Camera for Martial Arts video

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    • #52561


      I am about to start my video business, focusing on producing Martial Arts instructional DVDs, so I will need to buy a camcorder – I have no experience with pro/ semi-pro camcorders, so its a little hard for me to pick the right one, and my budget for it – about $2000 is too much to spend on something that wont work as I expect it to. Unfortunately I live on the end of the world (Yukon) and dont have access to video shop where I could try out different cameras.


      The one thing that I really didnt like when working with non-professional cameras was automatic focus – with all the movements of martial arts videos is definatelly essential to have manual focus (and I would like to have zoom and iris manual too, just to have more control over the video)


      As for now I chose JVC  GY-HM150U, but please let me know of other alternatives. 

      Thank you πŸ™‚ 


    • #205360

      I use the GY-HM100U for the same thing and love it.

      720p 60fps 


      I think the GY-HM150U is a great choice 





    • #205361

      Also Check out Rick Young's 13 videos on how to set it up!



    • #205385

      Whatever camera you get make sure it has CCD sensors instead of CMOS. With a CMOS sensor you would wind up with some pretty bad footage with the fast motion.

    • #205430

      There is a good article on VM that talks about the differences between the sensors.  Make sure you read the section on Rolling Shutter, Smearing CCD. 

    • #205436

      You won't have to worry about the rolling shutter you get with a DSLR if you go with the GY-HM150U.

      Also if you shoot in .mov you can drop the files directly into Adobe Premiere or Final Cut and just start editing, no need to covert them to another format. That is a huge time saver.

    • #205482

      I've been filming amateur MMA events in my area for about three years now. I might get some flack for my two cents but this is what works for me. My cameras are Sony FX7s and yes they use tape which when loading into your computer is a long drawn out affair. But the Sonys can also take photos without stopping the video. This is extremely important to the promoter especially when I get the money shot(s). I literally take hundreds of photos per camera during a 10 fight event.


      I believe that almost any prosumer or professional camera would work as long as they have 3 CCDs or CMOS. I do not manually focus because there is just not enough time. I need to keep it simple. Actually it is the cameraperson not the camera (within reason) that makes the video in a cage fight. The action is fast and brutal. The cameraperson MUST focus and follow the action.


      You can't get distracted and you have to follow with the LCD not direct or with the eyepeice. You can't just zoom willy-nilly as the action is moving around too fast. You have to wait until the ground & pound to zoom for the close-ups. Tripods just don't make sense here. My camera people use stands to get above the cage for the action, but I personally use a Hi-Pod system which is extremely flexible. Now, these events are not for everyone and my technique may not work for any of you, but that's my two cents and it is something to think about. Good luck!


      Also, check out my website for some fight examples:


    • #205484

      I am a professional still photographer. For the last 7 years I have been also shooting some softball recruiting videos for high school girls. I use Canon Vixia cameras, the hf S10 and the hf S200 with CMOS . Granted I am shooting good light but I have not ever incounted a rolling shutter problem.

      I have a couple photographer friends that are no hooting video with a Nikon D4 that blows away 3 CCD chip cameras.


      If you are in low light for your filming you probably want to go qith a 3 CCD camera/

    • #205487

      I've done lots of MMA shooting and produced firearm and martial art training vids. The other comments here are good – just offering my $0.02.


      Most modern cameras are very, very good, and can produce great results so long as you know and work with their strenghs and weaknesses. That said, no one camera is perfect for every job – each job requires a tool suited to the job.


      Some things to consider:

      1. Will you shoot run&gun of live events or planned, scripted educational footage?

      2. Are you willing to spend time capturing from tape, or is instant editing important to you?


      Your choices will be around:

      Tape or card-based?

      Interchangeable lenses?


      If you will shoot run&gun, even a tricked out DSLR is an exercise in frustration. A dedicated video camera doesn't offer the same beautiful shallow depth of field, but is a lot easier to manage when the action is moving around quickly. Additionally, a tape-based camera can just run and record for the full duration of the tape (1 hour per MiniDV on my Sony HVR-V1U, which I still use regularly). Tapes are very cheap and provide an immediate and complete backup of your footage.


      If you need immediate editing and very fast transfer of footage into your editing bay, you may consider a file-based camera. You will have to figure out a data management and backup strategy, and high-capacity cards can get expensive. Some may time out and stop recording due to heat generation, as well.


      In my opinion, there is no longer a compelling reason to buy a DSLR if video is your goal. There are several much better choices suited to the particulars of video versus still shooting.


      Have fun!

      – Rob.

    • #205388

      That's a nice video, good depth of field – something very important for parents of those kids in background ;), and as I see no problems with sharpness, even with black Gis. My expertise ends here, but it's enough to convince me that it's a good camera for me. I've been looking also at Panasonic AG-AC90P, but has this different sensor-3MOS, I have to find out more about it… Do you know someone using this one in martial arts/sports videos?

      thank you for both your comments πŸ™‚

    • #205389

      Could you define/show what CMOS can do wrong? I was looking yesterday at Panasonic AG-AC90P and I like it too, but as I said I can't try out any camera out here, your comment scared me a bit πŸ˜‰ (this one has sensor called BSI 3MOS, so I assume it works similarly to CMOS). Thank you for information πŸ™‚

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