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10 Best Cameras for Self Filming Hunts in 2021 [According to 91 Hunters]

A recent post on Field and Stream mentioned that one reason why a lot of people fail to hunt a “deer” is because we end up fidgeting with our phones, cameras, and other items around us. But if you’re confident that you wouldn’t mess with the device on the field while hunting, then it’s essential for you to get a reliable camera that’ll make your solo hunting capturing easier.

Not all cameras are capable of filming solo hunts or long-range hunts, that’s why if you’re purchasing one for the first time, then you must know that it needs to do a few specific things really well. For instance, it needs to have at least 1080P recording with good detail levels, good battery life or at least the option to change batteries quickly, easy-to-carry construction and weight and should be water & dust resistant.

Which type of Camera should you consider for your hunting?

Now, based on your specific requirements you’ll benefit from a specific type of camera. To give you an idea, here are some examples:

  • If you are trying to document the entire session from your point of view, it’s better to use an Action Camera. Mount it either on your head or hang it from your neck.
  • In case you want you to capture the entire area with you or/and your possible target showing up in the same footage, you can mount a full-sized digital camera or an action camera with a wide-angle lens on a high tree branch or something similar.
  • If you’re looking for something that can be carried around and just put down and point at your target while you hunt, a Handycam or compact Mirrorless is going to be great.
  • If you want to attach the camera to your car, it’s best to go with an Action Camera.
  • If you want to get close-up shots of your target, either get a Mirrorless Camera/DSLR with a good Telephoto lens or a Handycam with good zoom levels. 

Trying to keep so many things in mind and then pick up a suitable option for your specific needs, can be really hard. So, to make this process easier for you, I’ve created a list of the top cameras that will help you to properly document your hunts.

10 Best Cameras for Filming Hunts in 2021

The selection process for the hunting video camera was critical and comprehensive. To make it even more accurate, I’ve talked to a total of 91 hunters and taken their feedback into consideration. I’ve then evaluated a bunch of cameras in different categories and finally ended up on the cameras that finally made it to the list below.

  • Sensor Resolution: 3.28 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD 1080p
  • Zoom: 32x Optical
  • Weight: 1 lbs

Are you looking for a budget camera for filming hunts that don’t make a compromise on shooting? You have found the right answer in Canon VIXIA HF R800. This is a solo hunting camcorder that easily records up to 8 hours of 1080p recording on a 128GB of memory.

Battery Life

It has a nice battery life of around 2 hours and 10 minutes. It has a highlight priority mode which prevents loss of detail in high brightness areas. Its battery also works well so you can take it on your hunt. The performance is really good for hunting because it will balance the light and give you a decent video for the hunt.

Design & Finish

This camcorder is designed for one-hand use. It is about the size of your hand. It can easily fit in any bag. It has a touch screen for easy and quick usage. It is also available in white color. The design is so good that the camera can be used immediately for filming the hunts.

Zooming & Video Capabilities

The camcorder features the full HD CMOS sensor that reproduces natural color in the images. It brings out the details and reduces noise in the scene. It has a zoom assist setting feature that will help you to get the focus back on the subject and track it with just a press of a button. This is really handy to track your prey and make sure you never lose your focus from it.

It has a 32x optical zoom which would help you to focus on the animal even if it is far away from you. It has a DIGIC DV 4 Image processor that would help you to get excellent images in low light. You can even take this camera with you post-dawn and get great videos and images of your hunt. It also has optical image stabilization technology that helps you to get static video or images even when you are shaking or unstable while moving.

Final Thoughts!

The camcorder weighs 1 lbs and comes with a one-year warranty. It’s definitely one of the best hunting camcorders for filming hunts because of its exceptional features. It can be a part of your shortlist considering all its features.

Pros
  • File lock functionality
  • Slow and fast recording
  • 57x zoom (optical and digital)
  • Canon Connect Station for online storage
Cons
  • No built-in memory
  • Built-in microphone not very good
  • Sensor Resolution: 9.2 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD 1080p
  • Zoom: 30x Optical
  • Weight: 0.41 lbs

Ever thought of buying the best camcorder lens quality and saved for months to get the best in class? Sony HDRCX405 is the answer to your camcorder needs. The HDRCX405 is a Handycam that can capture photos and also does outdoor videography.

