Best Video Camera for Hunting

Best Video Camera for Hunting

The best video camera for hunting will depend on many factors, but mostly your budget.

Last Update: May 2015

This page lists the Best Video Cameras for Hunting broke down into different price ranges starting with the Overall Best Value Video Camera for Hunting.  Scroll down the page to find the hunting video camera that fits your budget best.

Please go through the links on this page before buying any hunting camcorders we recommend to ensure you get the best price possible and so we get credit for sending you.
Thank You!

Why Panasonic Camcorders for Hunting? 

You will notice we have this page heavily weighted with Panasonic Camcorders.  All top brand camera companies make great camcorders.  We have tried many and found not only the quality to be a step above the rest overall, but also the functioning set up is better than the others for hunting, especially when teamed up with the Solvid Head Cam Strap.

Solvid and Artifact Outfitters are run by the same hunters. You can see many hunting videos filmed with the cameras below at the following link: Solvid Hunting Videos

#1 Rated Overall Best Value Video Camera for Hunting

Best overall video camera for hunting

The Panasonic HC-V770M wins the best overall value award with crisp video delivered in a very compact package.

Panasonic HC-V770 Video Camera is a mid priced, compact video camera that records high grade video perfect for the outdoorsman to capture their hunting adventures on film. This camera comes with many features that are ideal for hunting such as full high definition video, long telephoto 20X optical and 50X advanced zoom range (works very well), 29.5mm wide-angle lens, and a High Sensitivity Sensor for greatly improved low-light images’

The HC-V770 features WIFI streaming to a smart phone or other devices, as well as a Level Shot Function which automatically detects and corrects the tilting of captured images.  More on these and other features in the “Under $600″ section below.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy this video camera, scroll down this page to its price range, or click on the link below:

Panasonic HC-V770 Video Camera @ Amazon.com              Price: $498


Too Much Money?  Want Better?

Tip: Go with the best you can afford; you get what you pay for.

Obviously, not everybody is going to be able to afford a video camera of this caliber.  Likewise, you may be in the market for an even higher quality camera.  The best video camera for hunting will depend on your budget.  That is why here at Artifact Outfitters we have selected, tested and/or reviewed videos cameras that work the very best for hunting in different price ranges so you will get the best camera that you can afford.

 

Best Camera for Hunting around $200

best camcorder for hunting

A great, very inexpensive camcorder, small enough to fit in a small pocket, but with features of a larger camera.

Panasonic HC-V180 – Camcorders have come a long way in the last few years, especially on the lower end.  5 years ago, there weren’t many camcorders in this price range that were even worth using, but now days, all the top brands offer great inexpensive options.

Of all the models in this price range, our favorite is the Panasonic HC-V180 video camera.  This camcorder works great for hunting due to its easy to use interface, great image stabilization, low light abilities, and the 90X Intelligent zoom.  Its very small and lightweight (under 8 oz), so it works well for hunters who cover a lot of ground, as well as for those trying to save space in their tree stand or blind. An easy to use touchscreen maximizes screen size for great playback in the field.

Most users of a camcorder in this price range are not going to want to mess with manual settings. For this application, Panasonic offers a “Intelligent Auto ( iA ) mode which makes it easy to just grab the camcorder and begin shooting. It senses shooting conditions to automatically adjust settings and activate functions for optimal results.   Also of high importance to hunters is the incredible zoom of 50X optical and 90X intelligent zoom, which uses digital & optical zoom in combination with sharpening and image up-scaling to make the zoom near optical quality.

This camera isn’t perfect! The major downfall it has is the start up time.  It takes about 5 seconds from the time the camera is turned on until it can record. The next model up (HC-V380) can begin filming almost instantly.  If this is a deal breaker, check out the HC-V380 which can begin recording almost instantly.

Here is some test footage we compiled using the Panasonic HC-V180 camcorder:

The price for this hunting video camera hovers around the $200 mark, +/- depending on supply and demand.   Whatever the current price is, you will have a hard time finding a camcorder in the same price range that shoots better footage than this one.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy this video camera, click this link:

Panasonic HC-V160 @ Amazon.com                                       $214

Best Camera for Hunting under $300

Best video camera for hunting around $300

Panasonic HC-V380 – a great little camera that shoots 1080p HD video that will amaze when considering the price you pay. Image stabilization is great, and the 90X zoom (50X optical / 90X Hybrid) on this little camera is good enough to double as a spotting scope if your binoculars just aren’t cutting it.

