Review of the Moultrie TRACE Premise Surveillance Camera MCS-12639
by nosleK ssoR
July 22, 2014
The Moultrie TRACE (Tactical Recording and Capture Equipment) Premise Surveillance Camera MCS-12639 lets you record what is happening on your property when you are not there to see it yourself. This 8-megapixel motion-sensor camera can snap a picture in less than second as well as record hours of high definition video. It features an Illumi-night sensor that ensures bright, clear nighttime images.
First impressions and observations
The camera has a hard protective case for weather resistance. Inside, it has sixteen LED lights for flashes for better pictures at night. The camera lens, power port, Infrared AIM (IRAIM) on/off switch, status indicator, Menu and navigation buttons are located below the LEDs. Below the IRAIM switch is the LCD display that lets you configure the camera. The battery compartment eject button is on the bottom of the camera. The MCS-12639 feels well-constructed, and the case is sure to keep the camera safe from different weather conditions. It comes with a flexible bracket and can be mounted anywhere. It also features password control for added security. It supports up to a 32 GB SD memory card. The camera is advertised to be capable of taking 16,000 images with eight AA-cell batteries.
Putting it to use
You can set the Moultrie MCS-12639 surveillance camera to operate 24 hours a day or schedule it to turn on at specific times. It can record in high definition if needed. The camera supports up to a 32 GB memory card (not included), which allows you to capture and store thousands of still images or hours of video footage.
We put eight AA batteries into the camera and turned it on. It took several seconds to initialize. After it booted up, we set a password and played with the configurations for a couple of minutes. That was all the time we needed to feel like a moderately expert user of the Moultrie MCS-12639. Despite the small LCD display, the camera interface was very user friendly. The menu and navigation system is intuitive, and anyone who has experience with point and shoot digital cameras will have no problem setting up this camera for first time use.
For test purposes, we set the camera to record from 10 to 10:30 a.m. and 8 to 9:30 p.m. We placed it in front of our office and pointed the lens toward the entrance. Once everything was in place, we noticed that the Moultrie MCS-12639 has a very wide-angle lens. It can record a large area in front of it. For example, it had our whole office covered from only 20 feet away. However, in order for it to focus on a more specific area, you need to activate the IRAIM to set the center of its focus. This is easy to do. All you need to do is switch it on and then go in front of the camera, moving closer to center until the Aim LED is at its brightest.
We did some quick movements in front of the camera to see how well it captured the image. For example, we ran past it, flipped coins, moved our hands, and opened and closed doors and windows. During the morning recording period, the Moultrie MCS-12639 took excellent pictures every time there was some motion in front of it. We programmed it to take HD video, too, which it also did well.
However, about 40% of the nighttime pictures it took came out slightly blurry. This was disappointing, so we checked the Moultrie website for a solution and found out that the MCS-12639 had a firmware upgrade, which we installed. After this easy upgrade process, the camera took clear pictures in 95% of the cases, day or night. It sensed a moving squirrel 25 feet away in complete darkness and took relatively bright and clear photos of it. It is highly energy efficient, too. The battery indicator showed it still had 79% battery life left after taking about 935 pictures.
The Moultrie TRACE Premise Surveillance Camera MCS-12639 is a great camera for constant surveillance of a fixed portion of your property. It could be used for scouting, recording wildlife, or as a way to monitor your home when you're away, having peace of mind knowing that Moultrie will keep record of any activity on your property. HomeGear gives it its highest rating, Four Lights On: Excellent and Highly Recommended.
* 8.0 megapixel infrared surveillance camera
* Under 1-second trigger speed
* Up to 50-ft night range
* Illumi-night sensor provides bright, clear nighttime images
* Motion freeze reduces nighttime blur
* Password protection
* SD memory card slot — up to 32 GB (not included)