Battery Life

It lasts for around 2 hours on a full battery. It takes around 3 hours for a fully dead battery to reach the full point while charging. It has a 29.8mm wide-angle lens so you can capture more landscape in your frame.

Design & Finish

The camcorder is very small and very light. It is something that can fit into one’s pocket. It has a 2.7 inch LCD screen. It has a minimal interface which means that there are very less buttons on it. It has a start-stop button and a capture button.

There is a joystick to move the focus. This minimal interface will help you instantly capturing the video without getting lost in the plethora of buttons that are there on many devices.

Zooming & Video Capabilities

This Sony camcorder has the ability to zoom 30 times. It has a focal length of 35 mm which is the goto length for making any good videos. It has a face detection feature which means that it can track and capture living subjects like humans and animals.

A wide-angle lens can be really useful for hunting as it will capture a larger frame. Meaning that it will assist in capturing the movement of any animals and reduce the action of panning the camera to track it.

This will prove really handy while hunting as it will automatically track them and spot them. You might even capture an animal on the hunt which was perfectly merged in the surroundings because of this feature.

It has built-in 7 picture effects that can be used for photos & videos. It also comes with a USB port to charge the camera using a power bank. Moreover, it has an intelligent mode sensor that reads the frame and puts a mode for the video by itself. A really handy feature for those who want to focus completely on the hunt and forget about the camera for the hunt expedition.

Final Thoughts!

Sony HDRCX405 is really portable and lightweight at just 0.43 pounds, making it best suited for amateur photographers. It comes with a one-year warranty. It is a decent option for anyone who wants to hunt but it is outdated and there are better options available with the latest technology.

Pros
  • 3 way shake canceling
  • 54x zoom 
  • Exmos R CMOS sensor
  • Wide-angle lens
Cons
  • No support for an external microphone
  • Outdated technology
  • Sensor Resolution: 20MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 5K
  • Zoom: No optical zoom
  • Weight: 0.34 lbs

If you don’t want to carry a big camera but still want to document your entire trip in super high-quality, then an action camera like the GoPro Hero 9 might help. It can record in up to 5K and you can literally mount it anywhere.

Battery Life

If you’re taking the GoPro for an all-day solo hunting trip and you want to record video for long periods of time, it’s better to carry a couple more batteries with you. If you’re recording in 5K, the 1720 mAh cell provides less than 2 hours of total usage and in 4K and slightly more than that in 1080P. There are no overheating or rapid battery drain issues on the device.

Design & Finish

GoPro did a major design revamp with the Hero 9. It is now bigger, has a secondary LCD display on the front, and has a removable lens module. However, the mounting pins are still the same size so all currently available GoPro mounts work. It can survive up to 10 meters underwater, and it can fit anywhere so, hiding it is easy during hunts.

Video Capabilities

The 20MP sensor shoots up to 5K at 30fps or at 4K up to 60fps or lower and you can also capture amazing Timelapses of the improved TimeWarp 3.0, alongside Slowmotion, Nightlapse, & Timelapse photos. The video looks great with saturated colors, high-contrast levels, and a good dynamic range.

Thanks to the removable lens module, you can swap the included wide-angle lens with the Max Lens Mod that keeps the video horizontal if the camera changes orientation, and it also has a drain mic for the sweet audio transition from underwater to above water. The front display helps you to get the frame just right when setting up the camera somewhere, from the front.

Final Thoughts!

The Hero 9 wights at around 0.34 lbs which is pretty great considering the bigger battery. The company provides a 1-year warranty with no accidental damage coverage. Compared to last year’s Hero 8, the GoPro Hero 9 is a massive upgrade and if you’re looking for the best action camera for your hunting adventures, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Pros
  • Up to 5K 30FPS video recording
  • Bigger battery & new front display
  • Removable lens module
  • Hypersmooth 3 video stabilization
  • Can be mounted almost anywhere
Cons
  • The software can be improved
  • Doesn’t fit any older GoPro cases
  • Sensor Resolution: 16.4 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD 1080p
  • Zoom: 60x Optical
  • Weight: 1.56 lbs

You are an avid learner and want to try out learning photography & videography. However, videography can be a bit complicated and you might want to start with photos first. But you also do not want to completely neglect your videography skills and try your hand on it too. Samsung WB2200F is a point & shoot camera that you can start your photo journey with.