The HC-V380 is identical in footage quality to that of the HC-V180 as they have many of the same internal components such as processor and sensor.  It does however come with more bells and whistles, which to many will make it worth $100 more.  First of all, the screen is bigger; this of course makes the camera a little larger than the 180 as well.  The HC-V380 is WiFi enabled, which allows the user to sync the camera with their smart phone using the Panasonic app. With this connection, the phone becomes a cordless screen and allows simple function like record on/off and zoom.  The final improvement to this camera over the HC-V180 is the start up time.  When the screen is opened or the power turned on, the camera is ready to record almost instantly, which if used for hunting, could mean all the difference.

This camera is very compact and lightweight (near 9 oz). It is less expensive yet offers higher quality footage and more features than most action cams like GoPro, and when coupled with a CamStrap Universal Head Cam Mount by Solvid FIY, this camera makes for a great POV hunting camera. The Wifi streaming allows the user to use a smart phone as a remote for this best hunting camcorder for under $300.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy this video camera, click this link:

Panasonic HC-V380 @ Amazon.com                                       $298

 

Best Video Camera for Hunting Under $500

Hunting Camcorder

The Panasonic HC-V770 is a definite step above the HC-V570 in pretty much all aspects.

Panasonic HC-V770 Video Camera: It comes as no surprise that this video camera follows the previous one in the line up.  This is actually the choice camera of the Artifact Outfitters team and Solvid – Film It Yourself. It easily deserves the “Best Overall Camcorder for Hunting” as awarded at the beginning of this page.

The Panasonic V770 has several differences internally over the HC-V180 and 380 that result in a better quality of video.  All of these features are well worth the price tag. If you can afford the extra money, the V770 is worth it. The main reason for the step up in quality is the larger sensor. A 6.03 Megapixel 1/2.3″  MOS versus the HC-V180 and 380′s 2.51 Megapixel 1/5.8″  MOS. This doesn’t mean much to most of us, but if you want to see a video filmed with this sensor, watch the footage below.  All the head cam footage is filmed with the HC-V770. The other tripod and hand cam footage is filmed with the HC-V180

This is a graphic video; be warned!

The 770 offers a unique wind screen and a high quality microphone in case you do not want to add an external mic. Also, a slow motion function that records at 240 frames per second allows for detailed shots when slowed down to see incredible arrow flight and bullet vapor trails. Also, much like the 380, smart phones can be tethered via WiFi to be used as a wireless remote. This is a fun feature that has many uses both during the hunt and in every day filming. Also, the HC-V770 offers High Dynamic Recording (HDR). The HDR movie function combines two images recorded with different exposure times and uses the best from both. This helps improve detail in the shadows and highlights; a common occurrence when filming outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

At about 14 oz with the battery, this is about as big as you can go while considering it a compact video camera.  It fits great on the Solvid CamStrap to be used as a high quality head cam, but the weight will be noticeable and require perfect fitting of the strap to be comfortable for long periods.  This is the exact camera the Solvid Team uses to capture some of the highest quality POV head camera footage available.

Another feature that makes this camera a step above the rest for hunting is the Multi Manual Dial, which allows for manual adjustment of zoom, shutter speed, iris, white balance and more, without having to go through the menu.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy, Click Here:

Panasonic HC-V770 Video Camera @ Amazon.com              Price: $498

 


Best Camera for Hunting Under $1000

Best video camera for hunting

The Panasonic HC-V870 will rival many camcorders well over $1000. A great all round video camera for hunting.

Panasonic HC-VX870:    This camcorder has all the same features and looks of the Panasonic HC-V770 listed above, but also steps up the video quality with a larger sensor, the ability to capture 4k video, and a high quality Leica lens. Also, an Infrared illuminator allows for great night time footage.

The 18.91 Megapixel 1/2.3″  MOS sensor is off the hook for cameras anywhere close to this price range. Combine this with the 4K filming (3840 x 2160p), and you have some of the sharpest, most defined video possible out of a sub $1000 video camera, and probably better than many well beyond it.

