The Browning Spec Ops Extreme is a much-improved no glow IR trailcam from the Platinum series of 2016. Detection speeds were improved along with picture clarity.
The Spec Ops Extreme has all the makings of a top no glow trail camera for both wildlife and security.
Photo resolution: 20 mpxl (interpolated)
Video resolution: 1920x1080 w/ audio
Flash Type: No Glow IR
Daytime picture quality has shown tremendous improvement and is now on par with the Dark Ops 940. 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 pictures are well-illuminated, even across the photo and the contrast is very good. Blur is only apparent on moving animals.
Video quality has always been a strength of the Spec Ops. This hasn't changed. You will find the videos to be fluid, crisp and colorful. These are the best videos we have seen from a no glow IR camera outside of the Reconyx XR6 ($599). Night videos self-adjust to the distance the animal is from the camera. This eliminates white out and keeps exposure consistent. Hardcore trailcam video lovers are going to love the Spec Ops Extreme.
Audio is better than in the past. Still not top notch audio, but a welcome improvement.
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.
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 2.04 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 4.2 Ws | 5.34 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 25.29 Ws | 68.14 Ws
Resting power, picture consumption, and video consumption are all above average and efficient. The data does not point to a camera that is extremely efficient nor inefficient.
If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the Spec Ops Extreme would last 7.1 months in the field on a set of 8 AA Lithium Batteries. For a no glow trail camera using 8 batteries, we consider this to be solid battery life.
If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 2.3 months in the field on a set of lithium batteries. Much like picture battery life, we consider this to be pretty good for a camera using 8 batteries.
Picture Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.43 s. / 0.8 s.
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.52 s. / 0.8 s.
Detection Range: 80 ft.
Trigger speed and recovery time have seen dramatic improvements from previous models. Whether in picture or video mode, the Spec Ops Extreme is scorching fast.
Detection range has averaged out to 80 ft. This is a very good range. Overall, this is an outstanding detection circuit in every facet.
Quality of Design:
Dimensions: 5.5" x 4.25" x 3"
Battery Type: 8 AA Batteries
External Battery Jack: 12-Volt
The case design of the Spec Ops Extreme is almost flawless. The camera feels sturdy and well-built. The strap and python cable bracket on the back is metal (most cameras are plastic) and the camera has a threaded slot on the bottom for a Slate River Mount. The battery compartment and SD card slot are both easily accessible.
If there is a weakness of the case design, it is the latch. It isn't as beefy as others on the market. It works just fine, but improvements could be made.
Temperature ratings the camera records have a tendency of being unreliable and off by a significant margin.
In general, this is an outstanding case design.
The Spec Ops Extreme has a 2" internal viewer for picture playback, live preview, and setting adjustments. The settings respond quickly and the Extreme is very easy to setup. Whether you are a techie or not, this camera can be setup by any experience level.
The Spec Ops Extreme has nearly every setting we have become accustomed to. The two main settings it lacks are password protection and start/stop time.
The Spec Ops Extreme can accept SD cards up 512 Gigabytes. This is far more than you would ever need.
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 Spec Ops Extreme could store 9,304 pictures on the SD card.
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 1920x1080 videos (called "Ultra" video quality in the settings), the Spec Ops could store 662 10-second videos. This can vary by the ratio of day to night videos (night videos take less space). This is just a reference guide for your convenience.
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 Spec Ops Extreme off, while standing in front of the camera and with the recovery time set to the fastest setting, the Spec Ops may 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. If an issue arises in this model, we will update this Browning Spec Ops Extreme Review immediately.
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FAQ's: Browning Spec Ops Extreme
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. The Spec Ops Extreme has an internal viewer that replays pictures and videos the camera has taken. Here are some other methods for viewing images:
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 Spec Ops Extreme 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 this camera?
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.
- SD cards store your pictures and videos for easy removal. We give you a free SD card with the Spec Ops, but most people use two SDcards. If you have two cards, you can swap them out when you retrieve the pictures
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Browning Spec Ops Extreme
has a rating of 4.7 stars
based on 65 reviews.