Battery Life

It has a very good battery life of about 2 hours. It can take upto 600 shots in one battery cycle. It is a good option if you want to take a lot of photos while hunting and at the same time, also record the hunt. It has a macro mode with which you can go upto 1cm close. This might be useful to capture the eyes and the details of the animal after you have hunted it.

Design & Finish

The camera has a square design with which you can capture either vertical or horizontal. It is button-based so you might want to get acquainted with it before you go on a full-fledged hunt. It has a 3-inch screen size which is good enough for viewing shots. It is well designed for a person and can be used for hunting purposes.

Zooming & Video Capabilities

The camera has 60 times optical zoom. This will also help you to see far away very clearly. The zoom can spot animals if you think that they are camouflaging with the grass and trees. The video recording is maxed at 1080p at 30 frames per second which is decent for capturing videos. It has an electronic viewfinder which is helpful for seeing the screen live.

Additionally, the camera has a Photo Beam feature with which you can share the photos to your smartphone or tablet through Wi-Fi or NFC. It has an I function button that lets you set the details automatically. It will help you set the details like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. It also has a wide-angle lens that would capture a larger frame in comparison to a normal photo.

Final Thoughts!

It weighs 1.56 lbs and is heavier than others. However, it is a point-and-shoot camera and different in format from others. The warranty for the product is of one year. It is a very good option for beginners to capture videos and photos. This is for a person who is interested in photos and videos equally. Photos might even be the camera’s plus point here.

Pros
  • Samsung Mobile Link
  • Remote Viewfinder for smartphone
  • Tag & GO feature
  • Dual camera grip
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Heavy 
  • No support for 4k video
  • Sensor Resolution: 26.2 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD
  • Zoom: Yes (with external lens)
  • Weight: 1.07 lbs

Now, if you’re interested to take a Mirrorless Camera with you, I recommend the Canon EOS RP. Compared to its more premium sibling, the Canon EOS RP comes just around 1 lb and it has a lot of the same great video features for a lot less money.

Battery Life

The EOS RP can last up to around an hour or more with 4K video recording. So when you’re doing a long range hunting, pack some extra LP-E17 batteries with you. The battery isn’t the most common one, so if you already have some LP-E6 batteries, those aren’t gonna fit.

In the design department, it looks quite a lot like the EOS R. However, it does not have a secondary display on the top and it is a bit more compact. The screen can flip around and the camera is going to be way easy to carry with you or mount on a tree using a Gorillapod, compared to a bulky DSLR.

Sensor & Capabilities

The 26.2MP sensor is capable of shooting excellent quality video. It does not shoot RAW Video but, thanks to Canon’s color science, the footage looks great out of the camera. Canon even added the 24 fps video recording option with a firmware update and the device also has fast autofocus, so the footage doesn’t come out as a blurry mess.

As far as resolutions are concerned, you can shoot up to 4K but, in case you don’t have a lot of storage, you can shoot at 1080P instead. I’d recommend using at least 30 fps or if possible, even though, as a lot of fast motion isn’t handled that well by lower frame rates. You can also take Timelapses, Slow-mo videos, and more.

Final Thoughts!

As mentioned earlier, the weight is around 1.07 lbs for the body which is lower. Canon provides a standard 1-year warranty and an extra year upon registration on their website. So, if you want excellent video quality, the convenience of switching lenses but, don’t want something heavy, the Canon EOS RP is going to be the best device your money can buy.

Pros
  • Excellent quality videos up to 4K 60FPS
  • Compact & easy to carry around
  • Support for interchangeable lenses
  • Good autofocusing speeds
  • Can withstand a little bad weather
Cons
  • Not using an LP-E6 battery
  • No top-view display
  • Sensor Resolution: 18.91 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: UHD 4K
  • Zoom: 20x Optical
  • Weight: 0.88 lbs

You have been doing videography for quite some time and you want to up your game. However, you still have a few steps to reach the full-frame video cameras that burn a massive hole in the pocket. Panasonic has the perfect answer to your consideration! Panasonic HC-WXF991K is a sub $1000 camcorder that offers 70 minutes of battery life and it can record 4K videos too.

