Easiest way to aim a Camcorder

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    • #90916

      I received my Camcist today I got at B&H. Curious device. I used it filming my sons JV football practice today. OMG, where has this been? Has anybody else tried it?

    • #214362

      If this Camcorder you have has the ability to turn off Auto Focus, turn it off. Use manual focus and for everyday shooting, do an infinity focus. To do this, Mount your Camcorder on solid surface or Tripod, zoom all the way in, the focus on something far away, a tree a block or two away, a car’s plate, two blocks away. after you have set your focus on this far away thing, bring that zoom back to normal, and so long as you never touch your focus controls, you can zoom in an out and anything in between the focus point (the one you did before) and your lens, is in focus.

      So say the next football game, on the way there, take a couple of minutes on the way there to stop and focus the camera, maybe on a car license plate 3 blocks away, doing as described above, that way when you get to the sons game, the whole field will be in focus, no matter where you seat yourself

    • #214363

      Dave, great advice thank-you. I will do that this evening. I have an older Panasonic, not HD but has the auto/manual selection. The bigger problem I had was I hate filming my boys while being a slave to the LCD. I want to watch. I have the video but feel like I wasn’t there. The Camcist frames the shot. I now just close my LCD and I’m told that saves battery also. Love to know if you’ve tried it.

    • #214375

      I’m a bit confused how this device “frames the shot.” Lets say I have a long shot of the quarterback — framing him, much of the line and the backs. I look through the Camcist and see this. Now I zoom in on the quarterback. I look through the Camcist and I still see the quarterback, the backfield and most of the linemen.

      If I do the same thing using an on-camera monitor, or the LCD screen, I see all of the above in the long shot. When I zoom in most of what I see is the quarterback and the center. But if I look up, through the Camcist, I still see the whole team framed.

      Unless I’m missing something, this device seems like a goofy idea. And the issue isn’t focus but framing. Please tell me what I’m missing.

    • #214377

      Jack, your a professional and a tech guy. I don’t have all the bells and monitors and whistles. I just want to watch my boys with my eyes and not through an LCD screen. I am filming the game. If I want to focus in on a particular player I will reference the LCD but I am filming the action, offense and defense. It frames the shot and I don’t have to deal with the LCD. Parents just want to watch. If you’ve never used one you’re not getting the simplicity of it.

    • #214384

      John, yes I have shot video with the LCD closed, although when I do it, it is on a tripod with a preframed shot already set up. I own 3 Canon MiniDV tape camcorders and have shot weddings and video-biography with them.
      Shooting a football field, I have never done. Football up here in Canada is no where near as big as in the USA, so the shooting possibilities are far and few between

    • #214392

      Jack, It took a while for me to figure this out as well. There is no reference info anywhere on the product or it’s maker other than a number of sports video clips posted to YouTube. From looking at the B&H add, it looks like a bent wire apparatus that mount to your camera, so instead of looking at the LCD to maintain the frame of the shot, you just look through the wire loop. I guess the maker figured out the necessary size to keep a full frame. Does not allow for zoom in/out while taping. That’s the best I can determine. John, how did you find out about this item and what convinced you to try it?

    • #214401

      Done some research

      The Camcist Camcorder Aiming Device is now available at B&H Photo. This patented device is made in America from lasered steel and powder-coated with the exact same color and surface that is Harley Davidson black.
      The Camcist is an old school throwback type viewfinder. Invented and manufactured in North Carolina by a sports dad who decided he wanted to watch his children while he filmed them. The LCD was a frustrating way to do this because he felt he wasn’t there in the moment.
      By using the Camcist, the user eliminates LCD glare from any light source, eye strain from trying to see the LCD on a sunny day on the ball field, and your video becomes more stable because your focus is on the action and not on the camcorder. After a short learning curve you may close the LCD and save up to 30% of the battery life.
      Ophthalmologists report near-sightedness has increased dramatically over the last decade and many ponder that it is due to the strain related to LCD screens. Just another reason to start using this device.
      Previously in Videomakers “New Gear”, the Camcist was taken off the market while the patent was acquired.
      The Camcist comes with a thumb screw and attaches via the tripod mount to any handheld camcorder. The current embodiment is designed with an elongated attachment area so if the tripod mount is not in alignment with the lens the Camcist may be adjusted to do so.

    • #214407

      John, thanks for that outstanding detective work. You’re a regular Columbo. In fact it’s so detailed that I would think it’s your invention. If you do bump into the guy that dreamed this up and made it happen, tell him good work and to share some more details with the public. Also, a better How To video on YouTube would be useful. I actually think is a great gadget not only for sports but event, outdoor travel and wildlife. Probably a lot more.

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