Browning Dark Ops 940 HD (2017) Review

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This is a discontinued model. You can shop new Browning Trail Cameras here.

2017 Browning Dark Ops 940 HD Review2017 Browning Dark Ops 940 HD review

The 2017 Dark Ops 940 is a no glow trailcam popular for both wildlife and security surveillance. The Browning Dark Ops is fast, reliable, and battery efficient. - TCP Staff

Model # BTC-6HD-940

Dark Ops 940 FAQ's

Dark Ops 940 Owner's Manual


  • Very solid nighttime images
  • 6.9-month battery life
  • Increased detection range - 80 ft. in 2017
  • Easy to program
  • Accepts SD cards up to 512 Gigs (industry standard is 32 Gig)


  • Daytime pictures could use a boost in color
  • Max of 20-second night videos

Trailcampro Analysis

The 2017 Browning Dark Ops 940 HD is a no glow game camera designed for use in both wildlife and security applications.

Picture Quality:

Photo resolution: 16, 8, 4, 2 mpxl

Video resolution: 1280x720 w/ audio

Flash Type: No Glow Infrared

Picture quality is identical to Browning no glow cameras from the past. The daytime pictures are good, but they lack great color shots. The color in the daytime images could really use a boost. Outside of that, the pictures are clear and well focused.

Night images are very solid, especially for a no glow camera. These pictures work well for wildlife and security surveillance.

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Video quality is fairly similar to picture quality. The audio works, but doesn't pick up sound as well as other models.

Megapixel Ratings:

In the past, many people get confused with the megapixel rating trail camera manufacturers advertise. Companies inflate the mpxl rating to attract eyes to their products. They do this through interpolation, which digitally adds megapixels to a photo without actually improving the picture.

The best way to judge picture quality is to look at actual pictures. You will notice this the most when you zoom in on a full-size image that a camera has taken. The details of the photo will appear hazy or even digitized. This is normal, and to be expected.

Battery Life:

Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 0.97 mW

Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 3.68 Ws | 5.12 Ws

Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 15.6 Ws | 60.15 Ws

Battery life has stayed consistent and efficient. The consumption data hasn't changed much from the 2016 models. This year, we are including video battery consumption and factoring it into our rating system on all our 2017 Trail Camera Reviews.

If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the Dark Ops 940 HD would last 6.9 months in the field on a set of 6 AA Lithium Batteries. We consider this to be very efficient, especially considering the camera only uses 6 batteries.

If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 2.2 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. Once again, considering the camera is only using 6 batteries, 2.2 months is very respectable video battery life.

Detection Circuit:

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.63 s. / 1.3 s.

Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.15 s. / 1.6 s.

Detection Range: 90 ft.

There were no improvements to detection speed from the 2016 Dark Ops Elite to this Dark Ops 940. The picture/video trigger and recovery times are almost identical. This camera remains fast, especially the recovery times. Picture trigger time is slightly above average for a modern trail camera.

Browning told us to expect an 80 ft. detection range in the 2017 Dark Ops cameras. Fortunately, our testing shows detection out to 90 ft.

Overall, we wish Browning would have improved the picture trigger speed in 2017 to at least match their 0.4 second advertised times. However, this is still an excellent detection circuit, especially considering the improved detection range.

Quality of Design:

Dimensions: 4.75" x 4" x 3"

Battery Type: AA Batteries

External Battery Jack: 12-Volt

Case Design

The Dark Ops case design stayed the same in 2017. This is one of the smallest game cameras on the market, making it easy to conceal in a variety of ways. The camera feels sturdy and stable. The latch remains a touch close to the camera, making it somewhat difficult to unlatch with cold fingers.

There is a python bracket on the back of the Dark Ops 940 HD for a Python Cable Lock. It also has the standard 1/4" x 20 threaded insert on the bottom for a Slate River Angle Mount.

Temperature ratings the camera records have a tendency of being unreliable and off by a significant margin.

Camera Setup

Camera setup is familiar and easy to navigate. Click "Mode" to enter the menu, tap "Up" or "Down" to toggle settings, hit enter to highlight a setting, change the desired setting with the up or down arrow, and then hit enter to save that setting. Very simple.

The Dark Ops 940 is the first trail camera to accept 512 Gig SD Cards. That allows for tons of memory storage and most useful if placing the camera in video mode for long periods of time.

SD Card Storage Examples

With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 4 mpxl photos (this is our recommended setting as it is closest to the native resolution), the Dark Ops 940 could store 9,304 pictures on the SD card.

With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 1280x720 videos (called "Ultra" video quality in the settings), the Dark Ops could store 258 10-second videos.

From this data, you can extrapolate out storage capacities of different sized SD cards and different resolution settings. We give you a 16 Gig SD card with the purchase of this camera through us. If you need additional or larger SD cards, you can shop all SD card options here.


