Moultrie Game Spy M-990i
Moultrie did some work when they updated an older but popular camera of theirs. The Moultrie Products MCG-12634 10MP M990I Digital Camera is a great update to the 880i and is one of their flagship series. This update has a lot of recommended features that customers have been clamoring about since the old gen 2 880i.
Using typical Moultrie camo style, they did a little research and redesigned the case from the ground up. A workhorse that can hide in plain sight while trail hunting, it still falters a bit when used as home security since it doesn’t blend in well. The company uses the same signature bulky design that all have associated with Moultrie, but the edges are a lot more refined in this version.
Weight & Dimensions
There is a lot of heft to the unit, weighing a good 1.5 pounds with dimensions of 3.5x6x9.5 inches. It is still a beast and can take some punishment, new version or not. They even improved some of the elements with the edges, so even though it looks like the same shape, it is changed enough to where you may be able to squeeze into an area that was otherwise inaccessible.
Moultrie products are user friendly by default, and this one is no different. All levels can user this, with advanced users sure to be satisfied with this revision if they were disappointed with the last. There are a ton of changes so expect a little bit of a learning curve for new and old users, but nothing too substantial.
Rugged and hard to break, the company continues padding its legacy with hard to break cameras. There are no weak spots in the cameras defense, as it even manages to protect the built in LCD screen. The company was smart about placement and put it in a secure place protected by the casing itself. You’re not going to get any surprise breaks in the base of this unit.
Pictures and Video
Boasting an all new and reworked inside, the 10MP are killer on this camera for pictures and videos. Pictures are taken in full widescreen HD at 16:9 and performs at the same level during night time. Video quality has also been up, and it smoothly records 720p video at a high frame rate. This is definitely one of Moultrie’s power players and a big departure from their budget cameras.
Using only 8AA batteries users can get 17,000 photos before having to worry about replacing the power. That is a good amount for a 10MP camera and it is all thanks to compression and great power saving features. This is a high end camera in Moultrie’s lineup, so anything less than the best power saving would be a disappointment.
A strong 10MP resolution that takes great day time and night time photos, with full 720p video. Trigger speed is less than a second and compliments the 50ft. detection range and 70ft. flash range. Using Invisible 940NM IR LED flash technology, the camera is able to take stunning photos from a distance or up close with a low error percentage. Every picture will come out looking perfect and with little chance of their being blur. The case is bulky and strong, hiding a rich 2 inch LCD screen from damage. All images can be marked with info strips that are customizable, so you can add whatever pertinent information you want to each and every photo. The price is incredible for a top tier camera, and it’s from a well-known and respected brand name.
Only 720p when the powerful 10MP they packed onto the unit should be able to do full 1080p 1920×1080. Case design is made solely for trail hunting and is not really good for home security. And even with some improvements to the design, it is still big and bulky compared to sleeker cameras in the same tier and with the same protection. Several generations of the same unit am dot still hasn’t made an improvement to the trigger speed since the M-880 Gen2. The same goes for the recovery time which has been at 5 seconds since the creation of the first model.
How People View It
The love the simplicity of the whole unit, but some have made it a point to voice their frustration with the cable lock feature which completely keeps the unit from being accessed. This is a slight oversight by the company, but reviewers claim it is smaller enough to overlook due to the other great features. Video was praised for being the best in the entire Moultrie lineup, as they slowly make strides to catch up with the media quality of the big boys. Buyers that have owned the previous model point out key differences between the two and mention that it was worth the upgrade if any previous owner was considering it.
The camera is a very good value, especially for users that are coming over from the previous generation. For this low a price you’re getting access to Moultrie’s best camera, and one that finally has the media chops to compete with other high end cameras. It’s a great value dollar for dollar.
With the upgrades that Moultrie made to the unit, it is futureproof and can surpass 5 years. Even with rough usage, the casing is such good quality that this unit is expected to run 10 years without issues. But the 5 years is in place as many users may want to consider an upgrade to this flagship model if they come out with an update. The next version may very well have the much wanted 1080p video feature!
The rare cameras are actually going to be the older products that came before this one. As the newer generation comes out, you may see a decline in this camera’s availability as well. Considering how fresh this one is in the customer’s mind, it will be a while before that happens anyway.
The Browning STRIKE FORCE Sub Micro Trail Camera is a comparable unit at about the same price. It has the same 10MP camera and a nice, rugged solid case. On top of that the trigger time is only 0.67 seconds, beating out the M-990i. But where Moultrie has Browning beat is in overall polish. There are few weak points in the M-990i, whether it is daytime viewing, night time, configurations or ease of use. It is a camera that just works, and that is hard to find.
No one is really going to realistically stop Moultrie from dominating the budget camera market, and for good reason. This is their best camera yet, and it covers a lot of the sore spots of their previous models. The only thing that they could change would be making better design decisions for customers that want to lock up their unit and still access the main functions.
Other than 1080p, this camera has everything you would ever want in a trail camera. Moultrie has really stepped up their game to deliver something that is really powerful yet easy to use for all levels of users.