Design & Finish

This 4K camcorder has a professional camera like the design. It has a buttoned setup which can be difficult to understand. It might take some time to get used to the user interface and learn the functionality of each button.

It has a nice 3-inch LCD screen to view the videos. There is an electronic viewfinder in it but you can also buy an external viewfinder pack which can be found on the same page as the product without a viewfinder.

Zooming & Video Capabilities

Primarily, the camera is made for crystal clear quality with its Leica Dicomar lens that has a 20x optical zoom. This is really important because the difference between the sensors is what would change the output. Leica is the best for image quality and there is no compromise done here for it. It has a 5 axis Hybrid OIS that would ensure that shocks or movements from any way would be tailored enough to give you blur-free and shake-free results.

It has a good low light shooting ability. It has a 60fps recording speed which means that you can later edit the video and make a slow-motion version of it without losing any quality. It is a really nice idea to have a camcorder with this ability as you might go for a hunt and then would not get the time to record in slow motion but this quality can come in handy for post-production.

The camcorder also has built-in features to edit the 4K video. There are a few effects that you can add after the video recording. The photos too are taken at 4K quality. It has a picture-in-picture recording via WiFi through a mobile phone, this feature is really important as it can take the hunting video from two angles and you can have multiple perspectives of the same video.

Final Thoughts!

It is moderately weighed at 0.88 lbs. It comes with a one-year warranty. It is a very good camera for filming hunts as it provides exceptional 4k quality videos and photos. It also has new-age features like multiple cameras and Wi-FI which makes it a brilliant choice. 

Pros
  • 1500x digital zoom
  • Professional design
  • Nice built-in microphone
  • Wi-Fi Multi-camera
  • 240fps option
Cons
  • Low battery life
  • A bit complicated to use
  • Sensor Resolution: 12MP
  • Max Video Resolution: UHD 4K
  • Zoom: No optical zoom
  • Weight: 0.27 lbs

If you want a really good action camera that can do 4K, has excellent video quality and costs comparatively less money, I’d recommend the DJI OSMO Action. It is really close to the GoPro Hero 9 when it comes to overall features but, thanks to the recent price-cut, it’s a lot cheaper.

Battery Life

The battery life is pretty good with up to an hour of 4K 60fps video recording or slightly more than 2 hours of 1080P at 30fps. The 1300 mAh battery is slightly smaller than the one on the Hero 9 and that does show up in the overall battery performance but, it is still pretty solid.

Design & Finish

DJI was the first company to include the color LCD display at the front which was followed by GoPro this year. However, the physical size is smaller and the build quality is really good. You don’t have to worry about accidental damages, the lens module is removable and supports ND filters on the lens. 11 meters of water resistance eliminates water damage chances.

Sensor & Capabilities

The 12MP sensor can shoot up to 4K at 60 fps and it is also capable of shooting HDR videos. The stabilization (with RockSteady mode on) is really good and the sensor has an excellent dynamic range. However, the camera does seem to struggle a bit with Auto Exposure but, it’s not really a huge issue in this case.

Both the 1.4-inch front & 2.25-inch back displays have 750 nits of brightness and a high pixel count. That makes the previews and playback look really good and the visibility is also great on a bright sunny hunting day. The UI is also really easy to use and compared to what GoPro is doing, I prefer the DJI in this department.

Final Thoughts!

At 0.27 lbs, the OSMO Action is indeed lighter compared to the Hero 9 but, just as convenient. DJI offers a 1-year warranty which seems to be pretty standard for cameras these days. If you’re on a tighter budget and you don’t care about 5K video, the DJI OSMO Action is definitely a better value and you don’t compromise on video quality either.

