Shooting a pool table

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    • #97671
      AvatarJeffrc
      Member
  • #284110
    AvatarJeffrc
    Member

    I was looking for a small, light camera to record pool games.  I settled on a GoPro Hero5 Session.  It mounts easily to the lights suspended about 3.5 feet above the table, but has two problems.  One, the battery barely last the hour needed. Two, the video is a bit distorted/fisheyed on the setting needed to view the whole table.  Any suggestions for a better setup?

  • #284154
    AvatarJackWolcott
    Participant

    If you look at professionally recorded pool/billiard games you'll find that seldom is an overhead camera used. Most shots showing the entire table are high and from one end of the table; closeups are often quite low, essentially a point of view shot similar to what the shooter would see. The GoPro is probably not the best choice of cameras as the extrtemely wide angle lens tends to have a "fish-eye" effect under the best of circumstances, essentially build-in distortion.

  • #284234
    Avatarpaulears
    Participant

    Agree with Jack – a gopro above the table will make it almost impossible to predict if a shot will work, because the ball paths will be distorted. To get a non-distorted image you will need to go further above the table. Unfortunately, the lights will be in the way – so pro-shooting pool, snooker and billards always involves quite complex lighting.

  • #284257
    AvatarJackWolcott
    Participant

    If you look at professionally recorded pool/billiard games you'll find that seldom is an overhead camera used. Most shots showing the entire table are high and from one end of the table; closeups are often quite low, essentially a point of view shot similar to what the shooter would see. The GoPro is probably not the best choice of cameras as the extremely wide angle lens tends to have a "fish-eye" effect under the best of circumstances, essentially build-in distortion.

  • #72016801
    Avatarpaulears
    Participant

    The BBC tried to use an overhead camera one year for the snooker chanpionships. The venue was a large theatre so they had access to a high camera with a normal, not wide lens and the table looked square, but the viewers hated it. Clearly a ball would be in the way, but all the shots made it look like the players were using lots of spin, creating curved paths – they weren’t. Hence the now standard looking down from one end shot. The angles work much better.

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