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. 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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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- 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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Browning Dark Ops Elite (2016)
has a rating of 4.6 stars
based on 118 reviews.