Pros
  • Front display for self-framing shots
  • Crispy looking videos at up to 4K 60FPS
  • Can be mounted almost anywhere
  • Good outdoor visibility
  • Can be used in rain or underwater
Cons
  • Okay-ish battery life
  • Occasionally struggles with auto exposure
  • Sensor Resolution: 6MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD 1080p
  • Zoom: 20x optical zoom
  • Weight: 0.78 lbs

You want something with no frills and purely focused on the usability of the product rather than being interested in other features that would make the product look fancy. Then look no further because Panasonic HC-V770 might be your call.

Battery Life

This is a camcorder with a battery life of around 100 minutes. It comes with a technology that suppresses noise even in dimly lit conditions. This is a great deal for hunting as it would ensure that you would get awesome results even when the lighting is not so good.

Design & Finish

The camcorder is handy and portable to use. It has a 3-inch screen. The screen is flexible and can be moved in various directions. This is vital because one may want to take a video wherein one starts by saying something and then shifting to the hunting scenario. It comes with an electronic viewfinder which means that you have to use the screen to see the video.

Zooming & Video Capabilities

It has a 20x optical zoom that would enable you to see things that are far away. It has a 4 drive lens system that enables the lens to capture the best shots and give out the best output without any lags. The BSI sensor is the one that does the magic by enabling super image quality.

The camcorder also has built-in WiFi capabilities that would also allow remote control. It supports slow-motion videos and also has creative control video effects like miniature effects, time-lapse, and silent movies.

It has an excellent microphone system that suppresses unwanted noise like the background noise and the wind blowing. Wind noise reduction is something that is useful for people who go hunting and are outside most of the time.

Final Thoughts!

The camcorder weighs 0.75 pounds which is light and comes with a one-year warranty. It is a good choice but there are plenty of better options available out there with more features.

Pros
  • Built-in Wifi remote
  • Multi-Camera feature
  • Auto improve tilting feature 
  • iA intelligent auto mode
Cons
  • No 4k support
  • Low megapixels
  • Sensor Resolution: 14 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD 1080p
  • Zoom: No optical zoom
  • Weight: 1.30 lbs

Hunting is all about playing hide and seek with animals but you think that cameras might give away your location. Fret not cause iOn CamoCam has read your mind and built the perfect video camera for filming hunts.

Battery Life

It has full HD video capabilities that will run up to 2.5 hours of continuous shooting. The beauty of it is that it can be stuck to your gun or bow and it will give the point of view of the hunter. It will be like the viewer is in place of the hunter and the video would feel more natural and real.

Design & Finish

This camera is all about camouflage. The camera is cylindrical and it is very similar to a bow’s design or a gun’s nozzle. It also makes it unspottable from a distance. There is no zoom so there will be no noise of the camera lens zooming or adjusting the focus. It has only a few buttons which make it operating a breezy task.

It is a good wide-angle camera that captures better landscapes and areas. It is weatherproof and it can also be used in cold situations. This is a great advantage for the people living in cold areas as many cameras may freeze or become nonfunctional in these conditions.

Video Capabilities

The camera has built-in vibration controls which make the video recording stable and static. It also has Wi-Fi for sending and receiving data. It also has remote control functions that can be used through applications on a smartphone. This is excellent for mounting the camera on a tree or somewhere and capturing the hunt from a high angle.

It has great video quality and it can capture excellent photos with a 14MP sensor. It is a very suitable camera for sports such as archery and of course, for hunting because of its features.

Final Thoughts!

It weighs 1.30 lbs and is thus lightweight. It comes with a one year warranty. It is a real good choice if all you are looking for is a camera that is specially designed for adventures such as hunting and archery. It is customized for these so you can go for it without thinking much.

Pros
  • Camouflage design
  • WiFi control
  • Practically weightless for mounting
  • Simple controls
Cons
  • No zoom
  • The bow mount comes off easily
  • Sensor Resolution: 16.6MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD
  • Zoom: No optical zoom
  • Weight: 0.35 lbs

Are you always wondering that the camera limits your vision and makes you always look in a particular direction? Do you think that videography is about capturing every element and going beyond the straight route? This might be the route to take with GoPro MAX.

