Camcorder recommendations for recording baseball pitching & playing back in slow motion. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-20-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-21-2013, 06:21 AM
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Hi elovell - the highest resolution slow motion you can get below $500 is from the $398 3.8x optical zoom Panasonic LX7 (120 frames per second at 720p):

...or the $460 24x optical zoom Panasonic FZ200 with external mic jack (also 120fps at 720p plus 240fps VGA):

If size is a factor, the LX7 is a pocket camera - the FZ200 is not.

Another alternative is a $400 GoPro Hero 3 Black and a $76 GoPro LCD Touch BacPac screen for playback. This camera has no zoom, but is very robust and can shoot at up to 120fps at 720p:

Hope this is helpful,

Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-21-2013, 09:19 PM
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The Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) also does 120fps at 720p and 240fps at 640p. It has a 20X zoom (560mm at the tele end) and is pocketable. Same video quality as the FZ200 and LX7, $345.

Here is a brief slo-mo video I took of, guess what - batting and pitching, at full telephoto using the FZ200 at 120 fps, at night, at Yankee Stadium from an upper deck:

Choose 720p.

And, all of these Panasonic cameras play back the video in slow motion in the camera.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-22-2013, 03:57 AM
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What are you mostly after

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.

Recent AVS thread on high speed video and baseball application

800 reply golf thread, Casio Camera Thread, with many recent replies discussing several non-Casio cameras, mostly low cost cameras that have fast enough shutters to produce small enough motion blur for golf swings.

Camera finder with high speed video modes-disregard ratings if you are mainly looking for high speed video since they are based on all modes, stills, etc. Not all cameras with HSV are included.

If you want to get into details for high speed video analysis here’s a Kinovea thread discussing various issues.

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.

FYI - serious high speed video of a Tim Lincecum pitch. Taken with a $30K(?) Phantom camera with HD and 2000 fps.

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.
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