2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


  • Released October 2017
  • Great quality 1296 x 720p HD video
  • Tiny size – half that of an average camera trap
  • 0.3 second trigger speed
  • Long-range No-Glow IR flash
  • Fantastic all-round camera
This camera has been discontinued. The new version is the Dark Ops Apex (no screen) or Dark Ops HD Pro X

Why choose NatureSpy for the Browning Dark Ops HD Pro camera trap review

2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro – Our Rating:2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro trail camera review


2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro review UK

The 2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro packs a lot of punch into a small package. The first thing you’ll notice is the tiny size – about half that of a standard camera trap.

It also uses a new kind of LEDs to give really strong IR flash range at night. This Dark Ops model has no-glow LEDs, and is otherwise the same as the Strike Force HD Pro. These no-glow LEDs make it better suited to security setups as well as wildlife.

Trigger speeds are outstanding – at around 0.3 seconds for photos, and 0.4 seconds for videos – to be this fast for both types of trigger is very impressive, and few cameras come close to this – especially in this price bracket.

Video quality is very good at 720p, and certainly stronger at night than in the day. This camera is also great if you’re after photos; it won’t give you anything like DSLR quality of course, but it is great at capturing all manner of daytime and night time animals, and with minimal motion blur at night.

The build quality and overall design of the camera is very good, with a 1.5″ forward-facing colour screen to help with set up and so you can review images/videos without dismounting the camera in the field. It also has a great little steel bracket which the camera can pivot off for better positioning – if you’re used to fiddling around the get your camera trap positioned right, this makes things much easier!

The Dark Ops HD Pro is also straight-forward to use – uncomplicated, without a vast array of settings, but quick and simple.

Due to it’s 9V power system, night time videos are limited to 20 seconds per clip. However, if activity remains, the camera can recover in just under 2 seconds and record another 20 second clip. The warranty length in the UK through NatureSpy is 2 years.

This camera is a great little all-rounder and a genuine pleasure to use – we give the Browning Dark Ops HD Pro an 8 out of 10.

Read more of our review below…

Not sure which is the right camera trap for you? Try our camera trap chooser

2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro trail camera features review

Video quality
Max res: 720p (30fps day, 30fps night)   Max length: 2mins day, 20 secs night
Trigger speed: about 0.4 seconds   Recovery time: about 2 seconds

Night videos on this camera trap are really good for such a small and affordable unit. The flash range is great and the trigger speeds mean you rarely miss anything at all. Contrast is good and you’re never left wanting. The videos below are from a specific security-style set up, to see how the camera would perform in a role, focusing on activity that cross the gate on the left.

Daytime videos on the Dark Ops are good enough, but certainly no where near as good as those on the Recon Force and Spec Ops Advantage cameras. The colour is lacking a little.

The Dark Ops HD Pro has two video resolution settings; ‘High’ and ‘Ultra’. The Ultra resolution is uncompressed 720p HD video. The only drawback here is the larger file sizes generated with this setting. If you want to use the Ultra setting, an SD card of at least 32GB is recommended, with a 1 minute daytime clip being around 376MB in size.

We use the camera on the High resolution – the quality isn’t really much different at all and it relieves the pressure on the SD Card.

The Dark Ops HD Pro also records audio which is of pretty standard quality, similar to that on other similar priced camera traps.

As with all Browning cameras, exposure control at night is also fantastic, with the Dark Ops instantly adjusting to maintain the correct light levels. This is best demonstrated on the images below.

It also has ‘Smart IR Video’ – with this turned on, the camera will continue recording up to 2 mins in the day and 20 seconds at night if activity remains. This can be quite useful – for example, if you set the video length to 10 seconds and Smart IR video on and a badger stops to have a big scratch in front of the camera, it will continue record until either the badger is gone or the maximum video time is reached. And if the badger just runs past, then you just get a 10 second video – not wasting any batteries or SD card space.

Photo quality
Max res: 18MP (lowest 4MP)   Max number per trigger: 8 photos
Trigger speed: about 0.3 seconds   Recovery time: about 0.4 seconds

Photo quality is solid on the Dark Ops. As with video, the night shots are better than the day. The colours can sometimes appear a little washed out in day shots, particularly if there is no sunshine.

