Nowadays, action cameras keep getting tinier, more precise and more sophisticated. Therefore, finding the best action cameras for hunting and fishing can be a little bit of a challenge.
The action cameras market is no longer limited to extreme sports junkies, athletes and filmmakers. Now, you can also see it being used by hunting and fishing enthusiasts.
With a trail camera best suited for hunting and fishing, you will be able to save your footage, determine your flaws, and most importantly, you can show off your success to your family and friends.
In this article, I’m going to talk about everything you need to know before you buy yourself an action camera best suited for these purposes. You will also be provided with information on what to look for before buying one.
I also have here a rundown of the 6 best picks for action cameras for hunting and the 4 best picks for action cameras for fishing. By the end of this article, you will be able to narrow down your choices into choosing the best action camera for your needs.
BUYER’S GUIDE: HOW TO PICK THE BEST ACTION CAMERA FOR HUNTING
There are several factors that you need to consider when choosing the right action camera for hunting. You also need to make sure that you know why you want to buy one for yourself and what you want to do with it. I wrote a detailed article on how to choose the best action camera, make sure you check it out.
Here are five criteria when choosing a trail action camera suited for hunting:
High definition footage is everywhere nowadays, and it would work perfectly for you especially if you like adventures. You will not need to deal with shaky, grainy, and low-quality footage of your hunting activities anymore. Several action cameras now offer a minimum of 720p and 1080p video resolution, as well as the ability to take still photos that look incredible.
If you plan on hunting during the night, you may need an action camera that has infrared or full spectrum capabilities. As not all action cameras can shoot high-quality footage in low lighting, the best you can do is to choose one that can function well in low light settings. If you don’t, then you will need a headlamp or a handheld flashlight, which may prevent you from staying hidden in the dark.
Equally important as video quality is the support system that comes with the camera. Several action cameras include a set of mounts, straps, helmets, among others. It is important that you also consider these accessories when selecting an action camera.
When choosing an action camera for hunting, ensure that the product is compatible with the mount. To add, the durability of the mount is very important, as everything you hook up with your action camera should be able to withstand inclement weather conditions. Failure to do this might result in your action camera breaking in the middle of the hunt.
As self-explanatory as it is, this factor still needs to be mentioned. You might want to make sure that you buy a lightweight camera that you can mount to your bow, gun, or rifle without it obstructing your focus, aim and shoot.
It would also be ideal that you pick an action camera that is less than 1 pound. With the action cameras getting smaller and smaller nowadays, finding one to use for hunting might not be at all difficult. Aside from it being lightweight, you might want to check if the action camera is compatible with the weight of whatever you mount it on.
While it is an optional feature, the camouflage housing can really be useful if you want the camera to blend. When hunting, it is very important that you and your camera blend with the nature around you.
Having a waterproof action camera is not only beneficial for fishing, but for hunting as well. You need a good action camera that will be able to withstand the presence of precipitation and water splashes, especially if you are hunting in an area where there is a body of water.
To add, chasing an animal is not at all easy and it would require you to move from one place to another. If you have a waterproof action camera, you would not need to worry about it being a little wet from your hunting adventure.
BUYER’S GUIDE: HOW TO PICK THE BEST ACTION CAMERA FOR FISHING
As with hunting, these are some of the factors that you need to consider when choosing a good trail action camera for fishing:
There is no use of having an action camera that doesn’t capture clear videos. You must really be careful as there are several cheaply-made and poor-quality action cameras that are available right now.
With this, you should look for one that has at least 1080p video capture capability. That resolution alone will enable you to capture great quality videos that will also look great when you are viewing them.
Mounting options are equally as important as the video quality of the action camera. Even if your action camera can capture high-quality videos, if you cannot mount it properly, then you are just going to waste a great footage.
It is also very important that you have options to mount it on boards, handlebars, and helmets. It would also be great if you can mount the action camera on a fishing rod, which offers an interesting point of view, without it falling in the water.
