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Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Need advide for a camcorder to record nightime auto racing.

by elovell / December 21, 2008 1:30 AM PST

I would like to purchase a video camera to record my husband & son's mini sprint racing. They will be using this video to analyze their driving etc. I will be filming from the stands so will need a good zoom. Also, they primarily race at night. I do not have HDTV so that is not a priority. Could you please give me some advice on what to look for or any recommendations. Thanks!

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couple of considerations...
by boya84 / December 25, 2008 4:26 AM PST

If the lighting on the track is poor (is that why you specified night racing?), then you are limited to prosumer and pro grade camcorders with lenses and imaging chips, larger than those in consumer-grade camcorders, that can capture good video in low light. Consumer-grade camcorders will have higher zoom, but poor low light behavior drops them from the short list.

Sprint racing is very noisy. Drop hard disc drive (HDD) camcorders from your list. The vibration from the loud engine noise can cause the hard drive to stop recording (it is protecting itself). There are no prosumer or pro hard drive camcorders less than $3,000 worth considering. There is no DVD based camcorder under $6,000 worth considering for this application. There are no SD or memory stick pro camcorders worth considering for this application. The Panasonic pro/prosumer cams that use

For standard definition, that points at the Canon GL2, Sony DCR-VX2100, Panasonic DVX100. You may want to add a tele-lens to increase zoom potential. You MUST use a tripod or camera crane or other steadying device.

If you want to try a consumer cam, the Canon ZR900, 930 (both miniDV tape based) or FS10, FS11, FS100 (all three are flash memory based), Sony DCR-HC52, DCR-62 or Panasonic PV-GS320 (all three are miniDV tape)... flip a coin.

If there is any editing, MiniDV tape requires your computer to have a firewire port. If the computer does not have one, they are easy to add if the computer has an available expansion slot. Flash memory uses USB for copying the data files - you may need to convert the video with something like StreamClip so the editor can do something with the video.

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Motorsports Video System
by RoyDietsch / December 26, 2008 5:32 AM PST

It would be best to go with a purpose built unit like our XM-DVR Pro
www.datatoys.com/xm-dvr.php
It was specifically designed for Auto racing and features an EXView HAD CCD which is optimized for the low and changing light situations that occur at night circle track races.
http://www.datatoys.com/products/Specialty_Systems-Motorsports/c10_14/index.html
There are no moving parts making it impervious to vibration. We also have option Li-ion battery backs that will power the unit in vehicles with no alternators, please contact us for more information on those.
The XM-DVR Pro also records from two cameras allowing you to capture all of the action with just one recorder.

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