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View Full Version : Video and Photo Gear - What are yiou guys using?



KSmith
12-20-2010, 09:50 AM
I have noticed in some of the threads, like wipeouts, that some of you have some pretty nice clarity in your pictures and/or videos. I do not as I have a cheapy Sanyo water resistant SD camcorder.

Anyway, I'd like to know what is being used in the community as I am thinking of an upgrade.

Thanks!

Captain Kraig

KG's Supra24
12-20-2010, 10:15 AM
I picked up a Kodak Playsport towards the end of summer and LOVE it. Pretty reasonable price and the video is great (1080). Even takes good pictures (5mp) and is waterproof.

For in the boat, we have a Nikon DSLR.

you da man
12-20-2010, 11:20 AM
I picked up a Kodak Playsport towards the end of summer and LOVE it. Pretty reasonable price and the video is great (1080). Even takes good pictures (5mp) and is waterproof.

For in the boat, we have a Nikon DSLR.

The playsport does not have an optical zoom but how is the digital?

jester
12-20-2010, 11:37 AM
I have an HD GoPro camera. It is great because I can strap it to my wakeboard or helmet and some get on person shots. I will be getting a new in boat camera before summer starts and should have some good footage before the end of summer.

KG's Supra24
12-20-2010, 11:54 AM
The playsport does not have an optical zoom but how is the digital?

To be honest with you I don't know a ton about this topic. I can zoom on the unit itself, which i guess isn't an optical zoom? I'm not positive on the distance of the zoom. I do know i have had someone sitting by the driver recording someone wakeboarding and you could see them no problem. I believe they even had to pan to get them on camera when out in the flats. I'll try to find some video this evening.

I'd consider the Playsport in between a GoPro and a larger handheld device. GoPro is more for 1st person. Playsport is more for a video camera that is super convenient and waterproof. Its about the size of a blackberry. The screen isnt super impressive but it looks good once on the computer/tv.

Although i cant do video right now, here is a pic with the Playsport ...

http://supraboats.com/bbs/picture.php?albumid=162&pictureid=1549

ehh, the link doesnt do it as much justice as actually pulling it from the sd card but you get the idea

bzubke1
12-20-2010, 12:05 PM
I have the playsport and it shoots really good video but once you go to zoom in the quality is not as good. For wakesurfing it looks awesome, feels like you're there! But at wakeboarding distances it's just ok. This is a video my buddy shot of me last time out with the playsport. It's zoomed in a little bit but near the end he zooms in real close and you can see the quality change. He's filming siting in the observers seat. One of the big reasons I bought the playsport was the fact that it is waterproof.

http://vimeo.com/17741689

scoot_gt
12-20-2010, 12:16 PM
http://vimeo.com/17741689

Was that at 1080, 30fps? or 720, 60fps? I've had better results for motion anything with 720, 60fps.

Ian Brantford
12-20-2010, 12:28 PM
Digital zoom is the same as cropping after the fact -- there will be a drop in quality. All it does is narrow the field of view, using fewer pixels. Most people who have decent optical zoom simply disable digital zoom.

Digital stabilisation similarly narrows the field of view in order to get some extra space to move the recorded area around as the camera shakes. There is also a significant drop in quality.

Optical zoom and stabilisation do the job with dedicated hardware -- moving lenses. There is no sacrifice in quality.

I still use a Canon S2 from 2005. It is a 5MP still camera with good optics and which also takes very good video for a still camera. It has one rare feature: panning mode stabilisation. In this mode, the optical stabiliser only works vertically, so it won't fight you when you pan the camera as the rider goes back and forth. This mode is made for certain sports and especially for shooting from a moving vehicle.

Like many Canon cameras, the S2 also shoots video using M-JPEG, which does NOT use inter-frame compression to save space like most others do. You can edit at any point and grab fairly clear stills from any frame. They are only 640x480, but they are of higher quality than the smeared images that you get from action shots in video formats in most cameras or camcorders, even the better consumer or prosumer models.

I am still waiting for a camcorder to come to the market that shoots in HD and will let me get clear stills from action shots... and costs less than $2000. This probably means something that will shoot in DVC-PRO mode like the Panasonic HVX200A. That's currently $4000 ($7000 when it first hit the market), and it's a model that other manufacturers haven't tried to replicate because it cuts into their $50000+ pro market. So, I stay with my little S2 year after year.

