Photography / Hands-on Review

The Moultrie Panoramic 150: Game-Changing Trail Camera


Until now, trail and wildlife cameras have been somewhat limited in their field of view. Meet the Moultrie Panoramic 150, a camera featuring 3 PIR motion sensors that together cover an extremely wide 150-degree angle of view, revolutionizing trail photography. Utilizing a rotating lens that allows a shot to be captured at each sensor in quick succession, the camera effectively triples the lens's angle of view, allowing it to capture game activity that would be missed by a standard trail camera.

The sensors have an approximate detection range of 35-45' and a trigger speed of less than 1 second. The camera captures clear 16:9 JPEG photos and AVI videos of wildlife with its 8MP CMOS image sensor, autofocusing lens, and attached 30-LED low-glow infrared flash, which is located directly under the lens. In panoramic mode, when any of the three motion sensors detects motion, the camera will take a photo at left, center, and right positions. The lens and flash pan from one side of the camera to the other to accomplish this, capturing all three images in slightly more than three seconds. Then, lens and flash pan back to the starting position. The camera stitches these 3 photos together to create a panoramic image covering a 150-degree field of view. It sure beats strapping 3 trail cams to a tree.

The Panoramic 150 is advertised as having a "silent-slide rotating lens," and though its movement is, in fact, slightly audible from a few feet away in a quiet environment, it won't be enough to spook the game prowling the woods or your backyard. This virtually silent panning lens works with the low-glow infrared flash to keep camera operation unobtrusive, so animals will stay put long enough to be photographed.

As an alternative to panoramic mode, the camera also offers a single mode, in which the lens and flash start in the center position. If the middle sensor detects movement, the camera will capture a shot in the starting position. If either the right or left sensor detects movement, the lens and flash will slide to that position so the camera can capture a photo there, returning to the center position afterwards. The process of sliding, capturing, and returning to center takes about 1.5 seconds.

The delay interval between photos taken by this camera can be set for when motion is detected and a subject remains in range. Choose from 5, 15, and 30 seconds, or 1, 5, 10, 30, and 60 minutes. The camera is also capable of capturing up to three quick-sequence photos each time motion is detected in multi-shot mode, which is an option within single mode.

The On/Off switch is also the Aim switch that allows the IR sensors to run a detection test before beginning to capture images. When Aim is selected, the red Aim LED light on the front of the camera will turn on for two seconds and then turn off at intervals while the sensor performs the IR test.  

In addition to motion-detection mode, the camera is capable of time-lapse photography. Twice a day for 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours at a time, it captures a series of images at a specified interval and combines them to create a time-lapse video. Choose from 30-second, 60-second, 2-minute, and 5-minute intervals. The first series begins 15 minutes before sunrise and the second ends 15 minutes after sunset. The camera will detect correct sunrise and sunset times automatically and adjust itself accordingly, but this will take 24 hours. By default, the camera will start the morning time-lapse series at 5:45 a.m. and end the evening series at 6:15 p.m. Additionally, in certain settings, the camera can still be motion-triggered to take a photo while in time-lapse mode. There is even a Hybrid Mode that allows the Panoramic 150 to operate in time-lapse mode during the day and motion-detection mode at night, beginning 30 minutes after dusk.

You can record not only time-lapse videos but also live movies, which are captured in HD 720p or VGA 848 x 480 resolution at 24 fps—with sound. Video-clip length is 5 to 90 seconds during the day and 20 seconds at night.

For better low-light images, the Motion Freeze setting increases minimum shutter speed to counteract subject-motion blur. Motion Freeze can be turned off to activate the camera's Extended Flash function, resulting in a longer flash range but potentially more blur from moving subjects. The flash has a maximum effective range of up to 100' at night.

The Panoramic 150 features 2 ambient light sensors. The first is a basic one that evaluates the amount of light to determine whether or not flash is needed at all. The second provides a more precise measurement of the amount of darkness present, in order to help the camera select optimal settings for flash output, white balance, exposure time, and other attributes. The camera's  CMOS image sensor then performs spot metering so that it can make any necessary final tweaks to exposure.

The camera's 2-inch LCD text screen offers menu navigation, settings selection, and information viewing. You can easily restore all settings back to the factory defaults in the menu. As the LCD does not support image review or video playback, you'll need an external SD card viewer, such as the Wingscapes Hand-Held Picture Viewer, in order to see what you've captured before you connect the camera to your computer.

The Mode Button is used to select Camera Setup or Main Screen, and also to wake up the camera and turn on the display when the camera is in power saving/ sleep mode. The Enter button, used to select the option indicated on the display, doubles as a manual shutter release for taking a picture.

Enter longitude and latitude for GPS geotagging. You can enter the coordinates down to six decimal points, which is accurate to within four inches. With this level of precision, you will be able to quickly find a camera or accurately plot game activity. This information will be stored in the EXIF data of the captured photos. Phase of the moon, temperature, time, and date can also be recorded, and will be stamped onto images at the time of capture when the info strip is on. Moon phase allows you to see what animals are inactive during a full or nearly full moon—when brighter lighting conditions will make them more visible to predators. It also helps you determine whether brighter or darker backgrounds in images are due to the moon's fullness.