You would want a lightweight action camera when you go out on a fishing trip. Not only it is convenient, it also allows you unlimited possibilities in terms of mounting options.
As mentioned earlier, action cameras are relatively small and you might not have a hard time looking for one. The weight of the action camera is very important as it needs to be compatible with whatever you mount it to. Your fishing rod and handlebars should be able to carry the weight of your action camera.
This is a no-brainer but still needs to be elaborated on. When you are out on a fishing trip, it is inevitable that your action camera will get wet. It is very important that you choose one that is waterproof or can be submerged into the water for a few feet.
If you can find one that is waterproof even without a casing, that would be greatly beneficial for you. We all know that the casing only adds extra weight to the action camera and might be a hindrance when you mount it on a fishing rood, especially.
Features such as screen quality, easy access buttons, touch screen control, hands-free and remote-control options are important when choosing an action camera for fishing.
An action camera must have a good screen that allows you to easily view your videos. It also must have easy access buttons, which would allow you to turn the camera on and off with ease.
It is also useful for you to turn the camera on as quickly as possible after you have mounted it. Having a touchscreen eliminates the hassle of pressing too many buttons when you can just swipe to navigate the action camera’s screen.
It would also be favorable for you if the action camera offers hands-free control and a remote control, especially if you have your hands full when you are out fishing.
Here’s a video that explains things:
LIST OF BEST ACTION CAMERAS FOR HUNTING
In this section, I will be providing you with a list of the top 6 recommendations action cameras for hunting. I will have a detailed discussion of each product’s main features, as well as its pros. By the end of this section, you should be able to narrow down your choices into choosing the best action camera.
Spypoint Xcel 4K
The Spypoint Xcel 4K Action Camera is relatively new to the market but has so many great features that it deserves a spot on this list. It surely qualifies a slightly higher price tag, which may be a downside for some.
This Xcel 4K suited for hunting is great for more advanced hunters who want to take their hunting to the next level. It is also great for beginners who want to improve their accuracy.
The Spypoint Xcel 4K is a compact and lightweight action camera, which ensures that it will never get in the way of your hunting. The action camera already comes with a scope and bow mounts and with its lightweight construction, it is likely that you will not notice it once it has been attached to your rifle or bow.
In terms of video quality, the Spypoint Xcel 4K captures very high-quality videos and photos, with its 4K high definition and 12-megapixel still camera shots.
In addition, it also is capable of shooting time lapse footage, which helps you check your shot even at the millisecond. The camera is equipped with Wi-Fi, can be controlled via your smartphone, and has a 2-inch screen found at the back.
Another great feature of this action camera is that it offers a great 170-degree wide angle lens. While this action camera is water resistant, you might want to put the camera inside a weather resistant case so it can withstand all the external elements.
Lastly, it comes in camouflage and black colors, which would be beneficial for you if you want to stay blended with the nature while hunting.
Other great features of the Spypoint Xcel 4K include resolutions of 4K at 10 fps, 2.7K at 15 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, and 720p at 120 fps, Micro-HDMI port, sound recording capabilities, built-in speakers, burst mode that allows you to capture 3 photos in 1.5 seconds, micro USB port, and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
In addition, the following mounts are included in the package: bow mount, scope mount, quick release stand, flat adhesive mount, and wrist strap.
- Offers complete package suited for hunting
- Highest resolution is 4K at 10 frames per second
- Comes in camouflage and black colors
- Great for beginners and advanced hunters
- Offers a 170-degree wide angle lens
- Capable of time lapse footage
- Water resistant
- Can shoot still at 12-megapixels
Tactacam 4.0 with Flat Black Stabilizer
The Tactacam 4.0 action camera is very easy to use and can be mounted to your crossbow, bow, or any kind of firearm used for hunting. You just push the power button on to start recording then push it again to stop recording.
The Tactacam 4.0 is also compatible for use with the Tactacam App, allowing you to easily connect the action camera from your smartphone to turn it on and off.
