Moultrie S-50i Review


Moultrie S-50i Review Moultrie S50i game camera review

The S-50i excels in many areas (picture/video quality, detection speed, setup) but has a flaw that is hard to overlook… You will end up spending a lot of money on batteries. – TCP Staff

Model # MCG-13183

S-50i FAQ’s

Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:


  • Outstanding image quality
  • Fast picture detection and 80 ft. detection range
  • Good case design and easy setup options
  • Poor battery life even though it uses 12 AA batteries
  • Slowish video detection

Picture Quality:

Photo resolution: 20 mpxl (interpolated)

Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 w/ audio

Flash Type: Low glow IR

Picture quality is very strong. Day pictures have beautiful color, good clarity, realistic depth, and stops motion very well. These are among the better day pictures we have seen all year.

Night pictures have even flash distribution, perfect clarity, self-adjusting flash, and good flash range. Overall, Moultrie did an outstanding job with the picture quality on the S-50i MCG-13183 game camera.

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Video quality mimics picture quality. Very good overall.

Megapixel Ratings:

In the past, many people get confused with the megapixel rating trail camera manufacturers advertise. Companies inflate the mpxl rating to attract eyes to their products. They do this through interpolation, which digitally adds megapixels to a photo without actually improving the picture.

The best way to judge picture quality is to look at actual pictures. You will notice this the most when you zoom in on a full-size image that a camera has taken. The details of the photo will appear hazy or even digitized. This is normal, and to be expected.

Battery Life

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Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 2.85 mW

Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 1.33 Ws | 9.94 Ws

Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 16.3 Ws | 200.58 Ws

This camera uses 12 AA batteries in series. The power consumption is very high, producing poor results in battery life.

Picture Mode

If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the 2017 S-50i would last 5.7 months in the field on a set of 12 AA Lithium Batteries. This is very poor for a non-cellular trailcam that uses 12 AA batteries.

Video Mode

If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 1.5 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. This is an inefficient video camera.

Whether in picture or video mode, the S-50i burns through batteries too quickly and would be expensive to continuously replace 12 Lithium batteries.

Detection Circuit:

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.31 s. / 1.1 s.

Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.77 s. / 2.6 s.

Detection Range & Angle: 80 ft. | 24.9° (34.1° F.O.V.)

Picture trigger and recovery times are both very fast. Video trigger is slow but recovery is well above average.

In our testing, the S-50i detected out to 80 ft. Overall, this is a solid detection zone.

Quality of Design:

Dimensions: 5″ x 4.5″ x 3″

Battery Type: 12 AA Batteries

External Battery Jack: 12-Volt

The Moultrie S50i is a wide camera and is larger than most modern cameras. The plastic molding is thick and feels sturdy. The latch is unorthodox and feels flimsy, but probably is more durable than it looks. It is easy to manipulate and we’ve had no problems with it.

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The camera has a python bracket on the front and back of the camera, we like the ability to lock the sd card in the camera with a python bracket on the front. The threaded Slate River Angle Mount insert is located on the bottom of the camera. The battery tray removes easily and the batteries load and unload easily.

Setting the camera up is relatively easy and is helped by the nice internal view screen. Popular settings include:

  • Security Code
  • SD Card Overwrite
  • IR Shutter Adjustment (Motion Freeze)
  • Hybrid Mode (Photo + Video on each detection)
  • PIR sensitivity

The internal viewer allows for easy picture and video playback. It is especially handy as a live preview to make sure the camera is angled properly.

Through our 2-year warranty program on the trail cameras we sell, we are able to track warranty rates on all trailcam manufacturers. We do not publish this data but Moultrie game cameras were one of our most durable cameras the last two years. This is a new model, so we will continue to keep an eye on this going forward. If an issue arises, we will update this Moultrie S-50i Review immediately.

Enjoy our reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.

FAQ’s: Moultrie S-50i Game Camera

Q: How do I view the pictures?

A: There are a number of ways to do this. Pictures/videos are stored on the SD card you place in the camera. The S-50i has an internal picture viewer for viewing pics/vids in the field.

  • View pictures on your computer. Plug the SD card in a desktop computer or laptop via the built-in SD card reader or use a USB reader if your computer doesn’t have one. This method works for most tablets as well. With this method, we recommend having two SD cards per camera so you can swap them in the field.
  • View pictures on your smartphone. Choose between the iOS Reader for iPhones and the Android Reader. Phone readers require an app to access the photos, you can read more about these via the previous links.
  • Trail Camera Viewers. While more expensive, handheld viewers are useful if you don’t have a smartphone or run multiple trail cameras.
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Q: Will this trail camera trigger on small animals (birds, rodents, etc.)?

A: Trail cameras detect on a combination of heat and movement, so, yes, small mammals will trigger the camera. However, if you are going after smaller warm-blooded mammals, we recommend getting the camera closer to your target. For best performance, place the camera in an area that would enable picture detection from 3 – 20 ft.

Q: Can animals see the infrared flash on this camera?

A: This is somewhat controversial. Humans can’t see the flash as the nanometer spectrum is above what the human eye can detect. It’s also much harder for an animal to see, but that could depend on the species of animal as different species see in different light spectrums.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>