Tactacam Review: A Camera Built For Hunting

Thanks to advances in technology, the proliferation of high quality video cameras is at an all time high.  Heck, most of us are carrying HD quality video cameras in our pockets that are built right into our smart phones.  Who would’ve seen that coming ten years ago?  With the rapid expansion of video devices, comes an increase in the amount of video being taken throughout all aspects of our lives.  Simply log onto YouTube, and you’ll quickly be inundated with billions of hours of video of everything you could ever want to see, and a lot of stuff you’d rather soon forget.

As the popularity of filming our lives increases, so too does the popularity of filming our hunting adventures.  Whether we film them to share with family, hunting buddies ,or complete strangers, the ability to film and share our hunts is easier than ever.   With each passing year more and more hunters are picking up their cameras and documenting their time in the field; myself included.

Many of us carry professional or prosumer cameras into the woods along with camera arms, microphones, batteries, and a variety of other gizmos in an attempt to film our outings.  While this is great for those who are ultra serious about filming hunts it’s often too much work, and too expensive, for the more casual videographer.  Enter the Tactacam.

While the concept of the micro-sized point-of-view action camera is certainly nothing new, the Tactacam is the first of its kind to be purpose-built specifically to capture hunting and shooting adventures.  Addressing many of the inherent flaws of all-purpose action cameras, the Tactacam is truly in a class of its own.

See What You’re Shooting At

The biggest knock on other POV cameras used for hunting purposes is their ultra-wide fisheye lenses.  While these are great for capturing a lot of action at once, they are less than optimal for actually seeing anything worthwhile past a few yards.  Have you ever watched a video of someone shoot a deer that was filmed with a bow-mounted POV camera?  Most of the time the deer looks more like an ant than a big game animal.  Thanks but no thanks on that one.  

Tactacam features a high quality ultra sharp lens with a 3x magnification which brings your subject closer and allows you to see what’s being shot at.  Whether it’s a deer, turkey, or target your audience won’t be left squinting at their screen to decipher what’s happening.

The Tactacam's lens is the heart of what makes this camera different. The 3x magnification and ultra clear lens ensure you'll be able to see what you're filming.

The Tactacam’s lens is the heart of what makes this camera different. The 3x magnification and ultra clear lens ensure you, and your audience, will be able to see what you’re filming.

Now if you are looking for a wide angle, let’s say for a “selfie” view during your hunt, Tactacam has you covered.  Unlike most cameras the Tactacam has a replaceable lens which allows you to transition from 3x zoom to wide angle with ease.  It truly is one camera that can pull double duty.

These clips were captured by the Tactacam during an early season Wisconsin bow hunt.

An example of Tactacam footage shooting at a small deer target at 25 yards.

Easy On, Easy Off

While fancy remote controls and cellular wi-fi controllers are nice, in the heat of the moment hunters want something that’s simple and reliable.  When there’s a big buck barreling down on your location, the last thing you want to worry about is unlocking your phone to turn on your camera or having your remote control batteries die.  Tactacam has a user-friendly one button operation to power the camera up and start recording almost immediately.  A series of short vibrations will indicate that the camera is on and recording, and just to be certain, a small light will confirm this as well.  

A lone button on the top of the Tactacam turns the camera on, starts recording and stops the camera. Nothing fancy just a feature that is quick, easy and reliable. Perfect for filming fast-paced hunting action.

A lone button on the top of the Tactacam turns the camera on, starts recording and stops the camera. Nothing fancy; just a feature that is quick, easy, and reliable. Perfect for filming fast-paced hunting action.

I find this feature particularly handy as I want to keep my eyes focused on the target and not my camera.  With this one button system I can concentrate more on making a good shot and less on figuring out if my camera is on and recording.

To turn the camera off, push and hold the button. Two long vibration indicators will signal that this task is complete.  Simple and reliable, just how I like it.

Mount It

Yet another drawback of most action cameras is the amount of aftermarket and 3rd party mounts you have to buy in order to get them working on your bow.  Who really wants to spend another $25-$50 on mounts after dropping a few hundred on a camera?

Since the Tactacam is purpose built for hunters, this isn’t an issue.  For us bowhunters, the Bow Package includes a camera mount that screws directly into your stabilizer bushing.  Simply screw it onto your bow, and you’re ready to hunt.  Again – simple and reliable.  A bowhunter’s best friend.

The included stabilizer mount allows you to screw the Tactacam directly onto your bow's riser and begin filming right away.

The included stabilizer mount allows you to screw the Tactacam directly onto your bow’s riser and begin filming right away.

For those of us who want to continue using the stabilizer we already own, the Tactacam does come with a variety of other mounts including one which will attach to nearly any stabilizer or bow riser which opens up the amount of options you have for camera placement.   When hunting out of a blind, for example, you may want the camera mounted higher on your bow in order to capture footage through your shooting window.

The universal mount included with the Tactacam features a standard 1/4-20 mount on the bottom which works great with a variety of 3rd party camera mounts like this one from Insane Archery.

The universal mount included with the Tactacam features a standard 1/4-20 mount on the bottom which works great with a variety of 3rd party camera mounts like this one from Insane Archery.

