Browning Recon Force Advantage

Rated 4.89 out of 5 based on 101 customer ratings
(101 customer reviews)

£169.99

  • Released March 2018
  • Fantastic quality 60fps 1920 x 1080p HD video
  • Hi-res 20MP images
  • 0.4 second trigger speed
  • Long-range IR flash
  • 2 year warranty
We supply with a FREE SanDisk Ultra 16GB SD Card and NatureSpy Browning Start Up guide!
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Why choose NatureSpy for the Browning Recon Force Advantage camera trap review

2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage – Our Rating:2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage trail camera review


Overview

2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage review UK

The 2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage builds on the Recon Force Extreme and remains our favourite camera trap at NatureSpy. The video quality day and night is superb, better than on any other camera trap, and photo quality is very solid.

It offers better battery life, day and night video definition is improved, night time videos are also now 60fps, audio is clearer and some extra menu options compared to the previous version. Detection and sensitivity have also been improved.

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 excellent, 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 Advantage is also straightforward to use – uncomplicated, without a vast array of settings, but quick and simple. This year, Browning have added a menu option to reduce detection time and trigger speeds – more on this below.

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…

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2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage trail camera features review

Video quality
Max res: 1080p (60fps day, 60fps 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 remains the best available on a camera trap today.

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. There is just something about it that is pleasant to watch. There is a small improvement on daytime colour and video definition on this new 2018 version.



The Recon Force Advantage has two video resolution settings; ‘High’ and ‘Ultra’. The Ultra resolution is uncompressed 1080p HD video – and records at 60fps during the day and now also 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, and improved compared to the 2017 version. Again, using this camera (and the no-glow Spec Ops Advantage), we’ve been able to hear foxes walking through puddles, 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 0.4 seconds   Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds

Most users go for the Recon Force Advantage for its wonderful video quality. However, photo quality is again very strong, especially when coupled with some of the photo settings. Browning haven’t updated the photo quality from the 2017 version, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

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 very 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 from our monitoring partnership with Bioterra in Croatia

Trigger speed and detection
Trigger speed: approx. 0.4s (photos), 0.5s (videos)   Recovery speed 0.8s
Detection range: approx. 90ft   LED type: Low-Glow LEDs

The Recon Force Advantage is certainly a quick camera trap. Video trigger speeds have seen big improvement across manufacturers in the last few years – however, this camera is one of the quickest – clocking in at around 0.5 seconds. When you consider that the 2017 Bushnell Essential E3 is around 1.8 seconds for video, that’s pretty impressive. 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 Advantage gives you the best of both worlds.

Photo triggers, as with all camera traps, are faster – but only marginally so on the Recon Force Advantage, 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 1 second; 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 80-90ft 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. Remember that PIR sensors are looking for a change in ambient heat + motion, so detection distances can vary based on ambient temperature.

This 2018 Recon Force Advantage adds two new menu options; the first allow you to reduce the detection range, to 60ft from 80ft. These numbers are a little arbitrary, as a hedgehog won’t trigger a camera at 80ft whereas a red deer will – it depends on the infrared heat signature of the animal in question. Therefore, its best to think of this as a sensitivity setting – higher or lower. It can occasionally be useful to lower sensitivity, so its a nice option to have.

The other new setting is to slow the trigger speed from 0.4 seconds to 0.7 seconds. This isn’t something the majority of users will ever want to do, as one of the reasons this camera is great is the trigger speeds. However, if you want the camera to trigger when the animal is more central, or wait until an animal gets a little closer to a feeding area, it’s something that could improve results.

Build quality & batteries
Warranty: 2 years (through NatureSpy)   Batteries: 8x AA (Lithium strongly recommended)

The Browning Recon Force Advantage is a sturdy, well-designed and well-built trail camera. It feels strong in the hand and well-crafted. The actual design hasn’t changed for the last 3 versions.

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.

It also has a battery tray which is released using the eject button. This has a catch about 3cm down, which stops the tray flying out into rivers, puddles, mud etc when out in the field. On the first few uses, it requires a very firm pull to release it.

Battery life is good on the Advantage; it requires 8x AA batteries at a time. We strongly recommend using Lithium batteries, as they don’t care about cold temperatures, have much higher currents and voltages, and can provide power consistently.

Generally, you can expect around 6-7 months battery life for photos (taking around 60 pictures every 24 hours) and about 3-4 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.

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 Advantage 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.

2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage 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 Advantage 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

 

2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage

 

New for 2018 is the updated Browning Recon Force Advantage camera trap. It has 20MP photos, 1080p HD video, a fast trigger speed and a host of other features, and builds on the highly successful 2017 Recon Force Extreme.

The Browning Recon Force Advantage 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 day and night videos are now 60fps when in ‘Ultra’ mode – the highest available on any camera currently. This means smooth footage, in addition to the brilliant quality.

The LEDs are low-glow and have an impressive max. range of about 60ft. 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 Advantage can detect movement out to about 80ft and has the new ability to adjust the sensitivity and therefore the detection ranges to between 55-80ft.

You can also adjust the trigger speed of the camera to between 0.4 and 0.7 seconds – if you have a slow or fast moving animals, for example. This new model adds a faster recovery time too, down to 0.6 seconds.

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 Advantage 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 2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage 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 Advantage 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.

