Best Video Camera For Turkey Hunting 2019 Reviews
As we all know, getting the right shot with a shotgun when turkey hunting is tricky, but getting a good shot of your good shot with a video camera is even tricker. Confused? Don't worry, this review is aimed at all those turkey hunters out there looking to make an investment in a good video recorder to capture those big moments with these birds.
You may be wondering what the best method is for recording your turkey hunts with a recorder and whether you should film them yourself, or, have someone else film it. You can either have someone hold the camera for you, or, attach it to something that allows you to film it handsfree while shooting. The recording models that we have chosen for our list are designed to either be used by hand, attached to a tree camera arm, or, using a freestanding tripod.
Now let's have a look at our best 5 video cameras for turkey hunting picks below and see what might suit you and your budget.
Top 5 Rated Model Comparison Table
Reviews of the Best Video Cameras for Turkey Hunting
#1. Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k Ultra
The Panasonic HC-VC981K is an all-round excellent choice for a turkey hunting camera, with the perfect combination of compact size and durable body, as well as large 4k resolution and a host of smart camera features. To start off, it has an 18.91-megapixel MOS sensor, capturing video in a crisp, clear 4k resolution. This is paired with a 20x LEICA Deicomar zoom lens; the result is high-quality, crystal clear video.
The LEICA Zoom Lens also has a 5-axis hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer, which helps you shoot steadier, clearer footage when holding the camera by hand. And, there is a host of handy features to make shooting a little easier, from the in-camera audio recording to the High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode for capturing detailed shadows and highlights in all lighting conditions. You can even pair the camera with a second model using the Wireless Twin Camera function. Finally, there’s a fold-out LCD screen for easy viewing and recording videos – helpful when out in the woods on a hunt.
There are a few downsides, however; for one, the captured audio quality is poor, which can ruin a good video if recording sound is important to you. Many people find that it’s autofocus, lighting and other video functions are not as fast and powerful as you might like for dynamic recording. The depth-of-field from the fixed lens, for example, is not as good as it could be.
The 4k video quality, number of features and zoom, however, still make it a great choice – as does the reasonable price. So, it’s our top choice for a video camera for turkey hunting.
- 4k resolution
- 20x Zoom LEICA Lens
- 5-axis Optical Image Stabilizer
- Compact, Durable Body
- Fold-out LCD Screen
- Fixed lens without much depth-of-field
- Poor Audio Quality
- Slow Autofocus and Lighting
#2. Panasonic Lumix GH5
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is an excellent camera - one of the best mirrorless cameras in its price range. If quality and professional shooting capability matter to you, this is the camera you’re looking for. With a 20.3-megapixel sensor, it is capable of shooting video at resolutions up to 4k, at up to 60 frames-per-second. At 1080p, you can record at up to 180 fps – quite a lot! It records directly to SD card, or directly via HDMI Type A cable.
Like the Panasonic HC-VX981K, the GH5 features a 5-axis optical image stabilizer for shooting smooth video and images in all handheld conditions. It works with any Micro 4/3’s lens; has built-in WiFi for image sharing and controlling remotely from your phone or computer; and shoots excellent quality video. All in all, it is an excellent camera for nearly any purpose.
The two main drawbacks to the GH5 are the high price – the highest on our list - and the fact that it does not include a lens at that price point. This is not a budget option, and you’ll be spending quite a bit more money.
With that said, the hefty price tag shouldn’t scare you off if you’re looking for a very high-quality, dependable option; this is a capable mirrorless camera ready for years of heavy use and professional-level video for recording any purpose – not just hunting.
- 4k resolution
- Robust, quality build
- Optical Image Stabilizer
- Wide compatibility with lenses
- Integrated WiFi
- Up to 180FPS
- Very Pricey
- Lens Not Included
#3. Full Spectrum Camcorder, ANCTER WiFi
If you’re on a real budget, this 1080P camcorder with a CMOS sensor from ANCTER is your best bet – it’s the most affordable camera on our roundup by a large margin. Paired with the 1080P resolution and sensor is a wide-angle lens, so you can record large areas at once and don’t miss anything while out on your next turkey hunt. There’s an 18x digital zoom integrated into it, and you can shoot still images in resolutions up to 24 megapixels.
The main selling point of this camera (after the low price, of course) is the infrared night vision. If you’re looking for a way to shoot video of your hunts at night, this is a huge help. Other features include a touchscreen LCD, LED’s on the front of the screen for extra illumination in dim lighting, and built-in WiFi for remote viewing – among many other features.
What are the drawbacks? Well, due to the low price, it’s not exactly the highest-quality camcorder out there; it lacks the durability and quality you’ve come to expect from other camcorders and will not hold up to heavy use or drops, bangs and other accidents. Also, the microphone is very poor and does not record sound in front of the camera very well, which may not be a huge deal when recording a turkey hunt but is disappointing.