Question: does any company make a good motion-tracking system for watersports? I mean a computerised one, presumeably mounting on the pylon. I do not like the results that I have seen from passive ones that mount on the tower and use the tow rope for direction.

bzubke1
12-20-2010, 12:34 PM
That video was 720 at 60fps.
Ian, are you saying that image stabilization ruins the video quality?

kaneboats
12-20-2010, 01:16 PM
I have the Canon SX110IS. It's a tweener camera that's better than a point and shoot and not nearly as expensive as a digital SLR one so I don't feel bad taking it in the boat. With 10x zoom it gets me good rider shots. It takes OK but not great video. Happy with it as a do everything price point model. You can find it for under 200 but I think they have a new model out now.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&expIds=17259,17311&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=canon+sx110is&cp=12&wrapid=tljp1292868826333026&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=11283323593188616156&ei=6pwPTfDHNsLflgf-68nRDA&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQ8wIwAg#

KSmith
12-20-2010, 01:34 PM
I have the Canon SX110IS. It's a tweener camera that's better than a point and shoot and not nearly as expensive as a digital SLR one so I don't feel bad taking it in the boat. With 10x zoom it gets me good rider shots. It takes OK but not great video. Happy with it as a do everything price point model. You can find it for under 200 but I think they have a new model out now.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&expIds=17259,17311&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=canon+sx110is&cp=12&wrapid=tljp1292868826333026&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=11283323593188616156&ei=6pwPTfDHNsLflgf-68nRDA&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQ8wIwAg#

Hey Kaneboats, In the wipeouts thread, the pictures you posted, were those stills or video grabs? Were they from this camera? Thanks!

Ian Brantford
12-20-2010, 05:25 PM
That video was 720 at 60fps.
Ian, are you saying that image stabilization ruins the video quality?

I am saying the digital image stabilisation can reduce the quality (stills or video). Optical stabilisation will preserve quality.

Note that stabilisation is usually intended ONLY to counteract movement during hand-held operation. If you use a tripod or other mount, the stabiliser may get confused and make things worse, so turn off stabilisation during mounted use.

For handheld use from the boat, I coach people in avoiding resting their elbows on the boat (transmits vibration) and in how to cope with bumps by being tight in the wrists/elbows and loose in the shoulders. This means that the camera will just experience a slight vertical shift and usually keep the subject in frame, rather than taking a brief image of the camera operator's nether region and losing the original subject.

For amount of zoom, I find that having the rider occupy about half of the vertical height of the image is best. This gives the camera operator enough leeway to anticipate movement and keep the rider in frame, even during stunts. This is probably around a 3-5X zoom factor. For hydrofoilers, a little extra field of view is required because they get more height (often unintentionally and upside-down).

The only downside to my Canon S2 is the viewfinder. It's small and could be brighter to work well in sunlight. However, the S3 (much nicer screen) cut the burst-still mode's speed, probably to preserve the value of the more expensive SLR models. I use burst mode extensively.

Brianinpdx
12-20-2010, 05:41 PM
Believe it or not, the camera phones are getting better and better. A couple of us Exile guys did an on the water tweekNtune out at a surf event with some Malibu's last season and we broke out a few iphones and shot some video stuff and slapped it together into a video on youtube. I'd say the video quality is really decent. The mic does get overloaded from the Audio. You can see in the end it gets distorted.... just to much for the mic in close range. but hey--its a promo thing so who cares..

Iphone shot video here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CEDKSFIlXk&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL)

Note: Don't mean this to be a spam video post. It just kinda applied. We had a fun day. Even the Factory guys like to kick it once in awhile! If the video offends, I can pluck it out.

I'd be a little worried about bringing high dollar camera's out in the boat. I've seen two of them go overboard last season. I find that my Cannon 5D w/ Sigma 50mm shoots great for the surf range. If you want to hit the wakeboarder range you'll need to be at 100mm + depending on the angle your trying to hit.

-Brian

KSmith
12-20-2010, 07:05 PM
I have a Pentax 6 x 7 (cm), a Calumet Orbit 4 x 5 (inch) extended bellows with Nikkor 210 mm, a Nikon F2, Nikkormat FT, Nikon EL, and a Rollei 35S.

Full compliment of lenses for each - except the Rollie of course (retractable lens).

Gossen luna pro with spot attachment...and in the attic a Besseler 45 mcrx, with lenses and all negative carriers for 35, 120 and 4 x 5, stainless steel sink and all necessary hardware to put together a color and Black & White darkroom.

What the hell is digital?

Nice list Ed, the calumet 4x5 will crank out some outragous pictures, frame rate is a bit low LOL, those darn single sheet negatives slow ya down some :-)

Edit: My largest non-antique film format camera is my Mamiya 645, I'm pretty firmly encamped in the Canon digial world now when I was once a Nikon 35mm man... how times change

Brianinpdx
12-20-2010, 07:29 PM
"What the hell is ditigal?" -- oh geez, Ed you just cracked me up!

KSmith
12-20-2010, 08:04 PM
Wow Ed, great gear list. Hasselblad Mmmmmm. I chased a photo job for EG&G for years, they got to mostly photograph the inards of reactors. Since you worked on nuke subs you are probably familiar with the old NRF out in Idaho. Ah Idaho, home sweet home. Anyway I was eventually offered a scientist position for EG&G in computer science, three weeks later the photog job opened up and I got an offer for that... I stayed with computer science, It has served me well but I often wonder "what if"....

