Using just about any video camera you can produce suitable quality video for your TV Channel.
Here are some tips for those new to shooting match video with camcorders.
The following tips are general and some may not be appropriate for your specific camera. Always be sure you know and understand your camera makers guidance and instructions. Most camera makers have websites which provide usefull information.
Some recent low cost digital camcorders can produce broadcast quality video (PAL DV 720 x 576 full colour, 32khz 16 bit Stereo or better) which is better than the match television broadcast in some countries.
- Hand hold your camera so you can follow the action easily and smoothly.
- Choose a position with the sun or brightest sky behind you. Try and keep the sky out of the picture as if bright it may cause the pitch and players to look dark, shooting from a higher position if available means the camera can look down and may see no sky at all, this helps the colours look better (shooting bright objects like the sun or some types of floodlight directly could damage the camera).
- Shooting the play coming towards you can provide some of ther most exciting video and is easier to follow, standing half way along the goal line is often a good position. Just along the side line from the corner is also a good location.
- Shooting from the around the centre line and slightly above the game can give the best overall perspective for the viewer and be better for analysing play afterwards.
- Until you are well practiced it can be easier just to follow the ball keeping it near centre in the picture.
- Use your Optical zoom to keep close to the action (it may be wise to ignore Digital Zoom as it typically reduces picture quality).
- Try and predict play so you are ready to turn (pan) in the right direction, this is more difficult if you zoom in too close (some keep one eye through the viewfinder and the other on the match, but most find this difficult).
- If you are just looking for match highlights, consider pausing shooting during quieter periods, this can save a lot of time going through video to find the best action, but be ready for any fast change in play or you may miss a priceless moment. Thirty minutes of tape is often more than enough to record the better action. It can also mean you get two or three games on a single tape which helps keep costs down.
It can save a lot of time finding highlights if you make a note of the time or tape counter at the time. Recent digital cameras record the time and date (hidden) within each frame so it is vey easy to quickly fast forward to a highlight item afterwards.
- If your camera has a sports mode (high shutter speed option) this will allow you to have clearer Slow Motion and Freeze Action (if available). Bear in mind that lense focus is normally more critical at high shutter speeds (the camera normally compensates the high shutter speed by opening the lense more which reduces the depth of the area in focus, technically called "Depth of Field")
If your camera has the facility, on bright days Setting Shutter Speed to 1/500th or 1/1000th sec will provide a good compromise between freezing action and keeping some depth of focus (ie: depth of field).
- The Depth of Field also reduces the more you zoom in, often referred to as the "Telephoto Effect"
- Best results in Low Light or in Floodlight may require Sports Mode (High Shutter Speed) to be turned down or off. Turning Exposure mode to Low Light or Auto may give best results.
- It can take some practice before you get good at shooting match video, staying relaxed usually helps.
- Having a camera at each end will help catch both teams best action. When both clubs are recording video, consider helping each other, cover one end each and share the results.
- When shooting interviews or people talking get as close as you can, otherwise sound quality may suffer and any background noise may cause problems. Some cameras have a headphone socket and volume control so you can hear what the camera is picking up. Many cameras will automatically boost the quieter sounds inbetween the louder sounds so some background sound can get louder.
If there is too much background noise you may have to move to another location or wait till it passes or consider using a hand held or tie clip microphones if your camera allows them to be plugged in.
- Keep your camera dry.
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