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Gear Review - Moultrie GameSpy ReAction Camera

The product we will review today is the first video camera we purchased to attempt to record and preserve our hunting experiences: the Gamespy Re-Action Camera by Moultrie.

It used to be that videotaping a hunting experience was a big ordeal requiring a second person and a large investment of money, but technological advances and price decreases have now brought some of these products down into the price range of the average hunter.  You can get your best moments, and some that aren’t so good just with the Moultrie Gamespy Reaction Camera.

Unpacking:
First thoughts:
The Moultrie Gamespy Re-Action camera doesn't look particularly remarkable in light of some of the claims it makes, and out of the box it is rather underwhelming. The camera is packaged in clear plastic so that you know exactly what you are getting. There are no surprises when opening it, but we were wondering how in the world such a small item could handle some of the impressive specifications they highlight. Would it really be able to take 720p video even in low light? 
Reaction Camera Unboxed

The camera is camouflage patterned and as mentioned it is small and light. We installed the batteries and went through the menu quite easily. The LCD screen is bright and, though small, it is easy to see and clear. We were also impressed with the variety of attachments it comes with, including one for your hat, a bow attachment, and one that will wrap around items such as a tree limb or treestand. 

Specifications:
Manufacturers Claim: Smart LED light indicates recording – no noisy beeps
In the field:
This is one of those catch-22 features.  It is great that there is no beeping noise to spook game, but we also found the blue light that signifies when it is recording is quite bright, and at best a distraction. At worst we fear it may spook game and had a bear pay more attention to us than usual at dusk perhaps attributed to the light. In full sun you won't notice it much but early morning and in waning light we believe the unnatural light is a risk. We covered the light on our unit with a piece of black electrical tape as a result.  Of course, with the light covered, it’s difficult to tell when recording is enabled without looking closely.

Claim: Records sound
In the field:
The Moultrie Gamespy Reaction Cam does record sound, but it doesn’t do it very well.  The sound that the camera captures is very poor without the addition of an external microphone. On our videos we found you could really only hear the bow at release with none of the sounds of the surroundings until then.

Claim: Operates on 2 AA batteries
In the field:
This is one of our favourite parts of this camera.  It’s tiny, and it runs on something extremely cheap like 2 AA batteries.  The quality of batteries you use is entirely up to you, but there are no $50+ battery packs to replace and carry with you.  With a set of good lithium batteries you will not be disappointed in battery life or quality.

Claim: Easy-to-read display screen
In the field:
The menu is easy to see and navigate, the buttons are large and have touch- sensitive markings allowing one to use them without looking at them this is especially helpful when using the hat mount if you don't want to keep it running for the entire time in the stand.
Moultrie GameSpy ReAction Camera Display

Claim: Produces HD 720p video resolution
In the field:
The video produced by the camera us actually very good and it definitely seems to live up to the 720p claims. It is easy to navigate the menus and has an impressive screen. The ability to watch your videos on the screen and see what the camera does before you press record presents some clear benefits.

Cost: $149.99 Suggested Retail Price
Real World:
We were able to purchase the review camera we have been using for half-price at a big box store.  Some online retailers are selling the camera for as low as $92.85 currently.

Real World Thoughts:
Positives:
The size and weight of the ‎camera are definitely a major selling point. We liked how easy it would be to pack in and out of the field and how light it is on a hat or bow stabilizer. The weight is so low you won't likely notice it at all.

With the Gamespy Re-Action camera, you can take videos or still pictures of the hunting action by yourself. Including three different mounts will help to ensure there is something that appeals to each hunter. We found that we mostly use the hat mount or the one for attaching to a tree of stand, but we tested the bow mount and they all work fine as long as you are aware of what they are pointing at (more below).

We liked that the camera runs on AA batteries, keeping costs down. It also seems to have exceptional battery life and we were able to use it for hours having it turned on and combined over an hour of recording without them going dead through an entire spring bear season.

One of our testers was able to get his first archery bear and first archery deer captured on video which is absolutely priceless.

Negatives:
We found that you must be careful when using the mounts that it suits your purpose. There is very little guidance on what situation to use each. The hat mount especially is tricky to use, and we only recommend it for treestand hunting with a gun. From the ground, the angle of the mount combined with the angle of your hat bill means the camera points far too close to you rather than where you are looking. A turkey hunt filled from the ground didn't capture the birds in the field we were looking at, rather recording the stone wall in front of us. To the same degree it is not useful in bow hunting since your head is not pointed directly at the target, thus missing the shot. Be careful to avoid disappointment. 

Moultrie Gamespy ReAction Camera Mounted

The next problem we have is with the quality of the mounts. The small one for mounting to trees/stands broke on us after only a season of use. The mount became detached from‎ the camera and it is stripped from the plastic rendering it unusable. We cannot find these sold separately which means a major downgrade in usability for our favourite of the mounts.

We have heard some complaints of the battery door flying open upon bow release when the camera is mounted to the bow stabilizer mount. We tested using it mounted that way, but only used it a few times that way. The battery compartment does not seem to latch super tight so we could see this being an issue in some cases but didn't experience it. It is, however, something to be aware of.

The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is we found this to be a good, but not great video camera that has good performance at the price point that Moultrie has placed it. With better quality mounts and better sound recording, this camera would be a near perfect entry level hunt recorder. 

We definitely can recommend this purchase, but be aware of the few misgivings.

2015-01-15 17:18:55

 

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