Browning is a company that doesn’t take any shortcuts with any of its design or hardware decisions. Of the many cameras they have made, this is definitely one that is worth a second a third look. The price is midrange and well within the boundaries of value vs. money spent. There is a slight learning curve if coming over from a different maker, but not because things are complicated. They’re just a bit different, and may require a bit of reading the manual to really get a grasp. But there are very few reasons why you shouldn’t purchase this camera.
The only style available is the default Bark. This isn’t the newer Bark but the older, and it does lack some of the detail of the higher end designs. Prey in particular won’t really notice the difference unless you have it in a bad spot, so prepare ahead of time and the style of the Bark will blend in as well as any other camera. A different design for swamp or home settings would have been nice, but it’s understandable why they went with the more popular Bark over the Camo. Down the line if they create a different look for this camera, then the complete package will have some extra potential.
Intermediate and up is the recommended level, due to the slightly higher learning curve if coming from a different trail camera. For absolute beginners who have never used a trail camera before, then this is still a viable option. But there are a lot of features to go through with this model, with a lot of those features having multiple customization options. The manual is a big help, but to absolutely get your money’s worth you definitely want this camera to be in the hands of someone at least on the intermediate level.
It’s slightly above average in the durability department, and can take a drop or two without causing a problem. A lot of time when positioning cameras it isn’t as secure as you think, and can take a couple of lumps as you iron out the faults. So it’s important to have a decent casing for protective purposes as you figure this out, which Browning does a good job of with its models. Even if the impact is enough to knock the case open, no serious damage will come to the camera itself.
Trigger time is fast and only 0.67 seconds, putting it in league with the likes of Bushnell. The camera has HD video recording that can go as short as 5 seconds and as long as 2 minutes in length. Only 6AA batteries are required and they last for months at a time with all features activated. Flash range is 100ft, which comes out to twice the range as other competing products for the same price. The model is of average size and not clunky with dimensions of 4.5×2.5×3.2 inches and weighing only 1 pound.
Videos recorded aren’t full 1080p, and are instead recorded at 720p. It will still look great on the big screen, but the quality difference will be noticeable if you have a good television set or computer screen. Videos are capped at 2 minutes apiece, while some other competitors can go as long as 5 minutes. There are hardware limitations associated with the device, but since it supports 32GB cards it would have been nice to have that 2 minute limit lifted. Trigger speed is lightning fast but is still twice as slow as Bushnell, which usually gets in at 0.2 and 0.25. It is a negligible difference, but one that could make the difference between a good shot and a great shot. This also applies to videos and the moment they are triggered.
This is a very accessory lite package, and Browning didn’t really add a lot beyond the basics. It comes with Browning Buck Time Lapse viewer software, which while revolutionary, might not appeal to everyone. It is simple enough to install, but not everyone has a Windows computer. They did do a good job with compatibility with the bulk of the Windows OS so that does make up some ground. It would have been nice if they included something else, like a bungee cord to help with mounting. There aren’t a lot of video/audio out options to choose from on this model, so the idea that it could have come with USB and video cables is also out of the picture.
Although the lack of accessories may seem like a blow, the camera is still a tremendous value. It is powerful, feature rich, and does little to keep users from accomplishing simple and advanced tasks. There are plenty in the same price range that can do a bit more, but they don’t have the lasting appeal of this model. There is also a charm to what is now considered the old design, and it will have great value to collectors. Even without the inclusion of the Browning software this would still be a highly recommended item. If it wasn’t for its difference from other products it could be recommended to all beginners as well, which would strengthen the likelihood of it getting picked up across the board.
There is no doubt that this was a product that was meant to last 10+ years. The way it is built is solid, and the casing does just enough to protect the all-important camera. As far as the hardware goes it is futureproof for a while, with the 10MP being on the higher end of the tier rather than the lower. Currently Bushnell makes the best resolution trail cameras, but Browning isn’t far behind. Consider this a mid-range camera with elite technical features that won’t have to be upgraded for a decade or more. The only drawback is the 720p, but once again that is a taste issue as not everyone has moved forward to 1080p television sets.
There are a few, with the first one being the special package from Stealth Cam with the STC-G30. They give away a 16GB SD card which is obscene considering that giving away a 4GB card is considered a bargain. It records 3 minutes of video compared to the 2 minutes by the Browning. But where the Browning beats it out is the raw power, with the STC-G30 only having 8MP backing it up. This means that photos are worse and videos are worse if you decide to go with this option.
Another one that keeps coming up is the Moultrie A5 Low Glow Game Camera. It doesn’t seem like a fair comparison since the Moultrie only has 5MP and uses C cell batteries. But in a way that is where it shines, with the capability to take 30,000 images on a single set of 4C batteries. If power wasn’t an issue then this would be a truly great competition between the Browning and this camera.
With few quirks and a lot of great features, this Browning model demands respect and gets it. It will work well as a hunting camera or home security, and all for a price that will be easy on your wallet.