Honestly, when I decide on a hunting or game scouting video camera, just like anyone else I always go for the best. Choosing the best can be a relative matter. But for anyone looking to buy the best video camera for hunting, there are a few aspects that one must look for in the camcorder. Let me list some of the features to look for in a hunting camcorder first. I will then go on to provide you with a detailed review of the best hunting camcorder.
Rugged and Durability
When you’re out going hunting or game scouting, you need a video camera that can withstand the stress and shocks of rough use. You won’t be at home or indoors shooting a happy family video. There will be a need to carry the camera in the wilderness or even extreme conditions.
Accordingly, you need a rugged and a durable video camera. Something that is tried and tested for rough conditions.
This is a no-brainer. For shooting hunting action at some distance, you need good magnification. Good zoom capability that will not cause the picture to appear grainy. This is an important point you must look for in your hunting video camera.
Effective Night Vision
Of course, you won’t be hunting only during the day time. Most of the game come out into the open mainly at night. To make the best use of your time in the woods, you need a video camera with high quality night vision to capture the videos at night effectively.
With a normal camera, you won’t be able to film videos at night. Hence you need a hunting camera with good night vision.
Can Act as a Surveillance Camera
So many times you will need to leave the camera on and let it record activity in the target area. Not everytime can you expect the game to be lurking in close proximity in direct view. So you need a camera to record any animal activity while you’re away.
After a lot of comparisons, testing and deliberation I have zeroed in on the Bestguarder WG50 as the best video camera for hunting in the market today. But what qualifies it to become a dedicated hunting camcorder? As compared to other high-end camcorders in the market.
It is a rugged and sturdy monocular-cum-video camera that comes with night vision feature. The Bestguarder WG50 has a rubber coated rugged and water-resistant housing which makes it possible to use it even in extreme weather conditions.
It is very portable and can be carried with you wherever you go for a hunt. It has a strap through which you can slip in your arm for a steady grip. It can also be mounted on a tripod if you plan to record at a particular place.
Optics and Zoom
During the daytime, the picture and video quality is pretty good, almost comparable to HD quality. Photo quality can be adjusted to 2592*1944, 1600*1200pixel,640*480pixel; while video is 1280*720pixel @30 fps and 640*480pixel @30 fps.
So for capturing video while hunting during the day, you get a picture quality just like any other HD video camera. No compromise in that. One thing to keep in mind is that for the lens to focus and picture to appear sharp, you need to rotate the lens till it appears sharp.
The Bestguarder WG50 has an optical zoom of 6x, while a digital zoom of 5x. With a zoom of 6x, it can capture objects upto the required distance. For majority hunting purposes, a zoom of 6x is sufficient.
How Good Is the Night Vision?
Personally for me, night vision is an add-on feature that is of a lot of importance in a hunting camcorder.People suggest using any other camcorder with high picture quality for hunting. But what if you want to hunt or observe at night? The regular camcorders come nowhere near to the WG50 when it comes to night vision capability.
Bestguarder WG50 has the digital night vision. Not the traditional Gen I,II,III LLL night vision. While the LLL night vision can take black & white images and videos at night from 40m/135ft distance, the digital night vision is capable of taking black and white videos and images at a distance of 350m/1150 feet.The Infrared Illuminator can be turned off for daytime use of the camera.
Though you might not get HD-like video quality with the night vision that you can get during daytime, with the IR Illuminator setting set to the highest you can get quite good night vision image.
Some additional features of the Bestguarder WG50
- The Bestguarder WG50 is a tripod mountable video camera. It has two tripod jacks, one at the side and other at the bottom. This makes surveillance and taking videos very convenient. You don't have to carry the camera all the time.
- It has a built-in Infrared Illuminator for night vision up to a 1150 ft/350m viewing distance. Which is excellent when you compare with the other hunting video cameras in the market.
- It uses a IPX4 standard waterproofing technology. Helps a lot when it is raining or the camera gets wet due to exposure to water.
- It can be fitted with an external micro SD card of 32 GB capacity for increasing the storage space in the video camera. However, the micro SD card does not come with the camera package when you buy it. You need to buy it separately.
- It can be used effectively for infrared live surveillance being connected to a laptop with USB. So if you're playing a waiting game in the woods, all you have to do is connect the camera to a laptop with a USB.
- Rugged and waterproof body makes it suitable for external use.
- Uses digital night vision for recording at night. Digital night vision with the help of IR illuminator is responsible for a much clearer image.
- Highly portable video camera that makes it perfect for hunting and game scouting.
- Reasonably priced, with a lot of useful features.
- The battery can drain pretty fast. Especially if you use the highest setting of the Infrared illumnator at night. For this reason, you should select a bit lower setting. It will be more than enough, giving the optimum video quality at night. The topmost IR setting is not required, really. Another option is to use 4 AA alkaline batteries like duracell instead of zinc carbon or Ni-MH batteries.
- There have been concerns about the picture quality with the night vision. Some users say that the picture quality at night is not HD quality. It must be kept in mind that HD quality is observed during day time. For night vision, the focus is more on the picture quality, rather on how well and how far you see the object or animal.
- With the rugged design and the extra rubber coating, it can be a bit heavy to carry.
- It does not have a power focus. Better focus has to be achieved by rotating the lens.
For the price it is offered at, I think it is a very good bargain. It is primarily focused towards hunting, scouting, camping and other activities associated with the wilderness. This video camera has been made keeping in mind the requirements of using a camera in such conditions. Hence I consider the Bestguarder WG50 as one of the best video cameras for hunting.