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Camcorder for analyzing alpine skiers

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We are about to buy a camcorder for recording alpine skiers to help us analyzing the skiers.
We have looked into the Panasonic HC-X920.
Do you think this is a good one for this purpose. WOuld have been good also to have the possibilities to record in higher speed to get some good slow motion movies.
I am a little bit worried about the light intensity for the viewfinder because I have a Canon HF S21 and that viewfinder is not good enough at all in bright sunshine.
post #2 of 3
I have been interested in high speed video for the analyses of tennis strokes. I use a Casio FH100 because it has full manual exposure control and I can get very fast shutter speeds - minimal motion blur. The spatial resolution is low so the videos are not as attractive as HD. But the high frame rate and small motion blur shows everything for tennis strokes. I would expect skiing to be slower but possibly shutter speed for panning is important.

Here is a thread that discusses several considerations for high speed video analyses such as frame rate, shutter speed and motion blur plus some other issues.

In bright sunlight many cameras with automatic exposure control (AEC) select fast shutter speeds. Shutter speed may depend on the zoom setting of the lens with automatic exposure control.

General purpose or to set up at turns, etc, and get close-ups for analyses? Fast shutter speeds are also good for panning with longer focal length lenses.

Kinovea is an excellent, free, open source application for the analyses of motion using video. It includes side-by-side comparisons of two videos and many tools useful for analyses.

There are Youtubes that demonstrate what Kinovea does.

Videos for Normal Playback & Videos for Analysis.
Videos are usually said to be more attractive for normal playback speeds with motion blur. If the shutter speed is 'too fast' the video looks 'choppy'. Often a shutter speed of half the time between frames is recommended. However, for analyses using stop-action single-frame, the fastest shutter speed and smallest motion blur is best. You might want to keep in mind both attractive videos for display and sharp videos for analyses.

Determine if the camera uses automatic exposure control for shutter speed in high speed video mode. Nearly all more affordable cameras use AEC. You can usually download the full user's manual from the manufacturer's website. Usually shutter speed is very hard to determine in high speed video mode from available specs and descriptions especially for AEC.

For any camera that you choose try to search high speed videos on Youtube that show the best motion blur that the camera is capable of. Disregard videos of splashing water and find ones with known high speed objects such as golf swings, always in bright sunlight (with sharp shadows). Maybe you can even find skiing videos with the models that you are interested in.
Edited by Chas Tennis - 11/25/13 at 4:30am
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 


Thank you.

We will record a complete run (about 20s) so we need a good zoom.

We also need a viewfinder with a high brightness to be able to easy follow the skier during sunny winter days.


Kinovea is good and I usually use it for playing the videos.

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