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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading as much as I can on the subject, and unfortunately I am completely confused now.


bottom line - need to record daughter's soccer games for the purposes of making highlight videos to send to college coaches, hopefully for scholarship purposes.


I think that I need a good optical zoom (As opposed to digital zoom), a good tripod, and it needs to be easy to transfer the recordings to a Windows 7 computer. past that, I'm lost in the sauce. Neither I nor my wife are videophiles and we don't plan on becoming videophiles. We want something that we can turn on, record, and go. I'm not saying it needs to be 'idiot proof', but that would be a definitely desirable feature.



I'd prefer to keep the total cost to around $500(ish) at most. Doesn't make much sense to drop a few grand on a camera for the purpose of a scholarship that might only be a few grand in return. I have a bit of wiggle room if it is really necessary.


That's the problem though. I don't know what is "necessary".


I've found the following through reviews and websites and, to be quite honest, I have no clue if they're good for what I need, if it lacks what I need, or if it is overkill. Heck, I don't even know if there is a 'standard' tripod attachment for camcorders.


Canon Vixia HF R10

Sony Handycam HDR-CX130 (or 160?)

Panasonic HDC-SD90

Panasonic HDC-TM90

Panasonic HDC-HS80


These are some of the ones I found. No idea if they're the right ones. I have no brand preference, nor knowledge of the differences in brand quality. I think I might want to take up learning how to speak Greek, so perhaps I'll be able to understand all the technical jargon on the specifications list.



Anyway, if anyone has the ability to provide me the quick "camcorders for dummies" version, that'd be much appreciated.
 

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You'll want quite a bit of zoom since you'll be way over in the blechers. (Better to film from an angle pointing down) Optical zoom is better then digital zoom, as optical zoom uses the optics (lens) to zoom in so there is no image quality loses. Digital zoom basicly zooms by cropping the video and stretching it. Digital zoom loses image quality so don't use digital zoom or at least not a lot. Now since your going to be zooming in from a distance your going to want a camcorder with an optical image stabilizer to keep the video from looking shacking. The resolution you want to film in is up to you, i recommend getting an HD cam. You sound like a begginer so a camcorder with good auto features. Also does she have night games? Might want to check how good the camcorders low light is. Windows movie maker is free and comes on your PC. It does the basics so if i were you i would stick to that. Every camcorder has the same exact screw hole in the bottem, every basic tripod uses the same exact screw to screw into the camcorder. Sound? you want an external mic? or at least a camcorder with a built in zoom mic?


Camcorder features recommended...

1. OPTICAL zoom

2. OPTICAL image stabilizer

3. Good auto features. (like canons instant auto focus, and touch screen focus so you can touch the object on the screen and it will focus on it and track it)

4. Good low light


Filming tips...

1. shoot from the press box or high up on the blechers, so you have a nice angle.

2. SLOWLY pan from side to side, SLOWLY zoom in and out. Or else your veiwers will get sea sick.

3. Dont zoom in to much or you might miss a play

4. Always make sure you have enough battery and memory to capture the whole game.

5. Watch how others film games, for examples.



Hope that helps, feel free to ask me anything else...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok, so perhaps this will help me out a bit


JVC GZHM670BUS, 32MB HD Flash

Sony Handycam HDR-CX160/LI 16 GB HD Flash

Canon VIXIA HF 421 32GB HD Flash

Panasonic HDC-TM80K 16 GB HD Flash


they do the direct comparison thing at bestbuy.com, and here are the primary differences (I think)


all of them have Image Stabilization, but the last 2 read "Yes, optical"


Optical zoom is 40x, 30x, 20x, 37x. Now obviously 40x > 20x, but if I'm up in the stands at a high school stadium, is 20x going to be enough to follow the action?


under video resolution, it reads (in order) //1920x1080 // 4200k // 3.28MP total (2.07MP effective; 1.47 MP eff w/dynamic image stabilization; 1.04 effective with advanced zoom) // 211k


now that blows me away. WTF did I just read? I assume 4200k > 211k? no comprende.


