Table of Contents
- List of Best Video Camera for Hunting Filming
- Video Cameras for Hunting Buying Guide & FAQ
- What sort of camera is best for hunting?
- What is video quality I should look for a minimum?
- How important are build quality and durability when it comes to hunting cameras?
- What about batteries, what can I expect in this niche?
- What about the weight and form factor?
- What are some useful advanced features?
Hunting is all in the moment. You must be able to focus on the hunt, the thrill of stalking your prey, waiting for that perfect moment to strike. But sadly, you cannot do it all through the year. State hunting rules are there for a reason, and of course, you have to deal with other things in your life as well. But with the best camera for hunting, you can at least relive those moments later.
You can gain a lot by carrying a camera to your hunt. You can share your glorious moments with others, both in private and on the web. And when you do end up making errors of judgment, you can later analyze the same and improve your hunting skills.
Cameras are everywhere these days, and of all sorts too. You can keep em in your pocket, hold them on sticks, or even have them flying as your eyes in the sky. Any decent camera with video capture can be used for hunting purposes. But today we will focus mainly on handheld camcorders. They offer some key advantages we will discuss in detail in the buying guide.
List of Best Video Camera for Hunting Filming
4K video technology is gaining widespread acceptance these days. When you upgrade your TV to 4K, you also need a video recorder that can handle this high-quality video format. You know, future proofing yourself is a good idea when looking for a hunting camera too. If a 4K capability is high on your preference list, the HC-VX981K has everything you need.
This is a premium Ultra HD camcorder with 4K video capture. It even has a pause and capture feature. If you see a particularly fascinating moment in your hunting video that you want to frame as a photograph, you can use this feature to get a high-quality image from that particular frame.
When holding a gun, you should not allow yourself to get distracted by the camera. That is why a remote shooting feature is invaluable for a hunting camera. This Panasonic camcorder has that feature, allowing you to control the device from afar using your smartphone.
Connectivity is also first rate, with WiFi on offer. You can even play the videos directly on your TV at home using wireless TV playback. If you are big on live streaming your hunts, this camera supports real-time broadcasts, and that too in full HD! The night mode is perfect those coon hunting adventures or any other low light hunting excursions that you may plan to undertake.
The camera is also quite compact and lightweight, making it the perfect choice out in the woods. The build quality is satisfactory overall, but you might want to take extra care in wet conditions. The battery backup is quite disappointing, and you will have to carry spare batteries and memory cards if you’re going to shoot more than 1 hour worth of videos.
4K videos may look amazing, but those cameras can burn a big hole in your pocket. With the improvement of technology, the prices should come down in the future. That is how it always works in the field of gadgets and gizmos. While you wait for that to happen, you can capture your favorite hunting moments in full HD using the Panasonic HC-V770.
The UHD camera will allow you to capture 1080p videos that look near professional quality during your hunts. A 20X Zoom feature will help, especially when you are into long distance hunting. HDR features on the camera software will reduce any unseemly bright spots that creep into the video.
Like the 4K Panasonic camera, this one also boasts of NFC and WiFi for seamless wireless connectivity with your devices and PC. Real-time video streaming of your hunts is also possible in this Panasonic camera. Using your smartphone, you can capture video from afar. Out in the woods, you can set this camera up in your planned kill-zone to keep an eye on your quarry remotely.
The sound recording mic on this camera is top notch, and you will not miss out on any outdoor noises or animal calls during the recording process. This camcorder will help create a completely authentic hunting video, replete with crystal clear audio.
Though the camera lacks any IR feature, low light video recording is still quite impressive, thanks to the BSI sensor inside. As it lacks a cooling fan, you will not have to worry about any noises during shooting. The silent operation is a huge plus when you are hunting. Overall build quality is excellent, and the camera is quite compact and lightweight.
As usual, advanced features like WiFi are an extra burden on your camera battery. You will have to carry extra batteries when going to hunt. But the white balance feature on the camera requires some attention, otherwise you will be left with extremely washed out videos.
GoPro has really captured the action camera market in recent years. Their higher end models sport advanced features like 4K recording, but they don’t come cheap. The Hero+ is Go Pro’s answer to the budget conscious customer. This entry-level action camera has many features that make it perfect for hunting trips.
The rugged build quality is a hallmark of all Go Pro cameras, and the Hero+ is no exception. GoPro has cut corners elsewhere to keep the price down, but they have not compromised on the durability of this action camera. You get waterproofing and a secure case which is, unfortunately, not removable. More about that case later.
There are numerous mount options with the GoPro Hero+. You can buy accessory mounting tools for that purpose separately. The camera is capable of 1080p recording. But it is a relatively simple action camera without the advanced image stabilization features. This is where they have cut corners, you see!
The battery life is pretty decent at 2 hours per full charge. But the catch here is that you cannot open the case to remove and replace the battery. That is the price you pay for secure waterproofing. The Hero+ is a camera that you can drop in a lake or stream and still survive.
It is probably the only camera on this shortlist capable of doing that, so we cannot really complain about the battery issue.
Overall, the main draw of the Hero+ is that it is a very affordable GoPro camera. If you want a no-frills, budget action camera with 1080p video recording for your hunting trips, the Hero+ is the perfect option.
Sony is always a reliable brand when it comes to handheld cameras for video recording. The HDRCX405 is a compact camcorder that comes with a lot of accessories in a bundle. The camera has some really nifty features inside the casing for hunting aficionados.
