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video cameras


brody
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I'm looking for opinions on a camcorder. I want to use it for my skiing, but I also have a family and would be using to for them, hockey, gymnastics, soccer, family trips and birthdays..etc. I would want to mount the camera to the pylon when skiing. I am considering a GoPro, but dont know if this is any good for anything else. Are they good at zooming in? What are the pros and cons to them. Also is there any others I should consider, thanx
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Consider the size of files when digitally recording. I have a nice Sony HD Camera, and it works GREAT! BUT, files are so darn big and converting those files into other formats for play back on DVD players is very time intensive, not to mention the storage of those files. I would just caution you on that aspect, it can be overwhelming.

 

With that said, I have a Go Pro 3 that I am buying for use snowmobiling and waterskiing......... not sure what it does for file sizes or formats of video???

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I have a Sanyo Xacti, it's a pistol grip style, shoots great stills and videos, very adjustable for file size, and all the related camera settings, highly recommend. Mine is the older 1000 version,

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sanyo-VPC-HD2000A-Xacti-Definition-1080P/dp/B002Q4VBT2/ref=sr_1_9?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354133603&sr=1-9&keywords=sanyo+xacti

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@brody you cannot zoom in or out with a GoPro. I love if for POV, but nothing else. If you are looking to get the action from the stands at a hockey game, this is not the camera. But if you want to strap it on your kid's helmet and have your kid go skate around, it is awesome. I put it on my ski and handle and head which looks super cool. If you want to put it on the pylon, you might not get good film unless you are at about 35 off which you might be. Hope this helps you out. I have a GoPro HD Hero2 that I'd sell you for 200 if you'd like.
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I use Aiptek cameras for trick video. They are very easy to use, cheap and reasonable quality. Zoom works OK and recording quality is adjustable. They have a conventional tripod mount so they should fit the Trakker. They are physically similar to the Sanyo.

 

Personally I like the crappy AA battery powered ones for tournament use. Use the lithium batteries and they go all day. Super simple and the clip # is very visible - making video failure apparent in real time and making the most common failure (not starting the recording) obvious. Still these are not great for all around use - I have the higher quality (Target available - more expensive but still >$100) Aiptek cameras for that.

 

But I don't do serious photographic or video art. I'm sure there are way better choices for that. But for cheap cameras that don't devastate you when the tournament host's truck backs over the camera bag or when the kid drops one into the water, the Aiptek cameras are great.

 

Eric

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@elleski can you tell me more about the Aiptek? Does it do slo-mo playback, can you capture single frames to your computer, ease of downloading to your computer for video editing etc. I like the idea of a "pistol grip" design; looked at the Sanyo but damn that's a lot of money for something I'll likely only use in the boat to record skiing. Appreciate any additional info you can offer.

 

Thanks, Ed

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@Ed_Obermeier The Aiptek uses a standard SD card and an AVI file. My computers are able to do lots of things with the raw video. I've never done more than playback from the camera. You do get a video CD with the camera.

The cameras are not high quality but lots of trick records have gone through from these videos. Definitely not high def but OK for utube. If I lead you wrong, you aren't out a lot of money. Mail order from the website works but the instant gratification of picking the thing up at Walmart or Target is cool for this old dinosaur.

Eric

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Thanks Eric. I mostly need a camera I can hook up to my TV or computer so I review my skiing to see where I'm screwing it up to get a better idea of what needs done to attempt to fix it. As long as I can download to my computer and maybe edit it down to cut out the unimportant stuff I'm good, don't need super high def as long as it's clear enough to see what I'm doing (which from the reviews on Amazon looks like it does).

 

It's a reasonable assumption that they will do slo-mo playback I assume? Most do, just like to know for sure before pulling the trigger.

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About the GoPro - I have a Hero 2 and mounted it on my ski a couple of times successfully. I was able to get some really good angles. On one outing a mate came down with his one and within half an hour both of the cameras had been flung off because of broken pivot arms. It was not rough or anything and the wake was the same so what made them snap? Any advice on what I might have done wrong eg. tightened the screws too much? Apart from this the useability and robustness of the GoPro is unmatched in my opinion and I would recommend it even if you can't zoom etc. Just be prepared to pay for the never ending list of mounts that you will want to get next!
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