Very portable video camera?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by Top Jimmy, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Anyone recommend a camera to film my matches? I'd like to be able to clip it to fences, maybe tarps, etc. probably film from behind the baseline.
     
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  2. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I would pick one that can record at least 60fps and is progressive scan (almost all cameras already have that but it is important).

    Get a wifi enabled camera so you can control (and even see an image) on a tablet while the camera is mounted high on the fence.

    GoPros are nice feature wise but for tennis it is not really that suitable because it has a wide angle lens.
     
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  3. KineticChain

    KineticChain Hall of Fame

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    why do I feel like this is a marketing ploy from VolleyCam? if it isn't, maybe give VolleyCam a try. It's very pricey for what it is, but you can attach it to the fence.
     
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  4. newpball

    newpball Legend

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  5. tray999

    tray999 Rookie

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    Here is what I have used for the past four years coaching high school tennis:

    http://www.mytennistools.com/the-camera-mount-2/

    Use whatever camera you have or can afford. We have three for both practice and matches. Works with our ten foot fences.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    Suggest that you select a camera that also has high speed video capability to analyze your tennis strokes.

    I just purchased a Canon Powershot 110 HS, refurbished from Canon for $119. I'm testing its high speed video capability now, especially its shutter speed. Tennis videos. (I believe that the motion blur will be smaller than these from outside the fence once zoom is set to wide angle = faster lens.)
    https://vimeo.com/73434267

    Most of my other videos on Vimeo were taken with a higher performance, high speed video camera, the Casio Ex FH100. It has a very fast manual shutter and the motion blur allows viewing details of strokes.

    For regular video rates, 60p or 30 fps, find a camera that will select - manually or by automatic exposure control - a very fast shutter in direct sunlight. A fast shutter will produce small motion blur and allow you to examine stop action. This older model Aiptek camera does a nice job in direct sunlight - motion blur is not large for this particular model.
    https://vimeo.com/46427326
    https://vimeo.com/46427230

    For viewing matches you need a wide angle lens. Cameras such as the GoPro or other action cameras, Sony Action, a new Panasonic action camera, have very wide angle lenses. Decide how important zoom capability is to you.

    There was another recent thread in this forum by Corbind -
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455785&highlight=corbind+camera

    See also
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=405536


    (There was a very low priced ad for the Canon Powershot 110 HS but that seller did not supply the camera after taking my order. ??)
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
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  7. tyu1314

    tyu1314 Semi-Pro

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    Most digital camera on the market are good enough to film tennis is HD. For hanging , just buy those flexible tripod on the bay for like 5bucks,search gorilla or flexible tripod.:)
     
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  8. djosbun

    djosbun Rookie

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    #8
  9. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    I looked at those, I'm not spending 500-700 dollars or whatever they were.

    I'm thinking ghetto solution for no more than 200.
     
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  10. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for all the suggestions!
     
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  11. o0lunatik

    o0lunatik Semi-Pro

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    I am a photographer by night/weekend, and dlsr cameras now-a-days take excellent videos. The movie and music industries use dslr for a lot of their video segments now. BUT for tennis, use a decent 720p point and shoot with normally 25-30 fps, throw it on a gorilla pod, and take videos! This is more than sufficient for capturing your tennis games. I've used this method and captured half court shots of me by grasping the gorilla pod onto the net near the post or from behind me or my opponent. I've done this to analyzed my shots and work on my mechanics and have had a lot of success. Unless you want to do super slow mo *****, it's a whole 'nother ball game.
     
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  12. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Sorry but I disagree with you, you need to have at least 60fps to do a good analysis. For super slow motion we are quickly talking about 120 - 240fps.
     
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  13. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    As Chas pointed out, I put up a thread similar to this in Feb '13 and sadly did not get a whole lot of help. I did not want to spend a ton of a camera as all I wanted was to video match play to be able to figure out my mistakes while watching it later at home.

