Typically the less expensive the camera, the smaller it will be. The Panasonic TM90K is an inexpensive, lightweight, compact camera that will do the job for anyone on a budget. Click the image to go to a page where we show you the best video cameras in different price ranges, as well as the best price of each.
It is amazing the video quality manufactures have packed into small packages. The average hunter that wants good footage to watch on their computer, T.V. or to upload onto video sharing sights such as YouTube and Facebook can get away with an exceptionally small hunting video camera for a fairly reasonable price. As with price though, the higher the quality video camera, the larger it will be. The professional video cameras that are used for the majority of the hunting videos you see on TV are quite large and expensive; 10 to 20 lbs and from $5,000 to $100,000.
If you are the average hunter that wants to capture some quality video to share with friends and the internet, you will be looking at a camera that ranges from 8 – 15 0z. If you want a more professional grade video camera, you can go with one that is 1 to 2 lbs and $1,000-$2,000.
Once you have experimented with videoing hunts and learned the techniques that it takes to capture some high quality hunting footage, then you might want to think about investing in some higher quality, larger and more expensive hunting video camera gear. In this case, expect to be lugging around at least 5lbs of camera, with another several pounds of other gear such as tripods and audio equipment.
One thing you need to pay attention to is the amount of zoom a hunting video camera has, and more particularly, how much optical zoom it has as optical zoom will keep the quality of the video high. Digital zoom, which is misleading to many, just magnifies the pixels, thus decreasing the quality of the video the more you zoom in, kind of like zooming in on a picture on a computer.
One strange thing about zoom is that the less expensive video cameras generally have both a higher optical and digital zoom. On higher grade cameras, 10 – 20 power optical zoom is about the most you will get. For video cameras under $500, it is not uncommon to get one that has an optical zoom of more than 40 power.
Obviously, the higher the optical zoom the better, but unfortunately you have to sacrifice zoom for quality; why, I do not know, it is just a fact. There is a way around this though, as one can buy a doubler (or even a Tripler or more) to fit on the end of the video camera of their choice. The down falls to this are the facts that it is another expense, as well as another piece of equipment to lug around.
The Need for Zoom: Depending on where you plan to do the majority of your hunting, high power zoom may or may not be that important. If much of your hunting takes place in open areas, then the need for a high power zoom will be more than if you tend to hunt forested where when you see an animal, they are usually not much more than 100 yards.
Field of View
How wide of angle a video camera records is called field of view. When choosing a video camera for hunting, or anything for that matter, the wider the angle the better. The downfall to a wide angle is the fact that things are further away; a nice zoom will take care of that. With a wide angle video camera for hunting, you will be sure to get all of what you want in the frame.
The way to tell how wide the angle is, is by looking at the lens diameter; the smaller the number, the wider the angle, or field of view. A good diameter to look for is 30mm, plus or minus 3. It is possible to go too wide of an angle. Super wide angle video cameras are typically used for point of view footage, as this looks the best when there is a lot of action. Most point of view video cameras that are made for hunting will result in prey that looks far away, even though it might only be 30 yards.
There are several other items that one needs to evaluate before they choose the best video camera for hunting. For instance, most inexpensive video cameras do not have a viewfinder; they only have the LCD screen for which to view what you are filming. The LCD screen will do fine in most hunting situations, but in high lighting, the screen can be hard to see. Likewise in low light, the screen might put off a glow and light up everything around you, which is not good for hunting as it might give away your location as a huge buck is making its way into your ambush. Video Cameras with viewfinders start at around $600. Above that price, most will come standard with one; still be sure to check before dropping a paycheck when choosing the best video camera for hunting.
Filming a Hunt
If you have not already, you will find that filming a hunt can be just as fun as hunting its self. It is a lot easier to get good footage of a hunt then it is to make the shot count at the moment when things go down. That being said, you have to keep your cool and be sure to get clear, steady footage regardless of what happens. Your first priority should be to get good footage. It is so easy to get caught up in a moment and miss important material that should be included in you video.
Use a tripod or some sort of stabilizer when ever possible. It makes a huge difference and will allow you to zoom in more for the kill shot, as well as make for a much cleaner video as it will limit the speed in which you move the camera around.
There is much more to learn about filming a hunt than what you can learn from endless reading on the internet. The only way to learn is to to get out and film some hunts. Before you film hunts, it might be wise to spend some time in the outdoors filming wildlife. This will prepare you for the elements, but cannot prepare you for the suspense and adrenaline rush that will come as you film some of the best moment you will ever be a part of. Stay tuned to this blog for more information on both filming your hunts and hunting in general.
To choose the best video camera for hunting for you and your situation, go to this page: Best Video Camera for Hunting