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.
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#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: $598
Panasonic HC-V770 Video Camera @ BHPhotoVideo           Price: $598

*** Check both sites as prices change often ***


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 under $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.

Until the last few years, I would have said save your money. Now though, many camcorder manufactures are coming out with video cameras that work great for hunting at extremely affordable prices. In our opinion, the Panasonic HC-V160 is the best camcorder for the price. It is compact and light weight (6.38 oz / 181 gr) and fits excellent in hand.

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 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 38X optical and 77X intelligent zoom, which uses digital & optical zoom in combination with sharpening and image up-scaling to make the zoom near optical quality.

At the time of this writing, the price for the Panasonic HC-V160 was slightly over $200. If history repeats itself, this model should be at or below $200 in the near future. 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
Panasonic HC-V160 @ BH Photo Video                                   $220

Best Camera for Hunting under $300

While lacking a couple convenience factors, the Panasonic features internal components that are comparable to video cameras priced higher.

The Panasonic HC-V270 is 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.

This camera is very compact and lightweight (near 7 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, and is barley noticeable on top of head. The Wifi streaming allows the user to use a smart phone as a remote for this best hunting camcorder for under $300.

The internal components of the Panasonic HC-V270 are almost identical to that of the Panasonic HC-V550 which is listed below. The two main differences are that the 550 also includes a Tilt Correction feature (called level shot) and an automatic lens cover. Both will not lead to much better footage, but are convenient, though not necessary if one is trying to save some funds.

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

Panasonic HC-V270 @ Amazon.com                                       $266
Panasonic HC-V270 @ BH Photo Video                                   $266

Best Video Camera for Hunting Under $400

best video camera for hunting under $500

The Panasonic V550M takes incredible HD video at a very affordable price. The 50X optical - 90X enhanced zoom make this a very good hunting camcorder in the more open areas.

Panasonic V550 HD Hunting Camcorder :  This compact video camera is perfect for a hunter that wants to preserve some of the best moments in the field as it is compact (8.3 0z), SD Card Slot, a 90 power “Intelligent Zoom”, incredible image stabilization abilities, and high definition recording that is unbelievable in a video camera of this price range. The Panasonic HC-V550 is the best video camera for hunting in its price range due to the fact that it takes stunning video and it feels very good in hand, among the other reasons listed below.

After comparing the Panasonic HC-V550 side by side with two other competing models of similar price from Canon and Sony, the Panasonic V550 was the clear winner, although all of them produced video quality that would amaze anyone at this price point; the Panasonic did however come out ahead in image stabilization, low light capabilities, and had by far the best zoom.  Although some will say that the 90 power intelligent zoom is not true optical zoom, tell that to the stunningly clear video that you can get on 90 power zoom.  Panasonic uses a digital process to increase the zoom power while not decreasing clarity, and it really works well.The true optical zoom is 50 power.

Below is a video captured of a coyote to show the zoom power and image stabilization. YouTube does not do this video justice, and you can expect even higher quality when viewing directly over the computer vs through the internet.

To increase resolution, click on the sprocket looking icon and change it to at least 720p. To maximize the player size, click on the square icon on the bottom right corner.

This and other higher priced consumer video cameras by Panasonic offer WIFI streaming allows you to view and control the footage from a smart phone and other capable devices, acting as a wireless remote. Also, Level Shot Function automatically detects and corrects the tilting of captured images. Check out the links below to see the rest of the additions and specs for this video camera. This definitely is the best video camera for hunting in this price range and I would put it up next to several in higher price ranges.

For more information, customer reviews, or to buy this video camera for hunting, click here:

Panasonic HC-V550  @ Amazon.com          Price: $330
Panasonic HC-V550  @ B&H Video.com     Price: $330

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

 

Best Video Camera for Hunting Under $600

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.  It is very similar to the V550M model with a several upgrades worthy of a higher price.  This is actually the choice camera of the Artifact Outfitters team, and easily deserves the “Best Overall Camcorder for Hunting” as awarded at the beginning of this page.

The Panasonic V770 has several other small differences internally over the V550 that results 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-V550′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 (actually filmed with the previous years model, which is very similar in components).  The head cam video and shot follow up is the video filmed with the same processor.

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 550, 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, new for 2015, 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.

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: $598
Panasonic HC-V770 Video Camera @ BHPhotoVideo           Price: $598

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

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: $898
Panasonic HC-VX870 Video Camera @ BHPhotoVideo           Price: $898

*** 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 G30 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: $1,202
Canon Vixia HF G10 Video Camera @ BHPhotoVideo.com      Price: $1,149

*** 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

best compact video camera for hunting.

Canon XA10 HD is the best compact video camera for hunting that shoots professional grade video with the ability to add components.

Canon XA10 HD Video Camera: The Canon XA10 HD Video Camera is a low priced, compact video camera that records professional grade video perfect for outdoorsman to begin capturing their hunting adventures on film. This camera comes with some features that are ideal for hunting such as nighttime infrared, 200x total zoom (10x optical zoom), and a 64 GB internal flash drive for maximum video storage and easy transfer to a computer. Watch a demo here with lots of info.

This video camera is great for somebody who is just starting out filming outdoor adventures such as hunting, but does not want to shell out twice the price for a full size professional grade camera.  After viewing videos side by side of the Canon XA10 with its big brother, the XF105, there really isn’t a huge difference.  One thing you do not get out of the XA10 is the amount of external function controls that you will get out of a full size professional video.  Many of the functions settings are there, you just have to go through the menu to get to them or let the camera do it. Most of us hunters are not pro videographers anyway and the camera can do a better job than us at most of the functions.

Again, this is a perfect camera for a person that 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 XA10 HD Video Camera @ Amazon.com                Price: $1,939
Canon XA10 HD Video Camera @ BHphotovideo.com    Price: $1,999

*** 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 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
Canon XH-A1S 3CCD HDV HD Professional Video Camera
@ B&HPhotoVideo.com     Price: $2,895
Also available in several Kits here: Canon XH-A1S Video Camera Kits @ Amazon.com

*** 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 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