Night time shots are good on this unit, considering it is using No-Glow LEDs. Whilst these LEDs have the advantage of not glowing red at night when the camera is triggered, it always means that the camera has 30% less IR light to work with. Therefore, the shutter speed has to be slightly slower to let the light in, and can occasionally lead to motion blur. On the Dark Ops HD Pro however, its very good at tempering this, producing good and identifiable shots consistently. A good camera position is important to help this further.

We generally use the photo mode with ‘Rapid Shot’ and 8 images. This gives 2-8 images per trigger (pre-set by the user), at 0.2 seconds apart. This results in an almost stop-motion animation sequence which can be vary rewarding. The Multi-shot mode gives up to 2-8 images at 2 seconds apart, which means longer sequences and is useful if you want to record behaviour.

Some example images are shown below – again, this camera was positioned in a security rather than wildlife set up.

  • Browning-Dark-Ops-HD-Pro-example-image-1---pheasant

Trigger speed and detection
Trigger speed: approx. 0.3s (photos), 0.4s (videos)   Recovery speed: about 1.7s
Detection range: approx. 100ft   LED type: No-Glow LEDs

The Dark Ops HD Pro is certainly a fast camera, no doubt about it. There is no need to choose the mode based on the trigger speed you need – either is exceptionally fast. In fact, we’ve not yet had a trigger from this camera where we’ve thought ‘I wish it had triggered a little quicker’. It never seems to miss anything.

These are among the fastest detection and recovery times available today, and for on a little, mid-range camera like this, it’s seriously impressive. You can see the trigger point in action particularly on the videos above. Most cameras can’t touch those speeds. This makes it especially useful as a security camera.

This is a big deal because previously, if camera trapping fast animals, or something passed your camera quickly and you had it in video mode, you’d often catch the tail end or nothing at all, and therefore need to use photo mode. The Dark Ops HD Pro lets you can have the best of both worlds.

Photo triggers are slightly faster than videos – but only very marginally. Whilst it’s true there are certainly faster triggers for photos on some cameras (i.e. SpyPoint Force 11D, Bushnell Aggressors), it’s still easily fast enough.

Recovery times are also very strong. This is the time the camera takes after finishing once capture to be ready to trigger again. The lowest ‘Delay’ setting is 5 seconds; however, that just tells the Browning to recover as fast as it possibly can. We have consistently found that the Browning will generally re-trigger in about 2 seconds for video, and under a second for photos.

Detection is amongst the best currently available. The detection angle is narrow, but means it can detect out to around 100ft. Due to the way PIR sensors work, it is best to place the camera so that animals will move across the sensor, rather than directly towards it.

Build quality & batteries
Warranty: 2 years (through NatureSpy)   Batteries: 6x AA (Lithium recommended)

Browning Dark Ops HD Pro BTC 5HDP review uk metal bracket

We love the design of this camera. Really strong build with some great little features. And smaller than the average camera trap.

One of our favourite things, and something that customer’s also feedback to us, is the metal bracket on the back of the camera. This allows you to strap it up – with the metal teeth gripping the tree/fencepost – and then tilt the camera down to whatever level required. It means an end to finding the perfect tree, or wrestling with sticks behind the camera. It’s quick, easy, and very well though out.

Battery life is strong on the Dark Ops, particularly if you use Lithium batteries. It requires 6 batteries at a time. Generally, you can expect around 11 months battery life for photos (taking around 60 pictures every 24 hours) and about 4 months for video (taking around 20 videos every 24 hours). This will obviously vary depending on how active and how each video is, and if there are more night shots than day. We’ve found that the Dark Ops HD Pro is excellent on battery life, and up there with the best available.

Browning cameras have been also very reliable for us and are covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty in the UK when bought through NatureSpy.

Ease of use
The Browning Dark Ops HD Pro is certainly easy to use. When turned on, you’re presented with an overview screen showing a view of what the camera can currently see and what it is set to take. It shows the files recorded and the space remaining at a glance. If you don’t press any button within 10 seconds (to access the menu etc) the camera arms itself and is ready to go.

