In this review of the Moultrie M-880, we’ll go over all the aspects of the popular new trail camera. So popular in fact, that at the time of this writing, Moultrie is actually out of stock! Not a problem though, as there are several quality merchants you can pick one up from.
A good trail camera can be a great tool for the sportsman who wants to take pictures of game day or night, monitor his property for pests or wild animals, or just have surveillance in areas where he can’t be. On that same note, a bad one can make that same task extremely frustrating.
The 880 is a perfect example of a trail camera that can successfully monitor your best hunting spots and take crystal-clear, 8 megapixel HD pictures and video while you’re at home or in another place.
The Moultrie M-880 Full Review
Power and Battery Life
The M-880 takes 8 AA batteries via a slide-out tray for easy changing while still mounted. The batteries last for an extremely long time, considering the device is continuously ready to capture images. In fact, it can take up to 9500 images on a single set.
The battery life for the low-resting state is reasonable, and the night time power consumption is slightly above average. However, this is challenged and perhaps offset by a higher average day time power use.
In several Moultrie M-880 reviews, users noted that overall, the M-880’s battery life is good enough to last 4 to 6 months on the set of 8 Lithium batteries, or about 2 months on rechargeable batteries. Whichever you choose, battery life is not a problem with this camera.
This model from Moultrie is a low-glow infrared camera, so it’s not completely invisible to wildlife. The Illumi-Night sensor provides bright and clear night time images and has a feature called ‘Motion Freeze’ that almost completely eliminates night time blur. The manufacturer reports four operational modes for the 880:
- Infrared-triggered game camera
- Time-lapse plot camera
- HD video day or night, and
- Plot camera by day, infrared camera at night
The camera is small, makes very little shot noise, and easily blends in with its environment, thanks to a nice-looking, natural paint job.
The detection range of the M-880 is just as wide as the field of view. The manufacturer notes that the detection zone is 40 feet, which is the distance at which the camera will start detecting 100% of in-frame motion. After testing the camera in the actual field, many users report a more accurate detection zone is more like 60 feet.
An animal that comes even a foot into the detection zone gets its picture taken, which is good news for getting a string of shots of the fast moving ones.
In this review, I’ll be comparing the trigger speed of the M-880 to the previous model, the best-selling M-80XT, which had a good speed itself. The M-880 practically blows the previous model out of the water, though. It has a .88 second trigger time, which is fast enough to capture even the quickest subjects. It also has a 2.6 second recovery time, which is one of the fastest on the market, and really contributes to the camera’s effectiveness when you don’t want any lag time between shots. Pair this with the FastFire continuous shot option that takes 1 to 4 pictures per second, or the Multi-shot mode that takes 1 to 3 photos, and you’ve got enough footage to really monitor the fastest game out there.
SD Card Capacity
The SD card slot in the M-880 allows for up to 32GB, but the memory card is not included. 32GB is a smart size to purchase though, as you’ll want to capture as many pictures and videos as your batteries will allow without running out of room. If you regularly check your camera, you can safely get a smaller card without worrying.
Many a Moultrie M-880 owner find the camera’s image quality really above average. It has a very wide flash range for night photos, bursting light all the way across the image. However, if you set the camera to Multi-shot or FastFire mode, the first picture is a little darker than all the following ones. The Motion Freeze function works well, but it results in a darker picture, which is basic camera shutter speed science. The quicker your shutter speed, the less motion blur you’ll have, but the less light is let in, so the darker your photo. Not a problem with day time shots.
Many other reviewers have had the opportunity to test the M-880 in snowy environments, where light reflection can often “blow out” or overexpose the photos. Overexposure doesn’t seem to be a problem for this camera, though a more varied, colorful environment provides much more contrast to the photos.
Photos taken with the M-880 are 8 MP (megapixel) JPEG files, HD videos are .avi files, and both are compatible with Mac or PC operating systems.
The dimensions of the camera are 9.9 x 6.2 x 3.4 inches. It weighs about 1.4 pounds.
- Password protected deters thieves
- Integrated strap loop with Python cable capability (not included)
- Low-glow infrared sensor
- 40-foot detection zone
- .88 second trigger time
- 2.6 second recovery time
- FastFire continuous shot mode
- Supports 32GB SD card
- 8.0 megapixel photos
- 100-foot night range
- Python cable capability for ultimate security
- USB cable
- Deluxe tree mount
Consumer Ratings (out of 5 stars)
Amazon – 4.4 stars
TrailCamPro – 4 stars
Cabela’s – 4.8 stars
B & H Photo and Video – 4.5 stars
- Fast trigger speed
- Wide range of detection
- Picture quality
- Ease of use
- 1 year manufacturer warranty
- Frequent firmware updates
- Separately install software
- Best seller on a lot of sites, so availability can be limited
Our Moultrie M-880 Review Conclusion
The Moultrie M-880 has great ratings and reviews across the board, and generally feels and performs like a camera twice its price. This is a definite buy, especially for the low price it comes in at.
The cost of the camera varies, but Bass Pro, Wal-Mart and Amazon all feature very competitive pricing around $130. Bass Pro offers free shipping on orders over $75 with coupon code FREE75, and Amazon almost always offers free shipping, and no tax in most states.
Overall, you’ll notice that our review of the Moultrie M-880 is overwhelmingly positive, and it seems to be a great trail camera option for any outdoors enthusiast looking for true product value.
You can read all the reviews on Amazon, and if you’re ready, buy one for about the lowest price around.