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What is the best camera to film the hunt?
Hunting Video Cameras are becoming extremely popular
Hunters and fisherman are known for the stories of the big one that got away. It has everyone listening to these stories, second-guessing them, as to the truth. Technology has helped to solve this problem. It is the rage now to film hunts.
This article covers Hunting Video Cameras used to film the hunt, not cameras used to scout the game ahead of time. Filming the hunt helps not only in telling about the experience of the hunt but also in judging how well the shot is placed. This aids in the recovery of the animal. What is the best camera to buy to film your hunt? That depends on your needs. Are you a hunter that wants to dabble in videography or share the experience with family and friends? Or maybe you just want a be sure of your shot placement? Regardless of your needs, there are several camera features to consider when deciding which camera is right for you.
Camera features to consider:
When purchasing Hunting Video Cameras, there are several things to keep in mind.
Depending on the type of camera, they can run from a few hundred dollars for an action camera to a few thousand dollars for a top of the line DSLR camera. There are cameras for all types of budget needs.
Resolution refers to the image detail. The higher resolution will result in a clearer more detailed video. A clear video can sometimes be very difficult to achieve in thicker cover, where the camera has to focus on items near and far. It is highly recommended to have a camera with Full HD, Quad HD or 4K/2K resolution.
The light capability is especially important because most hunts are done during the darker hours of dawn and dusk. The low light capability is determined by the size of the sensor. Larger light sensors will capture better footage in dark environments. But don’t get confused when you read about the camera’s specifications. The term ‘lux’ represents the low light mode. This number should be a 4 or less for low light filming.
The zoom needed will depend on the hunt. An archer who is hunting at closer ranges will not need more than a 10X zoom. For a rifle hunt at longer distances, a 20X zoom or more might be needed.
How your camera stores information is also important. Cameras can have internal hard drives, removable memory cards or a mix of both. If you purchase a camera that requires memory cards, be sure to buy fast memory cards.
The built-in microphone on most cameras will NOT be the best at filtering out background noises like the wind. We highly recommend that the camera has a place to mount an external microphone. Shotgun microphones are a good choice.
You have your range finder or binoculars in one hand while you slowly lift up your gun or bow with the other hand. You slowly take aim and realize oh blankety blank, I forgot to start the camera. This is where a remote control would come in handy. The remote can be located on the fluid head of the camera, your wrist or can be your smartphone. This varies from camera to camera. Check for WIFI or LANC output or a remote that is specific for that camera.
Another option to take into consideration is a headphone jack. By using headphones the hunter can adjust the audio right there in the stand versus waiting until later to edit the footage.
You have purchased all the equipment, done all the prep-work, have gone to the stand religiously and the day the trophy of a lifetime walks under the stand, the battery on your camera starts flashing red. To avoid this problem be sure to know about the life of your camera’s battery. What is the run time? Is it rechargeable? How long does it take to recharge? Can you purchase a spare battery as a backup? Freezing weather can reduce the life of the battery so be sure to keep the spare battery warm.
Size and weight
Hunters pack a variety of equipment to their stands. First is their weapon, next could be optics, calls or in the case of climbing stands it might be the stand itself. The list can go on. The point is, hunters have multiple items to pack to the stand for their hunt. So, when considering your camera, you will want one that has all the features you need plus be compact, lightweight, and easy to pack.
A hunter’s equipment has to be tough. Your camera should be able to withstand all kinds of weather. Every dedicated hunter can tell some kind of weather story. It might be the time they were in the stand in zero- degree weather, or the time they were caught in a rainstorm. Maybe it was the time they slid down the side of the hill in the mud. The stories are endless. Look for a camera that has weather seal at every seam and button. This will help to make it waterproof and dustproof. If you hunt in low-temperature areas be sure your camera is rated for the coldest temperatures in your area.
The three types of video cameras
At first glance, these cameras look like a standard point and shoot camera. They are so much more. DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras are for the hunter who wants to dabble in videography. They are excellent for uploading to a YouTube web show, or a website. Besides taking video, you can use it to take single pictures of the hunter and his trophy. These cameras are excellent for B-roll editing. B-roll editing is supplementing alternative footage with the main footage. They can be a little confusing compared to a regular camcorder because they have more options for filming and editing.
Camcorders make it easy to self-film your hunt and are a good starting point. They are a basic camera and will have less editing options. They are a good camera for the hunter that wants to film the hunt to share with family and friends but does not necessarily want to do a lot of editing of the footage.
These are the easiest and simplest cameras to use. They can be attached to the gun, bow or the hunter. They capture what the hunter sees as the shot is released. This makes them excellent for helping to determine the shot placement. They do not capture the hunt in the way DSLR and camcorder cameras do. Combining footage from an action camera with the footage of the larger cameras help to tell the whole story. This is why they are often combined with DSLR footage.
Our camera recommendations
Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR
Our choice for the beginner videographer is the Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR bundle. The many features this camera has for both still shots and videos make it an excellent choice. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR has some auto features for ease of use, while still having features for the experienced photographer to make detailed adjustments. The Scene Intelligent Auto Feature and Autofocus take out a lot of the guesswork, allowing you to concentrate more on your hunt and less on the camera. The 3-inch monitor helps you see exactly what the lens sees. The Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to use your smartphone to remotely control the camera. By using the free Camera Connect app you can control more of the camera’s features than just on and off. The app also makes sharing your footage on social media or other venues easy. If you have an Android device, the camera has built-in Near Field Communication for transferring photos and videos. The combination of the 18.0 Megapixel CMOS image sensor, the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, and Full HD 1920 x 1080p at up to 30 fps give the camera the ability to produces clear, vibrant videos in the low light conditions most hunts require. It has ports for adding headphones and a microphone. We recommend purchasing a shotgun microphone for the best noise quality.
