Video camera for hunting...

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
My wife and I want to film our hunts and wondered what you all recommend for a camera setup. We don't want to break the bank but would like something with good quality and low light capabilities. Also, please recommend any accessories and editing software we might need.
Thanks for the help!

Silver Britches

Official Sports Forum Birthday Thread Starter
Hi davel, I don't know how much you are willing to spend, but I'll try and provide you with some helpful info. Also, I'll leave it to you to decide on what camcorder to buy.

Just like you, years ago I searched around looking for information on camcorders and what all I needed to start filming my very own hunts. There is info out there about filming your own hunts, it's just not too easy to find.

You should also consider what you'll be viewing your videos on. If you have (or will have) a nice big high-definition television (or HDTV), then why not buy a high-definition video camera to record your hunts in high-def.

What all do you need to get started in videoing your own hunts? Well of course you'll need a decent video camera. You can spend as little as $300 dollars and on up into the many thousands for a video camera. There are many different formats to choose from, too. Some record to tape, to flash memory, to a hard drive, and some record to a DVD. I personally would avoid video cameras that record to a hard drive or dvd. They seem to be more error-prone. At least that's what I've discovered after reading many reviews.

Canon, JVC, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony all manufacture camcorders. There are other brands out there. I've listed what are considered the top five of the bunch. They come in many different formats, colors, shapes, prices and sizes. Each manufacturer makes decent camcorders, and yes, each manufacturer makes some crappy ones too. So, try and find some online reviews of the camcorder(s) you are interested in - if you can.

DVD: This consumer format records directly on 3” (8cm) DVD media. Convenient easy playback on most current home DVD players and computer DVD drives.

MiniDV: The DV format records 500+ lines of horizontal resolution video digitally onto Standard and MiniDV size tape. Also, MiniDV tapes are tiny.

DVCam: A Sony professional DV variant format that uses the same metal evaporated tape of the DV format, but has a higher-quality tape recording manufacturing process.

DVCAM records a wider 15 micron band-width, which is considered the step-up format from the consumer DV tape with 10 Micron. The tape is supposedly more robust to meet more aggressive use in editing. So they say.

HDV: High Definition Video recording format on MiniDV tape.

AVCHD: A new format for High Definition 1080i and 720P video signal recording onto tapeless media such as 3” (8cm) DVD’s or Hard Disk Drive (HDD) camcorders. Presently AVCHD is considered significantly higher quality compared to current standard definition DV camcorders, but considered lower than the HDV format. At least that's what I've read.

If you have a high-definition tv, it is also a widescreen tv, then why not shoot your videos in widescreen. So, if this interests you then look for a camcorder that has the ability to record in true widescreen.

If you're going to be videoing hunts or just shooting some wildlife video, you'll want a nice big optical zoom (Of at least 20X) so you can get in close to the action. You can also buy a telephoto lens to attacth to you camcorder to extend its zoom. Don’t even worry about the ‘digital zoom’ feature found on almost every camcorder! If quality matters to you, then don’t be impressed with how much zoom the ‘digital zoom’ feature adds! It’s useless and will only degrade the quality of your video. Of course, the more zoom you use the easier It is for the video to be shaky. To avoid this use a tripod or some type of camcorder mount when videoing. Your videos will look more professional with less shake and be more enjoyable to watch.

If you buy a camcorder that records to miniDV tape - Most professionals offer this advice about buying Mini-DV tapes: Always buy and use the same brand of tape. Don't use TDK one day, Maxell the next day and then Sony the week after. Different manufacturers use different lubricants on the tape surface. If you mix and match tapes, you can gum up the camcorder's recording heads and possibly damage it. You should always keep at least two extra tapes in your camera bag. You don't want to run out of tape and miss the chance to record some awsome video.

Here are a few camcorder mounts for you to check out. Yes, there are others out there too.

Here is a list of some other accessories. Decide what you'll need.
Camera Bag and/or Backpack - (Recommended)
Tripod - (Recommended)
Extra Battery - (Recommended)
Extra Tape - (Recommended)
Cleaning Tape - (Recommended)
Lens Protector - (Recommended)
Plastic Bag To Cover Camcorder In Case It Rains - (Recommended)
Lens Cloth & Cleaner
Wide Angle Lens
Telephoto Lens

Here is a short list of a few reputable places where you can buy camcorders. Visit the store and/or check out their website to see what all they have to offer. There are some other great places too, but way to many places for me to list here. Also, be careful when buying anything online! Don't just buy from anybody, do your research on that company.
Best Buy
Sam's Club

Here is a listing of informative websites for you to gain some knowledge on camcorders and everything associated with them. You'll even find some camcorder reviews and tips and tricks for shooting great video. Check them out.

The links below will provide more info on camcorders.

Here is a listing of editing software and other useful information. This software can be very expensive, but you don't have to spend a lot to create some nice home videos. Of course, you'll also want to learn how to use the software you buy. So, look on the Internet for some tutorials for that particular software you'll be using.

Alright, I've just provided you with some great information to help you get started on your journey. Now, all you need to do is use it and get yourself a video camera then get your behind out there in some woods and shoot some video! Quit putting it off and get in the game, man!:cool:

Take care and good luck.:flag:
Thread starter #4


Senior Member
Wow!! Thanks for all the information! I will go over everything and do my homework.
I can't thank you enough!!
Coming from someone who has produced 2 outdoor television shows - that is the most comprehensive yet layman acceptable definitions I have ever seen. Awesome information and a job well done.

Silver Britches

Official Sports Forum Birthday Thread Starter
Thanks for the comments AmericanBorn57.

Would be nice to have a dedicated thread to filming hunts. I bet it would be very popular and extremely helpful to many, including myself.

Also, most new DSLR's can shoot HD video, opening up a whole new ball game right there.

Good luck to all!


Senior Member
I need to look into this as well.

I'm headed to Texas and Montana on turkey hunts and would love to video.

This is probably a dumb question but is it possible to reant good equipment thats not difficult to operate to avoid the purchase expense this season?

I've taken pretty good pictures ( you can see what I've taken in my photo albums ) but would love to capture this on video.

Silver Britches

Official Sports Forum Birthday Thread Starter
Yes, you can rent equipment. I've never done this however, and not sure if it would even be worth it. Check some of those camcorder sites I provided links to and ask on their forums and see if you can find someone who has experience doing this.

Just do a search on Google for renting video equipment and be sure to find a reliable/trust worthy location to rent from.

Here is a link of results I came up with. I have no ties with any of these companies nor can I say whether you can trust them or not. Just did a search to help you get started.

If you want my advice, I would just buy a decent video camera that you can afford for this year, and once you see how fun it is, you can spend more on a better one next year!:bounce: Don't worry about the learning curve of operating the darn thing, we all have to learn sometime. Heck, just put it on auto pilot and let it do all the work for you.

You're going to want one of your own, eventually. Why? Because it's really enjoyable videoing your own/others hunts. How many times have you said that you wish you had a video camera with you? I used to say the same thing! I just wish I would've bought one sooner! It's really enjoyable to me. I'm no pro, I just do it for my own personal enjoyment.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how it turns out.:flag: