The Browning Recon Force Edge builds on the Recon Force Advantage and is comfortably 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.
This is one of the reasons you may have spotted it on BBC Springwatch recently!
It offers faster trigger speeds, day and night video definition is improved, clearer audio and some extra menu options compared to the previous version. Detection and sensitivity have also been improved and the trigger speed has got slightly faster still.
One big new feature is the addition of a start and stop programmable timer – allowing you to set when you want the camera to be active, and avoid those times when the pigeons are in the garden, or the cat is let out etc – essentially, so you can focus on the wildlife.
Many of these improvements are thanks to an upgrade to the latest best-in-class V35MA processor.
Trigger speeds, particularly for videos, are very impressive and quick, at an improved 0.2-0.4 seconds – a stat that few can match (regardless of what the manufacturers tell you!). Detection is reliable and consistent.
The build quality and overall design of the camera is excellent and has improved, 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 Edge is also straightforward to use – uncomplicated, without a vast array of settings, but quick and simple. The only difference between this and the Spec Ops Edge is that this camera has low-glow, rather than no-glow, LEDs.
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 Browning Recon Force Edge review below…
Trigger speed: about 0.3 seconds Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds
Video quality is a massive strong-point on the Recon Force Edge – its fantastic. Clear, crisp, good colour and excellent audio to boot. It ticks all the boxes.
Daytime videos are nice and clear – you can watch on a large screen and not lose any clarity. Night footage is 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 version, as well as clearer audio.
More video examples coming soon…
The Recon Force Edge 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 really clear, and improved compared to the 2018 version. Using this camera you get to really add another dimension to the videos through the audio – whether its badgers crunching through leaves on the forest floor or hedgehogs snuffling at a feeding bowl.
The exposure control at night is also fantastic, with the Browning instantly adjusting to maintain the correct light levels. This year, Browning have tuned the Recon Force Edge to slightly brighter night time videos.
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.
Trigger speed: about 0.2 seconds Recovery time: about 0.6 seconds
Photo examples coming soon…Trigger speed and detection
Detection range: approx. 90ft LED type: Low-Glow LEDs
The Edge is a quick wildlife camera, both in photo and video mode. Triggers on this model are super quick, both around 0.2 and 0.3 second, and detection is strong – its a wildlife camera that doesn’t miss much at all.
Video trigger speeds have seen big improvement across the proper manufacturers in the last few years – however, this camera is one of the quickest – clocking in at around 0.3 seconds for video. When you consider that the Bushnell Essential E3 is around 1.8 seconds for video, that’s pretty impressive. It’s also marginally quicker than the Bushnell Core 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 Edge gives you the best of both worlds.
LEDs are low-glow, which are what we’d recommend if you’re only after wildlife. There is a no-glow version if you are worried about those pesky humans however; the Spec Ops Edge.
Photo triggers, as with all camera traps, are faster – but only marginally so on the Recon Force Edge, at around 0.2 seconds. This brings the photo trigger speed in line with other fast camera traps (i.e. SpyPoint Force Dark, Bushnell Core DS).
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.
The Recon Force Edge also updates some of the menu options; the sensitivity of the camera can be raised and lowered more easily, and there is the popular option to set an operation time allowing you to tell the camera to be active only at a certain point over 24 hours – avoiding the dogs, or when you’re cutting the grass for example.
The build quality on the Recon Force Edge trail camera has moved up a peg – the camera is smaller than previous versions and has been slimmed down, in the right way. The build is strong and sturdy and the seals have improved too.
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 and a firm press to click back into place – this ensures any rain is kept well out!
Battery life is good on the Edge; 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. This in turn improves the detection rates of the wildlife camera.
Generally, you can expect around 15 months battery life for photos (taking around 60 pictures every 24 hours) and about 2-3 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.
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.
The Recon Force Edge is certainly not a difficult wildlife camera 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.
This forward-facing colour screen is extremely useful – you can strap the camera trap 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 Edge 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.