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Browning Recon Force 4K Review
The Browning 4K has not lived up to our expectations in the image quality category. While it takes really good pictures and videos, we actually think the less expensive Browning cameras (Browning Advantage models) take a better photo and video. While this 4K still receives high overall marks, it simply does not justify the increase in price. If you want great videos, we would recommend the Browning Recon Force Advantage. – TCP Staff
Model # BTC-7-4K | 4K Owner’s Manual
Browning 4K FAQ’s
- Good pictures and videos
- 8+ Month battery life (picture mode)
- An insanely efficient detection circuit
- Very easy to setup
- Only 24 fps on 4K videos
- Night flash range could use a boost
The Browning Recon Force 4K was designed to bring 4K videos to your trail camera collection. While other Browning cameras have long been our favorite for videos, our expectation for the 4K was to see an even better video in this model. While reading this review, please keep in mind that we have tried multiple SD card types to maximize photo/video quality. The recommended SD card for 4K of this capacity is a Sandisk U3 SD Card (retails at around $80). After testing, we have not been able to discern a difference between the SD cards.
Photo resolution: 32 mpxl (interpolated)
Video resolution: 4K @ 24 fps | 1080p @ 60 fps
Flash Type: Red glow IR
Daytime picture quality is good but it seems to have less clarity than the Browning Recon Force Advantage, which is a problem since this camera is so much more expensive. Night pictures are good but, once again, don’t have the range or clarity of the Advantage.
Video quality was simply a letdown. With the phenomenal video quality we have seen on the Browning Advantage models, we fully expected the 4K to be even better. The videos are still good – really good – but they aren’t as clear and smooth as a Browning Advantage.
Like other 4K cameras on the market, in order for the videos to be in 4K mode, you have to sacrifice frame rate. In this case, the Browning 4K shoots 4K videos in 24 fps as opposed to the 60 fps on 1080. The 4K videos are choppy and just don’t have the “wow” aspect we have seen on the other Browning cameras. We found ourselves ignoring the 4K mode and going back to 1080p resolution.
What if you purchase from us and aren’t happy with the image quality?
This is a common question and we have a very simple solution. Call, email, or chat with us and we can take a look at the images and offer suggestions or immediately tell if something is wrong with the camera. If so, we will warranty the camera for you (with the free 2-Year warranty you receive from us) or return the camera for a full refund (within 90 days of purchase). You have control of the process, remember, we work for you.
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. This camera has a native 8 mpxl resolution.
Picture & Video Resting Power (on): 0.35 mW
Picture Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 4.9 Ws | 5.8 Ws
Video Daytime/Nighttime Power Consumption: 32.8 Ws | 73.6 Ws
If this camera were to take 35-day and 35-night pictures every 24 hours, the Recon Force 4K would last 8.9 months in the field on a set of 8 AA Lithium Batteries. This is solid battery life.
If this camera were to take 15-day and 15-night videos (10-second videos) every 24 hours, it would last 2.2 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: 0.38 s. | 0.6 s.
Video Trigger & Recovery Speed: 0.47 s. | 0.8 s.
Detection Range & Angle: 100 ft. (maximum) | 43.8° (38.8° F.O.V.)
In every category we can test, this is an outstanding detection circuit. Speeds are reliably fast and consistent.
Detection range hit 100 ft. twice in our testing. Keep in mind, this is the maximum distance it should detect and detection range will vary based on ambient temperature.
Quality of Design:
Dimensions: 5” x 4” x 2.5”
Battery Type: 8 AA Batteries
External Battery Jack: 12-volt
The case design of the Recon Force 4K is almost excellent. 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 Recon Force 4K has a 2″ internal viewer for picture playback, live preview, and setting adjustments. The settings respond quickly and the 4K is very easy to set up. Whether you are a techie or not, this camera can be set up by any experience level.
The Recon Force 4K has nearly every setting we have become accustomed to. The two main settings it lacks are password protection and start/stop time.
The Recon Force 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 8 mpxl photos (this is our recommended setting as it is closest to the native resolution), this camera could store 4650 pictures on the SD card.
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 4K video resolution, this trailcam could store 160 10-second videos.
With a 16 Gig SD card and the camera taking 1080 (60 fps) video resolution, this trailcam could store 495 10-second videos.
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.
We are evaluating the durability and will update the review accordingly.
Keep in mind, our 2-year warranty program is your free insurance program in case something goes wrong with a camera you purchase from us. This warranty protects you from any manufacturing defect the camera might experience for two years.
Browning Recon Force 4K Review Conclusion:
The Browning 4K has not lived up to our expectations in the image quality category. While it takes really good pictures and videos, we actually think the less expensive Browning cameras (Browning Advantage models) take a better photo and video. While this 4K still receives high overall marks, it simply does not justify the increase in price. If you want great videos, we would recommend the Browning Recon Force Advantage.
Since 2005, our mission has to been to provide consumers with unbeatable value, advice you can trust, and customer service that exceeds expectations. There are a plenty of places you can choose to do business with, if we are lucky enough to earn your support, we promise to give you our undivided attention. Trailcampro has grown each year not only by relying on your happiness but on the assumption that if we blow you away with customer service, you will brag about us to your friends (have you seen our referral/reward program?).
As always, if you have additional questions, feel free to call, email or chat with us. We look forward to helping you find your next trail camera!
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FAQ’s: Trail Camera
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. 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. Buy the Stealth Cam IOS & Android Reader in order to view images on your phone. 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 this trail camera 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: Yes. This is a red glow trail camera, meaning it has a faint red glow when taking pictures or videos at night. Humans and animals can see this if looking at the camera. This does not “light up” the woods, though.
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 a 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.
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Browning Recon Force 4K Accessories
Here are a few of the Accessories we like to use in the trail camera.
Energizer Ultimate Lithiums | 8 Pack
– There is no downside to using lithium batteries. Long battery life, extreme durability, and better night pictures. You will be happy you did.
6 Foot Python Cable Lock
– Use this with the security case, or just the camera itself. The 4K 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. We give you a free SD card with the 4K, but most people use two cards. 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.