The high megapixel sensor and 4K capabilities are the main items that make this camera capture higher quality footage than the HC-V770. Other than that, the cameras are almost identical in all other features such as the tilt correction, WiFi, HDR, Multi Manual Dial, and even size and weight.  Is the 4k worth the extra $300? That is dependent on your budget and what you can afford. To get the 4k footage quality on a TV, it must be 4k compatible. Eventually, these TVs will become more affordable and even standard, but until then, the benefits of 4k will be limited. The difference will only be noticeable side by side, and 4k will certainly take up more data space then 1080p. If your goal is to add the videos to internet sites such as YouTube, I predict some time before they play anything in 4k due to bandwidth and playback issues. Either way, if you want the best video camera for hunting under $1000, look no further than the Panasonic HC-V870!

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy, Click Here:

Panasonic HC-VX870 Video Camera @ Amazon.com              Price: $698

*** Check both sites as prices change often.  These sites offer the easiest returns, best customer service, and the lowest prices.  Buy from a site you can trust. ***

 

Best Video Camera for Hunting Under $1500

Canon Vixia HF G40 Video Camera

Best Camcorder for hunting under $1500

At well under $1500, the Canon HF G30 is a premier consumer camcorder with many prosumer qualities.

This video camera packs a ton of professional grade video camera components into an very compact, light weight, easy to use camcorder that makes a superb video camera for hunting.  Its small enough to not cause any space issues, yet it is big enough that it has a comfortable feel both in your hand and on a tripod; not to mention the fact that it takes exceptionally outstanding video in 1920 X 1080p High Definition.

I am not going to go off on all the great things about the Canon Vixia HF G30 Video Camera, because it is good enough to have its own page.  Some of the key features include dual SD card slots that allow you to record to one or both with different formats simultaneously. For steady shooting in a variety of conditions, the camera has a SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization with Dynamic Image Stabilization.

A few things you will get out of these higher priced video cameras, including this one, is a manual focus ring, view finder and a hot shoe mount allowing an external shotgun microphone to be used. The focus ring allows a hunter to focus through branches and such to dial in on the target. The view finder is great when trying to film in bright sun light that can hinder the view of the LCD screen. The trade off for these features is a little extra weight and size, which can be a good thing depending on the situation.

If you’re looking for a hunting video camera with the feel of a professional set up and the potential to add on several components to increase the level of footage you will capture, then this might be your best video camera for hunting.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy, click here:

Canon Vixia HF G10 Video Camera @ Amazon.com                 Price: $1,199

*** Check both sites as prices change often.  These sites offer the easiest returns, best customer service, and the lowest prices.  Buy from a site you can trust. ***

 

Best Video Camera for Hunting Under $2000

Canon XF100 HD Video Camera: This video camera will work great for the hunter that is looking for more control and higher production value than the cameras mentioned before.  Of course this comes at the price of a larger size and cost. However, this is a very compact video camera when compared to others in its range and the footage quality is equivalent to cameras that cost much more.

This will be a stretch of a camera in size, quality, and price for the average hunter who just wants to get some footage of the things he or she might see while hunting.  For someone who is serious though about capturing high quality footage to be aired on multiple platforms such as home viewing, YouTube, Facebook, and even Outdoor Television, this camera is a great option. It has controls that the less expensive camcorders do not, which allows the experience user to dial in the set up to match the needs of the conditions.

Again, this is a perfect camera for a person who is starting out in the hunting video business as it takes great video, and will work as a perfect supplemental hunting video camera once you decide to upgrade to a 100% professional video camera for hunting.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy, click here:

Canon XF100 HD Video Camera @ Amazon.com                Price: $1,999

 

 

Best Professional Video Cameras for Hunting

Professional grade video cameras are what you need to be filming hunts with if you ever expect them to be on TV.  While some of the consumer cameras do in fact shoot great video and make a great supplemental video camera for hunting on T.V., they will not perform as well as the prosumer video cameras will.  Of course, prosumer video cameras are much more expensive than consumer video cameras so expect to spend around $3000 or more.  The rest of the video cameras on this list are prosumer cameras that costs as much as $10,000.  There are definitely prosumer cameras that are much more expensive and much better than the ones listed here, but if your are interested in them then you probably know more about video cameras for hunting than I do

So far, most prosumer video cameras record footage to miniDV’s.  I actually prefer flash drives for the easiness and no hassle, but so far this is the standard for professional grade video cameras and they do have their benefits.  Most prosumer cameras will record about an hour of HD video to one miniDV.

 

 

Best Video Camera For Hunting Under $3000

Canon XH-A1S 3CCD HDV High Definition Professional Camcorder:

The video quality of professional video cameras such as the Canon XH A1S is determined by the person shooting the footage. This camera can deliver some great hunting footage once you get the hang of it.