This forward-facing colour screen is extremely useful – you can strap the camera up, then use the screen to perfect the positioning. Its also very handy when you want to review the images/videos captured without taking the SD card out and using a computer/tablet etc – just open the door and have a quick check – useful if out and about, or a sneaky look before you head to work!

It is a small screen, at 1.5inches, but actually still easy to use. You don’t find yourself squinting to read it and the text is nice and bold.

There are three main modes; Trail Cam (photos only), Video, and Timelapse Plus. Most of the time, you’ll be using either photos or videos. The timelapse function only works during the day – and with timelapse plus, you can have photos taken at set intervals plus the camera will trigger day and night based on any detections.

There is also a ‘Motion Test’ feature, like most camera traps have, where a test light on the front will blink when it detects you. You can use this to find the right distances or angles and it can help with setting up the camera in the best place possible.

Overall a very straight-forward camera trap to use, but if you do require any help or have any questions you can just get in touch with us.

If you’ve found our review useful, please consider supporting our work and purchasing your next camera trap from us.

Product Description

Browning why choose NatureSpy


Our favourite features…

3T - 2017 Browning Strike Force Pro HD trail camera


2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro

New in October 2017 is the Browning Dark Ops HD Pro camera trap. It has 18MP photos, 720p HD video, a very fast trigger speed and a host of other exciting features.

This trail camera is essentially the No-Glow LED version of the popular Browning Strike Force HD Pro. The design and features are the same, with the exception of the no-glow LEDs.

The Strike Force HD Pro has always been one of Browning’s flagship cameras – and this new no-glow Dark Ops version means a completely covert camera with a big IR flash range.

It has a few things that set it apart right from the outset. Just from looking at it, it’s obvious this camera is tiny compared to others. It’s about half the size of your average trail camera. And within that small size there is also a 1.5″ colour screen.

The LEDs are no-glow and have an impressive max. range of about 80ft, thanks to a new design of IR emitters. That’s a very big flash range. Looking at the camera, you’ll see just 4 LEDs. These have an insane range and this innovation from Browning has the potential to revolutionise how we think about IR LEDs on camera traps.

The camera has a setting which allows you to tweak the flash based on your requirements; Power Save, Fast Motion or Long Range. The Browning Dark Ops HD Pro can detect movement out to about 80ft.

Not sure which is the right camera trap for you? Try our camera trap chooser

The forward-facing 1.5″ colour screen not only lets you view the images/videos captured, but is invaluable during set up as it shows exactly what the camera can see – so if you’ve set it too high, a look at the screen will tell you and you can then adjust.

The Dark Ops HD Pro also has another exciting innovation from Browning; ‘Smart IR Video’ – this means that the camera will continue recording video footage for up to 2 minutes during the daytime and up to 20 seconds at night as long as the wildlife/people continue to move in front of the camera. So if you’re worried about video length vs. battery life, this feature takes that concern off your hands. It just records when there is something to record. So far, this feature appears to work extremely well.

Another useful feature on the Dark Ops HD Pro is Rapid Fire mode for images, which can take up to 8 images at 0.3 seconds apart per trigger event, and multi-shot mode, which takes up to 8 images at 3 second intervals.

The 2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro is powered by 6x AA batteries (not provided), and now has the ability to use an SD card up to 512GB – unprecedented in camera trapping. We’re not sure if you’ll ever need that amount, but it’s nice to have the option of using a 64GB card for long-term monitoring, or if you don’t want to keep deleting captures from your SD card.

In all, the feature list for a camera this price are pretty amazing. It’s suitable for almost any setup and delivers high quality results.

The Browning Dark Ops HD Pro is supplied with a 2 year warranty when bought through NatureSpy. Browning are an American company; but if anything goes wrong with your camera, we’ll deal with all warranty returns here in the UK. We’ll never ask you to send your Browning camera trap direct to the manufacturer.