This camera bundle comes with everything needed to get started.
- Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera
- Canon 18-55 mm II Lens
- 2-32 GB SDHC memory cards,
- Canon Camera Case
- Extra Battery Pack with Car & Home Charger
- High-Speed USB Card Reader
- 50” Camera Tripod
- Commander 0.43x Auxiliary Wide-angle Lens – attaches to fixed or zone lens
- Commander 2.2 Auxiliary Telephoto Lens – bring the action closer
Canon EOS 800 DSLR
For the more experienced videographer, we recommend the Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera Bundle. The Canon EOS 80D DSLR is an excellent step up from the Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR. This camera model is 8 to 9 years newer than the Canon EOS Rebel. In that timeframe, Canon was able to improve the features by leaps and bounds.
Some additional features are the articulating LSD screen, which is touch screen enabled. Environmental sealing keeps your investment protected from the elements. The quality of the footage with this camera is superb with improved resolution. There are now 36 more focus points for even clearer footage. All of these high-powered features come at a higher price.
This bundle contains everything you will need to produce quality footage with the exception of a shotgun microphone.
- Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera
- 18-135 mm Lens
- EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens
- LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1865mAh)
- LC-E6 Charger for LP-E6 Battery Pack
- Camera Sling Backpack
- Altura Photo Compact 62” Monopod
- SanDisk 64GB Ultra UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (Class 10)
- UV CPL ND4 Filter Kit
- Neck Strap
- Altura Photo Rapid Fire Wrist Strap
- Altura Photo Cleaning Kit
- Magic Fiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth.
Video Camera Camcorder 4K Kicteck Ultra HD Digital Wi-Fi Camera is our choice for the low-budget camcorder. This camera has a 3-inch touch screen for easy camera control. The 4K resolution produces quality footage.
Wi-Fi compatibility makes remote control of the camera from your smartphone easy. The digital zoom is 16X making it desirable for both archery and rifle hunts. Background noise is reduced with the external microphone.
Our biggest concern with this camera is that the manufacturer is unknown to us and the warranty information is was unavailable. This is a good camera for the amateur who doesn’t have a boatload of cash to play with.
- 4K digital video
- External microphone
- Wide angle lens
- Mass Storage on a removable disk
- IR Cut double optical filters
- Infrared night vision function
- WIFI wireless transmission and control function
- 2 lithium ion batteries included
Our top choice for camcorder:
Canon VIXIA HF G21 Full HD Camcorder 2404C002 – Starting Out Bundle. This camera has full HD video, works good in low light, and produces professional sound quality. It comes with a BP-820 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack and lens hood with a lens barrier.
With this camera, you can produce professional quality footage but it lacks some of the editing ability of a DSLR camera. Canon is a well-known name and has a history for producing quality products. This camera is backed by the Canon warranty.
Bundle Items Include:
1 – Canon VIXIA HF G21 Full HD Camcorder 2404C002
1 – Professional 3 Piece Filter Kit, 58mm
1 – Professional Wide Angle Lens 58mm
1 – Vivitar 58mm Graduated Color Filter Kit
1 – Condenser Microphone
1 – Portable LED Video Light
1 – Soft Padded Carrying Case
1 – Flexible Tripod (12″)
1 – Lens Cleaning Solution
1 – Blower Brush
1 – Microfiber Cloth
1 – Lens Tissue Paper
1 – 5pc Cotton Swabs
1 – 64 GB SD Memory Card C10
1 – SD/microSD Memory Card Reader
1 – Lens Pen Cleaner
1 – 1 Meter Mini HDMI to HDMI Cable
In the world of action cameras, GoPro seems to dominate.
Our choice is the GoPro HERO7 Best Value Bundle. Even though it is a small camera it supports 4K60, 2.7K120, and 1080p240 resolution qualities. It can also capture 12MP photos at 30fps. Hyper-Smooth Video Stabilization helps to take the shakiness out of your footage.
This is important when it is attached to your gun or rifle. With Direct Live Streaming you can stream to Facebook Live. Rainy weather won’t be a problem because it is waterproof to 33 feet deep. This camera works well for attaching to your bow, rifle or to a mount attached to the hunter. Use the GoPro Hero7 to get the view the hunter sees as they release the shot. It takes excellent b-roll footage for editing the whole experience combined with DSLR footage.
Bundle Items Include:
- 32GB Memory Card
- Hard Case
- Card Reader
- Chest Strap Mount
- Head Strap Mount
- Flexible Tripod
- Extendable Monopod
- Floating Handle
This article is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filming hunts. We are not professional videographers, if someone has a tip for us, please leave a comment. We want to get the conversation started so we can keep our finger on the pulse of what is needed. If you have something you want us to research please let us know on our contact us page.
You are now in a position to make an informed buying decision. We really hope this article was beneficial and that you were able to get the information that you were looking for.
respectfully: the research team @ Hunters Pulse