Try the Canon HF200. It started around $1,000, but now is down to $549 to $599. Costco had a great buy on it, Best Buy also. This is a HD camera that uses a SDHC card. It is more quiet than a tape drive camera, almost silent. Make sure you buy some SDHC cards, this camera does not have internal memory (they are available, but those cameras cost $1K+). It has a 15X zoom, which is better than more common 10X (optical, turn off the digital zoom). It is OK in low light. No HD camera is great in low light; this one is better than my 2 Sony HD camcorders. HF200 has received great reviews. Make sure you get a tripod - a good one. They also make a chest mount, camo, that I have used hunting and got some good shots. And that was bow hunting. Wouldn't work for modern rifle in the prone position, obviously. But a good tripod would help. The Sunpak 7600, exclusive at Best Buy, includes a center post that comes out to use as a separate monopod; I have 2 of these, plus a high end pro tripod. Don't buy a $20 tripod. The 7600 is $100 regular, sometimes on sale for as low as $60. I paid 60 for one, liked it so much, paid 100 for next one. I have 5 HD cameras, including a HF200.
I was hoping you would be able to help me. I am looking to buy my boyfriend a camcorder for our anniversary. Unfortunately I do not know that much about them and don't really know what to look for. He would like a camcorder so he can film all of our hunting trips. I know he is looking for something that will shoot well in low light situations, that has a good optical zoom, that has decent sound, and steady filming. Also something that would be able to film a few hours of video, and if we could get HD that would be better. I am looking to spend up to $700 since this is just a starter camera. If you have any advice about a camera that would do well for hunting videos I would greatly appreciate your input!!
Thank you very much for your help!!