Tom Sykes explains why they are great for a variety of shooters and why he rates his ShotKam

I thought I would take a closer look at gun cameras and explain why I love having my ShotKam strapped to my musket. As many readers will be aware, I have been using ShotKams for the past few years. I started with the previous camera and, last year advanced to the new 2018 model. These cameras are extraordinary pieces of technology, and something that I would have only dreamt about using a while ago.

How does the ShotKam work?

One of the main questions I receive, is how does the camera actually work?

  • There is an internal accelerometer within the camera that detects when the gun’s action is closed (also achieved with a gentle bump on the stock).
  • This wakes the camera from sleep mode and it will start the recording process through a memory buffer (temporary storage).
  • When a shot 
is fired, the camera responds to the recoil and saves the critical portion of that video, even slowing the footage down to the selected playback speed.
  • Any follow-up shots, which occur within six seconds, 
will also be saved in that one MP4 clip.
ShotKam in action

Align the reticle to a gun’s point of aim

I know that sounds complicated and hard to get your head around, but from a user perspective this is great. It means that
you can turn the camera on, leave it running, wake the camera up when you 
see an approaching bird and let the camera do the rest.

  • These cameras are designed to show you exactly what is happening down range.
  • The footage allows you to observe and collect data of the numerous different aspects that have gone into a shot.
  • You can see clearly the amount of lead and where the muzzle is in relation to the target during the crucial moments leading up to and following a shot.
  • These are an excellent training aid for a lot of people, not just beginners.
  • I have used them to illustrate how much lead a certain target or type of target needs.
  • They are great for reinforcing that desired sight picture that beginners can sometimes struggle to grasp.

Getting started

ShotKam

It is a pretty straightforward operation to attach the camera to the gun’s barrels. The ShotKam comes with a bracket, which is secure using two Allen key bolts. The ShotKam has a variety of different brackets, to ensure that the cameras are versatile and can be used in conjunction with a variety of guns.

ShotKam

Once the camera is secured, align it with the bead. This is done through the mobile phone app and built-in WiFi. The app also give you access to a variety of settings. All the features are quick and easy to use and there are videos online to guide you through the process. Once the camera is aligned, select the type of gun; semi-auto, pump action, etc. Then pick the shooting style: clay, flying bird etc.

Good for experienced guns too

Now, don’t think that a camera like this won’t be useful to you if you are 
a competent shot. A good friend of 
mine used my ShotKam for a session 
when he was practising prior to qualifying for the England Team in DTL. The camera allowed him to analyse a lot of varied information, which enabled him to see exactly what he was doing right and wrong and correct it.

Top game shots have also been keen to use it to see what they are doing when they shoot and have then used them to improve. Even the best of us 
can aim to improve our shooting and this 
is a useful way to do so.

The other great thing about a ShotKam is that it can be used with other film cameras to produce great shooting videos that can be shared on social media with friends and like-minded people.

ShotKam

Take the shot- then watch it again later

I have lots of footage that we have recorded over the years and I get a lot of pleasure rewatching it and rekindling the joys from a day out in the field. Plus, you have the proof when you pull off that cracking right-and-left that nobody believed you about!

I have lots of footage that we have recorded over the years and I get a lot of pleasure rewatching it and rekindling the joys from a day out in the field. Plus, you have the proof when you pull off that cracking right-and-left that nobody believed you about!

Where to get a shotgun camera

There are many makes and models of shotgun cameras available in the United Kingdom at most good gunshops or online. ShotKams however are only available direct from teh United States, but teh company will import to the U. For more information, visit ShotKam. 

Advantages of the ShotKam

I have found countless benefits from using cameras over the years. They have shed valuable light on what sequence of events led me to miss a target. The built-in WiFi and the mobile app from my ShotKam allow me to access the files on the go.

I have used this a lot when sat in the hide during the summer months to see exactly what went right and wrong. Unlike some shooting cameras on the market, ShotKams are compact and unobtrusive to the line of sight, allowing me to get on and shoot without having something putting me off. I know that some people have raised concerns in the past that the camera looks like it will weigh down the muzzle of the gun when shooting. To be honest, I don’t notice the small additional weight to the barrel.