The 30X optical zoom and 60x Clear zoom on this Sony Handycam is a big plus for hunters who want to zoom in on their quarry from a distance. The clear zoom feature is capable of creating a video with superior clarity. The 1080p videos created by this camcorder are of good quality, thanks to the superior high-quality Sony sensor.
The Exmor CMOS sensor also enables this camera to deliver good quality video in lowlight conditions. You will find far fewer grains in your videos shot at dawn or dusk thanks to this sensor. As for still shots, the camera is capable of shooting 9.2-megapixel images.
The camera is very compact and fits in the palm of your hand. This is one camera that will not tire you out when you are walking out the woods. There is no wireless connectivity, but you do get USB and HDMI output. The package includes a lot of accessories, including multiple high capacity batteries. You even get a 32GB micro SDHC card and HDMI cable.
Overall the Sony HDRCX405 is an appealing prospect, thanks to the video capabilities as well as the goodie bundle you get along with it. The build quality is not the best out there, so you will have to be careful outdoors when wielding it. The controls are also rather clunky.
The third Panasonic camera in our shortlist comes armed with the longest zooming range of them all. It has 90X intelligent zoom, with 50x stabilized optical zoom offering superior video quality even when held in your hands. On top of that, you also get full HD 1080p video recording with the HC-V180K.
Low light photography and videography is often a critical aspect that hunting cameras have to cover, and this Panasonic has a BSI sensor optimized for low light video capture. If you are patiently waiting for your prey, the time-lapse photography feature could come in handy as well.
The wide touchscreen LCD monitor is another great feature. This screen and touch controls allow you to edit your videos on the fly, and you can add some great filters as well.
Since this is touted as a budget-oriented camera, it lacks any advanced wireless features. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as you can get more battery life in the bargain.
Overall build quality and ruggedness is adequate, which is not bad considering the low asking price. The HC-V180K will appeal to price-conscious buyers. You are forced to give up some advanced features, and the video quality is not the best in the house.
Video Cameras for Hunting Buying Guide & FAQ
What sort of camera is best for hunting?
If you are competent at using a DSLR, you can easily use it for all your hunting photography and videography requirements. It all depends on your preferences and comfort level with the camera.
The main point is that the camera should not detract from your focus while on the hunt. Afterall, the main aim of hunting is actually to bag your target animal. If you can get some good looking photos and videos, that is a secondary bonus.
From a convenience perspective, we feel that compact camcorders and action cams are your best bet. Thanks to the advancements in technology, you can easily get high-quality 1080p and even 4K videos with these compact cameras.
What is video quality I should look for a minimum?
These days, anything short of Full HD, or 1080p, is not worth it from a viewer’s perspective. Video screens have come a long way in the last decade or so. If you want to enjoy watching your hunting videos on your TV, PC, or even your iPhone, it has to be of a high enough quality and resolution.
If budget permits, you can even look for cameras with 4K video support. But they do not come cheap, at least not yet anyway. And higher resolution videos do come at a cost though: the files tend to be bigger in size, so you will need higher capacity memory cards if you plan to shoot long hours of hunting videos.
How important are build quality and durability when it comes to hunting cameras?
Once your video preferences are satisfied, this is the main feature you should focus on when shortlisting cameras to buy. Hunting is a challenging outdoor activity where you will be facing a wide variety of weather conditions and activity levels. Any equipment, especially a digital gadget, should be capable of handling the rigors of the outdoor environment.
Waterproofing is a very desirable characteristic to look for in a camera for hunting. If the camera can survive a fall into the water, that is awesome. At the very least, it should at least be able to survive exposure to moisture.
Durability, on the other hand, is non-negotiable. Avoid cameras with flimsy plastic exteriors at all costs. You want a camera that can survive at least some form of rough use. So look for cameras with shockproof build quality if budget permits.
What about batteries, what can I expect in this niche?
The basic idea is, the larger the battery, the longer you can record using a camera. But sadly, there are a few other factors that can affect the longevity of your camera in the field. For instance, high-end models come with advanced features like WiFi. These are power hungry features that drain your battery pretty fast.
And the higher the resolution, the shorter the battery life as well. So if you plan to shoot extensively in 4K, you will not be able to use the camera for a long time at a stretch. And that is not without taking into account other features like live streaming.
At the very least, look for cameras that can deliver around 2 hours of recording at HD/UHD resolutions. With these modern cameras, you will have to carry extra batteries and memory cards to get them to work longer than 2 hours.
What about the weight and form factor?
Camcorders are generally very compact devices, which is why we consider them better than DSLRs for hunting purposes. But don’t go looking for the lightest camcorder out there. They usually have light plastic cases and are not very durable. It should be light enough to carry around with ease, but hardy enough to withstand some tough love.
Cameras that come with straps and multiple mounting options are always preferable. When you are hunting, you often cannot spare your hands to hold anything other than your rifle! The ability to mount the camera onto your tripod or some other surface leaves you free to tackle the game.
What are some useful advanced features?
Remote controls can be extremely useful during a hunt. You can set up your camera close to a watering hole or some such area in advance. This allows you to have extra eyes looking for prey, while you are at a comfortable distance. You can also set up the camera to get some good shots of yourself from a distance!
IR sensors and night vision capabilities are certainly useful though not essential for the best camera for hunting. They allow you to get better videos when in low light conditions. But if you hunt a lot at night, this might be an essential feature for you. There are a lot of other advanced features out there on modern camcorders, but they are largely of secondary importance from a hunter’s perspective.