Technology always seems to be advancing. That is true if we are talking about the television in your home or the trail camera you mount on a tree. That is the case with the Recon Force 4K Trail Camera from Browning.
Just as 4K technology has made it into the televisions and other products we use our home it has made it into trail cameras as well.
If you want a full-featured game camera that can capture true 4K UHD video the Browning Recon Force 4K is certainly worthy of your consideration.
What Is 4K Video and Do I Want it on My Trail Camera?
To answer this question we need to talk about pixels because the more pixels an image or video has the more detail it can display.
Traditional HD Video (1080p)
Let’s first talk about the standard for traditional HD which is 1080p, measured by the number of vertical pixels. It maxes out at 1920 horizontal columns of pixels and 1080 vertical rows of pixels, which comes out to a total of 2,073,600 pixels.
4K, Cinema 4K, Ultra HD, & 4K Ultra HD
The terms 4K and Ultra HD (UHD) are often used interchangeably by many people, but technically they are two different things. The term “4K” is a term that is often used generically to refer to a resolution with a horizontal pixel count of approximately 4,000. However, both Ultra High Definition (UHD) and 4K represent a massive step forward in terms of the number of pixels that comprise the images and as we already said the higher the number of pixels equates to more detail that can be displayed in the video. Let’s examine the two types of “4K” video more closely to learn their differences.
UHD (also known as 4K UHD)
Something labeled as UHD or 4K UHD is what you will find on 4K televisions that are currently being sold. UHD will have 3,840 horizontal columns of pixels and 2,160 vertical rows of pixels.
4K (also known as “Cinema 4K”)
Something that is listed as just 4K, or Cinema 4K, will have 4,096 horizontal columns of pixels and refers to what you will see on a projector in a theater. This was the resolution that was set forth by the motion picture industry with the Digital Cinema Initiatives. Since the aspect ratio (the exact rectangular shape of the image you see on a movie screen) of movies can vary no vertical resolution is specified.
Even though 4K and Ultra HD are technically two different things, but both types have more than four times the amount of pixels as traditional HD, which means that both are able to display four times the level of detail as traditional HD (1080p). So this is the way to go if you want the most detail and clarity in the videos you get from your trail camera.
If you want to read more about different resolutions you can read an article from CNET here.
Introducing the Browning Recon Force 4K Trail Camera
The Recon Force 4K trail camera is Browning’s first trail that can record UHD 4K video. It is among the first trail cameras in the industry with this capability.
It is made for people who want a trail camera that can record video at the highest quality level regardless of the time of day.
Beyond the fact that it can record 4K UHD video, it was designed to be a full-featured camera with many adjustable settings.
- True 4K UHD video recording with audio
- 32MP camera
- 100 foot flash range
- Adjustable IR flash
- Adjustable detection range up to 80 feet
- 0.6 Second recovery time between images
- Only records 4K video @15fps
- Low glow flash
- No barometric pressure reading on image stamp
Review of Key Features and Benefits of the Browning Recon Force 4K
The Browning Recon Force 4K trail camera comes with an impressive camera that can capture terrific 32MP still images, but that isn’t the best part about this unit.
The most impressive part about this camera is its’ ability to capture 4K UHD video with audio. That said, the Recon Force 4K only records 4K videos at 15 frames per second (fps). If you aren’t sure about the role frame rate plays in trail camera video you can check out our article where we cover frame rate for trail cameras. What recording at 15fps essentially means is that fast-moving objects might appear to shudder when watching the video. However, when you pause the video and look at individual frames they will look very good. If the camera is mounted by a food plot, feeder, or some other place that doesn’t tend to have a lot of fast-moving activity you will most likely not have any complaints about the frame rate while recording in 4K.
The Recon Force 4K also comes with Smart IR Video, which allows the camera to continue to record video footage during daytime hours while game is moving in front of the camera.
The motion sensor on the Recon Force 4K is adjustable allowing you to select detection ranges from 55 feet up to 80 feet.
The trigger speed is yet another adjustable feature on this unit. It can be set between 0.4 seconds and 0.7 seconds.
The Recon Force 4K comes with Low Glow IR flash that has a maximum range of 100 feet, which is great. However, depending on your individual situation you may not need this 100-foot flash range. That is why the Recon Force 4K comes with an adjustable IR flash with 2 modes (Power Save & Long Range) for optimum picture control at night.
At first glance, this camera seems like a great choice for someone looking to buy a trail camera for security purposes, but the Low Glow flash might make you think twice about that. Like all trail cameras with Low Glow flash, the IR emitters will glow for just a moment when the trail camera takes a still picture and you probably won’t even notice it unless you happen to be looking at it during the exact moment they are on. However, the IR emitters will glow the entire time the camera is recording video making the camera much more noticeable during that time.
It would be silly to buy a 4K trail camera and not record video with it. So you need to ask yourself if you are OK with using the Recon Force 4K for security purposes where people could discover its’ location. Likewise, you might want to think twice about using it on public hunting land if you plan on setting it up in a location where people will easily see it at night.
While it might be smaller than the viewing screens offered on some other trail cameras the 2’ color viewing screen will still help you set up the camera more efficiently in the field and allow you to preview images in the field as needed.
That being said, you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the field viewing images as it can spook game. You are better off having a couple of memory cards for the trail camera and quickly swap one for the other (minimizing the time you spend at the camera) when you want to check out the pictures and videos the Browning Recon Force 4K has captured.
Memory cards are an important accessory for any 4K trail camera. 4K UHD videos can take up a lot more space. The amount of memory space needed only increases if the camera is set up in a place where it takes a lot of videos or the duration of those videos are longer.
Most trail cameras can only accommodate up to 32GB SD cards. Luckily the Browning Recon Force 4K trail camera supports up to 512GB SDXC memory cards. This doesn’t mean that you can use a 32GB SD card if you have one laying around, but it might fill up faster than you expect. Even though they cost a bit more you should plan on buying 2 of the 512GB SDXC memory cards so you can capture a lot of 4K UHD videos without worrying about your memory card filling up.
In the event that the memory card in the Recon Force 4K becomes full the SD card management options can allow you to overwrite older images on the SD card if the memory is full.
If you want to read more about memory cards you can read our article about SD cards here.
The Browning Recon Force 4K trail camera is not an entry-level trail camera. So you can’t expect entry-level prices, but you will get a full-featured trail camera that is capable of recording videos in 4K UHD.
If this camera meets your needs it should give you many years of use without you feeling that the camera has become outdated.
The STC-DS4K is Stealth Cam’s entry into the 4K trail camera market. It comes with a 30MP camera as opposed to the 32MP camera that is on the Browning Recon Force 4K. It doesn’t have a viewing screen like the Browning, which might be disappointing to some people. However, what the Stealth Cam has that the Browning doesn’t is No Glow flash with a 100-foot range, which will be attractive to people that want their trail camera to remain undetected at night.
The Browning Recon Force 4K is one of Browning’s top of the line trail cameras. Not only does it take amazing 4K UHD videos, but it can capture 32MP still images and has a bunch of high-end adjustable features. If you are in the market for a trail camera that can take 4K videos this Browning will make most people very happy.
The only people who might be unsure about this trail camera are those who need or want a unit with No Glow flash.
You can learn more about the Browning Recon Force 4K here.
Last update on 2021-06-05 at 12:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API