2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme

Rated 4.67 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)

£169.99

  • Released March 2017
  • Fantastic quality 1920 x 1080p HD video
  • Hi-res 20MP images
  • 0.4 second trigger speed
  • Long-range IR flash
  • 2 year warranty
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Why choose NatureSpy for the Browning Recon Force Extreme camera trap review

2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme – Our Rating:2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme trail camera review


Overview

2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme review UK

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The 2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme has stormed its way to being pretty much our new favourite camera trap. The video quality day and night is superb, better than we’ve seen on any camera so far, and photo quality is very solid.

Trigger speeds, particularly for videos, are very impressive and quick, at about 0.4-0.5 seconds – a stat that few can match. Detection is reliable and consistent.

The build quality and overall design of the camera is very good, with a forward-facing colour screen to help with set up and so you can review images/videos without dismounting the camera in the field. The warranty length in the UK through NatureSpy is 2 years.

The Recon Force Extreme is also straightforward to use – uncomplicated, without a vast array of settings, but quick and simple.

Due to it’s 12V power system (the reason night footage is so good), night time videos are limited to 20 seconds per clip. However, if activity remains, the camera can recover in under 1 second and record another 20 second clip.

Also taking into consideration the price of the camera, we feel it’s a fantastic choice for nearly every purpose – therefore we give it 9 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 Recon Force Extreme trail camera features review

Video quality
Max res: 1080p (60fps day, 30fps night)   Max length: 2mins day, 20 secs night
Trigger speed: about 0.5 seconds   Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds

Video quality is one of the main features that sets this camera apart. It is certainly the best we’ve seen so far.

Daytime videos are crisp and the colour is great – you can watch on a large screen and not lose any clarity. Night footage is again very strong, with good contrast and an excellent level of definition.

Videos from NatureSpy, Mal Ingham & Kath Fisher

The Recon Force Extreme has two video resolution settings; ‘High’ and ‘Ultra’. The Ultra resolution is uncompressed 1080p HD video – and records at 60fps during the day (30fps at night), for very smooth footage. However, the only drawback here is the larger file sizes generated at this resolution. 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 130MB in size.

We generally use the camera on the High resolution – the quality isn’t really much different, and at 30fps is still very smooth – just to help with the file sizes.

The accompanying sound is also absolutely fantastic. For the first time using this camera (and the no-glow Spec Ops Extreme), we’ve been able to hear foxes crunching eggs, badgers vocalising to each other, and even village church bells in the distance. This is something we’ve never been reliably able to pick up before on other camera traps.

The exposure control at night is also fantastic, with the Browning instantly adjusting to maintain the correct light levels – you can see this in action on some of the videos above.

Only one slight drawback – if working at close range of say 4-6 feet, the light spread becomes a little narrower, and the camera will generally only focus on objects +6 feet away (the latter being true for all camera traps without lens adaptation).

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: 20MP (lowest 4MP)   Max number per trigger: 8 photos
Trigger speed: about 0.5 seconds   Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds

Most users go for the Recon Force Extreme for its wonderful video quality. However, photo quality is again very strong, especially when coupled with some of the photo settings.

There are a number of photo resolution options, starting at 4MP up to 20MP. Its important to remember, as with all camera traps, that images resolutions are due to interpolation – the process of adding pixels to an image to inflate its resolution. For that reason, using the cameras lowest or second-lowest resolution can actually give better quality images.

The Rapid-Fire mode can give 2-8 images per trigger, 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.

It means that using photo mode is more versatile, and you get more chances to get the image you are looking for, or identify animal behaviour.

Photo examples coming soon – we are currently gathering images

Trigger speed and detection
Trigger speed: approx. 0.4s (photos), 0.5s (videos)   Recovery speed 0.8s
Detection range: approx. 70ft   LED type: Low-Glow LEDs

The Recon Force Extreme is certainly a quick camera trap. Video trigger speeds have seen big improvement across the board in the last year or so. However, this camera is one of the quickest – clocking in at around 0.5 seconds. When you consider that the 2016 Bushnell Essential E2 is around 1.7 seconds for video, you can start to see the improvement. It’s also marginally quicker than the 2017 Bushnell Aggressor camera traps.

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 Recon Force Extreme gives you the best of both worlds.