    I read a TON about all different cameras, specs, reviews and it came down to paralysis by analysis. So once I caved in that I'd spend a little more than my $200 budget I bough the mid grade GoPro Hero 3 "Silver" edition for $300.

    Why not the cheapest $200 "White" version? It was not as good and did not deliver the NARROW angle view I needed at full 1080 HD. Why not get the $400 "Black" version? Certainly a better camera all around but I did not want to spend the extra cash at the time.

    I film ONLY in narrow mode when the camera is mounted 10' up on a fence behind the baseline. Filming in NARROW mode catches the singles sidelies and really zooms in on the action. It's much clearer to watch on my 24" monitor at home. Filming in the medium angle (obviously wider than narrow mode) catches all of the doubles alley but it also pushes the court and players away. Everything is smaller.

    Also, I like the GoPro let's you see what you're filming on your iPod/iPhone/iPad as you're setting it on the fence. You get a live feed (witha 4 second delay) so you can adjust the camera angle up/down/left/right to be sure you're getting what you want. You can't do that well with many other cameras without the WiFi capability.

    If I were to do it over again I would have bought the GoPro Hero3 Black for the extra hundred. But I just could not justify the money for simply filming tennis. Yet for a long-term asset/tool for tennis I wish I had purchased the GoPro Hero 3 Black. But that's a lot of cash.

    As far as poles to hang your camera on the fence there is only one commercial one I'd endorse and that's the QM-1. It's a great design and sturdy camera pole. $67 +$10 shipping and you can hang your camera all day. I wanted a custom (short) pole so I made my own for about $20. Several times I wish I had just purchased the QM-1 while making my own because I spent way too much time dorking around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
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  14. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Seldom do I disagree with you but that needs some explanation. Technically you may be right -- it's a wide angle lens. Yet you don't have to (nor do you ever want to) record in wide angle mode. Wide angle mode for recording tennis sucks (unless you're trying to include the hot chick on the adjacent two courts).

    The White version records at 1080p 30fps ONLY in medium width mode. So kinda in between wide and narrow. Still not great for tennis as it still distorts the lines.

    The Silver edition lets you record 1080p 30 in NARROW mode which really zooms in on the action while the Black lets you do the same but at 60fps. It also greatly reduces any bent baselines as those wide modes do.

    Recording in wide angle mode is fantastic for outdoor shots downtown in a city, out in the country/wilderness. It makes you feel you're there because it captures so much of the scene. But it is horrible for tennis. Simply use the narrow mode on the GoPro and you'll get good results.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
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  15. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    OK, I did not know that, thanks for straightening that out!
     
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  16. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    This low cost Canon Powershot camera can take high speed video capable of analyzing tennis strokes. It has HD also, but research long recording times if you want to record a match.(?).

    Motion Blur in High Speed Video Mode. I found that the widest angle zoom lens setting, direct sunlight and probably some sky in the field of view resulted in very small motion blur on the tennis ball. These same conditions might result in small motion blur for other cameras with high speed video modes that use automatic exposure control. See videos. High speed videos are limited in recording time to 30 seconds (there is also up to a 30 second trigger delay).

    Refurbished, the price is $149 from Canon. I believe that there is a 1 year warranty.

     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
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  17. rany

    rany New User

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    What brand do you prefer?
     
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  18. rany

    rany New User

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  19. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    For high performance, high speed video - the Casio Ex F1(2008}, FH20, FH25 and FH100(2010) had full manual exposure control. These were the best affordable cameras. Out of production, they are now available used for between $500-$1000. I have a Casio FH100.

    The Panasonic Lumix LX7 and FZ200 are very interesting but I can't determine how fast their automatic shutters are from Youtubes and I'm not buying another camera to test. They are higher resolution 120 & 240 fps but cost maybe 2-3X as much as the Canon 110 HS.

    The Canon 110 HS camera has limitations. BUT it is capable of getting high speed videos of your strokes with very small motion blur under favorable conditions. Other cameras might also, but who knows without videos...check your present camera for HSV....

