Video Cameras forum


Best camcorder, $600 or less- filming baseball

by vetham / November 11, 2013 10:24 PM PST

I need to purchase a camcorder, so far
CANON VIXIA HV40 is the best reviewed.

My son is a sophomore in High School, a lefty pitcher, pitching consistently around 86mph, also an outfielder.

I need to be able to video tape him pitching, hitting, and fielding for NCSA athletic recruiting, to upload to their sight.

The camcorder I have can't go the distance or capture the speed of pitching I need.

Help to get this kid recognized by his dream college ASU, or the MLB after college. lol

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All Answers

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 12, 2013 8:30 AM PST

Almost all camcorders record and play at the same old 60 frames per second since that's what many (USA) TVs have as a standard. Are you sure about what you wrote as major league baseball and sports has been at this speed for decades.

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If your computer does not have a firewire port
by boya84 / November 13, 2013 3:30 AM PST

or HDMI inputs, then selecting the HV40 will be a frustrating experience. HDV is preferred because of the compression technology and the high-speed nature of the things you want to capture. AVCHD-compression is not a good idea for fast motion.

Since we don't know what you are currently using and we don't know why it "can't go the distance" we are at a disadvantage - we can't see what you see.

We hope you are not looking for the type of slow motion playback seen at the World Series. The Phantom high speed cameras used during the broadcast are about 100x more than your budget. As well, if you want to "look pro" keep in mind that upwards of a dozen cameras are used at broadcast games (and those cameras are studio-grade, typically have no internal video recording or audio capability and send the video signal to a booth for processing and getting sent to viewers)...

Where the camcorder is placed, lighting and NOT capturing the video hand-held will all contribute to the quality of the end-product.

Personally, I don't think a *single* consumer-grade device is up to the task. Assuming the lighting is good, the device is used on a tripod or other steadying device and is placed in a half-decent area to capture the game, augment that edited, wide-shot, video with high-speed video from a GoPro Hero3 or other similar "action cam". You might need to add a zoom lens to the action cam as most are not designed to capture distant views up close.

If you still think your current camcorder "can't go the distance", then something like a Canon HF R400 or similarly priced camcorders from Panasonic, Sony or JVC should work just fine. Since the "wide angle" camera does not need to do everything, you don't spend the whole budget on it...

High level process:
Once the wide shot camera is placed, it does not move. The action cam will always be pointed at your ball player. Press record on both cameras. Clap. This gives you a marker for synchronizing when editing. Capture the video. Game ends. Press stop recording. Import the video to a multi-track video editor. Synch the video using the clap you did when you started recording. Cut the video from the high-speed cam you don't want. Save. Render to a low-compression, high quality, media file. This is the archive. Use a transcoder to compress the file to an MP4. It will still be too large for uploading. Standard definition DVDs can be made from this - assuming you have a DVD authoring application. You can also edit it as a separate project for only the highlights.

The camcorder is only part of a much larger system - and there are different process flows for the different types of video you want/need.

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by LynkSpyder / December 11, 2013 1:07 AM PST

Not sure if you still need an answer for this, but the GoPro camera is the ultimate sports camera. We shot over 100 baseball and softball games this year with a Hero3 Black and haven't found anything better. Also will work well for cage sessions. With enough lighting, you can shoot usable footage of up to 240 frames per second.

If you go that route, Google "LynkSpyder" if you are interested in mounting the camera to a chain link fence for recording games.


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by vetham / December 11, 2013 6:52 AM PST
In reply to: GoPro

Thanks much, and yes I still am searching.
Your post was simplistic enough even for a mom like me to understand.

Just need something better than the insignia NS DV720P flip recorder, doesn't seem good enough,
that's according to my husband who knows no more than I.

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by Blaadavis / March 3, 2014 10:58 PM PST
In reply to: GoPro

Josh, we're you able to get a wide view and also get enough detail to analyze baseball players from the video?
We are considering mounting one on our press box, which is directly behind home plate.
Thanks you

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We use it for scoring.
by LynkSpyder / March 4, 2014 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: GoPro

We use the video for scoring games after the fact. Aside from having a hard time distinguishing outfielders sometimes (which is sometimes hard even when you are watching the game), there is plenty of detail for us to properly score.

Here's a highlight reel I made for my son (the catcher) last year:

If you watch in 1080p (make sure you let youtube get to full resolution), the detail is very usable in my opinion.

Josh Greer
LynkSpyder - Chain Link Fence Camera Mount

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