The camera also allows you to input a 5-digit security code to prevent unauthorized use. The code will need to be entered each time the camera is turned on or woken up from sleep, and any time it's connected to a computer. To prevent someone from accessing the control panel in the first place or from stealing your camera, the swinging access door features a built-in loop for a padlock.Additionally, the camera has two eyelets that enable you to secure it to a tree, post or similar structure with an optional Python cable.  

The On/Off/AIM switch and all other controls, as well as the LCD, battery compartment lock, and SD card slot are protected when you close the Panoramic 150's swinging access door and engage the latch. You can feel the security of this locking mechanism when you hear the latch click firmly into place. Weather-sealing is accomplished with a rubber gasket, so you can rest assured your Panoramic 150 will remain protected against the elements when left outdoors.

There are two 1/4"-20 mounts on the camera: one on the upper rear for connection to a tree mount with a horizontal screw, and another on the bottom for connection to a tripod or tree mount with a vertical screw. Compatible optional mounts include the EZ Tree Mount and Deluxe Tree Mount. You can also use the supplied adjustable mounting strap, which is 4' long and can be threaded through the two brackets on the back of the camera and wrapped around a tree or post.

The camera records files to an SD or SDHC memory card up to 32GB. Depending on how long it will be left out, you can adjust the picture and video resolution so you won’t run out of memory before you retrieve the camera. The Moultrie 150 runs on six C-cell alkaline batteries, which are sold separately and are inserted into a slide-out compartment on the bottom. Right above the battery compartment is a 12VDC input for the connection of the optional Moultrie PowerPanel or Battery Box, both of which will extend shooting time. Directly adjacent to this power port is a mini-USB port that enables image and video transfer to your computer (USB cable sold separately).

The included instructions for setup and operation are clear and easy to follow, walking you through the setup and explaining each setting and feature in a concise, straightforward manner. It's so remarkable that it recently won a Field and Stream Best of the Best Award for 2013! The Moultrie Panoramic 150 is a groundbreaking yet easy-to-use trail camera, capable of capturing remarkably wide, clear images of wildlife in a discreet manner.  

For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.

Moultrie Panoramic 150 Trail Camera 
Camera Type  Trail/wildlife 
Resolution  Single image:
8.0 MP: 3840 x 2160 @ 16:9
6.0 MP: 3340 x 1872 @ 16:9
4.0 MP: 2560 x 1440 @ 16:9
2.0 MP: 1920 x 1080 @ 16:9
0.5 MP: 854 x 480 @ 16:9

Panoramic image:
8.0 MP: 6384 x 1197 @ approx. 11:2
6.0 MP: 5760 x 1080 @ approx. 11:2
4.0 MP: 4800 x 900 @ approx. 11:2
2.0 MP: 3360 x 630 @ approx. 11:2
0.5 MP: 2544 x 480 @ approx. 11:2

Sensor  Image sensor: CMOS
Motion sensor: 3 passive infrared (PIR) sensors with approximate detection range of 35-45' (10.7-13.7 m) 
File Formats  JPEG (EXIF)
Lens Panoramic lens
Angle of view: 50°
Focus Type Auto
Focus Range Not specified by manufacturer
Shooting Controls 
Exposure Modes  Auto 
Exposure Metering  Spot 
White Balance  Auto 
Triggering Modes Motion detection and time-lapse
Hybrid mode: time lapse during day, motion detection at night
Shooting Modes Panoramic, single shot, multi-shot
Burst Capability  Up to 3 photos in multi-shot mode
Photo Delay 5, 15 or 30 sec.; 1, 5, 10, 30, or 60 min.
Interval Recording  Yes, time-lapse
Interval: 30 or 60 sec. or 2 or 5 min.
Duration: 1, 2, 3, or 4 hr, 2x per day 
Built-in Flash  30-LED infrared 
Effective Flash Range  Up to 100' (30.5 m) at night  
Memory Card Type  SD or SDHC up to 32GB (not included) 
A/V Recording 
Recording Formats  AVI 
Video Recording  Yes 
Video Resolution  HD: 1280 x 720p @ 24 fps
VGA: 848 x 480 @ 24 fps 
Video-Clip Length 5, 10, 30, 60, or 90 sec. during day
20 sec. at night 
Audio Recording  Yes, with video 
Viewfinder Type  None 
Display Type LCD text screen 
Display Size 2.0" (5.1 cm)
Playback No
Connectivity/System Requirements 
Connectivity  mini-USB, 12 VDC IN external power port 
System & Software Requirements  Windows 7, Vista or XP 
Weatherproofing  Yes, rubber gasket
Battery Type  6x C-cell alkaline batteries (not included)
PowerPanel or Battery Box for extended shooting time (not included)
Mounting 2x 1/4"-20 mounts
2x Brackets for included mounting strap
2x Eyelets for optional Python cable
Dimensions 5.0 x 6.5 x 4.75" (12.7 x 16.5 x 12.1 cm) including strap eyelets