Camera Choice for Sports

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    • #45531

      I’m new to videography but want to start a little business where the main shoot will be at youth outdoor soccer games.

      In addition to the game footage, I’ll conduct interviews with coaches both indoors and on the field after the games. I’ll need sufficient zoom capabilities and want to be utilize good quality slow motion effects.

      For editing I’ve been using Premier Elements 7 and it seems okay although it crashes my laptop regularly.

      The camera needs to look professional so a prosumer model seems like the way to go.

      Seems like SD is okay for now and when the business gets going I can upgrade.

      I’m overwhelmed by the options and really appreciate any insight you can offer!

      – Mark

    • #188981

      I film youth football games and use Pinnacle v12, Sony FX1000 20X zoom HD (prosumer camera = $3200) Panasonic GS 150 12X zoom (lower end $800). Both work great.Most of what you want to do will be done in Post Production during editing. Sometimes I interview after the game, and tell them act like the game hasn’t taking place. Makes the coaches sound like they have good predictions of the games outcome. They should, the game just happened. All of what you want tocapture has to be mentally planned prior to the day of the game. What is your theme or is each game footage going tolook pretty much the same from game to game.

      The day of the game, all types of things can go wrong. And as Forest Gump says, “You never know what you’re going to get.”

    • #188982

      Thanks for your help!

      I like your suggestion for the post (pre) game interview. Very clever.

      I plan on doing highlight films to pre-sell to individual teams and so would have a routine theme for most every game.

      Do you include Slow Motion footage and if so do you simply do that in Post Production?

      Do you shoot with more than one camera?

      Do you use audio from the field or do you add a soundtrack or both?

      Is the MiniDV format okay to work with outdoors? And is MiniDV easy to load on a PC or would it be better to use an SD Card, Hard Drive or Mini DVD?

      What kind of turnaround time do you offer your clients?

      Thanks so much!!

      – Mark

    • #188983

      I have done sports highlight videos since 2002 and love it. Football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, cheerleading, dance teams, etc.

      The key is in getting good video shotson the front end. It makes a HUGE difference. Also, make sure togive yourself some wiggle room before each play begins and after each play is over which will really help in the editing process. If you cando multicamera, it is MUCH better byblending in field level closeups with higher level shots.

      Your choice of camera is only limited by your pocketbook. I have used video from every format imaginable to put together highlight videos and digital SD is still a very good format. It is so much cleaner than the analog videos from VHS, 8mm, etc. The higher the optical zoom the better for good closeup shots. Digital zoom, while better than in years past, blurs the image up and it just isn’t as good. Don’t get too far away for the fuller shots. You can’t tell what is going on when you do that.

      Most of all, if you enjoy doing it, you can make it even more fun for the kids and their families. Don’t limit yourself to just teams, … I have been doing individual highlight videos for high school student athletes as well and have never advertised. I have more than enough business from student athletes all over the state I live in just by word of mouth.

      As far as the format, … I really like the mini dv format, but the only downside is that if it is very hot and/or humid, sometimes you can get dew ontape heads and they have to dry out. The key is tolet the camera adjust to thetemperature before getting started. Any digital format (mini dv, hd, etc) will work.

    • #188984

      Thanks a bunch for the great info!

      When you say “good video shots” would you mind being a little more specific? Are you talking about close-ups, artistic-type shots, or something else?

      And I do plan on making fun, exciting videos that are well edited and include some fun special effects so the kids will get a laugh.

      That’s a great idea for the individual highlight videos. Are these for college recruiting or simply for great memories?

      Lastly, I’m in a major market in the midwest and would be very interested to know what the going rate is for these type of productions.

      – Mark

    • #188985

      When you say “good video shots” would you mind being a little more specific? Are you talking about close-ups, artistic-type shots, or something else?