Photo triggers, as with all camera traps, are faster – but only marginally so on the Recon Force Extreme, at around 0.4 seconds. Whilst it’s true there are certainly faster triggers for photos on some cameras (i.e. SpyPoint Force 11D, Bushnell Aggressors), it’s still comfortably fast enough.

The Recon Force also appears to recover very quickly too. 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 under a second for video and photos – seriously quick, especially for the former.

Detection, as you’d expect, is excellent and consistent, at around 70-80ft for a human-sized animal. 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: 8x AA (Lithium recommended)

The Browning Recon Force is a sturdy, well-designed and well-built trail camera. It feels strong in the hand and well-crafted.

The contact with any tree/fence post etc is actually via a steel bracket at the back of the camera, meaning you can pull the strap tight and never worry about breaking any plastic. The edge of the steel bracket has small metal teeth, so it grips what it is attached to well and doesn’t slip. The strapping is the standard nylon webbing, with a strong metal clasp.

Browning cameras have been 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 Recon Force Extreme is certainly not difficult 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 30 seconds (to access the menu etc) the camera arms itself and is ready to go.

2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme camera trap uk front screen

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!

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 Recon Force Extreme 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 Recon Force Extreme trail camera

 

2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme

 

New for 2017 is the updated Browning Recon Force Extreme camera trap. It has 20MP photos, 1080p HD video, a fast trigger speed and a host of other features.

The Browning Recon Force Extreme in particular delivers fantastic quality video footage, day and night. If you’re looking for a camera to take great videos, this might well be the one for you. There are two choices for video resolution  – ‘Ultra’ and ‘High’. Ultra is uncompressed 1080p HD video. The quality is undoubtedly amazing, but the file sizes are very large – over 400MB per video. Choosing ‘High’ resolution means the same 1080p and video quality is almost as good, but the file sizes are much more manageable.

Another bonus is that daytime videos are 60fps – the highest available on any camera currently – and night time at 30fps. This means smooth footage, in addition to the brilliant quality.

The LEDs are low-glow and have an impressive max. range of about 120ft. 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 Recon Force Extreme can detect movement out to about 80ft.

The forward-facing 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.

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

An exciting innovation from Browning is ‘Smart IR Video’ – this means that the camera will continue recording video footage for up to 5 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.

One interesting feature on the Recon Force Extreme is being able to select how many images you want the camera to take per trigger. You can select either Multi-shot, which takes up to 8 images at 3 second intervals, or Rapid Fire, which can take up to 8 images at 0.3 seconds apart.

The 2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme is powered by 8 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 unless using ‘Ultra’ video resolution, 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. The Recon Force also has a SD management option which will overwrite the oldest recordings/photos once the SD card fills.

The Browning Recon Force Extreme 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 Recon Force Extreme features:
  • 20MP high-quality full colour resolution
  • Full HD Video – 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 2″ colour viewing screen
  • Smart IR video detection system
  • ‘Zero-blur’ technology – ensuring crisp photos
  • Day/night autosensor
  • 36 low-glow infrared LEDs with 60′ range
  • 0.4 second trigger speed (photos), with 0.8 second recovery
  • Programmable trigger interval: 5 sec. to 60 min.
  • Multi-image mode: 1-8 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 web belt and 1/4-20 socket
  • 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 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 new 2017 range from Browning builds on their successes, pushing the boundaries and improving every time. The Recon Force Extreme and Spec Ops Extreme have some of the best video quality we’ve ever seen on a camera trap; comfortably challenging (and even 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 0.4 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.

Browning camera traps uk

Photo quality is also generally good, though differs throughout the range. Trigger times again are strong. Some 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 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:

 

20MP Camera
2” Color Viewing Screen
Infrared LED Illumination at Night
Adjustable IR Flash (Power Save, Long Range, Fast Motion)
1920 x 1080 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
Compact Case Size 5.0” x 4.0” x 2.5”
Supports up to a 512GB SDXC Card (SD Cards Not Included)

 

Distance & Speed Features:

 

60 ft. Flash Range
80 ft. Detection Range
0.4 Second Trigger Speeds
0.8 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 8 AA Batteries (Batteries Not Included)
12 Volt External Power Jack
TV Out and USB Port
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

6 reviews for 2017 Browning Recon Force Extreme

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Neil Everett (verified owner)

    I purchased the camera about three months ago now after reading the reviews and seeing example footage. The camera has been set up since I bought it monatoring a site as part of my work as an ecologist. The quality of the unit and images produced are excellent. The camera has caught footage of badger,mink and polecat. The forward facing screen makes it easy to set up and the front access panel also makes changing SD cards easy too. I have no hesitation in recommending this camera or naturespy whos service was excellent.

