MOULTRIE PANORAMIC 150 GAME CAMERA
Just prior to the 2013 deer season, I purchased a Moultrie Panoramic 150 Game Camera. Over the past couple of years, I’ve used this trail camera extensively in both Texas and Washington and I’m pretty satisfied with my purchase. Read on to get all the details on my Moultrie Panoramic 150 Game Camera review.
The MOULTRIE PANORAMIC 150 GAME CAMERA (and the upgraded version, the Moultrie Panoramic P-150i) is the only panoramic game camera on the market today that I’m aware of. Introduced by Moultrie in 2013, the Panoramic 150 has three motion sensors and a rotating camera lens that dramatically increases the field of view of the Moultrie Panoramic 150 compared to a traditional trail camera. Though Moultrie advertises a 150° field of view, I think it is actually closer to 120°, which is still a tremendous improvement over a traditional trail camera. This extremely wide field of view gives the user the ability to practically have three cameras in one.
The rotating camera can take pictures three distinct “zones” across the camera’s field of view. According to the preferences of the user, the Moultrie Panoramic 150 can take a single photo in whatever zone triggered the camera, a video in a single zone, sequential photos in all three zones stitched together in a panoramic photo, or time lapse photos for a specified time period. The camera is also set up to take photographs and video at night using a “Low Glow” infrared flash.
The primary feature of the Moultrie Panoramic 150 is its ability to detect movement and take photos over an extremely wide field of view. As you can see in the photo sequence below, the camera originally detected the little buck in the right most zone and photographed of him as he approached. The camera then switched to the center zone when the deer was directly in front of the camera. This example demonstrates the usefulness of the camera’s wide field of view. If the buck did not move directly in front of the camera, but instead kept moving off to the right side, a traditional camera would not have ever known he was there.
The Moultrie Panoramic 150 also takes very high quality photographs at night. The camera has a “motion freeze” feature that significantly reduces blur on moving animals during the night. As you can see in the photograph below, the infrared flash also has a very long range and can illuminate objects 50+ feet away. Additionally, the photos are of high enough quality that the viewer can pick out all of the details present, such as the tiny nubs on the young buck in the photo below.
The other really cool feature of the Moultrie Panoramic 150 is the ability to take panoramic photos. As you can see in the photo below, the panoramic photos are of pretty high quality. When viewing the images on a computer, you can zoom in quite a bit to see all sorts of small details in the photo. There are some slight issues with the images not lining up 100% where the photos are stitched together, but I consider the problem to be pretty minor.
The biggest problem that I have with the panoramic mode is the movement and noise created by the camera rotating. I was actually in a tree stand observing the little buck in the photo below as he ate from the feeder. Since he kept moving around in front of the camera, it kept taking panoramic photos of the scene. He heard or saw the movement of the lens and got spooked as a result.
After I observed this incident, I immediately changed the settings on the camera to take only single zone photos. I later observed several other deer, including the same little buck, eat from the feeder and they took no notice of the camera. Though the camera is not excessively loud or disruptive, it pays to be very conservative when operating the camera in close proximity to animals to avoid spooking them. Due to this, I only use panoramic mode when I have the camera located a moderate distance (>10 yards) from where I expect game to be while taking time lapse photos.
As mentioned above, the Moultrie Panoramic 150 can be programmed to take time lapse photos of an area that you wish to photograph, but where the camera will not necessarily be traditionally triggered, such as a food plot. The camera will take photos at a programmed interval during two periods over the course of the day: the morning and evening. As you can imagine, this results in a tremendous number of photos being taken, which dramatically reduces battery life.
To illustrate, I recently enabled the time lapse feature on my camera and set it out for 6 days. It took one photo each minute for the first and last three hours of daylight each day and was motion activated during the night. During this period, the camera took over 2,000 photos and the batteries were showing less than 20% power remaining when I took the camera down. Obviously, most of the photos were of empty forest, but there were a few interesting sequences and it was useful for learning about how the animals moved in the area. Below is a very small sample of those photos.
The Moultrie Panoramic 150 can also record video footage of game animals. Though the daytime video quality is not great, it is still pretty good, as you can see in the video of the bear. However, I’m very impressed with the quality of videos taken during the night with this camera. The infrared flash illuminates everything within about 60 feet of the camera very well and allows the viewer to pick out lots of detail in the scene.
The Moultrie Panoramic 150 comes standard painted in Mossy Oak Treestand camouflage pattern. This, combined with the “Low Glow” infrared flash is supposed to make the camera much more difficult to spot when placed in the woods. Though not invisible by any means, the camera blends in reasonably well with the natural foliage, especially when placed on a tree of similar color.
As you can see in the photo above, the camera is also set up to be compatible with Python Security cables (sold separately). I’ve used 3/16″ and 5/16″ cables with this particular camera and both work well, though a 5/16″ cable is the largest cable that will easily fit through the loops on the back of the camera.
Both Moultrie and CamLockBox make security boxes specifically designed for to provide additional protection for the Moultrie Panoramic 150 from bears and unscrupulous humans alike. Though they provide a certain amount of peace of mind, neither the cables nor the security boxes can be relied upon to stop a determined thief.
It is possible register the camera by serial number with Moultrie and set up a password on the camera that is required before use, which I highly recommend. Even if a person does steal the camera, the password may prevent them from using it. It also gives the user a slight chance that a stolen camera may one day be returned to the user. Especially if using the camera on public land, I recommend taking all possible precautions to prevent your camera from being stolen.
Additionally, though I wasn’t using a security box, I did discover that a security cable will prevent a bear from pulling the camera off a tree, as you can see in the video below. Bears are very curious animals and many hunters have had their cameras damaged by bears over the years. Using the camera in conjunction with a security box is probably a good idea for users in bear country.
The “Low Glow” infrared flash is not invisible either, but does not have a large signature that will attract attention. When looking directly at the flash at night, the lights simply glow red while the camera is taking photographs or video. An animal or human that happens to be looking directly at the camera will probably notice the lights, but they are not excessively bright or attention grabbing.