Browning Range Ops Review

     Last update:  1/24/14

Quick Facts
Trigger Speed:
Recovery Time:
Detection Range:
Flash Range:
Batteries:
Dimensions:
0.68 s
2.1 s
50 ft
50 ft
8 AA
5" x 4" x 2.75"


Trailcampro Star Rating

3.8 Stars

Browning Range Ops
$119.95



Pros
  • Fast trigger & recovery time
  • Detection width is perfectly matched to f.o.v.
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Solid battery life
  • Case design is superb
Cons
  • Night pictures have some graininess
Trailcampro Analysis

     Browning is arguably the most recognizable name in the outdoor industry.  It seems like every 4x4 truck in the country comes with a Browning sticker already attached.  The Browning logo gives instant credibility.

     When we heard Browning had plans to release a trail camera line in 2013, we were both intrigued and worried.  We have seen well respected outdoor companies dive into this
industry before to simply belly flop for years before finally manufacturing a useful camera.

     The Range Ops arrived at our doorsteps in March of 2013 and we immediately put it through the gauntlet of tests we perform and eventually out in the woods ready to go to work.  With Spring in the air, we placed this camera in a turkey hotspot near the edge of a field.  At best, we figured the Range Ops would come up with a few turkey pictures.  After all, this is just a $120 game camera, right?  It's not like this inexpensive of a camera would be able to keep up with the big boys...

     Looking back now, we weren't prepared for what the Range Ops would be capable of.

Detection Circuit       4.2 Stars
    Detection circuit is usually the first place we expect a $120 camera to fail.  The Range Ops trigger time is 0.68 seconds and it recovers in 2.1 seconds.  The next fastest recovery time is a Reconyx, which just happens to be the highest end camera out there.  Let's think about that for a second, a $120 camera has the second fastest recovery time in the entire trail camera industry.

    Recovery time is one thing, but detection zones are pretty tricky to master.  Making a detection zone perfectly overlap the field of view (area in which the camera can "see") is tough.  Too wide of a zone produces "false" triggers and too narrow a zone limits the area in which the camera can detect.  Turns out, Browning has already mastered the art of detection zones.  Their detection zone is the perfectly matched to the field of view (f.o.v.) of this camera.

 
    In our standardized testing, the detection range of the Range Ops was 50 ft.  We have had it detect further, but not as consistently as it is at 50 ft.

      Here is a brief recap of the detection circuit:
  • 0.68 second trigger
  • 2.1 second recovery time
  • 50 ft. detection range
  • Perfectly matched detection zone to field of view angle

     As mentioned earlier, we expected to get a few turkey pictures from the location we were using.  In the few months it has been out, we have been blown away by how many pictures the camera has taken.  Thousands and thousands of images.  We went through each and every picture and ended up having less than a handful of "false" triggers.

     That should have been our first sign that we were overlooking this little camera.

Picture Quality       3.8 Stars
     Daytime pictures, for the most part, are exceptional.  Color and contrast are perfect.  The only knock we saw is if you blow up the pictures in full resolution, animals that are 30+ feet out are just a bit out of focus.  The focus seems to be perfect the closer the animal comes to the camera.

     Check out some of the up close and personal turkeys on the right.  You can see every detail of the turkeys face.  This camera would be absolutely ideal for close camera trap stations like a fox den, bird nest/feeder, or anything else where the camera has to be within 5-10 feet of the subject.

     If there is heavy movement, the daytime pictures will blur (i.e. turkey flapping its wings).  Some images have a tendency to overexpose, but Browning has a firmware update to fix that.





     There did seem to be a run of cameras from about October - December that were out of focus (like the pictures above).  We aren't seeing that as much on the recent batch but it is worth noting.

     The nighttime pictures are pretty good for a red glow infrared camera.  The flash range is more than adequate and the contrast looks about right.  When we did the latest Flash Range Test, the camera didn't do as well against some of the competitors and exhibited some graininess in the images.  However, every single sample photo from the field came out well above average and more than enough for anything within 50 ft.

     The absence of heavy "white out" on close objects once again confirms our belief that this camera would be great for tight, up close and personal camera trap stations.

     Always important to note that the camera trap station is important for photo quality as well.  If you place the camera in an open field or food plot, like the pictures below, the flash with not be as bright as it doesn't have anything to "bounce" off of.  Also, the day pictures can be overexposed as it is in direct sunlight.  Browning has a recent firmware update that helps with overexposure in certain situations.







Video Quality

     Video quality on the Range Ops is what we would consider average.  Not overly impressive but it does the basic functions.

     Check out the video on the right for an example of video quality.

     You can set the video lengths in increments of 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds.  You can set longer videos of 1 or 2 minutes as well.

     Trigger speed in video mode is slower when in video mode.


Battery Life       3.5 Stars
      The 0.11 milliamp resting current draw is among the lowest we have ever tested.  The daytime power consumption is a little bit high and the night consumption is right about average.

Resting Current Draw
Daytime Power Consumption
Nighttime Power Consumption
0.11 ma
978 ma
1120 ma

ma = milliamps

     Operating on 8 AA batteries (the camera does have an external 12v battery jack) we expect this camera to last about 2 - 2.5 months on nimh rechargeable batteries or 4-6 months on lithium batteries.

     The batteries are located in a removable tray.  One important note is that the tray is designed to "stick" before it pulls completely out.  This keeps the battery tray from falling out and hitting the ground expectantly when changing batteries.

Ease of Use       3.9 Stars
     The case design on the Range Ops was really well thought-out.  First off, the camera blends in exceptionally as it has grooved streaks on the front of the camera to mimic bark patterns.  The 1/4" x 20 threaded insert (on the bottom of the camera) is deeper than most we have used and it seems to be reinforced for more stability in a Slate River Mount or any other threaded swiveling system.

     The only issue we have with the case design is the latches being so tight.  To open or close the camera you have to squeeze the camera to get the latches to flip open or closed.

     The back of the camera has a built in bracket for both the nylon webbing strap that comes with the camera or a Python Cable Lock.


     Programming takes seconds and we have yet to look at an owners manual.  For those interested in time lapse, the Range Ops can go down to as little as 5 seconds or as much as 60 minutes.

     Durability has been solid on the Range Ops so far.  We have seen a few issues with the IR filter, but those have been few and far between.  To date, the durability has been impressive for such an inexpensive camera.

     From handling the camera and inspecting the materials used
(buttons, seals, etc) on the Range Ops, we aren't concerned with any potential issue.  Browning does have a 1 year manufacturer warranty.  If you buy from us, we give you a free 2 year extended warranty - directly through us.

     The only problem we have found with this camera is the out of focus
pictures from a select number of the cameras produced recently.  Once that is resolved, this camera will go back to being the best value camera on the market.
Range Ops Sample Photos
(click to enlarge)
































Buy a Browning Range Ops



Browning Range Ops
$119.95