When this all started and someone mentioned that Primos was getting into the scouting camera (like MOULTRIE M-999I MINI GAME CAMERA )business I was pleasantly surprised. Early this year when we still had those really nice cold nights and great spring days we received a big box of cameras, we were to do the pre release testing to aid in a smooth first year of sales. During this period the Catalogs came out and everyone began to see what was going to be available and the features along with prices. One of the guys said PRIMOS; I think this is going to stand for Primos Rips Into Moultries Overpriced Sales once he looked at the prices. This is their top model and it is less than $180 and has a grab bag full of features. Resolutions go 2, 3.1, 5, and 7 MP and video settings at 640X480 in two settings of 15 and 30 seconds. The low rez 320X240 has three settings of 15, 30 and 60 seconds. This is great; the delay goes 5, 10, and 30 seconds 1, 30, and 60 minutes. I am starting to see that Moultrie comment may have a little weight. Big ole block letters on the box also says that the trigger time is 1.3 seconds which is very nice if the tests prove it to be true. The flash has a big count of 60 emitters and the program will allow you to turn either all on or reduce to 36 emitters when you do not need to see that far down range. This will help on battery life also. Missing is the USB out and TV out jacks so all data is transferred to your reading device by the SD card. Around back we have another surprise and that is a pipe through for the use of the trusty Python cable for security. The door has a small loop for a lock. At the bottom of the camera behind the door lip is a rubber plug that covers the SD card slot next to a 6 volt external battery port. This means the door has to be open to remove the SD card. The SD card size is up to 8 gigs maximum which is a plenty. Also on the back is four 14X20 threaded inserts that will accept the optional adjustable mounting bracket. The front of the camera has a giant big 60 count array at the top with a nice little roof. Just below that is the camera lens which also has a small roof. Centered on the camera is the PIR lens which has two status lamps, one on each side. A concentric PIR sensor lens is used rather than the multi zone so sensing is as tall as it is wide with this setup. Bottom front has the LCD window which also has a little roof. The whole front of the camera is camouflaged in what they call the Matrix pattern that is a early fall color and scheme. To get into this camera there is a door that covers the bottom half of the front and has only one latch with the lock loop built in to secure the door. There are strap loops located on the back to accept the supplied nylon mounting strap. There are raised points on each side to bite into the tree. With the door open you will see the battery compartments 2 D cells each side tube style with the LCD and programming/power switches between these tubes.
Four pre tested Ray O Vac D cells stuffed in the tubes following the polarity indicators brought this camera to life and ready to program. Programming was simple and easy and the booklet was written pretty well but they left out the Specification chart. During the programming the following areas are adjustable, Flash, sensing, burst, delay, and resolutions. After programmed it takes 30 seconds to arm and start taking pictures. Just hit the run button. To turn off hit the run button again until the LCD comes on then hit off. The two status lights on the front of the camera are very useful but also a problem. The red indicator tells you that the camera has detected movement and can be use to finalize aim and the green light tells you that a picture has been taken and it is being written to the card. These are useful items during setup but they need a small piece of black electrical tape over them when the camera is deployed to help hide the camera and lessen the spook factor. The big array is enough spook material for any one camera and the two flashing lights could draw attention towards the camera where they will pick up on the array going off.
I hit the small patch of woods and ran a couple quick walk tests to gather a couple sample pictures and then hit the dark room to do the same. All came out above average. The little small delay time makes doing testing so much easier and much more can be accomplished in a shorter period of time not having to wait for the clock to run to take that next picture. Not wanting to go much further until I knew that we had a trigger time to match the excellent delay times I stuck it on the bench and recorded a bunch of times that look to be just over a second. Now I know that opening comment not only will kick a little dust over in the Moultrie sales department it might cause a little vacuum cleaning exercises in other manufactures sales departments also. This is the first year but we know where these cameras came from so that company so far has a pretty good reputation as far as moving up in reliability year after year so because of what we know about their history these cameras should do just fine. The guarantee and how well they back their products has been proven for years with all their other products so we feel Primos will stand up and take care of any problems that may arise. I do feel very good and because of the few things we found during the pre release we think this camera will be much better after all the promised upgrades so I double checked and found to be corrected on the post release cameras.
06-13-2010 update: Again I will say that we have waded into a fair share of the 2010 Moultrie cams and one of the 2010 Stealth cams (which we didnt even bother to open a review on) and the features, function, and picture quality does not come up to what we found on this camera. Sensing was out to sixty feet on a very warm 85 degree evening. The flash range set on high (we will test the low setting later) was past 50 feet. The night IR pictures were surprisingly good and clear. The only bad thing we noted during these tests was a pretty good filter clunk.
07-11-2010 update: Being in the wild this last week we did not get a lot of pictures but what we did get (over 40) none were white outs. Battery life is still hanging in there at 70+% and it is still going. Being in a better lighted area has stopped the whiteout problem we had seen while we had it stuck under the heavy canopy. We will give this another week and see what else happens, as of now it is still running strong and doing a good job.
08-01-2010 update: Another week and few pictures but still no whiteouts. Batteries finally gave up and we got a total of 483 pictures and 84 videos for a run of 37 days. We have a new set of cells in it again and will give it another chance to see how long it will last.
08-14-2010 update: This camera has given us a lot of pleasure during the tests. It has been a long ride through the pre production and on after the production cameras made it out. Other than wanting to give us some white out pictures under heavy canopy this camera has done well and the thump issue got a little factory attention so that is not much of a problem any more. We are going to close this review for not and start on the Truth X cam which has been long waiting for its turn in the arena.
08-29-2010 update: The field tests are still on going and should be closed this week. We had planned on getting the final results last week but the load has been high. Pending is a second battery life test which we will post when complete..