Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 76/100

MSRP: $179.99 Manufacturer: Browning Trail Cameras

Review

Published:
Updated:

Intro

The Browning HP5 game camera is available in two versions. The Recon Force Elite HP5 we are reviewing here has the traditional infrared flash illumination visible to the human eye. The Browning Spec Ops Elite HP5 version is equipped with an invisible but less powerful illumination.

While the Recon Force Elite HP5 may be using a standard infrared, Browning upgraded the Spec Ops HP5 camera with a new Radiant 5 illumination technology that provides a better flash capability for nighttime pictures and videos.

The downside is the five large LED bulbs make the camera extraordinarily noticeable and hard to conceal. However, the benefits are clear and definitely worth it, as the nighttime images are of high quality, and Browning did not have to use a dedicated nighttime lens.

The HP5 takes 24-megapixel photos and 1080P HD videos with sounds, but the field-of-view is somewhat narrow and limiting at only 41 degrees. Daytime photos and videos are excellent and in full color. While the nighttime images are black and white, the image quality is impressive.

The camera trigger is far-reaching and super fast at only 0.1 seconds. The 2-inch color screen provides easy setup and some unique features, including SMART IR Video Recording, HDR, and battery type options.

As with all Browning trail cameras, the HP5 lacks door latch security, and a correctly fitting security box is also currently unavailable from the manufacturer. The Spec Ops Elite HP5 trail cam takes eight AA batteries and is also compatible with NiMH rechargeable batteries. In addition, the HP5 can accept up to 512 GB of SDXC memory cards.

Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Side - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Side
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Latch - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Latch
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Back - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Back
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Open - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Open
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - SD Slot - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - SD Slot
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Battery Trey - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Battery Trey
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Accessories - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Accessories
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - HDR - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - HDR
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Battery Type - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Battery Type
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box Side - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box Side
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box Side 2 - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box Side 2
Camera picture: Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box Back - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 - Box Back
Camera picture: Recon Force Elite HP5 in Security Box - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Recon Force Elite HP5 in Security Box
Camera picture: Recon Force Elite HP5 in Security Box 2 - Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Recon Force Elite HP5 in Security Box 2

Pros

  • Powerful Illumination
  • Good Detection Range
  • Compatible with Rechargeable Batteries
  • Easy Setup

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Narrow Field-of-View
  • No Door Latch Security
  • Limited Warranty

Camera Ratings


Detection Range: 16/20

The detection range often exceeds the listed 100 feet; however, the object is frequently very close to the camera before the sensor triggers.

Good detection range
Mule Deer Buck - Detection Range

Speed: 8/10

The trigger speed is excellent but also somewhat inconsistent, as we often see animals exiting the view before the camera starts recording. The recovery time between triggers is also almost instant and compensates for the 20 seconds nighttime video length limitation.

Mule deer doe not sharing her treat

Accuracy: 5/10

Both of the HP5 game camera models can detect far, but unfortunately, the trigger sensitivity is causing excessive false triggers, especially during the warmer months.


Battery Life: 7/10

The battery life is good but impacted by frequent false triggers. To offset that, we have been successfully using NiMH rechargeable batteries during the summer months.


Daylight Images: 9/10

Daytime pictures and videos taken by the Recon Force Elite HP5 are sharp and clear. The new HDR feature does a fine job of improving the dynamic range of the images in mixed light conditions. 

Doe with two fawns
Elk with a calf
Bull Elk
Two Bull Elk
Mule Deer Fawns
Elk cow with her calf
Doe with two offsprings

Lowlight Images: 7/10

The Recon Force HP5 game camera will switch from color mode to black & white imagery during dawn and dusk. While still in color mode, the images suffer from high ISO grain. The black & white images are slightly sharper than lowlight color images. 

Mule deer buck
Lowlight buck

Night Images: 10/10

Nightime images and videos are excellent; this is where the camera's new Radiant 5 Illumination shines. While limited to only 20 seconds, nighttime videos from the Recon Force HP5 are some of the best. 

