Pros: Sturdy, motion sensor, light sensor, hand held or mounted
Cons: 3.1 MP makes for somewhat grainy photos
My husband is an avid hunter. He's, also, a non-techie sort of guy. When he received the Moultrie MFH-DGS-200 Digital Camera for Christmas two years ago, it was up to me to figure out how it worked.
What Is This Camera?
This camera isn't your typical point and shoot camera. It's covered in camouflage and big. It is 7"W X 3.5"D X 10.25"H and weighs 1.63 pounds. Why is it so big? Mainly because of the power sources. It uses a regular or rechargeable 6 volt battery. If you can't make it out to the camera very often(I'll explain later), you can buy a solar panel that will operate the camera.
The Moultrie MFH-DGS-200 Digital Camera is used for photographing wildlife. For instance, my husband straps it to a tree that runs along a trail where he hunts. The mounting straps come with the cam and can be adjusted to fit various size trees or limbs. He will leave it there for 2 to 3 weeks then bring it home to check the pictures and see what animals are moving through the area. There is an infra-red motion sensor that triggers the camera to start snapping pictures.
The 3.1 Megapixel resolution makes for nice day time photos. They aren't as clear as a higher resolution, but adequate for this camera's intended purpose. It has 16 MB built in memory that takes 100 pictures on the 640 X 480 setting, 40 on 1024 X 768, or 10 on the enhanced 2048 X 1536. It has video capabilities of 320 X 240/10 seconds. I have not used the video function. Each time there is movement, and the camera has had adequate time to gear up again, it will snap a picture. We had a sequence of 3 photos as a deer moved across the sensor area. A Secure Digital (SD) card (up to 1 GB) can be used to add more memory.
The light sensor helps trigger the built in flash when it is needed. This is a feature that comes in very handy as it is our experience that most of the wild game moves when it is dark. The infra-red motion detector has a range of 32 feet by 22 degrees width (+/- 11 degrees) and the flash a range of 5 feet to 32 feet. We have found this to be a more than adequate range as it covers the trail and nearby cover we have the camera set at. In one picture we were able to make out five deer at various distances and positions. The flash does make deer look like aliens. It lights up their entire eye area, making for an unnatural glowing effect. This isn't a problem for us, as we aren't worried about showing these pictures off. We use this camera to see what animals, and their size, are in the area.
Some of the features we really like are what we can add to the photographs. I set the camera to show the temperature, moon phase, date, and time on the pictures it takes. All of this can be done by the appropriately labeled button on the inside of the weather resistant casing.
For those times when you want to handhold the camera to take a picture there is a viewfinder and shutter button. Since the camera is constantly ready to snap a picture all you have to do is point and shoot. This came in handy when we were taking it back out to the trail and came across three turkeys. I did find it had a few seconds of lag between pushing the shutter button and it taking the picture. I was only able to get one photo before the turkeys took off.
The Moultrie Digital Camera is built right, too. It took a beating from a deer that was obviously offended at having his picture taken. When I checked the camera for photos it had taken there were several, very close up, pictures of the deer hitting it. There were some scratches on the camera, but it is still in good working condition.
The camera comes with USB out and TV OUT cables. It is compatible with Microsoft Windows 2000, ME, and XP. When it is just me checking the pictures I view them on my computer. When my husband has a few friends over I have to hook it up to the TV, so they can all see what they are missing by sitting on the couch instead of being out in their tree stands.
For Our Purposes...
This is one heck of camera. The Moultrie MFH-DGS-200 Digital Camera lets my husband know what game is running the trails and the best times for him to be in the stand. It shows me when I need to be there to get the wild life photographs I love to take with my regular camera. We have several pictures of deer, coyote, turkey, fox, raccoons, and squirrels. My son was having trouble with someone vandalizing his car. He borrowed this camera and was able to get pictures of the person to give to the police. While it has multiple uses, I like the Moultrie MFH-DGS-200 Digital Camera for the wildlife I get to see without having to sit in 10F degree weather, with snow up to my knees.
This was a gift, but can be found online in the $160 price range.
You can now see photos taken with this camera at http://epi-cmaw63.pbwiki.com/Electronics
Hunters...need a scope? I recommend the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9 X 40 Riflescope
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