Camera Gear Setups To Film Your Deer Hunts | Tactacam
By: Adam Miller
Whether you are a bow hunter or toting a rifle in the woods, at some point in every deer hunter's journey they see something in the deer woods that is so great we think to ourselves, “I wish I had that on video”. With so many options today there is almost no reason to not be able to catch those moments on video.
"I Want To Be Like The Hunting Public"
There are a few problems hunters struggle with as they finally decide they want to start toting a camera into the woods. The first of these problems is what are they expecting to get out of filming and what are they going to do with the video once the hunt is over. Watching Zack and the gang at The Hunting Public on YouTube film their hunts make it look extremely easy to get great footage with seemingly minimal equipment. The fact is, the fellas that started THP all interned with Midwest Whitetail and learned videography at an extremely high level before starting that venture. It’s safe to say very few hunters will be in that position starting out, so managing expectations should be taken into consideration when first picking up the camera.
Gear Options For Filming Your Hunts
Once you have a good grasp of what your expectations are for your video is where we get into the fun stuff, camera gear. Big surprise here, quality camera gear can get expensive very quickly not to mention it can also be heavy, bulky and cumbersome. Add to that the fact there are infinite options and just as many opinions on what is the best setup for filming your hunts. Let's take a look at three different setups for guys trying to film there from three different realistic, average guy perspectives.
The first setup we will look at is a quality above all else. This setup will provide the best possible video footage but there will be sacrifices in mobility, weight, ease of use and cost. This type of setup would consist of a large camera arm (something like a fourth arrow or Muddy Pro), a full frame DSLR like a Sony A7iii as a main camera, likely a crop sensor mirrorless camera like a Sony A6600 as a second angle as well as miscellaneous microphones, lenses and batteries. A setup such as this would provide footage good enough for many hunting TV networks, web shows and would be overkill for Youtube. This would be easily into the 5000+ dollar range and be extremely bulky, heavy and would be best suited for use with a designated cameraman. Now for most guys interested in getting into filming this would be out of the question. Let's look at a couple different options more suited to someone just starting out.
If you wanted to put together a setup that didn’t cost quite as much and would be a little more mobile and budget friendly this second setup would be for you. If you were looking only to film for a web show or youtube and wanted zoom capability but wanted to mainly self film a setup with a camcorder of some sort and an action camera would be right up your alley. A setup like this could be had for $1500 or less and would provide a camera with one hand zoom operation and a second angle. This setup would require the use of a camera arm that can be bulky and also adds weight. Lastly let's look at an option that provides quality video, relatively inexpensive and the least amount of bulk.
When starting out wanting to film everyone tends to think I will grab a gopro and I will be filming. They are small and lightweight and you may already have one. Although gopros are great for second angles and creative shots there may be a better option, the Tactacam. Tactacams have been built specifically for hunting applications have fixed zoom, one button operation and some can also film in 4K allowing for additional editing without loss of quality. Tactacams come with mounts that place the camera directly to your bow or deer rifle eliminating bulk and they also have wide angle models that can be used as a second angle. Two tactacams add less bulk than a small pair of binoculars and can provide video with good enough quality to get you started on Youtube or share your videos with friends and family. Multiple Tactacams can also be added to a single remote and all operate off of a single press of a button. Pair this with some B roll and interview shot on the phone you already own and you have a solid setup for a few hundred dollars.
Filming hunts can be extremely rewarding however beginning the journey can be frustrating with all of the choices. When starting out, remember to get creative and get out there and start filming. Learn along the way and enjoy the process.