Browning Dark Ops Elite
TCP Score: 79/100
- 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
2016 Browning Dark Ops Elite Review
Model # BTC-6HDE | Browning Dark Ops Owner's Manual
Trailcampro Comprehensive Score: What's this?
- Improved picture & video trigger speed
- Night pictures adjust to the distance of the animal
- 7.1 months battery life on lithium batteries
- Max of 20 second night videos
What is new for the 2016 Dark Ops Elite?
- Faster picture trigger speed.
- Dynamic video - video continues to record as long as the animal is in front of the camera (daytime only)
- 20 second max night video length (10 s. on the 2015 Dark Ops HD)
- SD card overwrite setting option
The Browning Dark Ops Elite HD is a sub-micro no glow IR game camera. The Dark Ops model has been one of the best selling trail cameras the last several years, and that probably won't be changing anytime soon. The Dark Ops name was built on good picture quality, fast detection, long battery life - all packed in a sub-micro package.
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.
Dimensions: 4.75" x 4" x 3" | Battery Type: 6 AA Batteries | External Battery Jack: 12-VoltOutside 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..."
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.
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.
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 great.
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.
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.
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.
Resting Power (on): 0.97 mW | Daytime Power Consumption: 3.47 Ws | Nighttime Power Consumption: 4.94 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.
Browning Dark Ops Elite Conclusion: 79/100
The BTC-6HDE is a fantastic no glow trail camera. The Dark Ops continues to improve each year and it remains one of our favorite, budget-friendly game cameras. This is a great addition to your trail camera collection, whether you need it for security, wildlife or some combination of both.
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- 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
Buy your next trail camera or accessory from us and we will protect your purchase with our 90-day return policy and our exclusive 2-year warranty.
Most manufacturer warranties are only one year. In our opinion, that isn't good enough. Our customers get a two-year warranty, directly from us.
Trailcampro's 2 Year Warranty
If the trail camera you purchase from us goes defective within two years of your purchase, we will quickly replace it.
We strive to make the warranty process as quick and easy as possible. Simply fill out our warranty form.
Trailcampro's 90 Day Return Policy
We believe you have the right to return any game camera that does not meet your expectations within 90 days.
Our return policy lets you field test products, at no risk to you!
- Buyer's remorse? Return the camera to us for a full refund (minus shipping).
- Purchased the wrong camera? We will ship you the right camera.
- Something wrong with the camera you received? We will replace it at no cost to you.
Want to talk to a trail camera expert? Contact our friendly staff.
Read our Customer Testimonials to find out what our customers have been saying about us!
- Free UPS Economy Shipping on all orders over $100
- 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.
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Springfield, MO 65807
Browning Dark Ops Accessories
Here are a few of the accessories we like to use in the Dark Ops Elite.
- There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.
- 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.
- Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The Dark Ops Elite has brackets on the back specifically for this lock.
Start at $5.95
- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the Dark Ops Elite, but most people use a second card. 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.