The 2021 Browning Command Ops Elite is an improvement on the 2019 version – adding better video and photo resolution, better detection range, and faster trigger speeds.
One big improvement is the doubling of the number of LEDs – the old version had 2, and the new has 4. This translates into a much-improved night performance.
Browning continue to improve on their budget offering and this latest wildlife camera certainly packs a lot of punch for the price, and is a versatile little camera that is fun to use.
It now uses a new kind of low-glow LEDs introduced on some models in 2017 and 2019 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 very decent, especially for a camera at this price – now improved at around 0.3 seconds for photos, and similar for videos – few cameras at this end of the market are as quick. Most of the cameras at this price point and below are very slow – meaning the recording starts after the animal is gone!
Video quality is improved, though the same resolution as the last version at 720p. 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 X). 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 great quality for the price – we give the Browning Command Ops Elite 7 out of 10.
Read more of our review below…
Trigger speed: about 0.5 seconds Recovery time: about 1.1 seconds
The 2019 Command Ops was a really popular little camera, and video is one area that’s moved on again this year – just adding some extra clarity, better sound and ensuring its still a great choice for some casual hedgehog watching, or where you don’t need that high-end video that cameras like the Elite HP4 offer.
Night videos are pretty good, though the way you set the Command Ops Elite up is important to maximise the IR flash range and lighting.
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 Elite 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 Elite. Colour has improved from last year, and its good at freezing motion and it can now take up to 8 images per trigger, up from the previous 4.
Night images are decent – the new LEDs have a good range on them, but its nothing massive. The Command Ops Elite is best at distances of no more than 25ft away from any activity.
We generally like to use the photo mode with ‘Rapid Shot’ and 4 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. Alternatively, turn this modes off and the camera will just take 1 shot every time its triggered.Trigger speed and detection
Detection range: approx. 70ft LED type: Low-Glow LEDs
The Command Ops Elite has got a bit faster than last year’s model, and now has a pretty respectable speed – this isn’t a slow camera. 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.
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 1.1 seconds is very quick for a camera this price.
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 Command Ops Elite design. The camera is sturdy, well-constructed and feels good in the hand. The camouflage is also great and blends in well. 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 Elite, 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 Elite 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.