A-30i continuously capturing picture when no movement in scene

Received an A-30i for Christmas. Setup seemed straight forward, time, date, Detection Delay, Capture Mode, camera ID and Delete/Format SD.

Regardless of the Detection Delay or Capture mode settings, once triggered the camera continuously captures photos every so many seconds/minutes (depending on the setting) until manually stopped or the SD card is filled. Roughly 1000 photos in just under 24 hours. This was tested indoors using a semi-static scene, our cat’s water dish. The capturing may even be starting as soon as the camera is switched on.

My expectations are that only when triggered will the camera capture photos/videos and only for as long as there is movement in the scene. Are my expectations incorrect?

Attempted to update the camera’s firmware twice. Both attempts ended with the “fail” message. According to Moultrie website documentation this is, most likely, because the camera already has the latest firmware. Hint to Moultrie: 1) Name the firmware files, as provided on your website, in the same format as that reported by the camera so your customers wouldn’t have to guess. 2) The camera should display a word other than ‘fail’, e.g. ‘good’, if the firmware is up-to-date.

During this testing a fresh set of Duracell alkaline batteries dated DEC 2025 lasted about 3 days. That isn't long at all but could be explained if the camera was incorrectly continually capturing pictures/driving the IR LEDs.

Comments

  • edited January 2018

    Have you tested it in other settings besides the water bowl? I would take it outside and turn it on and see if it continues to take pics without being triggered, or just some other part of your house. Set it to the lowest delay and it should only take you a couple minutes to see if it does. Also what type of sd card are you using? The wrong type of sd card can cause cameras to malfunction.

  • The first time we tried the camera was outside where the same issue was seen, once triggered the camera continuously took pictures until the SD card was filled. It's cold around here so any further tests were done indoors. Also to eliminate the possibility that any movement caused by the wind was triggering the camera.

    The camera is using an LG SD card which works fine in this and other cameras, there is no problem with storing/retrieving the pictures. The pictures all have a time stamp consistent with the delay setting, e.g. every 15 seconds, every 1 minute etc.

    The problem would seem to be with the camera "detection" function which is never really explained in the documentation. There is a delay setting for the time between pictures once an animal is detected and remains in range.

    How does the camera "detect" an animal? Let me speculate: If it's a change in the field of view, the camera must scan the scene and store the image temporarily; wait some period of time; scan and store this new image; compare the two images. If there is significant change, e.g. lots of pixels in one area changed, consider that as "animal detected" and go into capture mode, if not, delete the older image; wait a bit and scan; store and compare again. Once triggered, the camera is now in capture mode and captures and stores the images per the delay setting. The camera should also be looking for no further changes in the scene and when that is detected exit capture mode and go back into detect mode.

    The one thing I have yet to do is register the camera and then call the Moultrie help line, I was hoping to avoid that by raising the issue here in the forums.

  • If you call customer service I know they will tell you to use a SanDisk sd card, but it sounds like your cam is defective to me and needs replaced.

  • I can tell you that the camera doesn't do any image scanning/recognition for capturing. It uses the little black plastic piece on the top (behind it is a PIR sensor) to detect a moving temperature variation (I.E. if something significantly colder/warmer than ambient temperature moves across one of the 'zones' of the PIR sensor (of which there are many) it will create a trigger).

    I the camera is reliably taking a picture every time the detection delay counts down (E.G. 15 seconds, 1 minute ,etc) then it sounds like the PIR sensor is malfunctioning and reading positive triggers when there are none.

    I would try putting it in a corner (facing the corner) where there is no possible way anything can trigger it and see if it still continues to take pictures all the time - this would confirm the malfunction. Either way, it's definitely an Issue Customer Service should be able to help you with.

  • Thanks to both Moultrie_Ninjaneer and Sodbuster for your comments. I hadn't thought about the PIR sensor - what you say makes sense. I'll call Customer Service now that I've finally registered the camera. Was holding off on registering in case I was to simply return the camera, it was bought on Amazon.

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