The 2018 Browning Command Ops Pro is a big improvement on the 2017 version – adding better video, new LEDs, smaller size and better design, better photo quality and faster trigger speeds. Phew.
Browning are certainly making a statement with this camera at the lower end of the budget range. It packs a lot of punch for the price, and is completely redesigned compared to last year’s version.
It now uses a new kind of low-glow LEDs introduced on some models in 2017 to give it a decent flash range and much improved battery life. These low-glow LEDs make it better suited to wildlife-only setups, rather than security. Read more about the LEDs further below.
Trigger speeds are decent, especially for a camera at this price – at around 0.5 seconds for photos, and similar for videos – few cameras at this end of the market are as quick.
Video quality is improved, though the same resolution as last year. However, definition and colour has improved quite a bit – but still a long way short of the Recon Force cameras. The daytime quality suffers a little if the lighting isn’t great, for example around dawn and dusk. If the light is good, the video is pretty decent.
Photo quality is strong, with decent definition and colour. Again, expect a little loss of definition is daylight isn’t great.
The build quality and overall design of the camera is exceptional, and follows a similar design to the Sub Micro series of Browning cameras (i.e. the Strike Force HD Pro). It doesn’t have the metal bracket at the back, but curved strong plastic to make it pretty straight forward to strap up. Settings are changed via a little LCD screen, which is bright and easy to use.
Due to it’s 9V power system, night time videos are limited to 20 seconds per clip. However, if activity remains, the camera will record another 20 second clip. The warranty length in the UK through NatureSpy is 2 years.
This camera is not at all bad, fun to use and gives good quality for the price – we give the Browning Command Ops Pro 7 out of 10.
Read more of our review below…
Trigger speed: about 0.6 seconds Recovery time: about 1.5 seconds
Last year’s Command Ops fell down on video quality, and this is one area that’s really improved this year. We were pleasantly surprised when reviewing the first footage we captured – definition has got a lot better, particularly during the day. The video recovery speeds are very impressive for a camera at this end of the market too.
Night videos are pretty good, though the way you set the Command Ops Pro up is important to maximise the IR flash range and lighting.
The day video does seem to suffer if the light isn’t great however – notice the change in colour quality at different times of the day, particularly just around dawn.
Frame rates are 30fps day and night, which is better than a lot of other cameras at this price point. File sizes are pretty large, at about 100MB per 30 second daytime video. Not unmanageable, but big – a 16GB card will hold about 270x 20 second videos.
The Browning Command Ops Pro also records audio which is of pretty good quality, similar to that on other similar priced camera traps.
Trigger speed: about 0.5 seconds Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds*
Photo quality is again good on the Command Ops Pro. Colour has improved from last year, and its good at freezing motion.
Night images are decent – the new LEDs have a good range on them, but its nothing massive. The Command Ops Pro is best at distances of about 10-20ft away from any activity.
We generally like to use the photo mode with ‘Rapid Shot’ and 4 images. This gives 2-4 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 2-4 images at 2 seconds apart, which means longer sequences and is useful if you want to record behaviour. Alternatively, turn this modes off and the camera will just take 1 shot every time its triggered.
Just a note on photo recovery speeds – it does change depending on the mode selected. More on this in the review section below.
Detection range: approx. 70ft LED type: Low-Glow LEDs
The Command Ops Pro has got a lot faster than last year’s model, and now has some decent speed about it. Both triggers are also similar in speed too, so there is no need to choose the mode based on the trigger speed you need – either is pretty fast. You can get a feel for the trigger speed looking at the examples above.
Detection is pretty good – Browning’s official figure is 70ft, which is for larger animals such as deer (or humans!). For smaller British wildlife, you ideally want to use the camera with a max. range of about 40ft in mind.
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.
Recovery speeds, in general, are very fast. Video recovery of about 1.5 seconds is very quick for a camera this price.
*Photo trigger speeds are a little different, and can vary however. Turning the multi-shot modes off, you get the 0.8 second recovery speeds – very quick. However, after every 8th photo, the recovery speed then goes to about 6 seconds, and then back to 0.8 seconds again.
If using the Rapid-Fire mode, you get each photo at 0.2 seconds apart after the initial trigger. After the last photo however, the recovery is about 4 seconds.
We really love the new Command Ops Pro design. The camera is sturdy, well-constructed and feels good in the hand. The camouflage is also great – either in standard or the new ‘Mossy Oak’. Because you don’t have large numbers of small LEDs, there is little that gives the camera away.
Battery life is exceptional on the Command Ops Pro, particularly if you use Lithium batteries. It requires 6x AA batteries at a time. Generally, you can expect around 13 months battery life for photos (taking around 60 pictures every 24 hours) and about 6-7 months for video (taking around 20 videos every 24 hours). This will obviously vary depending on how active and how long each video is, and if there are more night shots than day. We’ve found that this camera is excellent on battery life, and one of the best available, thanks to the new IR LEDs used.
Browning cameras in general have been also very reliable for us and are covered by a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty in the UK when bought through NatureSpy.
The Browning Command Ops Pro is certainly straight forward to use. When turned on, the little LCD screen lights up and has good contrast – no squinting needed. 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. The menu is self-explanatory (set time/date etc) and easy to navigate through.
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 Command Ops Pro in the best place possible.
Overall an easy camera trap to use, but if you do require any help or have any questions you can just get in touch with us.