I would like some camcorder recommendations for recording my son's baseball pitching. I would like to be able to play back the clip in slow motion directly on the camera at the field. This will be the only thing that this camera will be used for. Would like to keep it under $500, but can go higher if needed to get the right one. Would like something easy to operate.
1) Attractive, higher resolution, slow motion playback videos for entertainment on Youtube or Vimeo, such as HD at 120 fps OR
2) High speed videos of your son’s pitching for analysis using stop-action single-frame. In this case, fast shutter speeds are required to reduce motion blur, for example, to see how the wrist moves without motion blur?
I am only interested in the second application. The cameras are often low resolution and must have very fast shutters. Nearly all available and affordable high speed video cameras have AUTO exposure control in high speed video mode and many will select fast shutters in direct sunlight. However, knowing what shutter speed the AUTO will select beforehand is very difficult to determine. Testing it yourself is one option and finding example videos, Youtube, etc., is another method to estimate how fast a shutter is being used by a given HSV camera.
The best affordable cameras for analysis were the Casio F1 (Mar 2008), FH20, FH25 and FH100 (2010). These had full manual exposure control and extremely fast shutter speed, to 1/40,000 sec, plus other desirable features, such as viewing and editing on the camera. Probably for most applications shutter speeds of 1/1000 to 1/2000 sec would produce acceptable motion blur. For the best analysis capability these Casio models are the best cameras to look at. Unfortunately, these models are only available used and they are not cheap because of their known high performance.
Examples of Casio FH100 high speed videos with small motion blur. The original video files are somewhat higher quality than these Vimeo videos that have been compressed by Vimeo for storage. https://vimeo.com/user6237669/videos
For example videos of what cameras can do - Search - camera model + high speed video + golf + Youtube
If you find videos with small motion blur in direct sunlight then the camera is capable of that level of performance or better.
Bottom line options for analysis -
Very capable cameras – the Casio models above, available used but not cheap (>$500)
Compromise camera for useful analysis, very low cost – look into Canon Powershots models with very low resolution (320X240) and 240 fps. $100 used. Why these? – they select very fast shutters in direct sunlight (some other cameras will also. Which ones??). The videos are not going to be pretty……….. Examples in recent posts of the above golf thread.
The same internal shoulder rotation that is apparent in this pitch, by the rapid flopping of the biceps, is also the joint motion that contributes the most to racket head speed in the tennis serve. Internal shoulder rotation is emphasized and clearly shown in many of my Vimeo tennis serve videos. Compare the bicep flopping in this tennis serve to the Tim Lincecum bicep flopping.