Moultrie completely changed the world of trail cameras on its head when it released the Panoramic 150 . The first panoramic trail camera ever produced, this product basically does the work of three cameras in one, leading many hunters to proclaim it as the single best trail camera currently on the market. While there is no doubt that it is an outstanding product, in this Moultrie Panoramic 150 review we’ll put it to the test to see whether or not it truly deserves the title of best trail cam.
Moultrie Panoramic 150 Review
Long considered one of the top manufacturers of wildlife feeders , Moultrie also produces a wide range of excellent trail cam options as well. Nonetheless, the release of the Panoramic 150 made people really start to take more notice. By being able to take three images at one time, it allows you to take a full panoramic image instead of the more limited frame of vision provided by most other trail cameras. Despite basically doing the work of three cameras in one, the Panoramic 150 price doesn’t reflect this. It’s a mid-priced camera well within most people’s reach.
When triggered, the camera swivels across 150-degrees, taking three pictures that are combined into one panoramic image. As this panoramic image is made from three separate pictures, it doesn’t combine perfectly, meaning you’ll see some overlap in each of the pictures. This shouldn’t be much of an issue though, as it doesn’t really obstruct or distract from each individual image. Plus, with its 150-degree detection range being nearly three times as wide as the next closest competitor, it’s really the only way you can monitor such a wide area without having to mount multiple cameras. In fact, due to the slight overlap in the images, you can really just think about it as three cameras in one.
Of course, you could always mount three separate cameras and cover a similar amount of area, meaning that it’s also important to consider other factors, as detection angle is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to choosing the best trail camera.
Features and Ease of Use
Along with panoramic mode, the camera can also take a single image from any of the three positions (left, right or center). The camera can also be set to take two or three-shot bursts, time-lapse images or HD video with sound. A hybrid mode is also available that makes use of the time-lapse function, while also allowing the camera to be triggered by the PIR motion sensor.
An LCD screen and backlit buttons make it super simple to change between the various modes and also to set the motion capture delay function if desired, which puts the camera into sleep mode for a specified period of time after the camera is triggered. The delay can be set to a range of different intervals between 5 seconds and 60 minutes.
For nighttime shots, you can also select between extended flash range and reduced motion blur modes. The first mode helps to maximize visibility, while the latter helps to improve the overall clarity of the images.
All of this adds up to a camera that’s both incredibly easy to use and offers a decent range of features. Still, this is another area where the 150-degree panoramic range is still the star of the show. However, it’s important to note that both the single shot mode and video modes utilize only one of the three positions and thus only have a 50-degree field of vision.
Another important factor is durability, as you’ll want to have the confidence that your camera won’t break or fail when you need it most. In this respect, the Panoramic 150 does fairly well due to its camo casing. Moultrie has gained quite a reputation for producing extremely strong, ultra-durable trail cams, and this one is no different, despite the large black glass that covers part of its exterior. Although it’s amongst the heaviest cameras out there, you shouldn’t have to worry about damage even if it happens to fall out of a tree a few times.
Still, although it’s quite ruggedly built, it also happens to be one of the biggest game cameras on the market. Measuring 7 inches tall x 5.2 inches wide x 4.6 deep and weighing in at just over 1.5 pounds, it will still be fairly noticeable hanging on a tree, despite its Mossy Oak Treestand camo.
One thing that may count a big against it in terms of durability is the fact that the camera has to swivel across the field of vision. Although it does this silently, the fact that it has moving parts seems to suggest it could be more susceptible to breaking than others. Nonetheless, it does come with a one-year warranty, so at least you’ll be covered should something happen during the first season you use it.
With a 1-second trigger speed, the Panoramic 150 ranks right about in the middle of most trail cameras. Although you can easily find cameras that take as little as half a second from the time the sensor detects movement until the image is taken, the 1-second reaction time on this camera is still quite decent and should be plenty fast enough to ensure you get the shot—especially considering its detection range.
Recovery time is another major factor in a good trail camera. You want a camera that can reset itself quickly when capturing images in succession. In this respect, the Panoramic 150 falls a bit behind the industry leaders. There are a few cameras out there with recovery times as low as one to two seconds whereas with this camera, it takes approximately six seconds from the time the camera is triggered until it is ready to take another image.
On the other hand, six seconds doesn’t seem so bad when you consider that the average time is still around 10 seconds. You also need to consider the fact that this camera is actually taking three images in that time, so in a sense the recovery time is actually only two seconds per image.
The Panoramic 150 features an 8-megapixel camera, slightly below the quality of the highest 12 and 10-megapixel cameras. In fact, its 8 MP camera puts it right about in the middle again.
Daytime images are generally quite crisp, clear and have a high enough resolution to allow you to zoom in on them on your computer without them becoming too overly grainy. The added nighttime features also ensure that these images turn out just as clear and high quality as the daytime images, while the camera also takes surprisingly high quality videos. The pictures might not be ones you’ll want to hang on your wall, but they’re probably not that far off.
Here’s a video of a fox caught with the Panoramic 150:
Considering all of the above factors, it definitely seems that it fully deserves to be named among the top trail cameras on the market. While it may only be average in some respects as you’ve seen from this Moultrie Panoramic 150 review, the fact that it is able to capture panoramic images with such a wide range of vision more than makes up for any minor shortcomings.