With all of the huge benefits technology has brought to hunting, you’re really not giving yourself the best possible chance unless you’re taking advantage of it and using the latest gadgets to give you a leg up whenever you can. One such way is using a trail camera, as they allow you to monitor an area prior to or during hunting season so that you’ll have a better idea of where those big bucks like to hang out. There are also numerous other reasons to use a trail camera, but whatever the reason may be, it’s important that you invest in a quality product to get the best results.
One of the most popular models on the market today is the Browning Strike Force trail camera. Still, just because something’s popular doesn’t necessarily mean its high quality, which is why today I’m going to present you with my Browning Strike Force review so you can see how it stacks up to the competition. First though, it’s important to look at the differences between the older model Strike Force HD and the newer 2019 Strike Force Elite .
Strike Force HD vs. Strike Force Elite
The original Browning Strike Force HD was the smallest trail camera on the market, a distinction it now shares with the Strike Force Elite. Combined with its camo pattern, the small size allows the camera to easily blend in to the surroundings and makes it versatile enough to hang wherever you could need it.
However, while the design and the body may not have changed, there are still plenty of reasons that you should consider buying the Strike Force Elite instead of the original HD. For starters, the Elite has improved video and picture trigger speeds, as well a longer maximum length for night videos (20 seconds as compared to 10 seconds).
It also gives you the ability to overwrite the SD card directly from the camera, instead of having to do it manually from a computer as on the Strike Force HD. As well, the Elite features a Dynamic Video function, which will be discussed in more detail in the full review.
If all of this isn’t enough to convince you to go with the Elite over the HD, then perhaps the fact that they sell for virtually the same price should be. So, while the Strike Force may not necessarily be the perfect trail cam for everyone, if you do decide to buy one, there’s no reason not to upgrade to the Strike Force Elite.
Browning Strike Force Review
After discussing all of the benefits of the Elite, it should probably be obvious that this review is of that particular model. Therefore, all of the specs listed here apply to the Strike Force Elite—although some of them are the same for both the Elite and HD models.
- Quick trigger speed
- Compact size
- Dynamic video recording
- Great price
- Shorter than average nighttime videos
- Field of view could be wider
Trigger & Recovery Speed
One of the keys to a good trail camera is the trigger speed, and in this regard, the Browning Strike Force Elite outperforms almost all others on the market. While many other cameras take as much as a second or more between detecting the motion of an animal and snapping a picture, Browning advertises the Strike Force to have a trigger speed of only 0.4 seconds. Some tests have shown it’s usually closer to around 0.65, but either way, it’s still near the top of the charts. The trigger speed is slightly diminished when taking video, but it’s still usually less than a second.
Recovery speed is almost as important, as you want to make sure the camera can quickly snap images one after another to ensure you don’t miss anything. The Strike Force also performs relatively well in this respect, with only a 1.5 second recovery time needed in between shots.
With a 10 megapixel HD camera, the Strike Force Elite takes fairly decent daytime images, but still nowhere near the quality that you’d get with a high dollar trail cam. Still, both the pictures and video are always clear and in focus, although the colors are a bit dull. As well, the higher resolution means you can easily zoom in on the pictures on your computer or phone without them becoming blurry or grainy. Basically, while it definitely doesn’t provide the best daytime shots, it’s still better than most cameras you’ll find at this price point.
On the other hand, this trail cam really shines when it comes to nighttime images and video, producing clear pictures with excellent contrast and very little whitening out of animals, even when they’re close to the camera. The only minor issue is that the edges of the pictures tend to be darker, but that’s to be found on most trail cameras—even top end models.
As well as crystal clear nighttime shots, the camera has a 100+ foot flash range. This means that if an animal comes anywhere within its field of view at night, you can be sure it will be fully illuminated. In fact, as the flash range goes out much further than the 50 foot detection range, you should easily be able to see any other animals standing further out in the distance.
Detection Range & Field of View
With a 55 degree field of view, the Strike Force’s detection angle is just about average. Neither great nor terrible, as long as you put some thought into where you position it, it should still give you a wide enough a field of for most uses. And if not, you can always just position another one nearby considering their decent price point.
The camera has a 60 foot detection range, meaning if an animal walks anywhere within its field of view out to a distance of 60 feet, it will automatically snap a picture or take a video. Again, this is about average for most trail cameras, but is usually more than enough for placing cameras along game trails or feeding areas.
Ease of Use
The Strike Force is simple and straightforward to use, with several different image and video options. Choose between Fire or Shot modes to take either 6 or 8 rapid images each time the camera is triggered. You can also choose to have the camera record the time, date, temperature and phase of the moon on each image if desired.
The camera also allows users to set the image delay to anything from no delay to five seconds all the way up to two minutes. If you want to scan a larger area during daytime, the time lapse function allows you to set the camera to take images at specified intervals, allowing you to potentially catch glimpses of that big buck that didn’t come close enough to trigger the camera with his motion or heat.
The Strike Force Elite is powered by six lithium batteries, which should be enough to power the camera for an astonishing seven months, based on an average of 70 images per 24 hours. While this may sound like a lot, it’s still only above average, as there are more than a few cameras that outperform it in this regard. However, keep in mind that this camera only uses six batteries, whereas many other use 10 or 12.
Either way, the seven months is still a huge improvement over the 4.5 months for the Strike Force HD and really should be enough for most purposes. After all, how often are you ever going to leave your trail camera set out for 7 months without at least coming by to check it once or twice?
Now we come back to the Dynamic Video function mentioned previously. On the Strike Force HD, videos were limited to between five seconds and two minutes, often causing the video to stop just as things were heating up. However, this is no longer a problem thanks to the Strike Force Elite’s dynamic video, which allows the video to keep rolling as long as there’s movement. If the movement stops for more than four seconds, the video will stop recording, but it will start back up immediately whenever there is more movement. This function only works for daytime video though, as nighttime video is limited to a maximum of 20 seconds.
In the lower to midrange end of trail cameras as far as cost, the Browning Strike Force Elite is hands down the best trail camera you’ll find for the price. Now that’s not to say that it’s the absolute best trail cam on the market, but after reading this Browning Strike Force review, by now you should realize why so few others can compete.