    So for $150 + $13 for an SD card you can video your strokes so that you can see your body parts, the racket, and the ball at 240 fps.

    If you later want better high speed video, upgrade and sell the first camera.

    BTW - I'd check out the seller and buy from a reputable seller like Canon. There is one seller that advertizes a very low price for the 110 HS but after I ordered was out of stock. ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
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  20. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    many cameras with 120/240 fps capability can only record high speed videos for seconds. not sure about canon 110.
     
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  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    30 seconds

    Canon Powershot 110 HS in high speed video mode - 30 seconds recording time with up to 30 second trigger delay.

    The Nikon J1 & V1 record for only 5 seconds in high speed video mode.

    You can download the full user's manuals. Often recording time for high speed video is not in the specs but the instructions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
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  22. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    i find this too short. that's why i directly went with gopro which shoots 120fps without time restraint.

    disclaimer of gopro: wide angle length and more distortion, can't zoom
     
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  23. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    I have not videoed myself practicing. I think that 30 seconds recording time should allow 4-6 strokes. A 30 second delay would allow you to get in front of the camera and practice a few strokes. Whenever you have someone videoing your strokes, it's much better to take single stroke clips anyway, so recording time does not matter then. That's not too incumbering in my opinion. This is a high value, high speed video capability without the bells and whistles.

    It does have zoom but as my tests showed with full telephoto, while the body motions are well shown without much motion blur, the racket has considerable motion blur compared to the wide angle zoom setting. The full telephoto videos are still very useful. I did not test motion blur at half zoom, etc. ? The lens - 35mm film equivalent: 24 (W) - 120mm (T).

    GoPro also has some more hidden costs, doesn't it? Does the GoPro require some special accessories such as an adapter for an odd tripod thread? The high resolution HS videos looks very sharp and the motion blur looks very small in bright sunlight. If you have some tennis stroke videos please post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
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  24. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    The iphone 5s can shoot 720p at 120 fps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
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  25. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    In bright sunlight most smartphones usually have very fast shutters and small motion blur. ? The iPhone 5s should get very useful stroke videos at 120 fps and HSV looks great in HD. Maybe someone could post some iPhone 5s stroke videos. (Holding the smartphone sideways is best for viewing on a computer monitor, no dead space on the sides.)

    To find high speed videos from any camera, use some of these terms
    Search: Youtube iPhone 5s tennis high speed video golf slow motion

    This looks a little preliminary so check out some HSV videos when they become available on Youtube.
    http://mashable.com/2013/09/17/burberry-iphone5s/

    A few high speed video capabilities to compare:

    1) For analysis, it's important to be able to look at strokes stop-action single-frame on the court.
    2) Move forward and backward in the video.
    3) Edit videos on the camera, get rid of dead time HS video, etc.
    4) Lens/Zoom lens. Any new electronic zoom capability in the iPhone 5s? Any add-on lenses available for telephoto?
    5) Recording times in HSV.
    6) Understand any Jello Effect - might falsely bend swinging golf clubs, rackets, etc.

    In the dpreview forum there are many threads about the big impact of smartphones on camera sales in general.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
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  26. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Industry standard camera mounts for tripods have 1/4" with 20 threads per inch bolt which is what the GoPro uses. That GoPro tripod mount costs $7 locally or $5 online.
     
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  27. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    IMO you want to make sure your camera allows a wide field of vision to be captured, especially if you are recording doubles. I added a cheapo 70 degree wide angle lens to my old Canon HD camcorder and it does a pretty good job of capturing all the court when fixed on top of my QM-1 mount. The QM-1 is an expandable pole with an adjustable angle camera mount on top which hooks to the top of the fence. Actually I wish I had a wider angle lens of about 80 degrees as sometimes players closest to the camera run out of the frame but overall the system works well.
     
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  28. getagrip

    getagrip New User

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    I use a double sided tape and stick my phone on the fence
     
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  29. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    Panasonic GH3 has pro level video quality and control. Very good still image quality, too.
     
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