Purchasing the right camcorder to videotape pitching

I’m looking into a camcorder or handycam to videotape myself pitching to review my mechanics and post for feedback on LTP. What kind of camcorder/handycam would you recommend to record pitching? Are there any with slow motion?

Check out the Casio line- the Exilim FH20 and the EX-F1. The less expensive FH20 works great for me and some people I know. They now have even less expensive pocket style cameras with high speed capability in the Exilim line but the zoom capabilities seem limited.

Casio makes two videocam models that record high-speed video (i.e., to make slo-mo):

The Casio EX-F1 costs about $1000 and will record video at normal (30 fps) speed as well as 300 fps, 600 fps, and 1200 fps. For pitching motion, 300 fps is perfectly adequate and makes beautiful slo-mo.

Casio also makes a cheaper slo-mo vidcam, I think it is the Casio FH20 or something like that. It costs about $500; however, the useful high-speed rate is only about 210 fps—but that’s still 7x faster than standard video speed and probably just fine for slo-mo of pitching motion.

Other than those, I don’t know of any other consumer vidcam that does high-speed video right now.

If you want ‘normal’ speed–the usual 30 fps video is standard for every vidcam out there–there are literally hundreds of them available.

If I were going to get a 30 fps vidcam, I’d buy the cheapest tripod-mountable one I could find…something around $100 or even a little less…and then buy a $30 tripod to use with it.

are there any other video cameras with just the 300 fps function that are a little less expensive? Like you said 300 fps is fine for pitching and i don’t want to over pay for things like 1200 fps when i don’t need them.

The Casio EX FS10 retails for $299, the EX FC100 for $329 and FH20 for $450. You can likely find them cheaper on-line. In my mind these are incredible prices for what these cameras can do. If that’s still too much then I’d do as laflippin says and buy a cheap 30fps camcorder and a tripod. Try to find one that has a manually controllable shutter speed to stop the action in each frame. By the time you do this though you may be approaching the price of the low end Casio. Depending on how you plan to use it the low-end Casio may serve your needs.

There is also software that can simulate slow motion but after having worked with both the Casio is by far the better choice.

"…any other video cameras with just the 300 fps function "

Not any that I am aware of.

Unfortunately you have to look at this from the manfacturer’s point of view: They need to incorporate enough features into their cameras so that there will be demand. I agree with JP all the way–the prices are already incredible for what the cameras can do.

There are not enough people in the consumer world who just want a decent high-speed camera, without all the rest…

Actually, it is somewhat surprising that high-speed video capability has been made available to the consumer market at all. Casio has done a great job with this…before the EX-F1, there was basically nothing within reach of the average person. There have been specialty high-speed vidcam companies around for quite awhile; however, I can guarantee that you would not enjoy looking at their price lists.

If the Casio models are not doable, I would recommend looking for a 60fps camera instead of just a 30fps. They are out there for not too much $$$. I think the Sanyo Xacti models provide 60fps.

Me? I have the Casio EX-F1. I normally use 300fps but will occasionally use 600fps.

ya i have no problem spending $350 on a nice casio

go to YouTube and search Casio EX FC100…there’s lots of stuff done in slo-mo with that camera, and most of it looks like the camera would work just fine for what you want to do with it.

There’s not too much in the way of baseball-related video done with that camera yet, but I did find this example:

I did a little checking- you can get the FS10 for less than $200, the FC100 for slightly more, and the FH20 for less than $400. Beware though and buy from a reputable dealer.

I suspect that like most things you get what you pay for but you at least owe it to yourself to check them out. I’m very happy with the FH20 and I’ve seen laflippin’s work with his EX-F1 and it does a very good job as well. Mine works fine for what I want and I use it mostly at 210fps. You do need to use it in a well lit area though but I’ve never had a problem outside even on cloudy days.

With the Casios you won’t win any contests for color reproduction, contrast, etc but that’s not really the point. As laflippin said it is remarkable to offer this technology to the consumer market at such a reasonable price.

It does eat batteries so rechargeables are necessary and the files can get pretty large so you need a reasonably sized memory card.

Laflappin, in that baseball youtube clip you posted, how many fps was that taken it?

The frame rate of that clip is 210 fps. For the price of the camera, that frame rate provides very good slo-mo and it certainly looks adequate for the analysis of most human motions.

As a benchmark, those $250,000 Vicon multi-camera 3D systems can operate at either 1000 fps or 240 fps; however, file storage and processing times are very much more convenient at 240 fps. Since the difference doesn’t really matter very much at typical human speeds, almost every published motion analysis study of baseball players was performed at the lower frame rate, 240 fps.