KSmith
12-20-2010, 08:13 PM
Doesn't ring a bell, but I didn't work at NRF, I worked pretty much everywhere else on the "site" (then called INEL). I left a year or so after Lockheed won the bid for prime contractor from EG&G and everything went to heck. That was in '94 I think, been out in the private sector for awhile.

sandm
12-21-2010, 08:11 AM
Ah Idaho, home sweet home.

you from this area?
I.F. is not a bad place to live, but there's a reason why the east side of the state is referred to as the "armpit of Idaho" :)

saskyrider
12-21-2010, 09:44 AM
I just got a Go Pro... the motorsports version with the suction cup mounts and all of the other mounts as well. Can't wait to try it out!

geoff

KSmith
12-21-2010, 09:55 AM
you from this area?
I.F. is not a bad place to live, but there's a reason why the east side of the state is referred to as the "armpit of Idaho" :)

Yup. Idaho Falls... an hour to Palisades (calamity campground), 1.5 hours to Yellowstone or Jackson, Island Park, Henry's Lake, moutain, lakes, rivers, desert... Snow skiing at Kellys canyon, Sun valley, Targhee, Jackson... fishing galore, float the Snake river for white water or fishing, what's not to like :-)

Spent time in Boise but for the most part I.F. Green belt is Boise was fun to bike.

I.F. itself isn't anything, but the location is central to lots of diverse conuntry

sandm
12-21-2010, 10:44 AM
ya, if is not a bad place. spent a short time there. I was in poky for 1.5 years in '91-'93 and there's a reason why you move away from there. simplot/fmc phosphorous plants to name one..

so you were at inel? my buddies dad was out there at that time. was a contractor. don't remember first name, but last was gearhart. had a place up in island park.

you ever get the itch to come back, make some time to come to boise and we'll do some surfin.

KSmith
12-21-2010, 11:28 AM
Well yeah, poky is bad, Blackfoot not much better... Yeah I was at the INEL for around 12 years I guess, started under EG&G then Lockheed for a bit. Then Micron over in Boise, now out in Georgia. Long way form home.

Gearhart, doesn't ring a bell really, but when I left INEL had around 10K employees, I knew very few of those. Might have been a Bob Gearhart... or it could be my imagination LOL

Cool, if I ever make it out to Boise I'll take you up on that! So to recipricate, if you're ever out in the Atlanta area give us a holler and we can go play at Allatoona. I tend to boat in the evenings or early AM on weekends, I won't go near the lake on holidat weekends, you can walk to the other side of the lake by hoping from boat to boat... makes me crazy:rolleyes:

sandm
12-21-2010, 11:51 AM
hear ya. what did you do at micron? lots of family/friends there, however with the layoffs in the last few years, most that I know are left in fab4 and facilities/security.

KSmith
12-21-2010, 12:15 PM
Software engineer, I worked for the Micron Electronics branch that is just up the road in Nampa. Dave Berg hired me at Micron Electronics. He moved to, Michigan maybe? Can't recall where ME had the other operation... anyway he left and then I did then I brought one of the guys out here for a bit Exxes Hauffen, then he went to Texas, what is that hole between Dallas and Fort Worth... Los Calinas? Something like that... then evidently a mass exodus from what I understand and sometime later I heard that ME was sold and on an on...

sandm
12-21-2010, 01:01 PM
that's a while ago. I don't know anyone from that plant other than there were 2 there. one was the pc build plant and then there was the division that built boards. pc division went bust and it's now making solar panels(startup). Mike Adkins was the ceo of that for a while. I look uncannily like him when I have a goat, and I know his ex real well. the board division was bought by a wisconsin firm(plexus) and is still going. have a funny story about a neighbor back in '00-'03 if you know plexus.
have a cousin that was married to a dude for a while that lived somewhere in texas working at a micron fab. don't know much about what they did and it was a very short marriage.

I'd love to come out that way. got any connections at augusta national :) :)

kaneboats
12-21-2010, 01:14 PM
Hey Kaneboats, In the wipeouts thread, the pictures you posted, were those stills or video grabs? Were they from this camera? Thanks!

Stills. And, yes, from this camera.

KSmith
12-21-2010, 01:18 PM
Oh yeah, it has been awhile we talking what 12-15 years ago, something like that.

I know nothing of Plexus.

Sorry I don't. Golf is a sport I have never really tried much. As I age I am finding myself somewhat drawn to the idea to putz around the golf course once I retire... Other than that I used to have a wicked slice, I had to face 90 degrees away from the line I wanted to drive so it could hook back the right direction, otherwise I was always playing some other hole... I suck at golf... sad but true...

sandm
12-21-2010, 02:30 PM
Well, can't excel at everything :)
Its a fun sport if ur not competitive. Wish I could play more, but boating takes too many of my recreation $$. That's a good thing :)