Browning Dark Ops HD

Sale price$149.95


Discontinued Trail Camera Model

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2015 Browning Dark Ops HD Review

Model # btc6-hd |  Browning Dark Ops Owners Manual


  • Quick recovery time
  • Great picture quality
  • Improved video resolution
  • Solid detection zone


  • Only capable of 10 second night videos
  • High day & night power consumption

Trailcampro Analysis

The #1 question we get about Browning cameras is "what is the difference between the Dark Ops and the Strike Force?"  Let's answer that before we do anything else.  The Dark Ops HD is simply the no glow version of the Strike Force.  No glow means the camera does not emit a light that is visible to the human eye.  The Strike Force is red glow (we can see a faint red glow when it takes a video or picture).  The Dark Ops also prints the barometric pressure on the pictures (Strike Force does not).

Browning has been advertising all their 2015 cameras as having a higher resolution of video and having improved latch construction.  Let's take a closer look and see how the Dark Ops HD is doing.

Quality of Design     

Dimensions: 4.75" x 4" x 3"  |  Battery Type:  6 AA Batteries  |  External Battery Jack:  12 Volt

To the naked eye, the case design remains virtually unchanged.  This is a very small, compact, easy to conceal trail camera.  All the buttons for programming work pretty well, although sometimes you will have to push a button a second time for it to react. 

The battery tray ejects from the bottom, the eject button is a bit sticky and doesn't feel as positive as others we have tested.  The programming on the camera is very simple and easy to use.  The Dark Ops HD does lack a few programmable features that we like, such as; overwrite function, password protection and PIR/Flash Range settings.

As for durability, in 2015 there have been a run of cameras that took black night pictures along with cameras that are turning on and off rapidly.  Browning has released firmware updates to fix this problem.  Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular settings:

  • 1-8 multi-shot
  • 5 s. - 120 s. video clips
  • Time Lapse: 1/2/3 hr (am & pm) or All Day (Sunrise to Sunset).  5 s. - 60 min. time intervals
  • Photo Stamp: Time, date, temperature, moon phase and camera name
  • Picture + Video Mode: No
  • Start/Stop Time: No
  • Password Protection: No
  • SD Card Overwrite: No
  • PIR Settings: No
  • Flash Settings: No

Detection Circuit     

Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.77 s. / 1.5 s.  |  Video Trigger & Recovery Speed:  1.65 s. / 2.5 s.  |  Detection Range:  70 ft.

The picture trigger speed is ok, but the video trigger is significantly slower.  The recovery time after taking a photo is incredible, especially for a $150 camera.  The video recovery is just a tick slower, however, that is still an impressive number.

Detection range is a very solid 70 ft.  This can vary based on ambient temperature (hotter days result in cameras that are less sensitive), but on average you can expect 70 ft. if the camera is setup properly.  For maximum range, the horizon needs to be centered in the middle of a photo the camera takes.

For whatever reason, the Dark Ops HD is just a tad slower than the its Strike Force counterpart.  If you are using this camera for taking pictures, the detection circuit is incredible.  If you plan on taking videos with this camera, this detection circuit is simply above average.

Picture Quality    

Photo resolution: 10, 8, 4, 2 mpxl  |  Video Resolution: 1280 x 720 w/ audio  |  Flash Type:  No Glow Infrared

Daytime pictures mimic what we typically see from Browning trail cameras.  Good color, nice clarity and they stop motion relatively well.

As is typical with any no glow trail camera, the Dark Ops HD's night pictures are darker and grainier than you see with the red glow Strike Force.  The flash range goes down a bit as well.  There have been some blur on night photos with motion.  Overall, night pictures are above average for a no glow camera trap.

In the past, many people get confused with the megapixel ratings trail camera manufacturers advertise.  Don't get caught up in this.  We consider 99% of megapixel ratings to be a marketing gimmick.  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 only way to judge picture quality is through the pictures a trail camera takes.  For instance, the Dark Ops HD interpolates its photos out to 10 mpxl (if you choose "ultra" photo quality in the settings).  We consider interpolation completely unnecessary, however, every manufacturer employs this tactic.  You will notice this the most when you zoom in on a full size image that the camera has taken.  The details of the photo will appear hazy or even digitized.  This is normal and to be expected.

