Browning Trail Camera – Spec Ops XR Review

Browning is known for being one of the forerunners among trail camera manufacturers. The Browning Company has, for a long time, been improving and modernizing their products. They offer a massive line of trail cameras at a range of prices. Most Browning trail cameras are compact, durable, reliable, and have features that will satisfy most of the buyer’s requirements.

The Browning Spec Ops XR tail camera is a new installment in the trail camera industry, bringing with it modern and advanced trail camera features.


  • Image firmness: The Browning Spec Ops XR trail camera captures 10MP motionless images and 1280 by 720 HD clear-audio video clips. This is thanks to a high-quality image sensor and a built-in microphone.
  • Ultraviolet flash: The LED flash on the camera features a variety of settings, including ultraviolet flashes for night times that are invisible thus avoiding the frightening-off of wildlife.
  • Video: Both 1280 by 720 HD and 640 by 480 video quality can be recorded at these clip intervals: 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds, or even 1 or 2 minutes. To preserve battery power, video clips taken at night are restricted to a maximum length of 10 sec.
  • Time- lapse shooting: The device captures images at pre-set intervals of 5, 10, 15 and 30 seconds, allowing the user easily note changes as time passes. Time-lapse plus mode does the same thing, where the motion sensor is activated equally both at day and night, ensuring the user don’t miss any activity. The user can also set the time-lapse duration to regulate the number of hours each day the camera uses the time-lapse mode.
  • Multi-shot genre: The user can set the camera to capture 1 to 8 shots in quick succession. When the 4-shot standard option is selected, the camera captures 4 pictures with 3 seconds of separation. This shooting mode allows for faster shots, capturing 2 to 4 exposures with a 0.3-second difference between them.
  • Motion test: This feature enables the user aim the camera at the area of interest. If motion is detected in that area, a red LED located on the forward side of the camera, flashes.
  • PIR motion sensor: Motion-activated PIR sensors are recognition tools with viewing angles of 40 to 45 degree and a wild prompt speed of 0.7 sec. It’s capable of noticing variations in temperature that occur when subjects are in motion, and in response captures images. This is thanks to a programmable photo and video delay of 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds, or even 1, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes.
  • Display: The camera has a two-inch colored TFT LCD screen that displays images for in-camera playback. The screen also helps in configuring the camera operation mode, amount of pictures or videos to be taken, determining the amount of photos or videos that can be taken and stored on the SD card, current battery percentage, and camera delay countdown. The modes that the camera can operate under include motionless pictures, video, time-lapse and time-lapse plus, enabling the user achieve a custom title to his or her camera.
  • Information Bar: This bar displays the current time, date, temperature, moon phase and camera ID. By showing the moon phase, the camera enables the user to see which animals are indolent during full or nearly-full moon. Sunnier conditions create more visibility to predators thus most of them only come out at night. Moon phase also enables the user decide if brighter or darker backgrounds in your pictures are in line with the fullness of the moon. The information bar can be turned on or off at will.
  • Mounting: The device is configured with a standard ¼-inch 20 tripod mount. Also, the device comes with a nylon strap, through the mounting loops, with threads that measure 6 by 1, enabling the user to attach the camera to a tree.
  • Security: The camera features a keyhole for a high-security padlock system. Also, at the backside of the camera, are built-in security cable loops, suitable for a securing steel cable.
  • Connectivity: The device also features a TV outlet connector for displaying pictures and videos on a large television screen, as well as a USB port for file transfer to an external storage location.
  • Power: The device utilizes 8 AA alkaline or lithium based batteries, available independently, and is designed with 12V external power jacks for an external battery. There is also a battery eject button at the top corner of the device.
  • Bundled software: The device is packaged with a buck watch time-lapse viewing software, delivered on a CD-ROM, which enables the user to view his or her time-lapse video files on his or her personal computer. When a software upgrade is available, the software notifies the user on the producer’s website, alongside complete instructions on how to download.


