The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
For all you guys who post videos, what is the best (taking into consideration cost, size/ease of use while playing, quality of video, and zoom (optical NOT digital) for shooting disc golf? I would like to start filming rounds I play with friends and put together a highlight reel (and blooper reel, sshhhhhh) and have been just using the video feature on my digital camera, with decent quality, but once you start filming you cant zoom (well you can but it only uses digital zoom, worthless...) so I'm now considering getting a small camcorder, what have you guys had luck with? I want something that shoots good footage but don't need a film crew setup w/ fuzzy mic and all, just something to capture some great moments on the course playing the best sport in the WORLD DISC GOLF! YEAH!
Why not digital? Kodak makes great HD handheld 'flip' type cameras.
Oh I'm not opposed to trying anything, I was just saying that on my camera, you can zoom to where you want to focus on before you start recording (meaning the lens actually moves in and out to zoom) but once you start recording the lens is frozen. You can zoom in and out but the lens doesn't move and the zooming is all done digitally (meaning it takes the picture the lens is recieving and "digitally" zooms in on the picture, similar to if you were looking at a picture on your computer and zoomed way in, just gets all distorted.) So if I'm standing behind the teepad and record you throwing a long hole you the basket would look like a grain of rice. If I do use the zoom its fin if you just zoom in about five feet, which is ok to focus in on a relative sitting on tho couch thats visiting from out of state or the drunk guy across the room at a party, but when you zoom in five feet on something hundreds of feet away it doesn''t really make that much of a difference. And if I do try to zoom all the way in using digital zoom by the time you get the basket at a decently visible size its so pixelated it just looks like a bunch of ants having an orgy. That is my main reason for wanting a camcorder is the ability to zoom "optically" and not "digitally" so the better the "optical" zoom the better it will be for caturing the close up of my ace hitting the chains @600 feet! OH YEAH! (and by oh yeah I mean yeah right....) but you get the idea.
I would definitely say no to a Flip, or anything similar simply because of its shape. It's difficult to keep those cameras steady without a tripod. Find something that shoots HD and has image stabilization. Check out Amazon. I'm currently waiting for a Sony HDR-SR11 to show up in the mail. You can find great deals on used cameras there. Also, if you are curious about a certain camera go to YouTube and type the model in. A lot of people have made reviews of many different cameras. They might even show you an example of what the footage looks like. Good luck. Looking forward to seeing some more disc golf videos!
I just bought a flip hd pocket camcorder a month or 2 ago. It is the newest model and has image stabilization and 60fps HD shooting capabilities. In normal lighting conditions, it takes REALLY nice video (especially considering its size). I have an old, hard-shell sunglass case that I custom fit with some foam. The camcorder fits in there nice and snug, and I just drop it into one of the side pockets of my bag. The only time I ever take it out is to shoot some video or put it in the glovebox when the weather isn't so nice. I even customized the camera with a step up ring meant for regular size lens camcorders. It allows me to screw on a wide angle, telephoto, or macro lens. The wide angle is excellent for taking disc videos. Here is a link to video on YouTube showing the procedure - http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-mBkiULxMk. The new flip camcorders have a brushed stainless finish versus the piano black, so the ring actually looks like it was factory installed. Add a tripod and you can start video recording all of your solo aces!
With all of that said, I would go with the GoPro Hero if I had the money. It is more durable and a little more customizable.
I dunno if the GoPro would be the best for picking up discs in the distance. I think it would work just fine for watching someone's form while driving or putting but i dont think it could really pick up a disc once it gets out there. I have one and use it for all kinds of things mountain biking, kayaking, scuba etc. It works really well but there is always a fisheye effect. Terrain always looks flat if i mount it to my handlebars on the bike, so i keep mounting it lower and lower and lower just to get some perspective. Shoot, here is a video i made last spring out at Poto in Michigan with the camera mounted on a rigid carbon fork.Homemade GOPRO video
Youtube kind of hits HD with the ugly stick but what are you going to do heh heh.
As Greg said, the gopro is a beast. Its hard to beat total solid state little package like that and for most things you dont need zoom at all. (With the obvious exception of trying to watch a disc off in the distance)
I'd say buy a used miniDV unit off Ebay. I've aquired several rigs this way and all are still working nicely. I prefer some of the early Panasonic models, which have nice 16x zoom. Being a couple generations old, these units are not terribly expensive, and if you watch the listings for a week or two you'll see what various models typically go for. Careful watching will get you a perfectly adequate camera and all the goodies for around a hundred bucks. In my experience, anything under 16x does not do the job, 20x is ideal. Get your self a monopod or something similar to steady things up and you'll be good to go.
The Kodak one I am referring to is so crystal clear. You really don't even have to zoom in to see the disc.
HD man. HD.
I too use a MiniDv Sony that I picked up cheap. It has a Carl Zies lens with 1.36 comb filtering, and you can't beat tape quality as of yet. If you can find a MiniDv recorder with 3.o comb filtering and as much optical zoom as possible you will be very happy, and you don't need to break the bank to do it. The only thing is, those on the market that offer this for a few hundred bucks don't have a light on them. But.....most disc golf is played in the daytime so it shouldn't be an issue.
I have one silly video on here of me playing dg with my kids, not the best quality, my daughter and son where using the camera that day, but not bad either. If you pm me I can give you a link to my YouTube account that has some nice video.