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ALM
July 1st, 2009, 11:41 PM
Many of you have posted video of yourselves, in and (in the case of Mr. Thornton) out of the pool.

I would like to get a digital video camera. I don't want to spend a lot of money.

For those of you who have cameras, what do you have? What do you recommend? Are some better for filming swimming (in an indoor pool with so-so lighting) than others?

Anna Lea

smontanaro
July 2nd, 2009, 12:13 PM
I've used Coach Cam (http://coachcam.biz/) and was satisfied with the results.

Skip

JMiller
July 2nd, 2009, 12:48 PM
Many of you have posted video of yourselves, in and (in the case of Mr. Thornton) out of the pool.

I would like to get a digital video camera. I don't want to spend a lot of money.

For those of you who have cameras, what do you have? I've been really happy with the Olympus camera!!
What do you recommend? http://www.olympuscanada.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_sw.asp


Are some better for filming swimming (in an indoor pool with so-so lighting) than others?

Anna Lea The sound & picture seems to be of fairly good quality.

ande
July 2nd, 2009, 02:59 PM
Tip 199 Perspective (http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=127514&postcount=730)

jim thornton
July 2nd, 2009, 03:06 PM
If you go to Woot.com and practice a certain amount of patience, you can pick up a flipvideo Ultra for around $87. This seems to take decent enough shots at swimming meets, especially if your main purpose is to post on the web (the quality doesn't have to be perfect here), though it would be good to get a cheap tripod to keep things steady. The other nice thing about the Flip cameras are they are extremely portable (not a whole lot bigger than a cell phone); incredibly easy to download the stuff to your computer; and cheap enough so that you don't need to worry about thieves stealing the thing while you swim.

I like the ultra because it takes regular AA batteries and records an hour's worth of footage, enough, say, to film the Hour Swim, which I plan to do next year, for the delight of my fans.

Chicken of the Sea
July 2nd, 2009, 05:15 PM
I recently got one of those Flip cameras off Woot.com for my daughter and she loves it.

jim thornton
July 2nd, 2009, 07:32 PM
I added a short video review of the Flip Ultra for Anna Lea (though others are welcome, too, to watch it) on my vlog: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=4211

Nancy Ridout
July 3rd, 2009, 12:32 AM
Anna Lea,

If you want to film underwater footage through a coach cam or other device, you need to get a camera that allows filming through an external device. It used to be that many of the video cameras had output jacks but it's hard to find one in the newer cameras. I have a great camera - small, great quality, easy to upload - but it doesn't have an output jack and can't record from a coachs cope or similar device. Since my older bulkier camera did this, I didn't realize that a newer one wouldn't. If you want to use it this way, check to see that it will record from another device.

Nancy

letsrace
July 3rd, 2009, 06:27 PM
What is your budget? How do you want to do the filming? Underwater camera person or above above water camera person?

If you have someone who is willing to jump in the pool to do the filming, then there are several waterproof digital cameras that record video. The quality ain't Glenn Mills (http://www.goswim.tv/)good, but it is good. There are several waterproof digital cameras that records video. This solution will run between $300 - $400. Canon, Olympus and Pentax all have waterproof cameras that will work well.

These are all digital still cameras which also record video in a compressed format which is pretty easy to get onto your computer for analysis or archiving or sharing.

Another option is to get a "housing" for a non-waterproof camera. Canon has some great solutions in this category (http://estore.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId=10051&storeId=10051&categoryId=12097&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=12084&top_category=12084&pageView=&subCat=Y).

If you can't get a camera person in the water (or don't want that), then you will need a camera in the water that can be connected via a cable to an on-deck recording device. The Coach Cam is a good example of the camera that you will need for in the water, but these are often pricey ($500 and up, the last time I looked). If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can make one yourself, fairly easily for about $50 and a trip to Sams or BJs and Homedepot.

When looking for a device to do the recording, Nancy makes a good point. Make sure that the recording device has an "video in" or "AV IN" port.

For your recording device, you should look at the Aiptek cameras (http://www.aiptek.com/Products/) as they DO have AV IN port and they are inexpensive. The nice thing about these cameras is that they record to SD cards which make it easy to get video onto a computer. Additionally,the Aiptek is a camera and can be used to get above water footage.

If you are a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, you can put together an underwater camera/above-water-recorder solution for less than $200.

ALM
July 3rd, 2009, 10:42 PM
I wasn't even thinking about an underwater camera - just something that someone could use while standing on the deck. But someone sent me a PM saying he had just bought the GoPRO camera with underwater case for around $180. He saw this camera in a post last week by Lump, who also just bought one:

http://www.goprocamera.com/

I am hoping that these guys will give us a review once they've tried it out.

I'm also going to check out the camera that Jim T. mentioned. I like the idea of something very inexpensive, since it would most likely spend part of its time in my swim bag on the pool deck.

Anna Lea

Lump
July 4th, 2009, 12:39 AM
I wasn't even thinking about an underwater camera - just something that someone could use while standing on the deck. But someone sent me a PM saying he had just bought the GoPRO camera with underwater case for around $180. He saw this camera in a post last week by Lump, who also just bought one:

http://www.goprocamera.com/

I am hoping that these guys will give us a review once they've tried it out.

I'm also going to check out the camera that Jim T. mentioned. I like the idea of something very inexpensive, since it would most likely spend part of its time in my swim bag on the pool deck.

Anna Lea

I actually got it for $160 shipped and I've seen it for even $144 + shipping (so add about $8 or so) by motorcycle web dealers on the WERA (motorcycle racing) Forums. I could get their web links.

I'll probably give it a try next week. I got a bad memory card from Bestbuy so I just need to get a new one. It really worked great on our motorcycle at the track so I don't see any reason it wouldn't in the pool. I'll suction cup it to the black tile line and try a few different things. I'll also get my brother to come in one day and try holding it, etc. while filming.

My sister-in-law also has the Flip and loves it. I don't know if she has a waterproof case for it, but for just basic filming she thinks its great.

qbrain
July 4th, 2009, 01:25 PM
If you are a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, you can put together an underwater camera/above-water-recorder solution for less than $200.

Hey letsrace, I don't know much about camera equipment, but I do have a decent background in legos, pvc plumbing and electronics. Could you give a rough parts list for the camera and optics side of things?

I would love to put together something that could be dropped in the bottom of a lane during practice to collect lots of data for stroke analysis. It should be pretty easy to write something to edit out clear water, so an hour of practice turns into 5 minutes of swimming.

hofffam
July 6th, 2009, 02:22 PM
The Flip cameras are fun and portable but I think they are terrible for shooting swimming vides because of the limited zoom. The zoom is just 2X and it is digital zoom only. The lens on the Flip doesn't even focus. It is fixed focus only.

I suggest you buy a mainstream Sony, Canon, etc. for about the same amount of money and you will get a "real" camcorder. I like the units that use MiniDV tapes rather than a DVD drive or hard drive. The tapes don't have to be unloaded to free up space like hard disk or memory based units.

So many of the videos people post of swimming are nearly unwatchable. They hand hold the camera (not very steady) and they have no idea how to choose a reasonable resolution and format when they upload to Youtube.

Use a monopod or tripod to steady the camera if possible and your videos improve instantly.