Overall, it’s a good camera for the price, but if you have more to spend, there are certainly better options out there.
- Great for small budgets
- Infrared night vision
- Touchscreen LCD
- WiFi for remote viewing
- Low recording quality
- Doesn't have 4k resolution
- Not great durability
- Microphone is poor
#4. Cleveland 4K Ultra HD Infrared Night Vision Camcorder
Another budget option, this 4k camera is a lot like the ANCTER camera. However, this one offers a full 4k video resolution, as opposed to 1080p, from a CMOS sensor, while still offering infrared lighting and vision at the push of a button. This is paired with a wide angle for plenty of field-of-view while recording. A 30x digital zoom is offered at the same time.
Like the ANCTER model, you can take still images – in resolutions up to 24MP; can shoot in different resolutions – 1080p, 4k and 1440p – while also shooting in different frame rates – 24, 30 and 60; and there is a 3” LCD touchscreen.
Again, the major drawbacks to this camera is really the lack of quality; for this price range, you’re not going to find a high-quality camera, and this one is no different – despite the cool features and supposedly high resolution.
Still, if you’re on a budget and want a full 4k camera with some cool shooting features, this Ghost Hunting Camera makes a decent option.
- High Resolution
- Infrared light
- Touch LCD Screen
- Lots of resolution options, records in several frame rates
- Poor Quality Build
- Video quality could be better
#5. CANON XA11 Professional Camcorder
The XA11 is an all-in-one, high-quality option for a hunting camera; it’s a middle-range option, with the features to match. The integrated sensor shoots clear 1080P video – not as large as the 4k found on many other cameras, but more than enough for most hunting and recording purposes. It’s paired with a 20x HD optical zoom lens, allowing you to record your hunts from far distances – without losing much quality at all! The XA11 has a CMOS Pro Image Sensor that records crisp images and shoots very well in low light, too. There’s a flip-out 3” LCD touchscreen that you can use for either viewing recorded video or as a viewfinder.
One feature that we really like the CANON XA11 is the grab-handle on the top; this makes it easy to grab and move around, quickly pointing at the scene you’re recording; very helpful for recording a turkey hunt or shoot on the go.
For the price, the XA11 is a great choice, but there are a few things you might find lacking; it only shoots in 1080p, compared to the 4k found on other cameras. Some people also feel it doesn’t have the best low-light performance.
Other than that, this is another excellent option for a turkey hunting camera; we think it’s a good mid-range option if you can’t afford the Lumix GH5 or similar, and want an integrated, all-in-one option for a camcorder.
- 1080P video
- 20x optical zoom lens
- CMOS Pro Image Sensor
- Flip-Out LCD screen
- Grab handle
- Integrated features, audio, etc
- Low-light performance could be better
- Not 4k Resolution
What To Look For In A Good Turkey Hunting Video Camera
Choosing a video camera for any purpose - but especially when turkey hunting - is a complex decision. There a few things you need to look for more above others. These include:
Recording high quality video means finding a camera with a large resolution; the larger the resolution, the more detail the camera will be able to record, and the more you’ll be able to do with that video. Most cameras today can record in 4k, which will provide the best quality for the buck. But 1080P might work well if you’re on a budget.
If you’re trying to record a turkey hunt, you’ll probably be shooting objects and animals from a distance; as such, a zoom lens will likely come in very handy. Most cameras available come with either a single lens, most of which have either a digital or optical zoom – up to 20x. Whenever possible, look for optical zoom, which will preserve image quality and details. If you’re choosing a camera with lots of zoom, be sure to pick one with optical image stabilization, too.
Recording a hunt will likely involve shooting in dynamic lighting conditions – dark, bright, cloudy, sunset or sunrise. When choosing a camera, look for one that performs well in all lighting conditions, but especially in dim lighting. You want to be able to make out the animals you’re hunting, after all.
While WiFi does not affect the quality of your recorded video, it does make recording, sharing and editing a lot easier. Choosing a camera with integrated WiFi can help you control your camera from your phone, share and transfer video files to your computer, and even edit video clips remotely.
The Final Word
All in all, we recommend the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4k Ultra as our Top Pick for a Turkey Hunting Video Camera. With a 4k resolution and plenty of recording space, it provides the best combination of price, features, resolution and quality, with a fold-out LCD screen, 20x LEICA Deicomar Zoom lens, and Optical Image Stabilization, and many other features. If you’re looking for a well-rounded, affordable camera that records great quality video, this is your best bet.
If you have a much larger budget to spare, however, you could also reach for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 – a mirrorless camera that records in 4k, works with any compatible 4/3’s lens, and is by far the most powerful camera we’ve reviewed. However, it doesn’t come with a lens and is quite pricey – making it a good choice only for those who need professional-grade video shoot on their hunts.
Whichever one you feel is best for your hunting needs, you’re bound to find the right one on this list. Happy Hunting!