Video Camera to record badminton sessions?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by 450450, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. 450450

    450450 Regular Member

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    I'm thinking of getting one of those High Definition cameras to record our game play for training and making short video clips. Theres a Sony model that I'm interested in;

    http://www.sony.com.au/dis/catalog/product.jsp?categoryId=23774

    Sony HDRHC3 model.

    It has slow motion effects where you can select three seconds of footage and slow-mo it to 12 seconds! This would be nice to preview grip/smash/clears/backhand!

    Anyone venturing in this field? What models have you used? What software you recommend?
     
  2. sulismies

    sulismies Regular Member

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    I've been thinking of something similar, with a much cheaper camera model though. I guess the Sony model you referred to is a high-end consumer product.

    I have had my first test runs and below is a list of some practical issues I noticed:
    • with typical video camera optics the field of view is somewhat limited, I had to take the camera surprisingly far away from the court to get reasonable coverage. Actually there had to be one empty court in between.
    • I was positively surprised with the standard slow-motion feature of the camera. I was thinking that it would be nice to grab more frames than 25 or 30 per second, but for my interests the camera performance was quite acceptable with the standard frame rate using a fast shutter speed.
    • In my case, the editing of the video data should be as easy as possible. Preferably it should be compressed into some MPEG format on the fly, so that it can be easily distributed to my partners directly after the training session from a lap-top computer, for example.
    I have the feeling that video recording will be a good approach to streamline my footwork and body coordination. It might even allow some sort of "remote coaching" where one can send video clips to a coach and ask for comments.

    Most likely my next move will be to buy a USB device ($50?) that can encode the DV strem from the camera into a MPEG file on the fly. It will simplify things...
     
  3. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    Looks hideously expensive, but great if you can afford it.

    I bought a much cheaper (£300) camera, and I'm pleased with the results so far. You don't need ultra high frame rates, although they would be a nice luxury. Simply recording some games or training can give you surprising insights into how you really play.
     
  4. morewood

    morewood Regular Member

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    I'm with Golum on this, a simple cheap camera is all you need, put the results on dvd and then play at reduced speed through the dvd player if you want slow motion replays. A Tripods a useful accessory to have when shooting footage.
     
  5. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    Just asking:

    a 'general' assertion is that NTSC is 30 frames per second and PAL is 25 frames per second (with higher resolution).

    Is this true and does it apply to say PAL vs NTSC DV camcorders? So for badminton replays, is it better to get an NTSC model rather than a PAL model because NTSC has 30fps? (for slow mo replays).

    I don't know the answer, anyone with the tech knowledge can share?
     
  6. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    I don't think NTSC vs. PAL is relevant for most camcorders.

    Typical consumer camcorders record onto DVD, hard disk, or mini DV formats (mini DV is the best, even though it sounds antiquated). You then plug it into your computer and it makes a movie file (say, .avi).

    The movie specifications (resolution, frame rate, compression...) have nothing to do with TV broadcasting specifications. They are determined by the camera and the postprocessing software.
     
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    AFAIK, the frame rate won't make a difference for replays.

    HD for looking at technique? The idea sounds good. However, you can see on a miniDV whose technique is good and whose technique is poor as well.

    Now if you ask, WHY is such a person's technique is poor i.e. what is technically wrong with their stroke, that is a different question which may not be solved by a replay.

    Experienced coaches can spot give the answers but I've noticed not all can explain very well.
     
    #7 Cheung, Nov 27, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Nice ideas:) SOme comments

    1) Because of the narrow field of view, you can attach a wide angle to the lens so that the videocamera can be placed nearer the court. I have one on mine.

    2) Agree with that.

    3) Interesting question. I think some newer cams can directly record to MPEG4. If it goes to a DVD format or hard disk (rather than tape), you could dump the file pretty quickly into the computer.

    4) The DV stream 'should' be MPEG2. If the videocam doesn't have a MPEG4 selection, you can buy a converter (either a PCI card or an external device) in which the DV camera provides the output, the signal goes through the convertor and then you can select the converted file format (MPEG1, MPEG4). I'd advise you to be very careful about which unit you decide to buy.

    An alternative is to have a software encoder, i.e. a program does the encoding. That may take up a lot of processor time;)
     
    #8 Cheung, Nov 27, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  9. 450450

    450450 Regular Member

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    What camera do you have Cheung?
     
