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I was wondering if any guys that film hunts could help me out. I'm looking for a good videocamera to film hunts and fishing. i dont need top of the line but i dont want a hunk of junk either. I'm not brand specific and my limit is $500, but if its a steal ill go higher. waterproof, good in lowlight, and black are pluses. Let me hear what you have.
 

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I was wondering if any guys that film hunts could help me out. I'm looking for a good videocamera to film hunts and fishing. i dont need top of the line but i dont want a hunk of junk either. I'm not brand specific and my limit is $500, but if its a steal ill go higher. waterproof, good in lowlight, and black are pluses. Let me hear what you have.
There are a ton of different camcorders out there. Problem is most of them are over $500 when talking about professional type cameras. Couple options you have. First is to buy a used camera. You can get a good Canon Xl1 camera for $800 to $1,000 depending on what accessories come with it. When this camera came out several years ago it was top of the line and still does very well. The canon GL2 also does very good but it is a little newer camera. The other option is to get a new handheld camcorder which will bring you in under your $500 mark. What you're looking for here as far as hunting goes is optical stabilization, manual focus, and a good zoom. When filming hunts forget about digital zoom, all you need to worry about is optical zoom. These handhelds will now film in HD and do great. Problem with these cameras as with others is holding them still. If you always film off a tripod or camera arm while in the tree all of these options can produce some great film.

As far as low light conditions I've found the smaller handhelds will do better at low light. This is because the video quality is not quite as good as professional type camcorders so it doesn't need much light to focus. Some cameras even advertise filming capabilities at 0 lux. When talking water I've not found a camera that liked it. They make all kinds of covers for them but for the most part our filming team and camera men carry large trash bags. If it starts raining we put the camera up. When it stops raining we pull them off and continue filming. You've got to understand when you're hunting with a camera that costs a few thousand or even a few hundred who wants to ruin it? Some camcorders are black but even if they are silver you can get some camo tape for it. We just purchase a camo skin kit for our cameras off the Campbell Outdoor Challenge Web Site. They sell cameras and all types of accessories. We currently have a canon xl2, gl2, xl1s, and xl1. If you have any further questions let me know.
 

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I plan on buying a Sanyo VPC-FH1 pretty soon. Shoots full 1080 HD and takes 8 MP stills. I found it for $419 on the web. Its def. not top of the line but it shoots GREAT video from the youtube vids I have watched of it. The only gripe people have is that the digital image stabilization isnt the greatest but I do most of my shooting from a tri-pod or tree arm so it doesnt really bother me. If you dont need a camera that takes good still images, there are quite a few that would work good for you and Sanyo actually makes a cheaper version that is FULLY WATERPROOF! It shoots in 720 HD which is still very good. I just really want to be able to take just one camera for my video and stills:wink:
 

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The Canon HV20,HV30 and HV40 are all great HD cameras in that 500.00 price range or even less. The HV20 was introduced two years ago and then the 30 and this year the 40. There is really no difference in any of the cameras except the 20 is silver and the 30 and 40 are black. They are good except the last 15 minutes and first 15 minutes of hunting. Very compact in size and weight for the quality of footage they are capable of. They have the manual focus as well as other settings necessary for quality footage. No camera is going to be waterproof that i know of for 500.00.
 
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