2017 Browning Dark Ops HD Pro Features:


  • 18MP high-quality full colour resolution
  • HD Video – 1296 x 720 pixels
  • 1.5″ colour viewing screen
  • Smart IR video detection system
  • ‘Zero-blur’ technology – ensuring crisp photos
  • Day/night autosensor
  • 4 new no-glow infrared LEDs with 80′ range
  • 0.4 second trigger speed (photos), with 0.8 second recovery
  • Programmable trigger interval: 1 sec. to 60 min.
  • Rapid Fire & Multi-shot image mode: 2-8 images per trigger
  • Video length: 1 second to 2 mins (night time video limited to 20 seconds)
  • Records audio with video
  • Highly programmable time-lapse periods
  • PIR sensor is motion activated out to 80′
  • Adjustable 6ft web belt and 1/4-20 socket, with in-built steel bracket for easy adjustment
  • SD card slot (512 GB max.)
  • SD cycle option – so when the SD card gets full, it rewrites over the oldest images/videos
  • Weather proof
  • 2 year warranty when bought through NatureSpy

For full specs, click the tab above.

Browning Trail Cameras are an American-based camera trap manufacturer with a growing reputation. They’ve innovated fast and won loyal customers across the pond – and its easy to see why. We’re proud to be a main UK distributor.

The current range from Browning builds on their successes, pushing the boundaries and improving every time. The Recon Force Edge and Spec Ops Edge have some of the best video quality we’ve ever seen on a camera trap; comfortably beating the previous leaders, Bushnell.

Browning say that you can watch their 1080p footage back on a 60 inch TV and not lose clarity – and we can see what they mean. Add excellent video trigger times (which are always slower than photo triggers) of about 0.3 seconds, and you can start to see why we’re so excited about these trail cameras. You can see videos for the product you’re viewing on the ‘Example video’ tab or in the ‘Our Review’ section.

We’re currently using Browning trail cameras on a number of NatureSpy projects – in Croatia (bear, wolf and lynx), Northern France (wolf and lynx) and of course the North York Moors (pine marten). We also work with a number of large environmental organisations and charities around the world also using Browning trail cameras.

2017 Browning Spec Ops Extreme camera trap uk review

Photo quality is also generally good, though differs throughout the range. Trigger times again are strong. All models also have Multi-Shot and Rapid-Fire modes, which give you control and choice over what you want your camera to do when taking photos.

Many models also have built-in, forward facing colour screens and a host of smart features and simple set ups to make camera trapping that bit easier and convenient. Add this all together with the excellent price and it can be difficult to look beyond a Browning wildlife camera trap.

And as NatureSpy are an official UK distributor, you’re fully covered by our 2 year warranty and if in the unlikely event something goes wrong, we’ll deal with it entirely in the UK.

If you need to have a chat about Browning or any other camera trap, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Key Features:


Model: Browning Dark Ops HD Pro (BTC-6HDP)
18MP Camera
1.5” Color Viewing Screen
No-Glow Infrared LED Illumination at Night
Adjustable IR Flash (Power Save, Long Range, Fast Motion)
1296 x 720p Full HD videos with sound (Daytime Settings Range from 5 Seconds – 2 Minutes in Length; Nighttime Videos
are Limited to 20 Seconds)
Timelapse Plus Camera Mode with Infrared Triggered Pictures
Very small size
Supports up to a 512GB SDXC Card (SD Cards Not Included)


Distance & Speed Features:


80 ft. Flash Range
80 ft. Detection Range
0.3 Second Trigger Speeds
0.5 Second Recovery Time
Up to 8 Multi-Shot Images
Up to 8 Rapid Fire Images
Programmable Picture Delay (Delay Settings Range from 5 Seconds – 60 Minutes)



Additional Features:


SD Card “Memory Management” Option
“Smart IR” Video Detection System
Long Battery Life from 6x AA Batteries (Batteries Not Included)
12 Volt External Power Jack
Picture “Data Strip” Displays: Time, Date, Temperature, Moon Phase, & Camera ID
Camo Finish
Compatible with Browning “BuckWatch Timelapse Viewer” Software
Threaded Insert Size of 1/4” – 20 on Bottom of Camera for Mounting Purposes

Share your thoughts!

5 out of 5 stars

1 review

Let us know what you think...

What others are saying

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Gary (verified owner)

    Thanks for the quick delivery,
    Easy to use, set up quickly, got in garden at the moment.
    Great tips thanks again.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...




Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

Continue as a Guest

Don't have an account? Sign Up

You may also like…

Orders being dispatched as normal - the UK's experts, non-profit and free, fast delivery! Dismiss