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Camcorders for sports analysis

What features your camcorder must have for sports.

Dave Phillips is one of the founders of the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California; he is Class A member of the PGA of America and has devoted the past 18 years to becoming a world-class instructor. He has his own television show on the golf channel, Golf Fitness Academy, and is regularly featured as a writer in several major golf and sports publications as well as on his site MyTPI.com. When he is not working at the Titleist Performance Institute, Phillips lectures around the world on golf-specific fitness and sports technology.

Camcorders have come a long way since the old VHS monsters we used to lug around. The last couple of years have brought us DVD and Harddisc based camcorders which is nice, but I have noticed a troubling trend. Camcorders have become so cheap that many companies are taking away some of the features that are a must for filming sports motion. They are dumbing down the camcorders and stealing some of the features that we sports junkies must have for analysis. Whenever filming sports in motion if you want to slow it down and analyze it you must have an adjustable shutter speed. This allows you to see the motion clearly such as a golf swing. If the shutter speed is to low the golf swing is just a blur. Sony camcorders have a sports mode but that is not adjustable and in different light conditions the shutter speed will adjust it self according to the available light. I like the Panasonic line of camcorders as they have manual shutter speed up to 1/8000 of a second which is more than enough to capture your sports footage.