Browning Spec Ops XR Review

     -Last Update:  10/28/14

Quick Facts
Trigger Speed:
Recovery Time:
Detection Range:
Flash Range:
0.70 s.
2.3 s.
70 ft.
50 ft.
8 AA
5" x 4" x 2.75"

Trailcampro Star Ranking

4.1 Stars

Browning Spec Ops XR

  • Excellent trigger/recovery times
  • 2" internal viewer w/ live preview
  • Case design is flawless
  • High quality no glow infrared night pictures
  • Can only take 10 second videos at night
Trailcampro Analysis

     We field phone calls all day from folks interested in purchasing a new game camera.  This could be their 1st camera or their 31st.  The first question we always ask is; "What will you be using the camera for?"

     We feel this is the single most important question we can ask to match you up with the correct camera.  Answers can vary from catching a trespasser, watching a bird feeder, overlooking a construction site, monitoring who is driving through a gate all the way down to the most common answer- observing and watching wildlife.

     Depending on your answer, we can recommend a camera that would fit your needs perfectly.  There are a ton of quality trail cameras on the market these days, most excel in a number of areas but very few are well-rounded enough to handle everything.

     What must a game camera possess to be versatile enough to handle anything in its path?  For one, it has to be fast enough to capture even the quickest moving animals/people.  Then, it must have a detection zone that  matches the field of view perfectly.  Battery life has to stretch out for at least a few months and the case design has to be simple, durable, concealable and easy to use.  Most importantly, the camera has to take high quality pictures.  What good is the fastest, most efficient camera on the market if you can't clearly see what it is taking a photo of?

     You have to be wondering what any of this has to do with reviewing the Browning Spec Ops, right?  Well, this camera might just be one of the few game cameras that is capable of checking every single box on our wishlist.

Detection Circuit       4.0 Stars
     The most fundamental, rudimentary thing a trail camera must be capable of is detection.  A camera must be able to detect a combination of heat and movement, which in turn results in a picture of an animal.  This boils down to detection circuit.  Detection circuit consists of:
  • Trigger Speed
  • Recovery Time
  • Detection Width
  • Detection Range
     The trigger speed of the Spec Ops is a lightning fast 0.70 seconds.  The camera recovers in 2.3 seconds.  These times rank in the 95th percentile of all the trail cameras on the market.  This is more than quick enough to detect even the fastest moving animals.

     Quite possibly the most impressive thing we saw this camera do is take pictures of animals at the exact time they entered the field of view.  This can only be possible if the detection zone mimics the field of view.  This resulted in very few "empty" photos.  The detection range consistently hits anywhere from 50-70.  If it isn't scorching hot, the camera should detect out to 70 ft. rather consistently.

     Overall, the detection zone is outstanding.  Wide, fast and deep enough to handle anything from food plots to game trails.

Picture Quality       4.0 Stars

     Picture quality on the Spec Ops is a big plus.  The daytime pictures have bright, vivid colors with excellent contrast.  Clarity is very solid, but not perfect.  We placed several of these cameras in areas that are either in direct sunlight, shade or a mix of the two.  This can be difficult for the light sensor to handle but the Spec Ops handled it with ease.

This picture was sent in by one of our customers (CT in Colorado) and shows off what a "perfect" daytime picture would look like from the Spec Ops.

The camera takes photos with an interpolated 10 mpxl digital camera.  This is not a true 10 mpxl camera, but it is able to zoom in on the picture as if it is.

Click on the image to the left to view a full size, raw picture from this camera.

     This is a no glow infrared trail camera.  No glow simply means that there is no visible light emitted when a night picture is taken.  Normally, no glow cameras take dim, grainy photos as they have 940 nm infrared emitters.  Not only is this understandable, but it is expected.

     We have been pleasantly surprised at the overall clarity, focus and lighting of the night photos.  While there can be a bit of blur and graininess, it is easily among the better no glow infrared photos we have seen.  Contrast is exceptional and the lighting is the same on the sides of the photos as it is in the center.  Blur can be expected on quick movement, but overall, you could easily make out a human face or count the points on a big buck within 50 feet.

Battery Life       4.2 Stars
     Battery consumption consists of the current draw when a camera is inactive, or "resting," and how much power a camera consumes when it takes a picture during the day or night.  The resting current draw on the Browning Spec Ops is awesome.  0.08 milliamps is a tiny number, capable of letting the camera sit dormant for months on end.  The daytime and nighttime power consumptions improved considerably from last year.

Resting Current Draw
Daytime Power Consumption
Nighttime Power Consumption
0.08 ma
588 mAs
797 mAs

ma = milliamps
mAs = milliamp seconds

     The Spec Ops utilizes 8 AA batteries.  They are located in a removable battery tray on the bottom of the camera.

      Determining total battery life is challenging as it depends on the batteries you want to use, as well as how many photos are taken in a given time period.  We have used both Energizer Lithium batteries as well as Tenergy Rechargeable Nimh (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries in the Spec Ops (it uses 8 AA batteries at a time).  The lithium batteries will give you the longest battery life, roughly 6+ months.  The rechargeables will go about 2 months, but can be recharged and reused when they are depleted.

Ease of Use       4.3 Stars
     The camera is small, constructed well, easy to use and conceals better than any camera we have ever seen.  For example, after we set one of the cameras up we had to take a picture of the camera to show how well this camera blended in to this particular tree (picture is on the right, click it to make it bigger).

     If you aren't locking the camera down with a python lock or security case, you should consider the screw-in Slate River Mount.  Adjustable for any angle and it will screw into any tree.  Even if you don't use the mount, the nylon strap the camera comes with is worth a mention.  The buckle on it is heavy-duty and impressive.  We almost never talk about the straps a camera comes with but this one is worth mentioning.

     Camera setup is quick and easy.  The programming is over before you know it.  Perhaps the best part, is the 2" internal viewer.  Not only can you scroll through pictures the camera has taken, but the live preview function makes positioning the camera a breeze.  Simply mount the camera, turn it on and it will instantly show you what the camera is "seeing."

     The durability has been very impressive so far.  Very few issues have popped up.  We did have some overexposure and zoom issues but Browning quickly released a firmware update to fix those.

     We talk often about value in cameras.  How much value does a camera offer for a particular task?  Do you need a $500 camera to watch a pile of corn?  Probably not.  Do you want to spend $80 on a camera to catch a vandal?  You can, but it probably won't get the job done.

     The Browning Spec Ops offers value for every task you can think of.  Security, bird watching, construction overview, game trails, food plots, fox dens, beaver ponds; you name it, the Spec Ops will handle it.  This is not a one-dimensional camera trap.  You can place this camera in a multitude of camera trap stations and expect success at every stop.  There are less than a handful of trail cameras on the market that we consider truly versatile and multifunctional.  The Browning Spec Ops is one of them.
Spec Ops Sample Photos
(click to enlarge)

6 Highlights from the Browning Spec Ops


No Glow Infrared:  Invisible flash is perfect for Security Surveillance or chasing an elusive trophy.

Detection Circuit:  Triggers in 0.7 seconds, recovers in 2.3 seconds and detects out to 70 ft.

Battery Eject:  Push the button to eject the battery tray (holds 8 AA).

39 IR Emitters:  Plenty of light to illuminate out to 50 ft., even on the darkest of nights.

10 MPXL Photos:  Interpolated 10 Megapixels = bright, colorful day pictures.

2" Color View:  Live preview of what the camera see ensures the perfect shot, every time.

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Browning Spec Ops XR