If you really want to film your hunts effectively, we all know you need more than just a camera! Here I will go over all of my gear that I use to self film my hunts. Be aware that I am filming solo, so for my gear I need it to be lightweight and compact to make it easier getting to and from the stand without going through a full workout.
First off is my camera. The Canon XA20. My pride and joy! If you would like to know more information about this camera then checkout my article Best Camera for Filming Hunts. This camera works perfect for the self filmer. It is small and compact but still has a ton of pro features to capture that shot of the lifetime. A main thing I love is the 20x optical zoom. This camera can go out there and reach near and far and still return with an amazing image!
Next is the Muddy Outfitter Swing Arm. You can’t be sitting in a tree holding your camera while trying to shoot your bow can you? This swing arm is very solid. The base ratchets to the tree creating a rock solid setup. Now if I had a smaller camera let’s say under 4lbs or so I would probably moved down to the Lone Wolf StrongArm for being lighter and easier to pack. Otherwise the Muddy Swing Arm does a great job.
What would the swing arm be if you didn’t have a good fluid head? I’m sure for those of you that are just entering the self filming world have been told how important your tripod head (or fluid head) can be when filming. I have the Manfrotto 701MVahd. It might be a little overkill for my Canon XA20 but it works great. For the self filmer being mobile, compact, and lightweight is key but this is one part you don’t want to sacrifice much for. Manfrotto makes great fluid heads.
Another must have for your filming setup is a zoom/focus controller. This allows you to control your camera with just one hand. My first few trips this is something that I didn’t have and let me tell you it makes a worlds difference being able to pan/tilt and zoom/focus very efficiently without having to touch your camera.
Last, but not least is a good camera bag. For the self filmer, sometimes it becomes a chore having to transport all your gear along with your bow and other hunting gear. Having a good camera bag allows for easy transport and will make your walks to and from the stand a lot easier! The Lowepro Flipside is a great option for most cameras. These are some of the best camera bags on the market. These bags work very nice with smaller compact camcorders.