Recording speeds just have a ton of stuff. Is there anything I should be specifically looking for? The Panasonic doesn't list anything


so, perhaps I can get some perspective and learning if I can get a feel for what the above means.


I also noticed that a pretty substantial price drop down to the Samsung H300 HD Flash and JVC HM440 HD Flash


both are HD. Both seem similar to the above models. Both are about $170 cheaper. Ugh. My head hurts.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrobo /forum/post/20863169


JVC GZHM670BUS, 32MB HD Flash

Sony Handycam HDR-CX160/LI 16 GB HD Flash

Canon VIXIA HF 421 32GB HD Flash

Panasonic HDC-TM80K 16 GB HD Flash

...... My head hurts.

Between Sony, Canon and Panasonic you can't buy a bad camera for daylight video.


All have several models that take great video. The best advice I got, when I was trying to pick one, came from a salesman. He said that everything on the market now will make good video.


But, as you increase the price, you get better low light, or more memory, or better image stabilization, or a better lens, more optical zoom, etc. They all do HD. And they all do a good job.


Based on that, I decided to double my budget. Then I looked for one that was heavily discounted. I ended up with a Panasonic that was discounted because it had 3D options that nobody wanted to spend money on --- and it had an eyepiece viewfinder for sports so I can take soccer video.


Parenthetically, I also have a daughter that plays soccer. She started at about 10. She is now 38. Her "women over 30" team took the national championship 4 out of the last 5 years. They "retired' the trophy last year and she was named "inspirational player". When she was younger, she got a "full ride" scholarship to a state school under "title nine" rules. She flunked out because she hated the place. Later, she got a second "full ride" to another state college. She dropped out with only a semester to go because it was "boring". She continues with a stellar reputation as a soccer player but struggles with earning a living. It seems that jobs get in the way of the soccer schedule. Good luck with the scholarship!


It kills me that I have no video of her play....only visual memories.


In your case, you are wanting to do daylight sports video. The end product will be more about your technique than the camcorder you pick. So pick any one of them and get started.


Reading the book "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck" by Steve Stockman will do more for you than agonizing over the brand and model.
 

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The canon HF M40 is on sale at best buy for $549 but if you plan on creating any slow motion footage the get a camcorder that will do 60p even if it's at 720p and not 1080p. You can thank me later.
 

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Camcorders such as the TM80 or R21 should be avoided unless you're getting it for a fair price like $250 for example. For the prices that their requesting, you might be better off with the HX9 than those.


Keeping it to either the Panasonic SD90, TM90, SD800, Canon M400 or M40 are recommended.
 

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I'm wondering how much zoom is really necessary because one thing I have learned from talking to college recruiters for soccer is that they don't want closeups of your son or daughter.

They want to see how they perform relating to the other players on the field, what's happening around them and what they do when they don't have the ball.  You don't want to zoom in too close.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soccer mom  /t/1355842/ok-confused-newb-trying-to-find-camcorder-for-daughters-soccer-games#post_23860903


I'm wondering how much zoom is really necessary because one thing I have learned from talking to college recruiters for soccer is that they don't want closeups of your son or daughter.

They want to see how they perform relating to the other players on the field, what's happening around them and what they do when they don't have the ball.  You don't want to zoom in too close.
Welcome to the forum! This is an old topic, so the model numbers mentioned are out of date.


My advice is to go to Costco or Best Buy because they have excellent return policies if you don't like what you buy.


Pick any camera or camcorder that says 1080p60 video on it. The "p60" part means sixty full frames per second, which allows for smooth playback of fast action. Otherwise your video will be "bouncy" and give any coach a headache.


A couple months ago my wife bought a Panasonic ZS25 at Costco that would work well. It was about $250. If money is not a consideration, pick the most expensive Sony, Panasonic or Canon camcorder on display. (I like the software that comes with Sonys) Find the setting for p60 and leave everything else at "automatic".


Buy a monopod, or any stick with a standard screw on it to attach the camera. You need one to hold the camera still enough while you follow the action.


Learn the software that comes with the camera to edit out all the useless stuff. Coaches looking at them will spend only a few minutes watching because they have so many kids videos to watch.


Good luck.


Bill
 
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