View Full Version : tv coverage camera angles

11-13-2009, 12:04 PM
Been watching the BNP Paribas Masters on Sky TV in the UK this week and the camera angle from court one is much lower to the ground than on centre court (the usual angle used from year dot for all other tournaments) and it looks much more realistic - you really do get a much better idea of the pace and power generated by the pro's from this angle and wonder why it's not used more often.

I've seen the occasional head high low angle shot from the player just prior to impact on serve but then the director inevitably cuts to the standard high angle wide shot from the back of the court after the player has completed the backswing.

Don't know if anyone else has noticed this or even cares or am I just a pain-in-the-*** geek?

11-14-2009, 03:29 AM
I like the camera angle, any lower and I wudn't.

Cincinnati for example is too low.

The low camera anlge for some rallies is good, like they do at the US Open, but in general the camera shud be in the 'normal' position (Wimbo centa court is prob the best angle.

Madrid indoor was too high......

11-14-2009, 04:18 AM
harrpau7 - Why don't you like a camera angle that would be any lower? When the camera is lower like box seat or court-level you can really see the spins, angle, and speed of the shots and it's much more involving and engaging to the viewer - especially in HD 16x9 on a big screen. Just curious what you don't like about that.

I think a major problem with tennis on TV to the casual sports viewer is how passive the game can seem from higher up angles that negate the speed. spin and power of the game. Unfortunately that mid to high level shot is the generic go to camera placement for most TV cameras. It's sloppy, lazy and uninspired coverage. With the advent and spread of HD it seems TV coverage is slowly starting to play with more interesting camera placement. I sure hope so for the good of the game.

And yes, Madrid indoor was terrible. I would get vertigo just watching...

By the way here is a post I made from another thread about this very thing a few days ago - explains my thoughts a bit more.

The camera angle is pretty good - should be a little bit lower - just like the first or second row of box seats for best HDTV viewing.
I have mixed feelings about the camera angle here in Paris.

Yeah, we can appreciate spins and net clearance more, but it robs off a lot of pace and speed.

It's not the angle but the distance and lens. The problem with #1 camera on the court central at Paris is the fact that the camera position seems to be very far away from the court - back quite away - so they are forced to use a stronger lens that tends to "squish" the distance of the foreground and background on court and flatten the image. This is why the ball seems to be going very slow and to take forever to get from one end to the other. It distorts the speed and distance quite a bit.

The angle is quite nice (although I prefer the court 1 camera position - much closer and lower to the court - really get to see and feel the shots and spin) but it's much better that the really high angle shots we generally get in Europe indoors.

The Basel #1 camera was terrible last week (really high up - felt like you were almost looking straight down on the court) but the #2 camera got some really good shots when they used it. At least it seems they are staring to play around and think a bit more and use the 16x9 frame.

11-14-2009, 06:35 AM
Always love the lower camera even though they dont use it often enough.
I think the reason is
a. they dont want a camera in a place where they could put a high prized box seat
b. TV producers try to get 'equal' views of both sides of the court so they place cameras as high as possible, which to me is a flawed practice...

11-14-2009, 06:44 AM
the lower the camera the better

11-14-2009, 08:45 AM
I LOVE the lower camera angle. In fact, i made a thread just like this one a year ago. I'm sure 95 percent would agree that lower camera angles is a far better viewing experience. Its beautiful to watch!

the question is, what can we do about it?

11-14-2009, 09:03 AM
Wimbledon and the Oz Open do it right. There's some youtube videos of Fed with the camera at court level and the footspeed is amazing!

11-14-2009, 12:08 PM
Lower is definitely better, you can appreciate the spin/shots/speed more. You lose such a sense of spin from the overhead shots; it looks like the ball is just going back and forth and you can't see it drop or float. I always get stupid excited when a rare court-side shot comes up, it's ridiculous.

11-14-2009, 12:14 PM
I like this angle from the outer wimbledon courts which is almost a blend of the two. Best of both worlds. This is a women's match and you can the ball shooting through the air and see the spin and such.


11-14-2009, 12:21 PM
Well I know that the Sky tv coverage we get over here encourages viewer interaction so I reckon the more of us that state our view the better. In an age of interactive digital tv it shouldn't be too difficult to add a camera at each end so one could choose one's own preferred angle.

Let's all email our respective tv stations starting with the London Masters and see if we can make a difference.

Power to the people!!!

11-14-2009, 03:18 PM
I like this angle from the outer wimbledon courts which is almost a blend of the two. Best of both worlds. This is a women's match and you can the ball shooting through the air and see the spin and such.


compare that with the court one footage from 1min 04 sec here:


on a larger screen, the difference is appreciable.

11-14-2009, 09:21 PM
Personally I dont like it when the camera angle is close to the court behind the players. I prefer the more traditional angle where its more above the player. The tennis channel was doing the same thing where they had the camera angle almost behind the player, Im not a big fan of that. It always looks like the ball is traveling the same speed when the camera is that low.