Digital Camcorders for Hunting

Autumn Pulse

New member
Jan 5, 2004
Seattle, WA
For those of you who own them and use them to tape your hunts, what features do you look for. Or which features do you now wish you had?

The wife and I are looking at purchasing one for family events and such, but you better know that it's gonna get included in the pack for this fall.

What features have you found to be the most helpful? Example: stablizing button, digital zoom, regular zoom, night shot or external light.

Thanks for the input.

Autumn Pulse
Short on time, but I bought one last season and was able to use it on only a couple hunts.

digital zoom is not important, go with the best optical zoom. Mine is 10X, but I wish it was more.

I don't have a stabalizing button, but used a small tripod instead. It worked for me, but I have never used one with stabalizing features

I have night shot, but I don't document most of my spotlighting hunting. ;) Cool feature, but I don't have a use for it.
I have a panasonic DV52D and it has been great with its 700X digital zoom.
I would recommend however to get one with a removeable memory card as well as a tape or disc.makes it easier to use with computers.
I have a canon zr50 mini DV, new models are probably out since I have had this a couple of years. The night feature is not as good as a Sony, but I dont use it anyway. The optical zoom is 22x and is great. I have a 2x doubler which gives me 44x optical. It goes to 440x digital without the doubler, but digital quality really is not that great, I stay in the optical mode.
THis camera has a card insert so you can use it as a still camera, plus it has a firewire attachment for your computer, a must do put digital on your computer if you are making movies on dvd. With this setup, I have filmed elk over half a mile in optical.
Get the most optical zoom you can. That is what my number 1 priority was when I purchased. Keep the camera small, mini dv type stuff.
Only look at what the cammeras optical zoom is, digital zoom sucks. I have a sony TRV-350, digital 8mm cammera, good size, more features then you really need and the 20x optical is nice.
I got the Sony DCR TRV-30 and it's great. I only used the night shot one time when filming a cow and her calf right at dark. I was actually really impressed with the difference, the screen was green, but it went from having a barely visible elk, to a fully visible picture. Haven't used it in any extreme dark conditions though.