A30i issue

I recently acquired the A30i. I had it out in the yard testing for a few days before going to the woods. At night, there was a time or two where the IR did not flash when taking a pic. There were outside yard lights nearby & I didn't give it much thought. The cam is in the woods now & after checking it today, all my night pics were dark. I had the cam set at a feeder & though pics were taken, all dusk to dawn pics were black. The day time pics are great. I moved the cam ,checked my settings & turned it off & back on several times. Any ideas ?

Comments

  • Are you using rechargeable batteries? Could be a stuck filter or the led's aren't working. You can take the cam into a dark room and watch the cam take a pic or video through the camera on your cell phone. This will allow you to see the led's light up if they are working.

  • No rechargeables are being used. I forgot about using my phone to watch the IR. I'll just have to wait until the next time I check it & go from there. I bought it new, so time will tell.

  • After more time, the problem is still there. All night time pics are black. The IRs are working. I've even changed battery types. What is odd, is that when I take the cam into a dark room, I get normal IR pics, but when outside at night, they don't light up anything.

  • @Outdoorsfellar said:
    After more time, the problem is still there. All night time pics are black. The IRs are working. I've even changed battery types. What is odd, is that when I take the cam into a dark room, I get normal IR pics, but when outside at night, they don't light up anything.

    Can you hear the filter click switching over? Seems like it would have to be some type of filter issue. Give it a good whack with your hand on the sides of the cam.

  • When first turned on , the first pic there is that " click * but that's the only time. I just now came home & did a few test pics in the dark outside & still, no IR pics. I may take a hammer to it...lol

  • Ok, yay for me. Though I have given it a slap in the past, I just now beat the hell out of it & low & behold, it works ! Thanks !

  • @Outdoorsfellar said:
    Ok, yay for me. Though I have given it a slap in the past, I just now beat the hell out of it & low & behold, it works ! Thanks !

    LOL!!!!!! Good deal.

  • Percussive maintenance. For when stuff really needs to work right.

  • Tried percussive maintenance, it worked! Thanks.

  • Don't buy an a30i if you want to take daytime photos when there is snow on the ground. Don't buy Moultrie if you want a company that stands behind its Warranty. I live in Minnesota and made the mistake of buying an a30i. All photos taken with snow on the ground suffer from a severe lack of light, color, and detail because they are so underexposed. All darker colors become black or nearly black. Lighter colors are far darker than in real life. All detail is lost from darker objects: you see only the outline and black or nearly black interior. Most detail is lost from lighter objects. I tried using a photo editor to adjust light, contrast, and color, but that made little difference.

    When there is NOT snow on the ground, photo quality is fine. But that means that daytime photos taken by my a30i are not useful to me for about 1/3 of the year.

    Just as bad as the photo quality was Moultrie's response to the problem. I contacted Moultrie several weeks after I had purchased my a30i, explained the problem, and sent them nearly 20 photos that clearly showed the terrible photo quality. They admitted that the photos were too dark, but claimed it was because there was insufficient light, or because there were shadows. I pointed to them that most of the photos I sent were taken during the brightest six hours of the day. Many of the very dark objects (including birds and squirrels) were in direct sunlight on a sunny day. Other photos were taken during overcast days. There was NO shortage of light. They insisted the photos were fine. I showed these same photos to other people. All immediately asked why they were so dark and what was wrong with the colors. The Moultrie representatives were, to put it simply, lying.

  • edited January 19

    @tpaddock Is it facing north? Sometimes if there's too much light of a skyline it will darken the pictures. I had problems one very bright day with a tree shadow lining up in front of the camera. My pictures were all coming in dark. For the most part though, my A30i has been pretty good. We don't get much snow down here, so I have no experience there.
    The day I had similar issues. Very bright. Camera facing north.

    Most are good.

  • @tpaddock What you're experiencing is an underexposed image. Extremely common in snow with every camera from cell phones, point and shoots, trail cameras and DSLRs. Basically anything that automatically meters light.

    Here's a good resource to learn more.

    https://photographylife.com/underexposure-and-overexposure-in-photography/amp
  • donejones, my Moultrie a30i suffers the same problem no matter what direction the camera is facing.

    RocklockHunter, I agree that my a30i was underexposing the images. But I have since tested the a30i against a Browning Strike Force. I mounted the cameras side-by-side, facing a scene with snow on the ground, and captured a large number of photos over several days. The photos from the Browning were exposed properly and the lighting, color, and detail were fine. The Moultrie a30i photos were greatly underexposed, as I described. In short, my Moultrie a30i is defective.

  • @tpaddock If it's doing it in all directions, it sounds like it just has issues. Maybe try mounting it up higher, or using it in a more shaded area. Obviously, it doesn't like anything bright.

  • @tpaddock

    The slightest angle change can change exposure by 3 or 4 stops, easily. This is why when taking a picture with a cell phone, you can tilt it slightly and it will go from under to overexposed. It's all in how the sensor is metering the scene by measuring the available light.
  • I appreciate your suggestions. I am sure you are both correct: the exposure level of a camera's photos are influenced by the camera's height, angle, and the amount of shade. I have seen some evidence of that in my photos, and will pay more attention to this in the future.

    But the side-by-side comparisons of my Moultrie a30i against a Browning Strike Force show that the camera itself is the cause of the Moultrie's under-exposure when there is snow cover. In contrast, the Browning's photos were properly exposed. This was consistent across different days, under different lighting (sunny days, overcast days, middle of day, late in day) and from different angles. Height didn't vary that much.

    In addition, through testing I have verified that the cause of my a30i's poor daytime photo quality is snow-covered ground. I have taken the camera to several different locations where there is snow-covered ground adjacent to ground without snow cover--for example, snow-covered ground adjacent to a street or parking lot that are free of snow. I have taken comparison photos, snow versus non-snow. My a30i consistently under-exposes scenes with snow cover, but properly exposes scenes where there is no snow cover. As long as there is no snow cover, photo quality is fine, and this holds true in different amounts of light. If there is snow cover, photo quality is poor, and this likewise holds true in different amounts of light.

    And as I said, Moultrie's response has been to tell me my photos look fine. That really ticks me off.

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