Video camera


#1

I need suggestions for a slow motion video camera that is good enough to check my son mechanics out without breaking the bank.
Thanks, Allen


#2

I suggest looking at the Casio line. I have the EX-FH20 and am very happy. I use it mostly at 210 fps but it will go up to 1000 fps. I think it has been replaced by the EX-FH25.

Casio also makes less expensive cameras that shoot at about the same frame rate that fit in your pocket. When I looked at them though they had a fairly limited zoom range. The FH20 has a 20x zoom that lets you get close even from the stands.

laflippen does a lot of slo mo. He probably can add more than me.


#3

I have the Casio EX-F1 which I was told (on the NPA site) is now discontinuted. I use it mostly at 300fps but occasionally at 600fps.

As JP said, Casio has expanded their line of models that shoot high-speed video so there’s probably a model to fit your budget.


#4

JP is right on the money. Roger and I both use the Casio EX-F1 model, but we bought them several years ago and Casio is no longer making that vid cam. They effectively replaced it with the EX-FH25, for quite a bit less $$ than the F1.

I think you can get the EX-FH25 for around $300, maybe less than that…and it’s a very impressive camera: It will do high-speed video for slo-mo shots, normal res and hi-def video with audio, and take 10 megapixel stills.

There are now some competitors, Samsung and maybe another, that also have high-speed capability but I know and like the Casio line.

The one important aspect for novices to understand: High-speed video requires a lot of ambient light. Outdoor light is best, even slightly overcast skies are okay…but indoor lighting is almost never sufficient to support high-speed video. If you plan to use a high-speed vid cam indoors…look into special lighting arrangements, maybe a bank of halogen shop-lights.


#5

What video editing software do you guys pair with the Casio? I’m trying to use some more video analysis with my high school pitchers but have found most video editing to be SUPER cumbersome … especially when you need to put something together quickly for a kid following a lesson or practice?


#6

Steven,

Editing to make really good-looking, complex video is cumbersome no matter what software you use. If you have decent software and stick with it, you can eventually get comfortable with it and learn to estimate how much effort any given task is going to require. I use both Sony Vegas and Adobe Premier, but they are expensive and can be difficult to learn unless video editing is a real interest of yours. They have many more tools and features than most folks need or ever use.

On the other hand, making good, simple video for training purposes is a lot easier. You already know: Use a tripod No amount of editing can save shaky video. Since this video is meant for practical use only, avoid the use of complex transitions and effects that are found in most editing programs. Just import the raw video files to any cheap editing program, trim the video to the desired length, and render.

A nice feature of the Casio EX-F1, and probably the other Casio’s we’ve been discussing (I’m not sure of this, so check the specs) is: Direct video editing on the camera.

Direct on-camera video editing does not allow you to construct complex, highly polished videos but it is a great time-saver for editing high-speed video. For making short clips that are only meant to illustrate hitting mechanics or pitching mechanics it is ideal.

Almost all of my recent slo-mo clips on YouTube are edited with the simple on-camera tools. The tools allow you to trim the front-end, the back-end, and also trim unwanted segments from the middle of your raw video.

These cameras are really amazing–the video files are recorded to flash cards about the size of a postage stamp. A cheap 8 GB card will hold much more video than you can shoot in an entire afternoon. To minimize the need for sorting through hours of “junk video” the Casio’s also have a feature that allows you to record 5 seconds of video to a temporary buffer…but only save it when you’ve seen something you like. So, for instance, you can focus the camera on a hitter. Every pitch he sees goes into the 5 sec buffer but is automatically discarded unless you press the record button. If he swings and hits a double to the gap, you press record and the camera saves the last 5 sec to the memory card…if you’ve never done this, it’s hard to really understand how much time and trouble it saves in baseball situations.


#7

I do most of my editing in the camera as laflippen describes- usually trimming the front and back end as needed.

I have dabbled with other video editors such as Quicktime Pro and Windows Moviemaker but haven’t devoted enough time to be comfortable or quick at it. I have also used MotionPro and it has some nice features but again I don’t have enough “seat time” to be proficient.


#8

I use Adobe Premiere, too, and like it … but it’s just not a “quick” solution. I appreciate the comments!