In addition, the app allows you to view photos and videos, as well as transfer them to your device. With this feature, you can easily share your hunting adventure with your family and friends.
The Tactacam 4.0 action camera can capture Ultra HD 2.7K resolution videos at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, and 720p at 120 fps. It also has an external battery indicator, lens than can be zoomed at 5x, 1 touch power on and auto record with vibration indicator, is Wi-Fi compatible, an Ultra sharp lens specifically optimized for bow, crossbow, and gun, allows low light recording, is shock resistant, has lithium rechargeable batteries that allows you to shoot at long as 2.5 hours, a charging USB 2.0, USB 2.0 connection that are both compatible with Mac and PC, and has an HDMI port.
Every purchase of the Tactacam 4.0 action camera includes the action camera, the batteries, a USB cable with wall adapter, a lens cloth, a camera bag, a user manual, and flat black stabilizer.
- Easy to operate with its one touch turn on and auto record functionality
- Can shoot videos of 2.7K resolution at 30 frames per second
- Offers complete package including the flat black stabilizer for bows
- Compatible with the Tactacam app
- Features 5x zoom capabilities
- Shock resistant
Here’s a YouTube video by Scott Gregg showing how to use the Tactacam 4.0:
ATN Shot Trak-X HD Action Gun Camera with Laser
It can be mounted to any handgun, rifle, or bow to capture HD-quality videos. While other action cameras fail in attempting to capture footage from a distance, the ATN action camera will be able to zoom at least 5x more than any standard camera.
Obviously, it is the best way to share your triumphs to your family and friends. In addition, this action camera can be used for archery, home defense, law enforcement, and target shooting.
For its specifications, the ATN Shot Trak-X HD Action Gun Camera is equipped with Megapixel CMOS sensor, and 5mW red laser.
It can capture full HD videos of 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps and video file can be MPEG$ or MOV. It also has a built-in microphone, a microSD card slot, and a CR123A battery that allows you to record up to 2 hours.
It has a low battery indicator and is also water resistant. The package comes with a standard weaver mount and the brand offers a limited 1-year warranty.
- Can be mounted on any rifle, shotgun, bow, or handgun
- Can record full HD videos at 30 fps
- Has a built-in microphone
- Operates on CR123A battery
- Equipped with CMOS sensor
- Has a built-in laser
iON CamoCam Realtree Xtra Texture Camouflage HD Video Camera
It features one-touch silent recording, allowing you to operate the device using just one finger. It also features an ultra-wide-angle lens and clear full HD (1080p at 30 fps and 720p at 60 fps) videos.
The package also includes the exclusive aluminum sports mount. With its finish, it is guaranteed that the device can resist heat and corrosion. The iON action camera is also waterproof and shockproof.
Just as the iON HD action camera captures amazing video, it can also shoot beautiful stills with its 14-megapixel lens. It is also Wi-Fi enabled that allows you to connect your action camera to your smartphone.
Doing so lets you control the camera remotely. It also permits you to share your adventures with your family and friends instantly.
As mentioned above, the iON CamoCam Realtree Xtra Texture HD Video Camera already comes with a high-grade aluminum mount, allowing you to mount it on top of your rifle barrel, bow, net, or fishing rod.
With the vibration feature of this action camera, you would be able to silently stalk your competitor, therefore, giving you the advantage.
It is also waterproof for up to 30 feet or 9 meters. Lastly, this action camera is compatible with the iON app, where you can view, store, and share your videos and photos via your favorite social networks.
- Captures full HD videos
- Comes with the exclusive aluminum sports mount
- Easy to operate
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Waterproof and shock proof
- Compatible with the iON app
- Can capture beautiful stills as well
Spypoint XCEL-HD-HUNT Xcel-HD Hunting Edition
It can also be perfectly mounted on your scope or bow, It has a waterproof camouflage casing, which not only lets you stay hidden during your hunt, but it also helps to protect the action camera against harmful weather conditions.
