Video camera safety :)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by rk_sports, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    Last time I tried to record, my tripod/camera almost got hit by a ball..and this meant that somone had to be near it :( ... how do you guys do it?

    I saw this product skymount and it sounds like a good idea.. except its too damn expensive and might be ideal for coaches.
     
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  2. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    You can tie the thing into the wall.

    Or, put the lens through the fence, but keep the camera outside. Might want to have someone watch it in case someone attempts to steal it.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Or vid old farts with weak serves. I hit the camera 2nd serve, did no damage.
     
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  4. EdgeTennis

    EdgeTennis New User

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    I use the QM-1 Camera mount. It is easy to set up and Ive had it hit pretty hard and it stayed in place. $69 isnt bad.

    http://www.mytennistools.com/?p=6

    I have no affiliation with this product at all except that I bought one and really like it.
     
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  5. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    I use a gorillapod tripod. Super safe and will sit comfortably where ever I put it.
     
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  6. EdgeTennis

    EdgeTennis New User

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    And cheap. I never thought of using it on the fence. Thanks.
     
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  7. Ajtat411

    Ajtat411 Semi-Pro

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    You hit the tripod legs.

    OP, You can try positioning the camera from behind you or to the side of you.

    I'm assuming you want to see your strokes up close.
     
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  8. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    My pleasure. Sometimes when people pass by the mounted camera with the gorillapod arms all over they place they freak out and think it's a spider. ;)
     
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  9. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Second the gorillapod. You can hook it to the back of the fence with the lense positioned through a fence hole = safe camera. Or you can hook it to the top of the fence with very little chance of a direct hit. Good viewing angle too. The QM-1 looks very cool too.
     
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  10. StanW

    StanW Rookie

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    Gorillapod, just watch out for those steal-and-run thieves. :)
     
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  11. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    ^^You must live in a rough neighborhood.
     
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  12. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Some camera mounting options for protection

    I have not done but have been thinking about mounting options.

    I had experience using cameras is hazardous environments. A tripod presets the greatest area to be hit and is more likely to be hit that the camera itself. We never had a camera directly hit but there were several fragment hits on the tripods. I believe that if a ball hits the tripod hard it will knock it over and the camera would have a good chance of being damaged.

    1) TIE TRIPOD to FENCE with BOX to PROTECT CAMERA. If you must use a tripod put the camera is some sort of protective box and isolate it from the shock of the ball hitting the tripod. Don’t use the head thumb screw, it will transmit shock. Put a rope around the tripod head so that when hit by a ball it will not be knocked over and have the camera hit the court.

    You can only mount outside the fence on an outer fence because of the other courts -

    2) SKYMOUNT? The Skymount especially if on the inside of the fence could be hit and also the camera is still just above the fence to also be hit. Maybe the camera has a shock mount head on but if the Skymount itself is hit (like the tripod a matter of time) the camera would get a shock even if the SM stays in place. An issue. Anyone with experience on ball hits?

    3)GORILLA MOUNT? Same problem for the Gorilla mount on the fence. Would you hit a drive at your camera on a gorilla mount on the outside of the fence? I wouldn't.

    4) OUTSIDE FENCE with PACKING MATERIAL Outside the fence and isolated from the fence with firm packing material like sponge, etc is probably best. Example, mount some hooks on a piece of wood. Put some firm packing material between the wood and the camera tripod - not used as a tripod but as a camera mount head. - to be held on by bungee cords or other. Firm packing isolates the camera from a ball hit but the firmness minimizes camera movement for pointing. A tripod (closed) with elevator would be good because you can adjust the camera to look through the fence holes.

    5) MIRROR at 45 Degrees When things on the firing range were really hazardous the camera was always mounted behind some very heavy thick protective edge or in a box to prevent direct hits. A small first surface mirror was used near the camera at an angle like 45 degrees. A first surface mirror should have a hard protective coating over the aluminum to prevent scratches and allow cleaning the surface. Try Edmund scientific for the first surface hard coated mirrors, not cheap. The closer to the camera the smaller the mirror can be. I have used a separate tripod to mount the mirror. In any case, it should be isolated so shock from a ball hit does not reach the camera.

    6) OUTSIDE the FENCE. I have gotten very good match videos shooting through the fence if there are no windscreens. My auto focus ignored the fence or was in good enough focus anyway. You may have to use manual focus if the camera wants to focus on the fence.

    7) SERVING PRACTICE. One very useful view for service is just behind the server camera high. No protection required except for balls from other courts.

    8] SERVING HIGH VIEW An even better view from behind would be from about 9-11 feet in the air viewing parallel to the trajectory of the struck ball. It would show the ball contact on the racket strings, the racket path across the back of the ball, ball spin and the flight of the ball including where it hits in the court. Protecting the camera and people for this set up – 10 feet up in the air - is what I’m after next. I was looking at 1 ¼” PVC pipe yesterday, very cheap but it was way too wobbly. I’d put the closed tripod up to mount the camera. Needs a quick way to easily lower the camera to adjust it and start it. If anybody has some ideas for a cheap, rigid tube or stand I’d appreciate.
    Camera on a ladder -
    http://vimeo.com/25127118
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
    #12
  13. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    QM-1 Camera Safety

    from my list (I don't know how to bring two quotes in from the thread replies)

    " 2) SKYMOUNT? The Skymount especially if on the inside of the fence could be hit and also the camera is still just above the fence to also be hit. Maybe the camera has a shock mount head on but if the Skymount itself is hit (like the tripod a matter of time) the camera would get a shock even if the SM stays in place. An issue. Anyone with experience on ball hits?"

    http://www.skymount.co.uk/about/about.html

    Similar to the QM-1 mentioned by Edge Tennis in this thread-

    http://www.mytennistools.com/

    I think that both are great ideas and look very convenient to use. The viewing aspect from above the fence is one of the best to see the overall match. There are much better viewpoints for viewing strokes that are not covered from the fence location.

    But for camera safety the camera is still open to a direct ball hit. Also - assuming that the pole must always be outside the fence & on an outer fence - what happens when the ball hits the fence (on the other side) and near to the pole? Is the white material on the QM-1 there for shock absorbing?

    Probability of a Camera Hit above the Fence? There is no protection from a direct hit other the low probability of a hit because of the camera’s location is above the fence. In a tennis match, what is the probability that a ball will directly hit a camera mounted above the fence? 1 in 1,000 to 10,000 per match, who knows. ? In my doubles matches probably 4-8 balls clear the back fence. With 300 QM-1’s in use I would think that there have been a few hits.

    Are there any probability experts out there to solve this issue with a reasonable range of assumptions?

    One design from the standpoint of camera protection: First, a camera mount that would allow the camera lens to view through the fence wire opening where it might be completely protected from a direct ball hit. The opening still has to be reduced so that a ball can't get through the fence. Second, the mount should hook on the fence but have shock absorbing material to isolate the camera from shocks when balls hit the fence near it.

    Why not make a hook-on fence mount accessory that will take the QM-1 pole?

    For the $50 VADO camera and the very low risk of a hit I would not hesitate to use the QM-1. For my $200+ Casio FH100 and uncertainty about ball hit probability I don't want to put the camera in front of tennis balls. I realize I worry too much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
    #13

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