[powr-image-slider label="2898733"]

Video resolution is 1280 x 720 and it does include audio.  We have found the daytime videos to be very good; nice color, good clarity and solid contrast.  Night videos are a little darker and grainier than the Strike Force, which is to be expected, but overall they are very good.  We did dock the night videos because they will only take a maximum of 10 second clips.  No matter what you set the video length to be, night videos will only be 10 seconds long.

Battery Life     

Resting Power (on):  0.72 mW  |  Daytime Power Consumption:  6.0 Ws |  Nighttime Power Consumption:  8.0 Ws

The resting power is one of the lowest we have ever tested.  0.72 mW is almost nothing.  The day and night consumption is high, in large part because they stay powered up in order to take the next photo quicker.

The camera operates on 6 AA batteries.  You will get the best performance out of your camera if you use Lithium batteries.  Alkaline batteries will work, but they are very unreliable and drain faster in cold weather.  The Dark Ops HD will work with Tenergy Nimh Rechargeable batteries.

If this camera were to take 35 day pictures and 35 night pictures every 24 hours, this camera could last 4.9 months in the field (with lithiums).

2015 Browning Strike Force HD Conclusion:  

The improvements Browning has made to the Dark Ops HD from 2014 to 2015 may be small, but the difference is rather large.  We consider recovery time to be one of the most crucial aspects of how effective a trail camera will be.  The 2015 Dark Ops HD has improved in this category enough to make it one of the fastest recovering cameras on the market.  The improved video resolution is also quite noticeable.  Overall, this is an excellent no glow trail camera and it gets our highest recommendation.

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


Additional Resources: Browning Trail Cameras

Trailcampro's 2 Year Warranty | 90 day Return Policy

best trail camera warranty trailcampro width="598" height="107"

Trailcampro 90 Day Return | 2 Year Exclusive Warranty Details 

If you purchased your trail camera from us (, here are the following warranty stipulations. If you purchased from another retailer, we recommend contacting that retailer or the manufacturer of that product for their warranty details.

If You Purchase From

We attempted to make our return policy and 2-year exclusive warranty as simple as possible.  However, there are a few stipulations.

90 Day Returns

You may return or exchange anything purchased from Trailcampro for a full 90 days from the date of purchase. Please use the items as you normally would and much as you like subject to the rules below.

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.

90 Day Return Policy Rules:

  • 90 days from date of purchase.
  • In order to receive a full refund, items must be returned with their original packaging (including UPC code) and all contents
  • Cameras or products must be returned in their original condition.  You cannot write on the cameras, paint them or deface them in any way.  This completely voids the warranty with both us and the specific manufacturer.
  • If you purchased one of our "Package Deals" and only return part of the package, we will refund the items full price minus the package discount.
  • Orders with quantities of 5 or more are not eligible for a refund or exchange.  They are still eligible for warranty replacement.
  • There are no returns on used cameras or cameras that clearly state "No Returns"
  • If you are returning for a refund, you are responsible for return shipping.  Your refund amount will be minus the cost of the initial shipping to you.

2 Year Warranty

We strive to make our customer experience superior to anything available.  Traditional warranties only last a year and must be processed directly through the manufacturer.  This process usually involves frustrating minutes on hold with call centers and oftentimes weeks, if not months of down time waiting for your replacement product.  We process our warranties in-house and expedite the replacement process. When you call Trailcampro you'll speak directly with an expert who will immediately identify the problem and offer a solution. 

2 Year Exclusive Warranty Details: 

  • Warranty starts from the time of purchase and continues for a full 2 years.
  • Replacement cameras receive the remainder of the 2-year warranty leftover from the original purchase.
  • Warranty is only valid for full retail priced orders (quantity discounts void our 2-year warranty). Discounted items still receive the manufacturer warranty.  Price matches void the 2-year warranty as well.  
  • If your defective camera has been discontinued, we will exchange it for a similarly priced item to your liking.  
  • If you have a 3G cellular trail camera, it is not considered manufacturer defect if you lose 3G reception in your area.
  • Used cameras do not apply for our 2-year warranty
  • Cameras cannot be marked on, damaged, or defaced in any way.  Warranty is for manufacturer defect only.  Defect does not include damage, whether intentional or not.

If you have any questions that were not answered here please feel free to contact us.

To warranty a camera please use the form below.  Upon receipt of an RMA number, you will need to ship the camera back to us.  You will be responsible for the shipping charges of the defective camera back to us.  We will ship the replacement back to you for free.  


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