Battery Life

This is a GoPro action camera that specializes in taking 360-degree videos and shots. It comes with a battery life that lasts about an hour on 360 mode, one and half hours on normal shooting, and 30 minutes of Time Lapse photography.

It produces high quality at 5.6K at 30 frames per second. This can be your go-to hunting camera option if you want an immersive 360-degree video option. It can capture the animals behind you and you do not have to bother about moving the camera every now and then.

Design & Finish

GoPro MAX is designed just like its GoPro siblings – a square-like camera with minimal buttons. It has a touch screen so that you can easily use its functions.

It comes with a camera on both sides making it an almost sphere-like a camera with which it takes the 360-degree shots.

It is a nice option that can be carried easily and mounted in various places. As GoPro has been around in the market for quite some time, you might even find skins that would help in camouflaging for hunting.

Capabilities

TimeWrap feature is the best-known feature of GoPro and this camera does not disappoint with it. It has its trademark time-lapse feature that is supreme quality and a pleasure to the eyes. It is weatherproof and it can work underwater too. It has a 270-degree panorama feature which would take excellent shots of a full landscape.

It also has the super impressive HyperSmooth Stabilization which is what would make the videos smooth and static without any lags, blurs, or shaky jerks. It has a reframe mode that would allow you to frame the shot differently as a part of post-processing.

It has four built-in lenses for various features- Narrow, linear, wide, and superwide. These allow you to toggle through perspectives and allow you to make changes in the settings like white balance, exposure, and bitrate.

Final Thoughts!

The camera is very light at just 0.35 pounds. It comes with a one-year warranty. It is a great futuristic camera option under $500 that gives you a 360-degree feature. It might be an awesome pick if you are someone who likes to have an all-around view of your videos. That is something that makes this camera stand out from the rest.

Pros
  • TimeWrap 
  • Digital lenses
  • 360-degree shots
  • Reframe
  • Live streaming capability
Cons
  • No zoom
  • Normal recording capped at 1080p

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hide my camera during hunts?

If you are using a comparatively large camera, it’s better to use some kind of blending-in mechanism to make it blend in the forest greens. For that, you will need to use a camouflage skin or case and they are widely available for most popular cameras. Fall something like a tiny GoPro, you don’t really need to make it forest proof.

What type of cameras are the most convenient for hunting?

Right now, there are a lot of good action cameras with great video quality and super wide-angle lenses. And, they can also fit anywhere, so from a convenience perspective, Action Cameras are at the peak of the curve right now.

Can I film my own hunting adventures?

Of course, you can! Just make sure to mount the camera in a place from where it can see the action that’s going on. You can mount smaller ones on your head or hang them from your neck. For the bigger & bulkier options try to mount them on your car or maybe on tree branches. It’s easier with the smaller options though.

How much protection and durability do I need for a hunting camera?

It is recommended to look for a hunting camera that won’t break if you hit a tree branch or take an unexpected fall. From a protection standpoint, I’d recommend devices with good water & dust resistance so, if the weather goes wrong, your camera doesn’t die.

Can’t I just use a regular camera for hunting?

Yes, you can but, chances are they’re not going to do as great jobs as the ones we’ve listed here. The footage might also be unusable in some cases because of bad stabilization or good video quality.

Verdict

If you film your hunts properly, those footages can be one of the major keys to improving your skills over time. They also serve as a collection of your memories, reminding you of every adventure & thrilling moment that made your hunting days exciting. 

Considering you made it this far, you probably have a really good idea about which camera you should go for. But in case you want to double-check or you’re still a bit confused, let me make this a little easier for you:

  • If you want a camera that fits anywhere, can survive in almost any situation and records super-crisp 4K wide-angle footage, get the GoPro Hero 9 or the DJI OSMO Action.
  • In case you’ll prefer a full-frame mirrorless camera, go for the Canon EOS RP.
  • If you’d rather use a camcorder, I recommend the Panasonic HC-WXF991K that can shoot excellent 4K footage.
  • For recording 360-degree videos, go for the GoPro MAX.

So, based on which category you fall in, you now know which is the perfect camera for filming your hunting adventures. In case you found this article useful, there are tons more on the website exploring all kinds of cameras. Maybe consider checking some of those too.