Hunts videos allow you to relive your hunting journey as well as share your wonderful experience with families, friends, or other hunters like you. Most of the time we don't have a photographer to film the hunts and need to film the hunts by ourselves.
If you plan to start self filming your hunt, here is everything you need to know to start off easily. Go and capture your hunting memory.
Get the Right Gear
Before searching for the best camera for hunting, ask yourself: why do you want to film hunting? What camera you should get for hunting should be decided by what you want to do with the hunt videos. If you just want to record your hunting to remember the excitement or share it with your friends, you can use even the camera of your smartphone for filming; however, if you need quality footage for a YouTube channel, you should probably use the professional equipment, like a DSLR or mirrorless camera for filming hunting.
Self-filming hunting can be challenging. You want to film not only what happened to the animal, but also what you are doing. Therefore, two cameras filming from different angles are recommended to make sure everything can be captured.
There are different types of cameras you can use for hunting.
DSLR/Mirrorless camera: The kind of camera can work with multiple interchangeable lenses, allowing you to make adjustments to the camera setup accordingly. DSLR can produce cinematic image quality, however, it takes hard work to master the camera if you are a beginner. And you also need to take the weight of the bulky camera and lens into account.
Action camera: Action camera is the game-changer for self-filming hunt. This small cam is light-weight and can be mounted everywhere you want for filming hunting. Many hunters can get cool hunt videos with just one action camera on the head and the other mounted on the shoulder.
Camcorder: Camcorders are easy-to-use. And you are recommended to get a camcorder with manual focus so that you can zoom in or out to better film the animal in the distance.
Smartphone: Your phone can work with the main camera to shoot great hunt videos. There are phone scopes that can connect your phone with a spotting scope or binoculars to film hunting from the perspective of scope or binoculars.
Tip: When self filming hunt with your phone, use the landscape mode since sideways videos are more comfortable to watch on a TV or YouTube.
You can combine different camera options for self filming hunting according to your own need. For example, get a DSLR in a position to film the area that you expect to see the animal and mount an action camera on your hat or a tripod to film what is missing on the main camera.
Image stabilization is the key to get smooth hunt videos. Although many cameras come with a built-in optical or electronic image stabilization system, you can get steadier image quality with a physical stabilizer.
Treestand camera arm: If you are hunting a deer from a treestand or tree saddle, you can get a camera arm to mount your DSLR or camcorder to a treestand. The heavier camera cam is more stable, but will add weight to your package.
Tripod: If you are hunting from a blind or the ground without a blind, you will need to tripod to hold your camera up.
Head mounts/hat clips/chest straps: When using an action camera for self filming hunting, there are many accessories to mount the small cam to anywhere you want. You can carry the action camera to move with you.
Tip: When trying to mount an action camera on your helmet or hat, instead of mounting the action cam on the center of your head, mount it above your non-dominant eye since when you are shooting, your non-dominant eye is pointing directly at your target.
Not only what you see in hunting is significant and memorable, but also what you hear and say. A good hunt video can bring you back into the hunt with the image as well as the sound of nature and animal.
Cameras usually come with a built-in microphone, but the built-in mic is far from enough to give you the quality audio you need. That's why external microphones are needed for hunt filming.
You can have two sets of microphones. The first one is for you to wear with an audio device to record your talking in the hunt; the other is to mount on the camera to record the sound from the surrounding. Many cameras, including action cameras, come with external mic support. Just get the external mic that is compatible with your camera.
Also, you may want to cover the external microphone with a dead cat(the windshield), which can minimize any wind noise in the hunt to give you the best audio quality.
Charging can be a problem for self filming hunt as you might be out hunting for a whole day with a bunch of battery-powered cameras. And the cameras will probably be on all the time because you want to capture everything. How to ensure you won't miss anything because of the discharged camera?
First of all, when getting a camera for hunting, battery life should be taken into account. Then carry spare camera batteries and a portable power bank with you for the trip. And some experienced hunters also use the portable solar chargers, especially in a hunting spot where you can expect vibrant rays of the sun, which is pretty useful when your camp isn't equipped with electricity.
Tell a story
A great hunt video is not just about the killing shots, but also how you prepare for the shots, what you see during the waiting. Don't turn on the camera just for the shooting part, keep it on all the time to record anything that you enjoy. In that way, you can have plenty of footages that can be edit as great hunt videos.
The key to self filming hunting is to be familiar with your cameras. Before going to actual hunting, use your camera as much as possible in hiking, fishing, or even walking to practice your skills. As you have more experience, you will perform better in different lighting and surrounding self filming hunt.
Do you have any trick for self filming hunt? Share with your fellow hunters in the comments below.