card ($25) - the overall price tag for this camera gets pretty high.
Update: Feb 5, 2009: The camera failed us a few weeks ago. We suspect that as a result of a snowstorm, the camera collected some water (once the snow on top of the camera melted). The water must have seeped into the battery compartment, the batteries leaked and died. Shortly thereafter, the battery inside of the solar panel ran out. And, due to having no charge and it being real cold outside, the internal battery froze up and also died. As a result, neither the solar panel nor the camera would power up (even though we took them inside, cleaned them up, warmed them up, replaced the batteries, etc.). We sent the camera into Moultrie. About 3 weeks later we heard back from Moultrie and they would not warranty the damage. As a result, we reduced the durability ratings for their GameSpy series.
Reviewer: - Nick Schwarz
Review Date: - 7/28/2008