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A Video Camera for Sports

For a few years now I've wanted a video camera that can record decent video at a high framerate and a good resolution.

About a year ago I bought a Kodak Zi6 and liked it. The Zi6 does 720p at 60 frames per second. It works, but it could be a whole lot better.

My ideal sports camera:

  • Resolution of 800 x 600. If you want a horizontal mode, rotate the camera, but virtually every motion in sports is taller than it is wide - a tennis serve, a baseball player hitting or throwing - because people play sports upright and are taller than they are wide. 800 x 600 is plenty of resolution for high-speed analysis.
  • An aperture of roughly f/4 or f/5.6 - enough to get the athlete in focus while open enough to allow for even 1/300th shutter speeds indoors. Why 1/300th?
  • Records at 300 FPS. Maybe it could include 150 and 60 as well, but I don't really care.
  • A large enough chip that noise is minimized, even in reasonably well-lit indoor facilities.
  • Includes a remote control that clips onto clothing without getting in the way. This would allow students to stop and start the camera's recoding.
  • Includes WiFi so you can control the camera (record, stop recording) from a computer. Should also include the ability to easily copy movie files from the camera to the computer for analysis.
  • A simple, easy, basic interface. No still camera capabilities, no ISO adjustments, no aperture adjustments - just record high-speed video at a good exposure with as little noise as possible. No zooming, and even the focal range only needs to be 5-25 feet. It wouldn't need to be super small.

I believe such a camera is not only relatively easy to make, but relatively inexpensive to make, too. I believe that if a camera maker was able to make such a camera, they could sell it for $400 to $500 right now and for less down the line. And they could sell the same camera for years without making changes, because sports coaches (and players) don't need much more than this.

Every golf instructor should buy one. Tennis instructors, bowling instructors, baseball coaches, pool instructors, swimming instructors (sell them a $200 waterproof enclosure - the WiFi will really come in handy there!).