Welcome to my in-depth Browning Recon Force review. I recently purchased the Recon Force, as it is one of Browning’s most popular trail cameras to date. Retail price runs at $149.99 but I found a Recon online for just under $100. For that low price, I got one heck of a nice trail camera. Browning has built a good reputation off of this entry level camera, I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. Let’s check out the Specs.
- Image Sizes: 1.3MP, 2MP, 4MP, 8MP
- Video: 1280×720 HD and 640×480
- Trigger Speed: 0.7 seconds
- Recovery Speed: 2.2 seconds
- Detection Range: 50 feet
- Flash Range: 65+ feet
- SD Card: Supports up to 32GB Cards
- Output: USB 2.0 Port, TV Out
- Batteries: 8x AA (Not Included)
- Modes: Time Lapse, Infrared, Motion Detection, HD Video
- Camera Size: 5in x 4in x 2.75in
- Info Bar: Time, Date, Moon Phase, Temperature, Camera ID
- Software: Includes Buck Watch Timelapse Viewer PC Software
- Warranty: 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
The Recon Force comes in a plastic shell with a cardboard front and back. There’s no saving the packaging, as I was forced to tear the cardboard off to get at the camera. Inside the box is the camera, an instruction manual, a mini CD, and a small yellow box. I was hoping some really cool accessory would be in the box, but it was just the mounting strap. A guy can hope right?
Fit and Finish
This Browning camera feels well designed. The front of the Recon Force has a nice tree bark camouflage finish, and the other plastic housings are a solid brown. The cover latches have a satisfying snap to them, and gave me the peace of mind that the camera can withstand the elements for months at a time. While this camera has a sturdy feel to it, it weighs just 1 pound 3 ounces, including the batteries.
Camera Features and Setup
On the front of the camera is the IR flash, a bank of 30 LED’s, the camera lens, temp sensor, and indicator light. The rear housing features ridges to grip onto trees, loops for the included mounting strap, a padlocking hole, and holes for a Python security cable (not included).
The cover latches require a good amount of force to unlatch, and you will hear the suction noise of the silicone rubber gasket as you open the front of the camera. This is a well built game camera, and the quality gasket will definitely keep moisture out.
The speaker and 12V auxiliary power port are located on the bottom. The power port also has a silicone rubber cover to protect from moisture. To load the 8 AA batteries, all you have to do is push the Eject button at the top, and the battery compartment slides out the bottom.
The inside side of the housing contains the standard SD Card slot, TV Out port for viewing images and video on a television, and a USB port for connecting to a computer.
The unit powers on with a simple sliding on/off button. Once powered on the Browning Recon Force will turn on its basic 2 line LCD screen, with a green back-light. To navigate the options menus, you use the E (Enter), Mode, and four directional buttons. The buttons have an audible click, which was a nice confirmation while trying to change the settings outside in the wind.
Setup takes just a few minutes. You first set the date and time, then select your desired Picture and Video settings. I prefer to set the images and video modes to their highest settings. What’s the point of buying a nice trail camera if you’re not going to use it’s best features?
Image and Video Quality
The Recon takes high quality images, with good brightness and contrast. Daytime pictures have little blur to them, thanks to the fast trigger speed. Many times you will see sharp images of deer running across the frame. Nighttime images are pretty good too, with minimal ghost effects. Here are some images of a few deer living near my home.
The Browning Recon cameras are compatible with several accessories, including the Browning Security Box that gives you 3 places to lock your box to the tree.
One takes a standard padlock, the others are on the back and work best with a steel Python Cable.
The Browning Tree Mount gives you more flexibility in mounting and aiming your camera.
If you are tired of shimming your camera to get the viewing right angle of your trail, this might be for you. It screws into the brass insert at the base of the camera and then mounts to a plate with a gimbal for easy adjusting.
The Browning Recon Force Trail Camera is one of the better values today. While I wish the the battery life was a little better, I can get over that point with a couple good sets of rechargeable batteries. It is still a rock solid built game camera for under $100, packed with some awesome features, and produced very satisfying photos and videos.