The only issue we have noticed is a carry-over from 2016 models as well. If you turn the Dark Ops off, while standing in front of the camera and with the recovery time set to 5 seconds (the fastest setting for recovery), the Dark Ops will continue to shoot dozens of pictures as long as you are being detected. We hoped to see a firmware update that fixes this, but to date, we have not. In the meantime, a quick and dirty fix for this is to place your hand over the PIR lens of the camera while shutting it off. This will keep the camera from taking pictures.

Through our 2-year warranty program on the trail cameras we sell, we are able to track warranty rates on all trailcam manufacturers. We do not publish this data but Browning trail cameras have proven to be a durable camera for us. With the Dark Ops 940 not changing in design or structure, we anticipate that will continue in this model. If an issue arises, we will update this Browning Dark Ops 940 Review immediately.

Enjoy our reviews? Please consider purchasing your next trail camera from us.

FAQ's: 2017 Browning Dark Ops 940 HD

Q: How do I view the pictures?

A: There are a number of ways to do this. Pictures/videos are stored on the SD card you place in the camera.

  • View pictures on your computer. Plug the SD card in a desktop computer or laptop via the built-in SD card reader or use a USB reader if your computer doesn't have one. This method works for most tablets as well. With this method, we recommend having two SD cards per camera so you can swap them in the field.
  • View pictures on your smartphone. Choose between the iOS Reader for iPhones and the Android Reader. Phone readers require an app to access the photos, you can read more about these via the previous links.
  • Trail Camera Viewers. While more expensive, handheld viewers are useful if you don't have a smartphone or run multiple trail cameras.

Q: Will the Dark Ops 940 trigger on small animals (birds, rodents, etc.)?

A: Trail cameras detect on a combination of heat and movement, so, yes, small mammals will trigger the camera. However, if you are going after smaller warm-blooded mammals, we recommend getting the camera closer to your target. For best performance, place the camera in an area that would enable picture detection from 3 - 20 ft.

Q: Can animals see the infrared flash on the Dark Ops?

A: This is somewhat controversial. Humans can't see the flash as the nanometer spectrum is above what the human eye can detect (that is where the 940 comes from in the Dark Ops name). It's also much harder for an animal to see, but that could depend on the species of animal as different species see in different light spectrums.

Q: Where can I purchase this camera?

A: From us! We hope to woo you with our incredible charm, two-year warranty, 90-day returns, free continental U.S. shipping, and technical expertise. If that isn't enough, we give you an 16 Gig SD card with this camera and you can call and talk our ear off anytime.

Seriously, though, we know you have plenty of options of where to spend your hard-earned money. The internet can be the wild, wild, west of too-good-to-be-true deals. If you choose to do business with us, we will go out of our way to make sure you are happy with the camera you select and the service we provide you.

We are passionate about testing and reviewing trail cameras, but most importantly, we are passionate about treating our customers the right way. We do things differently from what you have come to expect from other internet retailers and we hope you give us the opportunity to prove that to you.

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Manufacturer Specifications

  • No glow infrared emitters (invisible to human eye)
  • 12-Volt External Battery Jack
  • Accepts up to a 512 Gig SD Card
  • Runs on 6 AA batteries (we recommend lithium batteries)
  • 16 mpxl (interpolated) photos
  • 1280x720 HD videos w/ audio
  • Video lengths 5 seconds - 2 minutes. 20-second max night videos
  • Picture stamp includes: time, date, moon phase, temperature, and camera ID
  • Timelapse plus mode (time lapse plus motion trigger)
  • SD Card Override
  • Smart IR video
  • Removable battery tray
  • TV out jack (cord not included)
  • USB 2.0 port (cord not included)
  • 1/4" x 20 threaded insert for Slate River Mount
  • Buckwatch timelapse CD software included (views the time lapse images, does not work with Mac computers)
  • Multi-shot up to 1-8 images
  • Selectable time delay: 5, 10, 20, 30 seconds or 1, 5, 10, 30, 60 minutes
  • Includes 6 ft. nylon camera strap with all metal buckle
Domestic Shipping Options
  • Free 2-Day Shipping
  • Orders placed before 3 p.m Central Standard Time are usually shipped the same day
  • We are happy to offer expedited shipping options. Prices are shown during checkout.
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Trailcampro L.L.C.

3048 S. Clifton Ave
Suite 108
Springfield, MO 65807

Browning Dark Ops 940 HD Accessories

Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the Dark Ops 940.

Energizer Ultimate Lithiums | 6 Pack


- There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability, and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.

Browning Sub-Micro Security Case


- Use this to protect your new camera from bears and thieves. It provides much-needed peace of mind when leaving your camera out in nature.

6 Foot Python Cable Lock


- Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The Dark Ops 940 HD has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.

Extra SD Cards

Start at $9.95

- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the Dark Ops 940 HD, but most people use two cards. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.

Verified Customer Reviews

We ensure that every customer review comes from one of our real customers and not someone who works for the competing trail camera manufacturer. These are verified customer trail camera reviews that you can trust.

We would love your feedback if you purchased this trail camera from us. We want your honest feedback, these reviews are a vital part in helping consumers choose the right game camera.