#9

[quote=“JP”]I do most of my editing in the camera as laflippen describes- usually trimming the front and back end as needed.

I have dabbled with other video editors such as Quicktime Pro and Windows Moviemaker but haven’t devoted enough time to be comfortable or quick at it. I have also used MotionPro and it has some nice features but again I don’t have enough “seat time” to be proficient.[/quote]

Does the Casio work well with MotionPro for side by side analyses?


#10

I’ve never used MotionPro, but their FAQs say this:

MotionPro! is designed to work with standard AVI video files. This is the most universally available file format, and offers the smoothest control over seeking, drawing, etc. However, MotionPro! can also process many other file formats, including .WMV, .MOV, and .MPG (mpeg1). There may be others as well. If you have video files in a format that MotionPro! cannot display, then you simply need to convert these into .AVI. There are many freeware and shareware video file converters available on the net.

If you find that MotionPro! can open your videos, but that the video does not play or seek smoothly, then you can convert the video into AVI right within MotionPro! using either the TRIM function or the video Export panel.

The Casio cameras save files in the .MOV format. MOV is a compressed format that helps conserve storage space for use with high-speed video and hi-def video…and it sounds like it will work directly with MotionPro. AVI files are uncompressed and therefore require much, much more storage space (and render time) than the various compressed formats like MOV and MPEG2, etc.


#11

[quote=“Steven Ellis”][quote=“JP”]I do most of my editing in the camera as laflippen describes- usually trimming the front and back end as needed.

I have dabbled with other video editors such as Quicktime Pro and Windows Moviemaker but haven’t devoted enough time to be comfortable or quick at it. I have also used MotionPro and it has some nice features but again I don’t have enough “seat time” to be proficient.[/quote]

Does the Casio work well with MotionPro for side by side analyses?[/quote]

My Casio EX-FH20 records in .avi and mjpeg formats. This may be a little different than laflippen’s and Roger’s F1’s which record in .mov. As la said .avi files can get big.

The following sums up my limited experience with MotionPro. Again I haven’t put much “seat time” in with this.

I have had no problem with MotionPro’s standard playback, drawing and side-by-side viewing features using the Casio files. Everything runs smoothly and the software has some nice features. I only have the “coach” edition so I can view but can’t export the side-by-side stuff.

One of the issues I have noticed with MotionPro is that since it was developed to work with standard 30fps recordings the internal timing features using slow-mo files get a little funky. It appears to base timing on frame count and assumes all files are a native 30fps recording. This could get a little complicated if your input file was originally recorded at 210fps or 300fps. There may be a way to tell the software the input frame rate but I couldn’t find anything so if you want accurate times you’ll need to do some math.

I have also tried unsuccessfully to record straight from the camera to MotionPro. It worked fine with a basic video camera but not with the Casio. To be honest though I haven’t taken the time to figure out if this is a camera, software or computer issue as it doesn’t make that much difference to me.


#12

I don’t do any editing. I simply use QuickTime on my laptop to play the .MOV files. QuickTime lets you step through a video frame by frame forward or backward using the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard.

I don’t really provide a “video service”. I simply use video as a tool to do my job as instructor.


#13

For coaches who do want to provide video services, perhaps as a freebie for their best clients or for more of the hard-earned $$ they deserve for their work…

Consider using YouTube. As most of you know, a YouTube account is free and you can do mostly whatever you like on your channel, as long as you don’t harm anyone and copyright issues are not violated.

However, many people aren’t really aware that you can upload vids to your YouTube account and mark them “private”. The public cannot view “private” video and only your username & password has access. The utility of that is, you can send out a special link to “private” video that will allow any recipient (client) to see only those clips that you want him to view.

Since many video cameras with “on-camera editing” tools also now allow direct uploading of video files to YouTube, this can be very convenient for coaches and their clients.

I do a lot of private video work for a local JUCO program and a local D-3 college program…when you go to their public YouTube channels you can see only the short promo clips they want everyone to see. But each of these programs also has several hundred clips of their players and/or prospects that are used for evaluation, training, and recruiting.


#14

I’m looking right now for video editing software. Has anyone ever heard of MotionView analyses. I am looking at the advanced version. Here is a link to web site. If you will check it out and let me know what you think.
www.allsportsystems.com/video-analysis-software.html [/url]