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Spypoint Force-Pro trail camera review

Record 4K clips and 30 MP stills of wildlife both night and day with this high quality trail camera

Spypoint Force-Pro behind the scenes
(Image: © George Cairns)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Spypoint Force-Pro is relatively expensive but it does enable you to capture great-looking footage at a whopping 4K resolution (or 30 MP stills). Its basic LCD menu is easy to use and you can set it up in minutes to record animal action all day and night. It lacks the solar panel of the similarly priced Solar Dark but the quality of its clips is superior to that trail camera.

Pros

  • +

    Easy to set up and deploy

  • +

    4K color and mono footage

  • +

    30 MP stills

  • +

    Records audio

Cons

  • -

    Slow to trigger recording at night

  • -

    Expensive

Spypoint is a major manufacturer of trail cameras and the Force-Pro is just one member of a larger family. Motion-sensitive trail cameras such as the Spypoint Force-Pro are designed to let users capture video and photographic evidence of animal activity to detect their whereabouts.

The Spypoint Force-Pro trail camera is similar in build to the cheaper Spypoint Force-20 (opens in new tab), but as its name and heftier price suggest it packs more of a professional punch than its sibling when it comes to recording clips and stills of animals visiting your garden. The Force-20 can only capture small 720 HD clips whereas the Force-Pro records much larger 4K resolution footage. 4K clips are useful as you can choose the best frame of action and export it as a high-quality image using apps such as Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro. 

The best trail cameras (opens in new tab) should ideally have a long battery life, fast trigger speed, and offer decent – if not amazing – stills and video quality. The Spypoint ticks many of these boxes, but if you want to monitor and shoot wildlife remotely, rather than check the camera incrementally, look at cellular trail camera (opens in new tab)s.

We put the Spypoint Force-Pro through its paces – both day and night – to see how it fared for stills and video footage.

Spypoint Force-Pro specifications

Dimensions: 3.9” x 5.0” x 2.7”
External memory: SD card
Photo resolution: 30 MP
Video definition:  4K with sound
Motion sensor: Infrared
Detection range: 110 feet
Trigger speed: 0.2 sec
Power: 8 AA batteries (not included)

Spypoint Force-Pro features

Spypoint Force-Pro behind the scenes

A basic LCD screen and buttons let you fine-tune the behavior of the camera (Image credit: George Cairns)

Like other trail cameras in the Spypoint line, the Force-Pro has a water-resistant casing that enables the camera to shoot in all sorts of weather conditions.  This was particularly useful during our three-day (and night) test shoot when the rain was torrential. Although the batteries were protected from water damage the footage captured during the rain was very blurry due to liquid on the lens. Fortunately, the quality of the footage improved once the water evaporated. 

The Force-Pro has a basic monochrome LCD screen that enables you to set up various shooting modes and adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensor. Setting the sensor’s sensitivity is a balancing act. If the sensitivity is too high then the camera will record wind-blown branches (and drain the batteries). If the sensor sensitivity is too low then you might end up missing the arrival of an animal in a clip and only catch it leaving the scene. We kept our sensor sensitivity set to Auto (which worked better in daylight than at night).

The Force-Pro has two banks of LED lights (54 in total) to help it illuminate animals in low light. At night the infrared footage is a classic black and white while the clips and stills revert to color during daylight hours. The light from the LEDs reflects from the animal’s retina to create the classic glowing eye appearance of classic night vision clips.  Check out our supporting video to see the Force-Pro’s footage for yourself.

Spypoint Force-Pro Build & handling

A camouflaged (and water-resistant) casing means the Force-Pro will be harder to spot in natural locations (Image credit: George Cairns)

In build, the Force-Pro feels like most other trail cameras in the Spypoint range. Due to its plastic body it’s light and easy to carry (and it comes with a carry strap that can also be used to fix the camera to a tree).  It is decorated with a camouflage pattern to help it blend in with its natural surroundings. We found that this camouflage worked well and animals tended to be oblivious to the camera’s presence. 

A sturdy clip enables you to open the water-resistant housing and access the greyscale LCD menu. Here you can use buttons to experiment with different shooting settings. The Force-Pro ships with a branded Spypoint 16 GB SD card which at a speed value of Class 10 is fast enough to write HD 4K video files. The camera also has a handy tripod thread at the base so you can mount and angle it for the best view of your subjects.

A total of 54 LEDS on either side of the lens provide illumination of your prey during night shoots (Image credit: George Cairns)

Spypoint Force-Pro Hands-on

Spypoint Force-Pro Performance

The  Spypoint Force-Pro may lack the solar panel of the similarly priced Solar Dark (opens in new tab) but it captures bigger (4K) and better-looking clips than its solar-powered sibling. Although we had to rely on batteries to power the Force-Pro during our test shoot they lasted three days and nights (and are still going strong as we type up this review).  

One useful touch is the inclusion of data at the bottom of each captured clip. You can view the time an event occurred, an icon displays the current phase of the moon and you can discover the temperature in Centigrade or Fahrenheit (depending on the menu setting that you chose). This data enables you to see what time your cat heads out to hunt and returns home, which can be an eye-opener. 

When shooting stills you run the risk of capturing part of the animal as it enters or leaves the frame. Fortunately, you can set the camera to capture six consecutive images to increase your chance of a perfect shot.

Spypoint Force-Pro behind the scenes

Captions on each clip provide useful data, such as the time of the captured event, the temperature and even the phase of the moon (Image credit: George Cairns)

Spypoint Force-Pro behind the scenes

Infrared night footage features the classic ‘glowing eye’ look as the LED light bounces off the subject’s retina (Image credit: George Cairns)

Spypoint Force-Pro Verdict

As reflected in its price, the Spypoint Force-Pro is the most powerful Spypoint trail camera. This power is present in good quality 4K footage and 30 MP stills. On the downside, the monochrome LCD is fairly simplistic and you can’t view the SD card’s footage on the screen (like you can with the similarly priced Spypoint Solar-Dark’s color display). 

You also have to buy batteries for the Force-Pro (while the Solar-Dark can coast along on its built-in rechargeable battery which is topped up by a solar panel). However, the Force-Pro produces much better-looking footage than the Solar Dark (opens in new tab) so it gets an extra star and a much stronger recommendation.

If you're interested in spotting wildlife, then you might like our guide to the best portable hides for wildlife photography (opens in new tab), plus binoculars (opens in new tab) for spotting faraway subjects.

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George has been freelancing as a photo fixing and creative tutorial writer since 2002, working for award winning titles such as Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N-Photo and Practical Photoshop. He's expert in communicating the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as producing video production tutorials on Final Cut Pro and iMovie for magazines such as iCreate and Mac Format. He also produces regular and exclusive Photoshop CC tutorials for his YouTube channel.