Videotaping Volleyball - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-21-2013, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have or know of a tutorial for video of volleyball? I did this one, http://corysteiner.blogspot.com , for photography and just started taking video for my daughter's club team. I have a Panasonic SD-60. I can put 1 hour of video (on the highest resolution setting) on an 8GB card and then put that amount on a dual layer -R DVD.
I think that maybe I should lower the resolution setting to fit more on a DVD so any tips on what setting, size card and exact blank DVD would be GREAT. I use the Panasonic DVD burner to make DVD's directly from the camera.
Also, I think I'd like to do a You Tube thing, but have no clue at all.
Any tips on any of the above would rule.
Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-29-2013, 04:56 PM
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I'll volunteer some advice and opinions, based on some limited experience, observations, and my own mistakes. I've seen coverage of court sports (including volleyball) by supposed professionals that is virtually unwatchable, and conversely, absolutely great looking footage from amateurs with no more equipment than a HD camcorder and tripod.

Teams sports can look magnificent in 1080P, even on Youtube (using full screen mode). The last thing I would compromise is the quality setting, and I think you'll agree after some experimentation. I've seen video that is nominally HD, but compression artifacts for the sake of file size economy can be very obvious and ugly. This is particularly true when capturing fast motion sporting events. Even if you're only burning a DVD-R for now, chances are the time will come in the not too distant future when you'll want to access the video in the highest possible file resolution. 8GB isn't enough space to capture much action at a tournament, so I'd bring along bigger cards and the requisite battery power.

Volleyball is actually a very simple sport to shoot, but most amateurs and, inexcusably, even small broadcast operations insist on complicating, and consequently mucking up, would should be very straightforward coverage. I've had much more experience with tennis than volleyball, but generally the same rules apply. At the risk of stating the obvious, I'll mention a few:

The best way to capture a sport with the net at mid-court (badminton, tennis, volleyball) is from behind either side of the court. That may sound, as my daughter might say..."yeah... duhhh", but there's no shortage of camcorder owners at matches shooting from the side, who then try to follow the flight of the ball. I defy any viewer to watch that for very long. Even the clueless cable TV channel at a volleyball tournament I attended did the same thing. (In fact, they planted their primary camera at the very the top of the bleachers, so potential viewers could watch ants run around the court). If you shoot from the behind the court, and carefully position the angle and zoom, you should be able to capture all the action, while being close enough to the players to give any HD viewer a sense of "being there". You can pretty much just fix the position of the tripod and zoom if you've set it up properly, and take a hands-off approach for a while. ( Don't try and shoot volleyball with a hand held cam. A tripod is a must, even a inexpensive, basic unit. Once set, use the zoom function sparingly, if at all).

I also have made the mistake of pausing the camera on and off between plays. The moment I played back the video, I regretted my in-the-camera editing. Jump cuts between plays not only disrupts the natural rhythm of the game (any game) but it's extremely disorienting for viewers. Even videographers that do everything else right can't seem to resist the impulse to edit out the strategic planning and set up between plays. Since the tension between plays is part of any team game, let viewers decide what they want to watch or scan past. At the very least use transitions (fades, sweeps, wipes, etc) to separate the plays.

If you're going to use a editing program, make sure it doesn't re-encode the video. For example, there's no point shooting HD video, and then editing with Windows Movie Maker.

In short, shoot at the highest resolution, and as a general rule, it's best your camcorder capture the action as passively and unobtrusively as possible. The old adage, "less is more" will yield the best results.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-30-2013, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Much appreciated.
Just got a 32GB Class 10 card and will give it a go this weekend. My first attempt a few weeks ago used a tripod, but from the rear corner (from behind in one game and through the net in another). In the back/middle makes more sense.
I'll download my camera's software and try to learn my way around. I think I'm good-to-go, but will have to figure out how to best process afterwards.
Thanks again.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-30-2013, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMACory View Post

Thanks. Much appreciated.
Just got a 32GB Class 10 card and will give it a go this weekend. My first attempt a few weeks ago used a tripod, but from the rear corner (from behind in one game and through the net in another). In the back/middle makes more sense.
I'll download my camera's software and try to learn my way around. I think I'm good-to-go, but will have to figure out how to best process afterwards.
Thanks again.

It's not always easy when covering a sports event to secure the perfect dead center, eye level sweet spot. I'm sure rear corner provides far more satisfying results than say, side center for what you're trying to capture.

By the way, rather than transferring your high definition files to standard definition DVD-R, (which kind of defeats the purpose of shooting high def in the first place) you might want to consider preserving the keepers on flash drives, and they're about as easy to share as a DVD.

I don't know much about the software that comes with your camcorder, but it doesn't sound like you'll need to do more than basic trimming, if that, unless you're preparing a special presentation video.

Anyway, good luck with you and your daughter's endeavors. If you care to post a few clips in the future, you can probably elicit a few tech savvy critiques from other members here.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-20-2013, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Will do. I have yet to mess around, but I'll soon be getting it together and will post the magic.
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