  • Good image quality – Images captured by this device are clear and lack distortion. They are sharp and perfect.
  • Long battery life – The camera has in impressive battery performance. The rate that the battery drains, however, depends on the settings the user apply.
  • Fast trigger speed – The camera is always ready to capture picture or video within the shortest duration, never missing a moment.
  • Custom Configuration of Settings – The user can adjust the camera settings as per the current situation for the best picture experience.

The only disadvantages of the Browning Spec Ops XR trial camera are that it’s only capable of recording ten seconds of night-time video, making the device less suitable for night-time trail recording. Also, the device has relatively lower picture quality as compared to other devices in its category and price range.

The Browning Spec Ops XR trail camera is thus suitable for most outdoor trail picture capturing. The device is also well-built, highly reliable and quite efficient.

Where Should You Put Your Trail Camera?

Placement of your trail camera changes the information you receive, and your perspective of the forest alters you hunting plans. Hunters who sit in a perch want to see the forest from a high point of view, but hunters who crouch in the brush like a sniper want to see the trail from their perspective. This article explores three simple ways to install your carefully selected trail camera, and you must choose the vantage point that makes the most sense for your style of hunting.

#1: Go As High As Possible

Skilled hunters are often not afraid to climb a tree, and you must climb the tallest around the place your camera. The high perspective of the camera gives you a greater range of vision, and you can see how animals are moving across the landscape. Tracking animal movement is simple from a high perspective, but identifying animals can be difficult.

A high vantage point is useful when you prefer to sit in a perch, and you place a camera opposite your perch to see which animals approach your location often. You can learn about the animals that live in area, and you can see which animals are most common in that location. You may choose to change your location when you do not animals that are in season, and you may find that few animals come through the area.

#2: At Eye Level

Installing a trail camera at eye level helps you see the trail as if you were on watch all the time. This view of the forest is easy to understand, and you get an idea of which animals come closest to your perch. Some hunters prefer to shoot animals at close range, and you will learn which animals are brave enough to come near your location.

Watching the trail camera will help you learn the area as you would see it, and you can identify animals easily. Animals that are not worth shooting, out of season or uncommon will be readily apparent, and you may plan your hunting accordingly.

#3: In The Brush

You may choose to set up your camera on a crest or in some brush where you prefer to sit in wait. Crouching down like a sniper makes the hunting ground look completely different, and a trail camera in this location will give you only a limited view of the area. You may be willing to sit in wait for an animal, and the camera will give you an idea of what you might see during a day of hunting. You may choose to change your vantage point based on what you see on the camera, or you may discover the crest you choose gives you a good view of the area.

Using a trail camera will help you see the area where you hunt without any interruption. You cannot sit outside all day on your own, but you can sit and watch a video feed of the area to learn the area. Hunting becomes much simpler when you have placed your trail camera in the proper location.

How to Use a Trail Camera for Maximum Effectiveness

Using a trail camera will help improve every hunting excursion you take, but your trail camera must be deployed properly. Trail cameras are hidden beacons of information that you may plant in the area around your perch, and you may use the information you glean to make each trip more successful. There are several animals in the woods that could pass near your location, but only so many animals are in season. You are protecting yourself and your gaming license with a trail camera, and you are increasing the likelihood that you will get your first shot right. This article explains proper use of a trail camera in all situations, and you must install your camera using similar means.

#1: Size Does Not Matter

A trail camera is not something that will alarm local wildlife. You are placing the camera too high in the trees to alert even the largest animal, and birds who find your camera will likely sit atop it for only a few moment. Your camera must connect easily to your computer or video monitor, and you must feel comfortable installing the device.

#2: The Connection

The world of technology has improved trail cameras considerably in the past ten years. Current trail cameras are connected to video monitors using a wireless signal, and you may sit far away from your camera as you hunt. The connection between the camera and monitor is only broken by a great distance, and you must check the packaging on your camera for range. Range is the most common selling point for a trail camera, and choosing a camera with a large range is beneficial.