      Make sure that the camera is not zoomed in too much or out too far. If you are doing an individual highlight video, the closer shots work well. For a team video, a good combination of both works better. Too much close up on team highlights detracts from the action sometimes because by the time you figure out what is going on, it is on to the next highlight. I often just get the tapes that a team/coach/player provides me and have to work with that. Some are good, some are average, and some are really bad. Also on ‘good shots’ I mean no camera shaking, no fast zooms in and out unless it is intentional for effect, adjust for lighting and weather, etc. Use a tripod if you can’t keep the camera pretty much still. Also a fluid head is MUCH better than the cheaper tripods as you won’t hear the annoying grind of a pan or tilt. If you can keep the sounds of the action on the video do it. I have gotten pretty good at being a ‘human tripod’ and for many sports, I am able to get by without one, especially baseball and softball where the ball can change direction so quickly. Another tip isto keepambient sound or crowd noise on a video if possible as it makes the video much more alivee.Make sure you have a few seconds of ‘handles’ at the beginning and end of each play. I like to add comments at the bottom of big plays, sometimes with the players names, and the kids love it. I didn’t do it one year, and when several parents commented that they liked it better with the comments, I haven’t strayed from them sense (EG. “Smith with the monster home run”, “Johnson from Treyville”, “He could go all the way”, etc.)

      On team videos, I like to do a ‘senior tribute’ section after the highlights with pictures of each kid growing up, a quote from the coach about the kid and a few times, had a section when I videotaped those seniors answering questions (eg. What was your favorite memory, the funniest thing that happened, advice to the younger players, who would they like to thank, etc). The kids always get a big kick out of this.

      If you have any funny moments that happen (ball hitting a coach in the head, etc), you can add sound effects and show it in slo mo replay. Also acrobatic plays can be replayed in slo mo and the kids love it. Sound effects also work well on big hits in football/baseball/softball, dunks, long baskets, etc. I use a bomb drop and explosion for some 3 point baskets and that is a big hit.

      I even started taking a few of the freshman/jv videos and making a quick hitter ‘coming attractions’ type video which lasts about 5 minutes which plays before the main video, and my sales shot up drastically as more kids/families wanted to buy one.

      That’s a great idea for the individual highlight videos. Are these for college recruiting or simply for great memories?

      Both for college recruiting and great memories. All the kids I have worked with, except 1 or 2, were for college recruiting. The best compliment I ever received was probably from the head football coach at a D1 college who told the parents of the student athlete that the highlight video I did for their son was the best he had ever seen and was exactly what they were looking to see. That coach actually gave my name to some other parents who contacted me with requests. The individual videos are an entirely different animal. It is best to have a freeze frame shot with an arrow, pointing finger, spotlight, etc on the student athlete featured before each clip so the coach can see who he is looking for. You can get away with not doing this if the kid is in basically in the same place/position every play (eg. QB in football), but for most positions, it is a nice point of reference. I like to list any awards, honors, statistics and information about the student athlete at the beginning as a rolling credit OR these can be placed at the end.

      Lastly, I’m in a major market in the midwest and would be very interested to know what the going rate is for these type of productions.

      I am in Kentucky. I contacted a company a few months ago who advertises doing team and individual videos. For a team video, they charged $200 per game to edit for a video. I was floored as that would be $2000 for 10 football games or $4000 for 20 basketball games. I generally charge a flat rate based on how many videos will be purchased and sell the individual videos for $20 each. A football team will always purchase more as there are more kids involved than the other sports and it is much easier to sell more. I usually charge a football team $200 plus sales which often are at least30 DVDs. I will charge a basketball team around $400 as they have more games and have fewer players to buy videos, but sometimes limit them to 20 games (they can pay more if they want more). You basically have to judge what is reasonable AND most inportantly, how much time it will take and make sure you are compensated appropriately for your time. These videos take a great deal of time, but you get much faster with time. I can edit a football game in roughly 60-90 minutes so a typical 10 game season will take me 10-15 hours plus the other sections. Normally, once the video is loaded on the computer, I can have a full football team video done in around 25 hours actual work time. So if I charge $200 up front and sell $600 in DVDs (at a material cost of around $30 for ), I can bring in $800 for a profit of $770 which is around $30 per hour.

      Hope this helps!

    • #188986

      I’m new to camcorders as well and looking to begin filming motorsports. We are looking to do live broadcasts over the web and have started using miniDV cameras – Sony DCR-TRV33 and a Canon ZR960. We are looking at the Sony DCR-HC52 to add to our cameras but we would also like to look at the possibility of upgraging to HD cameras along with Flash Memory camera for taping interviews. What are your opinions on selection for upgrading our cameras?

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