SoloCam Pro - Solo Camerman Producer
One of the more popular things to do while hunting these days is video taping your hunt. I was surfing the web the other day and found a link to SoloCam Pro. This is from their Facebook page:
SoloCam Pro is a hybrid acronym for "Solo Cameraman Producer". The SoloCam Pro uses broadcast video techniques to video tape his or her own hunt. Participants will have access to download a SoloCam Pro instructional DVD- giving all the details on how to professionally tape your own hunt... as well as how to get involved in being on our elite Pro Staff. Successful hunts can be submitted to Tom Miranda Studios in Florida for evaluation and possible use on several Whitetail TV series including Realtree's Whitetail Country and Mathews Dominant Bucks with Stan Potts. You must log in and register at www.solocampro.com to download the DVD or you can purchase the DVD at www.tommiranda.com
I am very new to the video taping part of my hunts, but I got into it last year and it can be a lot of fun. It can also be a lot of extra work, extra weight in your pack and it can slow you down depending on your hunt and how prepared you are. You'll have to do some serious planning if you want to take on this added part of your hunt.
The reason I am posting this is to help everyone out a little bit. Promoting the SoloCam Pro as a product is not my intention. What I am trying to do is share some basic info to help you guys be able to video tape your hunt more effectively and efficiently. The SoloCam Pro online How-To videos only focus on whitetail deer. I want to take it even further. I archery hunt for mule deer (spot and stalk style) and I archery hunt for wild boar and you can't follow exactly what the videos show. I have watched some of the videos in the series (still waiting to get them to load) and for treestand whitetail hunting it's right on. I am going to give my view on this as well. There is some great instruction here and the tips are worth it alone.
First, there are some great tips on this video series. Watch them carefully as they offer a wealth of information (if you have the patience to wait for them to load one by one, but you can purchase the DVD and save the wait time). While there is great info, I don't think you necessarily need to purchase the exact cameras they show for your hunts. Especially if you plan on hiking a vast stretch of land, or if you only plan on only sharing with your friends or on YouTube. Now, if you want to get it on TV you should follow the series quite closely.
For me, I mostly share with friends and on YouTube. For that reason I like a camera like the Canon HF 200. It's small, HD and easy to carry. (Now if Canon wants to send one for a product review I am all for it.) Sure, it's not matte black and doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but who needs bells and whistles? It does have some great features, captures great high-def video and packs well. If you want to check out the reviews go here.
You can also attach a small Flip or Kodak Zi8 camera to a Gorillapod and attach it to your bow for video of your shot. I recommend you practice with this setup long before you hit the field. The added weight can throw you off considerably.
The other reason is budget. How many of us hunters have $2-3k sitting in our accounts waiting to buy a video camera? I am sure our wives would love that. Long conversation short, I imagine that the conversation would go something like this:
SoCal Bowhunter: "Hey babe, I am going to take $3,000 out of savings for a video camera to tape my hunts, ok?"
My Wife: "I'm sorry, can you tell me that again. I was in the middle of taking care of a tired infant, putting the groceries away and cooking your dinner. I thought I heard you say you were going to take $3,000 out of savings for a video camera for your hunting."
SoCal Bowhunter: "Umm, yeah. I was just mumbling out loud. Scrap that gibberish, I am off to research other options."
You see, for the guys who have families, who have invested a good deal of money in their actual hunting gear or who are low on funds (probably due to our economy) that wouldn't be a reasonable option. My recommendation is to go to Costco, or someplace that has a package deal on these smaller but HD quality cameras. You can get a HF 200 package for $570 or less at some places. Sure, you'll have to have a computer and software to edit the videos, too. All in all, you can do it all on your own at a more reasonable investment and still get quality video. Do some research, talk to your buddies and I am sure you can come up with a good plan for taping your hunts, plus you'll stay married!
I want to hear what you guys think. What cameras do you recommend? How would you shoot video if you were on a solo hunt? Don't be afraid to disagree with me. I am not expert and I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.