#3: Stationary Or Oscillating Cameras?

A stationary trail camera will draw less attention to you, but you must find the right field of vision for the camera. An oscillating trail camera will be noticed by certain animals, and you may spook animals that are unsure of the camera. Placing a trail camera high in the tree line gives you a better view of the area, and you can avoid using an oscillating camera.

Oscillating cameras are amazing inventions that allow you to scan a field of vision over 180 degrees. You can move the camera yourself from an advanced monitor, or you may set the camera to oscillate on its own. Oscillating cameras allow you to see a larger area, and you can track the movement of animals who walk through the area. Choose the camera based on the area you are hunting, the perspective of the camera and the relative visibility of the camera.

#4: Covering The Camera

Trail cameras are designed to withstand a fair amount of inclement weather, but you cannot protect your camera from all inclement weather patterns. Covering your camera with a tarp or camouflage will help prevent moisture from ruining the camera, and a special housing will prevent water from entering the camera bay.

Small woodland animals may find your camera in the trees, and a resourceful animal will begin to play with your camera. Building a small housing around your camera helps protect the device from small woodland creatures, and you can be sure that rain will not infiltrate the device. Think of the camera housing like a small birdhouse, and the camera will be completely hidden from view.

#5: Maintaining Your Camera

Maintaining a trail camera required batteries and patience. You must keep fresh batteries in the camera at all times, and replacing the batteries frequently helps prevent problems. Hunters often lose their feed at inopportune times, and a fresh set of batteries every few days will prevent trouble.

Your trail camera is a delicate piece of equipment that requires your patience. You must clean up the housing as often as possible, and the lens must be cleaned after a major rainstorm. Cleaning your camera will prevent deterioration, and the camera will last much longer than normal. There is no need to replace your camera when you can clean the device yourself.

#6: How Do You Use Your Video Feed?

Lone hunters will have a hard time using a trail camera during an active hunt. Watching the video feed and tracking an animal is difficult, but taking direction from another hunter makes the video feed worthwhile. You may use the video feed in the field as you hunt, and you may take the video monitor back to your cabin or camping location. Watch the video feed to learn when animals pass through the animal, and you can plan your next excursion accordingly.

Video feed information helps you avoid spooking animals on the way to your perch, and the video feed will show you precisely where animals rest on the trail. You will catch a few animals off-guard using your video feed, and you can hunt with more confidence. Just a bit of information will change the way you hunt, and you can rely on this information for subsequent hunts.

#7: Creating More Coverage

You may use more than one trail camera to cover a large around your hunting or camping location. The video feed can be split on your monitor, and each camera will give you a better view of the area. Setting up four cameras will help you cover the four corners of your hunting zone, but two cameras will help you cover either end of a long trail.

A trail camera will help you become a more effective hunter, and you need not spend all your time in the perch studying animal movements. Your trail camera tells you quite a bit about the animals in the area, and you can plan your hunts around the information you see. Bring a partner with you on each hunt, and the two of you can use the video feed to track animals before you take a shot. Partnering with someone makes your trail camera more effective, and you may check the video feed from any location in the forest. Mobile technology makes your job as a hunter simpler and more enjoyable.

How do Trail Cameras Work?

Trail cameras have recently become an essential piece of outdoors recreation technology. They cover a variety of uses; from hunting to theft detection. What is truly amazing however, is the wide array of available options on the market. No matter what the intended purpose is, there is a camera to fulfill it.

Discerning Factors

Several factors distinguish the different categories of trail cameras, which are sometimes called game cameras. In addition to providing product diversity, these factors help provide a criteria for customer selection. Listed in this section are a few of those features. Although they discern different models of trail cameras from each other, these are basic functions available in most cameras. Many units have a motion detection feature which activates the lens aperture. Each unit has a set detection area, which when entered completes this function. Image resolution and sharpness is also a universal concern. Just like any other camera, trail cameras have to take quality pictures. Therefore, sharpness and pixel count also are factors. Lastly, the ability to, and speed of, lens focus is equally important.


