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Self Filming Part I: Choosing a Camera

The first step in reducing self filming failure in the field is to understand the gear that makes your experience smoother, easier, and effective. Let’s start with getting our hands on a quality camera that’s budget friendly. When choosing the right hunting camera we generally look at three things. Quality of picture, Capabilities for add ons (wireless microphones/shotgun mics), and LUX rating.

QUALITY OF PICTURE

This would describe the amount of pixels/ratio within the video or to generally put it the size of the video. Full HD is measured to be 1920 x 1280 pixels in size. Which is a great crisp video that will look clean and professional when edited. These cameras are generally less expensive as well. Newer 4k cameras or Ultra HD cameras can put out videos that are 3840 × 2160 pixels. As a hunter you are probably thinking, “Why is this important?” As a self filmer it’s very important. If your budget can support it, a camera that can put out 4K video is 100% going to be your best shot at eliminating failure to capture the hunt on film. This is because you can literally film your hunt at a wide angle (zoomed out) which gives you a lot more real estate you can leave ahead of your prey as it’s walking into the killzone. In turn, this gives you more time to focus on the kill shot without having to reset the camera again and again in front of the animal to give you more time to draw back or line up the shot. As editors, we can take that zoomed out video of the kill shot and zoom in without losing a whole lot of quality within the image. 4K is literally 2 times bigger than Full HD, so If I zoom double the size when editing 4k I’m just reaching the quality of Full HD. As self filming hunters, we can set the camera zoomed out and focus on hunting. All the while knowing we are going to be able to zoom up tighter in the editing studio afterwards.

Another important selling point for 4K, the less you zoom the more light your lens can let into the camera which is highly important in capturing beautiful video in low light situations. Of which hunters is a lot of the times when we are engaged in our adrenaline moments. With that said, let’s talk about LUX ratings on cameras.

LUX RATING

LUX rating in short is used to describe how much light your camera can successfully capture in the dark. The lower the LUX rating the better your camera is in low light situations. All though it’s never our end all and be all of choosing our cameras, it does play a factor.

AUDIO CAPABILITIES

For filmmakers, audio quality is just as important and the video quality. A great hunt can be wrecked by the sound of high winds that WILL drown out the epic commentary, sounds, and excitement of your hunt. If you are looking to capture all of the whispered commentary that is most effective in staying stealthy in the wilderness, then you will need to get your hands on a wireless microphone. These will have two parts. One that plugs into your camera and the other that will go onto yourself. You’ll want to clip the mic either on your upper shirt or we’ve had success clipping it to the bill of the hat. You will have a short wire that you will need to tuck away that leads to the receiver usually clipped on your belt.

Eliminating wind in the field is crucial. A good quality shotgun microphone that mounts on top of the camera with a wind shield is going to do the trick in eliminating a majority of that annoying wind. Keep in mind, to stay budget friendly, you don’t have to have either of these, but if you are looking to get great audio quality they are highly recommended.

We aren’t professional videographers, we are hunters that video our excursions. So although there are plenty of other factors that play into choosing the right camera, these are what we have generally focused on and it has worked out for us thus far. Check back soon as we will be putting up the second part of our SELF FILMING blog that will overview the rest of the gear you’ll need to increase your chances of capturing your next hunt on film.

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