Elk Herd at night
Young mule deer buck
Elk checking out trail cam

Design: 14/20

The Recon Force Elite HP5 is a medium size trail camera capable of 24MP pictures and 1080 HD videos.

The HP5 also offers some great new features, including SMART IR Video Recording, HDR technology, and battery type setting options. 

The camera is powered by eight AA batteries and is compatible with rechargeable NiMH batteries. 

The setup is easy, and the two-inch screen is bright and easy to read. In addition, the memory card slot can fit cards up to 512GB. 

Similarly to all other current Browning models, the HP5 camera can be secured with a python cable lock, but the door latch is not lockable, and anybody can access or remove the memory card.

Unfortunately, at the time of this review, Browning does not offer a security box for this camera size. While we are currently using a security box designed for standard-size Browning cameras, the box is just too big, and the HP5 camera is pretty loose inside the box. 

The included strap is six feet long and has a metal buckle, but the green color is not ideal for most applications. 

The Browning Recon Force Elite HP5 comes with a 12-months warranty.  

Smart IR Video Recording

Verdict: 76/100

The Recon Force HP5 is a high-end game camera producing crisp imagery day and night.

The new Radiant 5 nighttime illumination technology produces a powerful flash making this camera an excellent choice for those users looking for superb nighttime imagery. 

Unfortunately, the five Radiant 5 LED bulbs make this camera very noticeable and hard to conceal. In addition, the ultra-bright flash also seems to spook animals even more than the traditional 850nm infrared illumination. 

Therefore, choosing between the two HP5 models, while less powerful, our personal choice would be the twin-brother Spec Ops Elite HP5 equipped with an invisible flash.

The super-narrow 41 degrees field-of-view makes this camera ideal for large open spaces but would not work for tight spaces. 

Another downside, the camera does not have a PIR sensitivity option, and false triggers are too common during warmer temperatures. 

While this is not a dealbreaker for us, 4K videos are commonly found with cameras at this price range. 


Pro Tip:

If you are experiencing high false trigger issues, try switching the detection range from LONG to NORMAL. While it will not completely eliminate the false trigger issue, we have noticed a significant improvement. 


Alternatives:

The Spec Ops Elite HP5 or the Browning Patriot are your best choices if you want to stick with the Browning brand. In addition, the Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow and the Stealth Cam DS4K Ultimate are fine alternatives at this price range. In addition, the Bushnell also comes with a two-year warranty. 


Buying Options:


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User Reviews

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Specs

Official specs from the manufacturer.
Name:
Browning Recon Force Elite HP5
Manufacturer:
Browning Trail Cameras
Model:
BTC-7E-HP5
Model Year:
2022
Series:
Standard
Flash Type:
Low-Glow IR
Max Pixels:
24
Max Video:
1080p
No. of Sensors:
1
Detection Range:
100 ft
Flash Range:
100 ft
Field of View:
41 degrees
Trigger Speed:
0.10 second
Min Delay:
5 seconds
Max Delay:
60 minutes
Max Card Size:
512 GB
Cellular/Mobile:
No
WiFi:
No
Bluetooth:
No
Live View:
No
MSRP:
$179.99
Warranty:
12 months
Country of Origin:
N/A

Questions & Answers

What about wi fi, how close do the device have to be

What about wi fi, how close do the device have to be

What about wi fi, how close do the device have to be
Recon Force Elite HP5 does not have a WiFi capability.

I appreciate your effort at making Reviews. It would help if you would state the model year of the camera and the date of your Review. (And for extra credit, the BIOS version of the camera under review.)

I'm considering buying either the Spec Ops Elite HP5 or the Recon Force Elite HP5. I'm completely new to trail cams. My goal is to set it up in the backyard to film birds and other wildlife. Which would be better for that?
The only difference between those two cameras is the flash type. Please visit the No-Glow vs Low-Glow article to learn more.


Photo & Video Samples

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