Digital trail cameras function as most digital cameras do. They are self-contained units; complete with night capabilities, power, and data storage. Once an animal, or person, enters the detection zone of the camera a still frame is recorded. The parameters of this detection zone are determined by the manufacturer. Yet, many offer a surprising range depending on the placement of the device. Some units also have a video option, for those that require it. Data retrieval is contingent of physical downloading the images. Many also have night capabilities based on either; infrared, LED, or traditional flash.


These cameras are very similar to digital trail cameras. The main difference is in the medium. A digital camera records a digital picture onto a memory card.. A film camera actually uses traditional film. This film requires development, of course. Due to this lag in retrieval time, this camera is more ideal for nature photography. Many film units still have a motion sensing capability.


In these units, images are digitally captured. However, the data is not stored in the unit itself. Once a picture is taken, it is transmitted to the user’s cell phone. Utilizing the internet and wireless signals, this unit allows for instant image retrieval. The unit itself requires the use of a SIM card, like a smart phone. This means that a data package is required for its use. Additionally, good signal at the units location is must.

Laser Aim

Again the principals of digital photography apply to this model. However, the main distinction is the laser guided aim. The user can use this to control the area in the detection zone that the lens should focus on. This not only allows for great control, it makes better pictures.

Strobe Flash

Often the goal of a trail or game camera is stealth. This is the ideal behind the strobe flash camera. When the detection zone is activated, a small flash is emitted. The speed of the flash allows for the user to maintain secrecy. In cases where the unit is used for theft detection, the flash can serve as a warning to potential intruders. However, this warning could also ward of intended photography subjects.

Wireless Activated

One unit that is great for theft detection is the wireless activated trail camera. Once the image is taken it is transmitted through a wireless network. The unit can be linked to any desired receiving network or device. However, it must be specifically linked to permit transmission and receipt. Signal availability and strength factor into the use of this unit. In wilderness areas, function is impaired.


Many trail cameras are used in low light or darkness. In this case users may utilize an infrared feature. Sensors in these devices activate when assistance is needed. Once a picture is taken an infrared light is emitted which provides light for the exposure. Unlike traditional white flash, infrared allows for secrecy. Depending on the specific unit, the infrared light may be either red or white. Usually this difference does not affect picture quality. However, these images are colored in a slightly tinted shade of either green, red, or white.

Sound Producing

Often times the purpose of trail cameras are to record wildlife. Either for sport or research, some users want animals to approach the camera. Sound producing units store recordings of animal noise and calls. Later these can be selection for playback. Based upon the sound selection, animals will either be attracted or repulsed by the din. Storage of the sound is digital, as is the image. Some units can be remotely activated. Others are triggered with a motion sensor or timer.

Security Cameras

One of the uses of trail cameras is security. Sportsmen use them to keep an eye over their favorite hunting spot. Some maintain the security of remote cabins and camping locations. Traditional security cameras often can be used for these purposes as well. These camera are connected to a computer system, either locally or wirelessly. Data can be stored digitally using USB or flash storage. Depending on the computer system used, the data can also be transmitted to another location. Certain legalities do apply to the use of cameras, but this mainly applies to restrooms and other private spaces.

In Closing

Trail and game cameras come in a plethora of styles. These styles reflect the varied uses of these devices. Some units have been used for scientific research. Utilizing a hands off approach to observing animals in the wild. Many people use them for security purposes of some type. Whether protecting property from theft, or from animal damage. However, the primary use is still sport and game hunting.

To these ends, manufacturers of trail and game cameras offer many features. Many of the differences center on data storage and retrieval. Depending on the location of placement, retrieval can be instantaneous. However, other users may find the traditional way just as useful for their needs.