Browning Dark Ops Elite (2016) Review

Trailcampro Comprehensive Score:

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

Browning Strike Force Elite trail camera

2016 Browning Dark Ops Elite Review

- Invisible night flash, speed, picture quality, 7-month battery life and easy programming. It isn't the best at anything, but it is really good in every category. - TCP Staff

Model # BTC-6HDE | Browning Dark Ops Owner's Manual


  • Night pictures adjust to the distance of the animal
  • Good picture quality
  • 7.1-months battery life on lithium batteries
  • Improved picture & video trigger speed


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

Trailcampro Analysis

The only difference between the Dark Ops Elite and the Strike Force Elite is the type of infrared flash. The Dark Ops is no glow - meaning the human eye can't see the camera take a picture at night. The Strike Force is red glow - it produces a faint red glow when taking pictures.

Picture Quality

Photo resolution: 10 mpxl (interpolated)

Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 w/ audio

Flash Type: No Glow Infrared

Day pictures are exactly what we expected from the Dark Ops Elite. Day pictures have clarity, depth, and contrast. The worst thing you can say about these pictures is the color could use a boost. Everything else is really good.

Night pictures have good contrast and solid flash range. As with any no glow camera, if you compare to the red glow counterpart (the Strike Force Elite), the night pictures will be a little darker and grainier. This is what you should expect from a no glow camera - it produces less light than a similar red glow model.

Overall, night pictures are very good and right in line with expectations.

[powr-image-slider id=305e65f7_1460390509]

Video resolution is 1280 x 720 (with audio). We love the videos from the Dark Ops Elite. They capture motion well and the night videos are extremely impressive. Flash range, contrast, and depth are all present.

The Dark Ops Elite has dynamic video. When this is turned on, the camera will record daytime videos as long as there is activity in front of the camera. When the activity has stopped for 4 seconds, the video stops recording. This is designed to keep the video from shutting off at pre-determined intervals just as the action is getting started.

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

Resting Power (on): 0.97 mW

Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 3.47 Ws | 4.94 Ws

Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 14.46 Ws | 60.17 Ws

Runtime on a set of 6 lithium batteries has increased from 4.9 months to 7.1 months on the 2016 Dark Ops Elite. This is a huge improvement. Remember, the Dark Ops is achieving this on only 6 batteries, not the 8 or 12 other cameras need to match this.

This calculation is based on that camera taking 35-day and 35-night pictures in a 24 hour period, with lithium batteries.

Trigger Speed & Detection

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.65 s. / 1.5 s.

Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 1.31 s. / 1.9 s.

Detection Range: 60 ft.

Trigger speeds improved across the board, while recovery times remained similar (video actually slowed down half a second). Detection range is an average 60 ft.

Overall, this detection zone is very fast and capable of capturing movement quickly.

Quality of Design

Dimensions: 4.75" x 4" x 3"

Battery Type: 6 AA Batteries

External Battery Jack: 12-Volt

back bracket of Strike Force Elite

Outside of the camouflage pattern, the case design remains identical to earlier Dark Ops/Strike Force designs. The weak point with the case is the latch. We have replaced quite a few latches the last several years. While this can be annoying if they do break, we keep extra latches to replace these for our customers.

The setup looks similar to last year, with two added setting options - sd card overwrite and dynamic video. Dynamic video is an incredible tool if you plan on capturing trail camera videos.

"Dynamic video is an incredible tool..."

The back of the camera has a built-in bracket for a python cable lock. There is a 1/4" x 20 threaded insert on the bottom of the Dark Ops for a Slate River Mount.

While the camera is new, the basic components of the Dark Ops have been around for several years now. Last years cameras durability rating was plagued by a run of cameras that took black night photos. No such issues have arisen with the Dark Ops Elite. We continually update the reliability portion of this category throughout the year.

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Manufacturer Specifications

  • No Glow Infrared Flash
  • 12-Volt External Battery Jack
  • 1280 x 720 HD Video w/ audio (5 - 120 second clips)
  • Picture Info Displays: Time, date, moon phase, temperature and camera ID
  • Backlit display and controls for easy programming in low light conditions
  • Timelapse mode plus IR triggered images
  • Runs on 6 AA batteries (We recommend Lithium on Nimh rechargeable batteries only)
  • Supports up to 32 Gig SD Card
  • TV out jack
  • USB 2.0 port
  • 1/4" x 20 threaded insert on the bottom of the camera
  • Smart IR video (dynamic video)
  • Buckwatch timelapse viewer plus PC software
  • Multi-shot up to 8 images
  • 4 picture resolutions
  • Time delay: 5, 10, 20 and 30 seconds. Or, 1, 5, 10, 30 and 60 minutes
  • Aim test mode
  • Comes with 6 foot nylon strap with all metal heavy duty buckle
Ups Ground Shipping Times Domestic Shipping Options
  • Free UPS Economy Shipping on all orders over $99
  • Free shipping applies only to the lower 48 states and will be shipped via the most economical method.
  • 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.
International Orders

Dear International Customer:
International rates vary by country and postal code. Please click here for detailed international rates.

Trailcampro L.L.C.

3048 S. Clifton Ave
Suite 108
Springfield, MO 65807

Browning Dark Ops Accessories

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

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 Elite 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. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures.

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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.