    • NatureSpy

      Thanks Neil – pleased it’s doing the job for you!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    hiyahowsu (verified owner)

    After buying and having to return various cheaper trail cameras from Amazon, I bit the bullet and paid the extra to get this camera; I just wish I’d done it at the start. Yes, it might be double the price, but it’s definitely worth it!

    The quality of the footage is exceptional. The LED strength is perfect and the auto-adjust for distance works like a dream, no more footage where the LEDs are so bright you just get a horribly white picture.

    I was very dubious about the camera only recording 20seconds at night; but the thing that restarts the filming again if there’s still movement works perfectly. I use the camera to record a visiting fox and I’ve got numerous 2 minute clips of him eating from this camera; with the 1sec reactivation thing, most the time can’t even tell it’s lots of 20sec clips.

    I thought I had a problem with the camera, so contacted NatureSpy who were brilliant! They responded quickly and patiently went through everything with me; with their guidance I found out that the batteries were faulty and not the camera. I can’t recommend this camera or NatureSpy enough. Yes, at this price it’s a lot of money for many people; but being someone who tried for months to get the cheaper options, this camera is most definitely worth every penny.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Jeroen Sleijpen (verified owner)

    Excellent camera! The day and night videos are awesome clear and sharp. Even during pitch black nights. Pictures are stunning as well. Will buy a 2nd one soon!

  4. Rated 3 out of 5

    Richard Gedge (verified owner)

    This is a good camera but does has some issues (or could be my expectations were too high?). I chose the camera because it’s one of the few where you can use the LCD screen to aim the camera, this is a must have feature in my opinion and it’s surprising how many cameras mount the LCD on the back of the opening door preventing this. I also wanted HD night-time video output. The video quality during the day is excellent although my camera is not sharp over the full frame. At night however I was disappointed, the IR illumination is uneven and the image is less sharp than during the day. I’ve ended up adding a 0.5 diopter correction lens which helps a lot and a diffuser over the IR LEDS.

    I have been using the camera to monitor a hedgehog feeding station and find that it often fails to trigger when hedgehogs have visited, I know this because the food has gone and I have footprints on the paper in the feeding station. Carefully aligning the PIR helps but it’s not perfect. I’ve also tried to use the camera to capture shots of a kingfisher that I watch from a distance but have never manage to get the camera to trigger which is disappointing. I also wish the camera had a few more options like the Bushnell e.g. being able to only capture at night, longer night-time videos than 20 seconds.

    Having said all this I don’t believe there is another camera currently on the market that beats it at this price point so I would buy it again. Nature spy have been very supportive and helpful through the process so would definitely recommend them to anyone considering buying a camera.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bob (verified owner)

    What an amazing product, the photo’s are absolutely crystal clear on 20mp,I use my trail cam around a 15 acre site,I thought I knew what was living on there,based on knowing the site for 10yrs,the trail cam proved me wrong,I have seen things i never dreamed were there,all thanks to Nature spy and there fantastic site,and there excellent service,as the old saying goes if you want the best,forget the rest,to me Nature spy are the best,highly recommended by a happy customer.

    • NatureSpy

      Thanks Bob! Delighted you’re happy with the camera and our service.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kath (verified owner)

    Absolutely Love this Camera. Very easy to set up. The quality of the pics and video on the Ultra and 20MP settings are beyond amazing. Browning cameras are top when it comes to picture quality . I have tried various makes but have kept coming back to Browning ones as being the best ones for me. I now have 4 Various Browning cameras and they are all equal great quality. The video and pic quality on the higher MP and ultra video cameras are spot on. Glad I found this site. The staff at NatureSpy are fantastic, always helpful and fast to respond to any questions. Great teachers too for the novice. Its the only trail camera shop I use, They cant be beaten on price , customer service and quality.

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