Want to keep the stabilizer you already have? No problem. Tactacam includes a variety of universal mounts in the package or you can pick up the optional Picatinny rail mount for a rock solid connection.

Want to keep the stabilizer you already have? No problem. Tactacam includes a variety of universal mounts in the package or you can pick up the optional Picatinny rail mount for a rock solid connection.

Anything Else?

The three features listed above are, to me, the biggest reasons why the Tactacam shines above the competition when it comes to filming hunts.  Being able to easily mount the camera to your bow, turn it on in a moment’s notice, and capture high quality HD footage that you can see provides one heck of a solid foundation.  However, as you may imagine, there’s a variety of other features that deserve to be covered.  So here we go.

Rechargeable battery.  The included lithium battery will provide over 2 hours of record time and can be recharged via USB cable in around 2 hours.  Yes, it is removable, and there are extra batteries available.  If you’ve filmed hunts long enough you’ll understand the importance of bringing extra batteries!

Although you'll get up to 2 hours of record time on a fully charged battery it's always good practice to keep a spare handy.

Although you’ll get up to 2 hours of record time on a fully charged battery, it’s always good practice to keep a spare handy.

It’s waterproof.  Hunting means being outside, and being outside means the possibility of wet weather.  Tactacam includes a waterproof cap that is good down to 30m as well as a cap with a small hole in it to allow for better audio quality.  My personal preference is to stay waterproof at all times because you never know what’s going to happen.

Want to capture audio with your hunt? Use the cap on the left. Want to make sure your camera isn't getting water inside? Use the one on the right.

Want to capture audio with your hunt? Use the cap on the left. Want to make sure your camera isn’t getting water inside? Use the one on the right.

12 megapixel sensor records in full 1080p HD @ 30 fps or 720 @ 60 fps.  The large sensor not only means better video quality but also better quality in low light, which is critical in hunting situations.

Accepts a Micro SD card up to 32 GB which is good for several hours of full HD resolution hunting footage.  

Open up your Tactacam and you'll find all the controls you need along with access to both the Micro SD card and battery.

Open up your Tactacam and you’ll find all the controls you need along with access to both the Micro SD card and battery.

If you’re in the market for a small, lightweight camera to film your hunts but don’t want to break the bank or worry about hauling a bunch of extra gear, the Tactacam is a great option.  Being purpose built to record hunting and shooting adventures, the Tactacam contains a variety of features that set it apart from the competition. Most notably the 3x zoom with ultra HD lens and simple one button operation.  At under $300 for the bow package, the Tactacam won’t break the bank and will allow you to capture hunts and memories to last a lifetime.

Justin Zarr
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Justin Zarr

General Manager at Bowhunting.com
Justin has been bowhunting for more than 25 years, harvesting a number of P&Y whitetails in his home state of Illinois during that time.  He co-hosts the popular bowhunting show 'Bowhunt or Die' and is a frequent guest on numerous hunting podcast.  Justin lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife and 3 children.
Justin Zarr
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Comments

  1. Aaron Stonehocker says:

    Finally a camera that meets the hunters self film needs for shot footage! One push of a button to turn on and starts filming automatically so I can worry about the hunt not the camera. Crystal clear footage, no shock or blur from recoil, great battery life, waterproof, real distance view (NO FISHEYE THANK GOD!!!) I really just do not have enough to say about this camera and its mounting options! Great work Tactacam! You really hit the mark with this one!

    Reply
  2. I have my Tactacam mounted to my crossbow scope and I have a problem with the camera shutting off when I shoot. Tactacam told me it’s my battery coming loose when I shoot. Well didn’t they test this on the camera? and how can it come loose, the cap screws on up against the battery. They are going to send me a different battery so I hope this works. Has anybody else had this problem?

    Reply
    • I know it seems like a dumb question, but is the cap all the way screwed on as tight as it will go? If it’s even a little bit loose it may leave enough of a gap to cause the issue you’re having.

      Reply
    • Art Stickney says:

      I just tried my new tactacam 4.0 in the stabilizer mount on my Halon. The camera shuts off every time I shoot.

      Reply
      • Double check that the battery door is properly seated. If it’s lose or not attached properly the battery will jar loose when you shoot and turn the camera off.

        Reply
  3. Meghin says:

    I love my 4.0 It has such a great image and even with the 5x zoom you still have HD. The modes are easy to switch back and forth to as well as the one button to record. Its super light weight so when you have it mounted to the shot gun it doesn’t effect your swing. They have a stabilizer mount that the camera slides into for your bow as well so you don’t have to worry about it throwing off your bows balance. Its water proof and shock proof as well. And it doesn’t have that wide lens so you can see clearly up to around 200 yrds. Well worth the money this camera will make your go pro a paper weight!

    Reply
  4. Attila Nagy says:

    Hi. Can you zoom in more,when reviewing the video, to see the shot placement better?
    Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Ron Peterson says:

    My tactacam works great when the temperature is above 40 degrees, but when hunting deer in the fall it shuts off after about 5 seconds. Very frustrating..

    Reply

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