For its specifications, the Spypoint XCEL-HD-HUNT action camera can shoot 1080p resolution videos at 30 fps, 720p at 30 fps, and WVGA at 60 fps.
It also features a 2.55mm input for an external microphone. For photos, it can take stills at 5, 3, and 1-megapixel shots. It also offers time lapse functionality with 0.5, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 second intervals.
It has a battery life of 2 hours and 30 minutes in 720p recording while you can get 2 hours at 1080p video recording. It is powered by 1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can be charged via USB. In addition, included in the package are 3-feet USB charging and transfer cable and a 3-feet HDMI cable.
- Captures amazing videos and stills
- Features a waterproof camouflage casing
- Battery life of 2 hours or more
- Powered with lithium ion rechargeable batteries
- Can shoot 1080p and 720p videos both at 30 fps
- Can be mounted directly on a scope or bow
Spypoint Hi-Definition Video 1080p 5MP Hunting Edition
The Spypoint Hi-Definition Video 1080p 5MP Hunting Edition would be perfect for you if you like hunting during day time. It is a lightweight and compact action camera, designed in a square-shaped form like the other popular action cameras. It also comes with mounts for rifle, shotgun, and bow.
Another great feature of the Spypoint Hi-Definition Video 1080p 5MP Hunting Edition is that it comes with a waterproof case, which is highly recommended that you use to protect the action camera from all weather conditions.
The case is made with durable materials and will allow you to go as deep as 30 feet without damaging the camera. In terms of video quality, the Spypoint can take 5-megapixel photos, as well as 1080p HD videos.
As mentioned above, this action camera works great when capturing day time footage. In addition, the batteries will provide you at least 2 hours of recording time.
Its wide-angle lens allows you to capture more of your environment in every shot, which is already an advantage for every hunting enthusiasts.
- Comes with a waterproof case
- Can take 5-megapixel stills
- Can capture 1080p HD footage
- Features a wide-angle lens
- Compact and lightweight
LIST OF BEST ACTION CAMERAS FOR FISHING
In this section, I have listed the top 4 picks for the best action cameras for fishing. As with the previous section, I will be having a detailed discussion of each product’s key features and pros. I hope this will help you narrow down your choices if you are looking for the best action camera to bring with you on a fishing trip.
GoPro Hero 5 Session
GoPro already made a point that their products are becoming an essential item for every action activity including fishing. The fact that the Hero5 Session is highly durable and waterproof while capturing high-quality videos makes it a very easy choice for shooting videos during fishing trips.
Aside from the wide-angle field of view offered by the GoPro Hero 5 Session, you also get an amazingly detailed 4K and 2.7K resolution videos.
In addition, you will be provided with upgraded frame rate options for the 1440p, 1080p, and 720p resolutions. For photo quality, the GoPro Hero 5 Session is equipped with a bigger sensor of 10 megapixels.
This action camera also has burst mode that can capture as much as 30 photos in 1 second. This would be perfect if you want to get the perfect shot while you are fishing. For those who like to fish during the night, this action camera features a built-in Night Photo and Night Lapse modes.
As with the other GoPro action camera, the Hero 5 Session works with the One Button Operation. With this, you just turn the power on and the camera will start recording right away.
It also can support an external microphone, which unfortunately, is sold separately. If you have the budget, the above mentioned features that you will find useful during your fishing trips, as well as the video and photo capabilities makes the GoPro Hero 5 Session a great value for your money.
- Durable and waterproof
- Can capture 4K and 2.7K resolution videos
- Features an upgraded frame rate for the 1140p, 1080p, and 720p
- Equipped with a 10-megapixel sensor
- Burst mode captures 30 photos in a second
- Features a Night Photo and Night Lapse mode for nighttime fishing
- One Button Operation
- Can support an external microphone
GoPro Hero 6 Black
The Hero6 now features a better processing and video stabilization, which would be beneficial especially for fishing enthusiasts.
The video quality is outstanding with 4K video resolution at 60 fps and 1080p at 240 fps. In addition, the action camera has a better processor, which would mean that the video and image quality has also improved.
