Browning Dark Ops Pro DCL 63/100
Manufacturer: Browning Trail Cameras
- Dual Lens
- Excellent Detection Range
- Compact Size
- Adjustable Mount
- Grainy Nightime Images
- Too Many False Triggers
- Limited Warranty
Detection Range: 15/20
The detection range is impressive but somewhat inconsistent. For example, the cam would often trigger way beyond 100 feet, but the object is frequently very close before the camera is triggered.
The trigger speed is listed as only 0.15 seconds, but often we see animals exiting the frame before the camera starts recording. The Dark Ops Pro DCL also provides excellent recovery times between images.
The trigger sensor of our unit is so prone to false triggers caused by even a mild wind, making this camera almost unusable for outdoor use.
In our test, a brand-new Dark Ops Pro DCL camera was deployed to a location that replaced an older Browning model.
Until the 64GB memory card ran out of space, the Dark Ops Pro DCL took a staggering 1,745 videos in less than two weeks. Sadly, 99% of those videos were false triggers.
The previous Browning camera would never fill up a 64GB card even when left over the winter for over eight months between swaps.
We deployed this unit to a crucial location, where we have been tracking wolves and wolverines for many years.
As this is a very remote and hard-to-access area, it was heartbreaking to find weeks of missing footage because the memory card was full and filled with false triggers.
Battery Life: 5/10
The absurd false trigger ratio will negatively affect the battery and overall camera lifespan. Unfortunately, the camera lacks a sensitivity setting option often included with other brands.
Daylight Images: 8/10
The daylight videos are good but not great, especially considering this is a costly, top-of-the-line model from Browning. At least, the Dark Ops version does considerably better than its twin version, Strike Force Pro DCL. Unfortunately, the colors are still slightly oversaturated, causing some loss of detail and clarity.
Lowlight Images: 7/10
Like other Browning models, the Dark Ops Pro DCL trail camera will switch from color mode to a black & white recording mode during dawn and dusk. When still in color mode, the images are rather dark. The monochrome images are slightly sharper than lowlight color images.
Night Images: 5/10
In general, the "invisible illumination" is not as powerful as the traditional infrared illumination, and the Dark Ops Pro DCL is the perfect example.
The Dark Ops version also has a dedicated nighttime lens, but unlike the Strike Force Pro DCL version equipped with the traditional IR flash, the images from the Dark Ops version are darker and grainier.
The "invisible" illumination is essential for our use as it will not spook sensitive animals, but unfortunately, this unit is relatively underpowered.
Most Browning models have a new paint color scheme for 2022, and the Dark Ops Pro DCL model is one of them.
The new paint job makes the camera easier to conceal and is a notable improvement over the previous camo design.
However, only time will tell if the new paint job quality is better and not as prone to fading when exposed to outdoor elements.
The included strap is of good quality, but the green color is highly noticeable.
The camera setup is easy. The screen is bright and relatively large.
The camera settings have some convenient options, including the Smart IR video option, but unfortunately, a PIR sensitivity option is not one of them.
The adjustable mount is a plus, but the functionality won't be helpful if you need to use a security box.
A security box is a must, at least for us, as the camera does not have a lockable latch, and anybody can remove the memory card.
The Dark Ops Pro DCL trail camera model uses only six AA batteries and will require more frequent battery swaps due to its flawed trigger.
We got very excited when Browning released the 2022 Dark Ops Pro DCL model specs.
On paper, this trail camera model was a Patriot in a compact design packed with new and compelling features.
Unfortunately, thus far, the Dark Ops Pro DCL is a colossal disappointment.
The night illumination is underpowered, and the nighttime videos are dark and grainy, regardless of the dedicated night lens.
Daytime images are acceptable but still somewhat disappointing, considering the $179.99 MSRP.
While this camera probably holds the detection range record among the cameras we have used over the last eight years, the faulty trigger of our unit makes the camera utterly unsuitable for outdoor use.
Over the years, Browning trail cameras were always very dependable, but unfortunately, we are having similar issues with other 2022 Browning models too.
Therefore, we recommend holding off on your purchase until these issues are corrected.
To decrease excessive false triggers during the summer, we recommend using the NORMAL option instead of the LONG RANGE motion detection option.
The Browning Patriot is probably your best choice if you are sold on the Browning brand.
While the Patriot is not the latest model and suffers from false triggers during warmer temperatures, the Patriot undoubtedly has better night illumination.
In addition, the Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow and the Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate should be on your radar at this price range.
SpecsOfficial specs from the manufacturer.
- Browning Dark Ops Pro DCL
- Browning Trail Cameras
- Model Year
- Sub Micro
- Flash Type
- No-Glow IR
- Max Pixels
- Max Video
- No. of Sensors
- Detection Range
- 100 ft
- Flash Range
- 100 ft
- Field of View
- 55 degrees
- Trigger Speed
- 0.15 second
- Min Delay
- 1 seconds
- Max Delay
- 60 minutes
- Max Card Size
- 512 GB
- 12 months