Sunday, July 8, 2018

Browning Review

Last year I bought two Browning Strike Force HD Pro trailcams. This particular model is favorably reviewed on Trailcampro and Amazon, but I just can't go along with the crowd on this one. It will be a while before I buy another Browning. Specific deficiencies are:

  • Both cameras produce hundreds of false triggers for each usable image. There is no way to adjust the sensitivity.
  • Images are horrendously oversharpened. There is no way to adjust sharpening.
  • The camera I had in Montana has a weird color vignetting where the left and right edges have a blue cast and the center has a brown cast. I can deal with a color cast if it is consistent across the image, but this is ridiculous. The other Browning that I had in the Black Hills doesn't exhibit this problem.
  • Night images are motion blurred, even on the setting that supposedly compensates for motion.
  • Personal preference, I don't like the wide aspect ratio which is more suited to video than still images.

On a positive note, the camera I had in the Black Hills survived a forest fire. The case is warped in some spots but the camera still works. However, because the camera had thousands of false triggers in the days before the fire, the memory card was full and it got no images of the fire. As of now both Brownings are undeployed while the two Reconyx do Montana duty. I'll probably be putting the Brownings out in the Badlands or Black Hills within the next month, hopefully finding spots where there isn't waving grass to set off the false triggers.

I will be posting 11 images from the Montana camera separately, but for review purposes here are some images that illustrate my points. Click on an image to see a larger version.

This shows the color vignetting. On the moose images I photoshopped, I desaturated the color on the edges to reduce the blue. On this one the moose was too close to the edge of the image.

One benefit of having thousands of false triggers is you get something that you might not get otherwise.

This illustrates (a) deer are leapers and (b) the Browning's nighttime blur reduction is not very effective.

The Black Hills Browning, despite being damaged in the fire, can still take a good image (mixed in among the hundreds of false triggers).

This one is my fault. When strapping a camera to a tree, make sure you secure the loose ends of the strap.

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