Browning Recon Force Elite HP4
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Quick trigger speed
Best video available
2" colour screen
Although we appreciate that some conservation efforts require wild animals to be controlled, we have a strict anti-hunting policy. As such we cannot supply camera traps for the purposes of wildlife monitoring with the intention of dispatching any animal.
We work hard to minimise our impact on the environment. We recycle all cardboard, plastic, batteries and other packaging. For shop orders, all cardboard used is made out of 70% recycled material and is 100% recyclable. If you do receive any paper, plastic or polystyrene packaging, we have reused these materials from packaging that has been sent to us. Sustainable resources are used wherever possible. We think before we print. NatureSpy branded apparel is 100% certified organic made using solar and wind powered renewable energy and low waste, cruelty-free inks.
We’re a small organisation that aims to produce a big impact. Through our wildlife work we also want to educate people and communities about their local green spaces and wilder neighbours. In doing so we hope to achieve a dual purpose of encouraging people to care for and protect wild animals and habitats while using nature for their own health and well-being.
There is a new version of this camera available- the Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
The Browning Recon Force Elite HP4 builds on the Recon Force Edge 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.
The previous version of this wildlife camera was used on BBC Springwatch and the new version doesn’t disappoint.
A headline change is the new long-range power LEDs, which as well as providing better night time performance, also allow the camera to run off rechargeable batteries – something we’ve long been pining for. It makes this wildlife camera suddenly much greener!
It offers faster trigger speeds, and improved night video definition. Detection and sensitivity have also been improved.
It retains the important 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.
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!).
The build quality and overall design of the camera is excellent and has improved further, 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 Elite HP4 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 Elite HP4 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.
Max res: 1080p (60fps day, 60fps night) Max length: 2mins day, 20 secs night
Trigger speed: about 0.3 seconds Recovery time: about 0.8 seconds
This is the absolute headline feature of this trail camera – its video quality. The Recon Force Elite HP4 is designed around this – it has the latest iCatch processor to allow for crisper videos, day and night, than ever before.
Audio has also really improved, with minimal background hum – meaning you can hear the noises of wildlife trotting by, badgers squabbling or birds playing with ease.
The above are why we get this wildlife camera used so widely - from backgardens for hedgehogs, conservation projects large and small, all the way to TV production companies making the next Netflix and BBC documentaries!
Max res: 22MP (lowest 4MP) Max number per trigger: 8 photos
Trigger speed: about 0.2 seconds Recovery time: about 0.6 seconds
Photo quality is often overlooked on this camera because the video quality is so good – but the photos don’t disappoint either.
Daytime photos are clear and colourful, offering great detail. Night time are good and the new LEDs really help here to freeze motion better.
As with all camera traps, we recommend using the lower photo resolution settings for better results – this avoids excessive interpolation and can actually improve the image quality.
Photo examples coming soon...
Speed and detection
Trigger speed: approx. 0.2s (photos), 0.3s (videos) Recovery speed 0.6s
Detection range: approx. 90ft LED type: Low-Glow Power LEDs
The Recon Force line of wildlife cameras from Browning have always been quick, and this is no different – photos trigger almost instantly on detection, and video triggers are about 0.3s once detection is made. Pretty darn quick, and means you’re not likely to miss anything at all.
Detection is as usual very good – one of the reasons these Browning trail cameras gets used so widely. Detection varies (as with all cameras with a PIR sensor) based on batteries, settings, positioning and temperature but you can expect up to 90ft for a human-sized animal or deer etc. For hedgehogs, we always recommend being no more than 20ft away.
Build quality & batteries
Warranty: 2 years (through NatureSpy)
Batteries: 8x AA (Lithium strongly recommended)
Browning cameras are always sturdy little units and the new Recon Force Elite HP4 is too. It keeps the slimmer case design of the previous Edge version, with the catch slightly beefed up too.
The metal bracket that the strap feeds through means you can pull it tight against a tree or fencepost without worrying if you’re pulling too hard.
There is a tripod mount at the base if you want to put on a tripod in the garden etc (just be careful not to over-tighten). This also works with the Camera Tree Mount to allow for more fine-tuned set ups. 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 Elite HP4 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 Elite HP4 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.
Every purchase funds our projects
One of the best wildlife camerasThe Recon Force Elite HP4 is one of our top picks - used in our wildlife projects all over the world, thanks to its first class video quality...
- Audio Recording: Yes
- Battery Life - Photos: Up to 18 Months
- Battery Life - Video: Up to 3.5 months
- Can use rechargable batteries: Yes - Eneloop Pro only
- Cellular: No
- CMOS Sensor: 4MP
- Detection range max: Up to 90ft
- Encryption option: No
- External power jack: 12V 5.5mm DC Input, min. 2A max. 7A
- FPS: 60fps
- GPS Geotag: No
- Hybrid capture: No
- Image data strip: Yes
- IR flash range: 100ft max
- LCD Display: Colour
- LED Type: Low-Glow
- Max Images per trigger: 8
- Max SD Card capacity: 512GB
- Max video resolution: 1080p
- Memory overwrite: Yes
- Night vision flash: Low-Glow
- No of batteries: AA x8
- Number of LEDs: 4 Power LEDs
- PIR sensor: Up to 90ft
- Power supply: AA batteries
- Recovery speed: 0.6s
- Resolution: 22MP
- Solar compatible: Yes
- Start Stop Timer: Yes
- Strap included: Yes
- Timelapse: Yes
- Trigger speed - Photos: 0.02sec
- Trigger speed - Videos: 0.3sec
- Tripod mount: Yes
- Video length: Up to 2 minutes daytime, 20 seconds night
- Warranty: 2 year
- Weatherproof: Yes
- Wireless connectivity: No
Browning Trail Cameras - what do we think?
Browning Trail Cameras 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 and Spec Ops 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 0.3 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.
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 wildlife 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 some further help with camera traps or Browning Trail Cameras in general, check out our support section - packed full of videos, FAQs and support.
Need some help?
We pride ourselves on our pre and post-purchase customer service.
We understand that occasionally, there is a question you can't find the answer for, or a tweak you need to make to improve the performance to help you get that shot you've been after.
Fortunately, we've seen it all before. We have a dedicated support section that covers loads of topics both simply and also in depth, depending on what you need.
Because we're Europe's experts and we work with the products we offer on a daily basis, we know them better than anybody. Our support area is based on years and years of working with the products we offer.
So instead of scratching your head to trying and figure something out, head over to the support centre or check our FAQs.