For the hunter that is ready to step up their game a bit and feel they are ready to start producing high quality hunting videos, this video camera is a great place to start.  This Canon has a ton a features that will take some getting time to learn, but it is easy enough to get the hang of things if you aren’t afraid to open up the owners manual.  There are also a ton of resources such as youtube and other sites that have a lot of tutorials for you to learn how to use this camera to its full potential.

The size of prosumer cameras is definitely noticeable over the prosumer cameras.  The Canon XH-A1S 3CCD  is no different weighing in at just over 5 lbs.  That is the trade off for the high quality video with a lot of optional manual adjustments.  Most of the consumers cameras listed on this page are under 1 lbs.

Best Professional Video Camera for Hunting

Canon XH A1S is the perfect video camera for hunting for someone who is ready to begin making high quality hunting videos.

For the videographer that is not very familiar with manual adjustments for features such as white balance, aperture, contrast, focus, and so much more, there are very effective auto modes that can handle most situations making even a beginner look like a professional. The image stabilization works on an optical level, thus correcting shakes even while driving in a vehicle.  All this adds up to producing hunting videos that will amaze even the camera man.

To top this video camera off perfect for filming a hunt is a 20 power optical zoom and the Canon’s L-series lens (the best lens Canon makes).  Both of these together give a crystal clear view of wildlife from a far, yet also grab clear, crisp footage of action shots up close.

Check out a long list of customer reviews here and a youtube test video here .

For more information, customer reviews or to buy, click here:

Canon XH-A1S 3CCD HDV HD Professional Video Camera @ Amazon.com    Price: $2,895

Also available in several Kits here: Canon XH-A1S Video Camera Kits @ Amazon.com

 

 

Best Video Camera Under $4,000

Sony HDR-AX2000 Professional Grade Video Camera

Best Video Camera for Hunting

The Sony HDR-AX2000 has two important features that hunters will appreciate: 20X zoom and SD card recording

There are many of us hunters out there that have some strict requirements that we are looking for in the best video camera for hunting.  If you are spending the money on a professional grade camera, then you should make sure you are getting exactly what you want.  For me, my two main factors are a 20 power (20X) zoom and the ability to record to either an internal hard drive or SD cards; preferably both.  The Sony HDR-AX2000 has these features (20X optical zoom and SD card recording) making it the best video camera for hunting in its price range.

Best Video Camera for Hunting Under $4,000

Do not take our word that this camera is the best in its price range; check out the customer reviews at the links below for additional opinions.

As hunters, it is not always possible to change out miniDV discs after every hour of video.  I have sat 30 yards form big bucks for hours before, waiting for them to stand up; changing out discs or tapes would no way be possible.  SD cards allow you to have an incredible amount of video on one tiny card.  I just bought two 128 GB cards that give me a total of over 24 hours of footage at the highest quality setting.  That is plenty of space for several back-country trips.

Anyway, I will let you read the specifications of this camera at the websites listed below.  Be sure to check out the excellent reviews it has gotten as well.  If the above requirements fit what you are looking for in a video camera for hunting, then this might even be your best bet out of the price ranges above.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy, click here:

Sony HDR-AX2000 Professional Grade Video Camera @ Amazon.com                Price: $3,498
Sony HDR-AX2000 Professional Grade Video Camera @ BHphotovideo.com    Price: $3,498

*** Check both sites as prices change often.  These sites offer the easiest returns, best customer service, and the lowest prices.  Buy from a site you can trust. ***

 

 Best Video Cameras for Hunting over $4000.

We are currently busy researching and testing the best professional grade video cameras for hunting.  This has proven to be more time consuming then one would think.  We are dedicated to giving our honest, unbiased opinion, so we want to take the time to decide which professional video cameras are going to give you the best video when the moment counts.  There is obviously a lot to go through, as these pro cameras have a ton of functions.

For now, your best bet is to go to B&H Photo Video.com where we have listed Professional Video Cameras in order by customer review.

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Best Video Camera for Hunting

  1. Pingback: Canon Vixia HF G10 Review: A True Test in the Outdoors | | Best For HuntingBest For Hunting

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  3. Tom says:

    Just got my canon vixia m41. It takes great footage. Filmed some elk this morning and the video is awsome. I think this is the best video camera for hunting for the price I paid.

  4. Pingback: Mountain Lion Encounter: A Weaponless Hunter Finds Himself Face to Face with a CougarBest For Hunting