Another reason why the GoPro Hero 6 Black is included on this list is because of video stabilization, which works great even if it is mounted or hand held.
To add, a very smooth footage is attainable with the action camera’s improved UI and display, which now provides touch-zoom features that would make it easier for you to use in the field.
One major advantage that the GoPro Hero 6 Black offers is convenience. It has the QuickStory feature that allows you to send your captured images and footage directly to your smartphone.
These can also be edited quickly to make it social media-worthy. It also has an improved voice control, allowing you to turn the action camera on and off in the middle of fishing.
What makes this action camera extremely versatile is the incorporation of three microphones and GPS data options. Once you are back from your fishing trip, you can quickly transfer your videos and stills via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
To add, these features are better than with the GoPro Hero 5 Black. Fishing enthusiasts also benefit from the GoPro Hero 6 Black with its enhanced low-light videos and stills.
This feature could be used if you ever find yourself fishing at dawn, dusk, or the night time. If you want to capture your fishing adventure’s highlights during the night, you will have the easiest time in doing so.
- Comes with a better processing and video stabilization
- Offers 4K at 60 fps and 1080p at 240 fps
- Improved video and image quality
- Work great when mounted or hand held
- Features touch zoom
- Comes with an improved voice control
- Equipped with three microphones and GPS
- Has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Takes great videos and photos even during the night time
Garmin Virb Ultra 30
Luckily, the physical controls of this action camera work perfectly even if the case has already undergone multiple scratches from your fishing adventures.
Did you know that the Virb Ultra 30 is the first camera in the Garmin series that offers 4K Ultra HD video shooting? It features an advanced array of settings, which includes 3 different levels of sharpness, a high bitrate mode that allows you to record 60 megabits in a second, and the option of flat color.
Exposure and ISO limit can also be changed, which would be very important during daytime and night time fishing. It comes with a removable waterproof case, which lets you keep the action camera dry even at 40 meters underwater.
It also has a removable battery, eliminating the inconvenience of your battery running out of juice during the fishing trip. In terms of battery life, you will be able to record up to 2 hours and 15 minutes of full HD footage.
A downside, unfortunately, is that you will not be able to connect the action camera to a power source when it is inside the waterproof case.
While being small in terms of size, it does house a micro HDMI and micro USB ports, allowing you to connect the action camera via a screen and transfer your newly captured videos and images to your smartphone.
In terms of video quality, the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 can shoot 4K videos at 30 fps, 2.7K at 60 fps, 1080p at 120 fps, 720p at 240 fps, and 480p at 300 fps.
Every purchase of this action camera comes with the waterproof case, a lithium-ion battery, a charging and data cable, standard and vertical mount adapters, flat and curved adhesive mounts, a wrench, an anti-fog kit, and the instructions manual. It already has everything that you need for a fishing trip.
- Shoots 4K at 30 fps, 2.7K at 60 fps, 1080p at 120 fps, 720p at 240 fps, and 480p at 300 fps
- Comes with a waterproof case
- Features an expanded field of view
- Has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
What makes this action camera one of the best is that it also offers 4K video shooting at 60 fps. The Yi 4K+ action camera also has electronic image stabilization, which would come on handy especially if you are on a fishing trip.
We all know that it is not always a smooth ride when you are on a boat, which makes this feature very important. In terms of battery life, the action camera allows 4K video recording of at least 2 hours.
- Features great image and video quality
- Comes with electronic image stabilization
- Equipped with a powerful processor
- Long battery life
- Efficient to use with its touchscreen feature
Whether you are hunting or fishing, there is an action camera that is right for you. However, choosing the best among the rest might be a difficult one, especially with the number of products out in the market.
It is recommended that you take note of each product’s pros and relate them to the feature you would most benefit from. These action cameras do not come cheap, which is why I hope that this review would be able to help you make the best buying decision.
I hope you found my list of best action cameras for hunting and fishing. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions 🙂