  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Hmm, it's an old one:D
    Sony DCR 100 (I think the letters are correct:D)

    Bought it specifically for badminton training.

    Be careful about USP's (Unique Selling Points). Sound good in theory but actually not use by the user at all. What you describe about the Sony Unit sounds exactly like that.

    This is what I would do now if playing around with computers is not your strong point.
    1 - buy a video camera that records directly to DVD or hard disk.
    2 - get a DVD recorder
    3 - put the recorded material into the DVD recorder.
    4 - replay in slow motion.
     
  11. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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    a PAL camcorder that I use, a Panasonic GS400 records at 720x576 at 24.97fps.

    I understand that the equivalent GS400 NTSC version records at 720x480 at 30fps.

    This is coincidentally, the same specificaton for NTSC and PAL DVDs.

    The records specs can be easily viewed in windows media player for eg, can someone from USA with a NTSC DVCam play back one of their files and confirm that your output is 720x480 at 30fps?
     
  12. sulismies

    sulismies Regular Member

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    Many thanks for the tip on the wide angle lens, Cheung! I think I will buy one as a Christmas present for myself.
     
  13. sulismies

    sulismies Regular Member

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    [I do apologize, I am a bit slow in editing messages, already spent my 15mins]
    Many thanks for the tip on the wide angle lens, Cheung! I think I will buy one as a Christmas present for myself. :D

    And sorry that I could not express myself better on the MPEG stuff, the most likely reason being that I know little about computers and software...

    Based on first experiments with my not-that-good-DV-camera I found that I must do some post processing on my computer. Basically I could achieve one of the two things: a huge file on my hard disk with not too much time spent or a slightly smaller file after a long postprocessing computation.

    This made me to think that perhaps I need some kind of a hardware accelerator to give me more speed and options for compressing the video data. A recording DVD player could be also a good solution as suggested above.

    Anyway, with today's technology all this seems to be an interesting thing to do. Years ago we did try this, but the sharing of the material was a bit difficult: VHS tapes were more expensive than CDs and it was hard work to produce copies of the material...

    In our town it is difficult to find a badminton coach. So we thought that we should produce some video material, go through it with my partners, find some areas we should work on, choose some drills to improve our technique and repeat the video recording after one or two months. That would give us some indication of our progress.

    And, if we are lucky enough to get a visiting coach, we would have some, hopefully interesting, video material to go through.

    And one more thing: I have found BC as a great source of information, so many thanks to you all:)
     
    #13 sulismies, Nov 27, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
  14. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    or 2: get a DVD recorder that also has HDD (hard disk drive)
    basic editing is pretty easy and quick

    basic meaning setting chapter markers and then cutting and splicing the chapters.

    If you want advanced editing then I guess you need to go the PC route.
     
  15. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    If you already own a computer (with sufficient disk space, etc.), then mini DV may be a better choice than DVD or HDD.

    Why?

    Mini DV is higher quality (apparently -- look up some comparisons on the net) and definitely cheaper.
     
  16. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    But is it only higher quality while it is still on the tape?
    Once you transfer it to the computer don't you end up with the quality of whatever format you transfer it to?
     
  17. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    Good question.

    Obviously, the quality will be limited to the maximum quality of the output file.

    The question is whether "quality" of miniDV is raw format specifications, or rather the fidelity of capturing an image from the lens.

    My impression was that it was the latter, in which case the quality of miniDV would (or at least could) be relevant. Yet I could well be mistaken, having done minimal research.
     
  18. Kiwiplayer

    Kiwiplayer Regular Member

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    It's been a while, but going from memory, miniDV is actually a compressed format, with a ratio of about 5:1 compared to raw data. It works out to be roughly 13GB per hour.

    Editing DV footage and saving it back as DV would entail the least loss in quality. The loss in quality is very small, but it's still there. However, you wouldn't notice any change in quality unless you re-rendered the same scene a large number of times (more than 10?).

    Rendering the scene in any other format (mpeg2, divx etc) will result in much greater loss in quality.

    It's all relative, though. For training purposes, the practically of having the footage on an easy to access medium (such as DVD) outweighs the disadvantage of a what amounts to a negligible loss in quality.

    Wayne Young
     
  19. storkbill

    storkbill Regular Member

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  20. Loopy

    Loopy Regular Member

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