2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage features:
  • 20MP high-quality full colour resolution
  • Full HD Video – 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 2″ colour viewing screen
  • Smart IR video detection system
  • Fast 0.4 ‐0.7 Second Adjustable Trigger Speeds with 0.6 second recovery
  • Adjustable Detection Range up to 80 ft.
  • ‘Zero-blur’ technology – ensuring crisp photos
  • Day/night autosensor
  • 36 low-glow infrared LEDs with 60′ range
  • 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
  • Weatherproof
  • 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 current range from Browning builds on their successes, pushing the boundaries and improving every time. The Recon Force Advantage and Spec Ops Advantage 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 0.4 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 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 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: 2018 Browning Recon Force Advantage (BTC-7A)

 

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
0.6 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
Fast 0.4 ‐0.7 Second Adjustable Trigger Speeds
Adjustable Detection Range up to 80 ft.
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

Share your thoughts!

4.89 out of 5 stars

101 reviews

Let us know what you think...

11 reviews with a 4-star rating

  1. Rated 4 out of 5
    Very helpful people at NatureSpy, brilliant camera but...

    Carole (verified owner)

    I really wish Browning could review their use of plastic packaging. A lot of plastic surrounding the product was completely unnecessary. I hope they can rethink their packaging before their competitors do!

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  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Roy (verified owner)

    Camera quality is excellent, day and night but a bit disappointed with limited angle of lens and no still+video option

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  3. Rated 4 out of 5
    Very pleased

    Edwin (verified owner)

    Very pleased with my Browning Recon Force Advantage, delivery on time and well packed. Already getting some good results, was fairly sure we had Badger visitors, now we know. Impressive video and performance generally, pretty straightforward set up so easy to get started. On the negative, deleting unwanted videos or stills can only be done one at a time or delete the lot as far as I can see. Quite tricky, you need to concentrate.

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  4. Rated 4 out of 5
    Great once set up!

    Paul (verified owner)

    Camera is highly recommended and well featured. Initial set up using menu system is easy and we had good video and stills from first use. The only downside thus far was the very stiff battery tray which proved quite stubborn initially. Otherwise all good!

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  5. Rated 4 out of 5
    Still testing

    Ken (verified owner)

    Main use so far has been at night to capture videos of visiting foxes and a badger in the garden. I have been quite impressed with the resulting videos, especially when viewed on the PC. Incidental videos captured in daylight are also excellent. These all exceed my previous old Spypoint camera. I only have two minor thoughts. First was when I received the camera getting the battery tray out was extremely hard. Even though instructions were to pull hard I was fearful of breaking the draw. Second there does not seem to be a facility in setting a video start and stop time unlike on the Spypoint. Hence the loss of 1 star. Next test will be to take photos. Service from NatureSpy was excellent and very helpful and delivery of camera was first class. So I would definitely recommend NatureSpy and the camera.

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  6. Rated 4 out of 5
    Browning Recon Force Advantage

    Darren (verified owner)

    The camera is excellent, the video and photographs are excellent quality. The camera is easy to use and well built. I have two slight problems with the camera, the battery tray was impossible to eject, I ended up prising it open with two knives, and I had pressed the eject button. It is getting better but still very awkward to get the battery tray out. The second thing is the audible noise when videoing, it picks everything up but there seems to be some background humming and hissing that just makes it less than perfect. Overall I would recommend the camera and I love getting up every morning to see what action it has captured!

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  7. Rated 4 out of 5
    Sound piece of kit

    Robin (verified owner)

    A well-designed, well-mde trail cam, good quality videos and photos. It feeld rugged without being heavy and all the controls are nicely laid out and easy to use. The menu option are easy to follow and it comes with an excellent user manual. I would have liked a tinmer function to limit the time the camera is on therefore only four stars instead of five. Overall a very good piece of equipment which I would recommend to anyone.

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  8. Rated 4 out of 5
    Easy to set up. Not captured much yet!

    Laurie (verified owner)

    Camera arrived super quick. Set up and put outside strapped to a water butt. Got a video of a distant fox on the first night. Since then it has been mainly us walking round the garden! For last 2 or 3 days weather has been awful so haven’t been outside to recover the camera or card. It will, I assume, take some time to work out the best site for the camera in our large garden. All looking good so far and will update this review if things change markedly.

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  9. Rated 4 out of 5

    Howard (verified owner)

    I have 2 other browning trail cameras, these are earlier models and are now a few yers old. I believ that the browning brand is vastly superior to the other son the market in tersm of quality. I am a wildlife enthusiat and photographer who loves the idea of camers taking video of birds and animals remotley. The 2018 recon force is a major leap forward from the models I currentl have particualry in terms of night time videos, although I feel that for daytime footage the colours are are little too saturated. I will be ordering another Browning next month and probably a couple more during the year as I am trying to develop a wildlife site by feeding each day and recording the activities of the wildlife that come withing range

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  10. Rated 4 out of 5
    so far so good !

    Jan (verified owner)

    For various reasons I only started trying to use the camera this week. So far it has been easy to set up, and I have got a few pictures of passing blackbirds on the lawn, and one of an unknown mammal at night. I’ll give better feedback later once I’ve got used to it. Thank you Jan Wikramaratna

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  11. One person found this helpful

    Rated 4 out of 5
    Delighted with my choice

    David (verified owner)

    The camera was delivered within 36 hours of on-line ordering, extremely well packaged and in perfect condition. Setup was simple menu choices and took no more than 10 minutes after reading the helpful guide booklet. Only video used so far but daylight quality is excellent and night time the best I’ve seen, and a huge improvement on my previous five year old Bushnell. Four stars allocated because I have only had it a week so cannot judge reliability, but the camera casing feels solidly made, and the click buttons and good quality viewing screen are definite plus points. I also appreciated Nature-spy’s excellent website.

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