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Old February 1st, 2008, 01:36 PM   #1
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Taping a Hockey game tonight...

This will be a first. I have never done anything in conditions like this.

I will be a top the side wall about 15' above the action. So I will be close and will panning all night. I expect that lighting will be excellent because of the white reflection off the ice.

Does anyone have any pointers?
My initial thoughts on set up

High shutter speed light pending hopefully around 1/500. I am also considering both 30p and 60i. What do you think. I want a good crisp image but also want the puck blurs to be minimized.

Blacks - I expect the background to be dark on it's own and since this is for the coach, I plan to just press the black out as much as possible. (He only needs the ice)

Since I will be at mid ice and expect most action to be either right or left with very similar focal points. I expect a simple manual focus may be best. This should eliminate the lens from confusion. On the other hand in Auto I can focus on the ice and with NO background images it may be OK on auto?

Fstop - I am seriously considering just going with Tv mode and let the camera adjust it self. Or If I have plenty of light and get close the stop the focus issue may be nothing....

Basically just white balance to the ice and the colors ride..

What do ya think?
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Old February 1st, 2008, 03:00 PM   #2
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I've shot a couple of games from what sounds like a similar vantage point. The amount and type of lighting and a lot of other variables may be different from your situation, though...the ol' "your mileage may vary" thing. But here are some of my lessons learned.

Sounds like you're doing a one camera shoot. I'd agree that high above one side of center ice is the best place to be. Just plant your tripod along the Red Line and you're set.

Personally, I have to remind myself to resist the urge to zoom in too much during play. That'll be especially true with one camera, otherwise I guarantee you'll repeatedly lose track of where the play went and have to "hunt" to get pointed back at the action. And even if you do keep pointed in the right direction, viewers will not be able appreciate how a play develops if you're too zoomed in during the action. Save close ups for when the action is stopped. Keeping wide will also minimize the challenge of maintaining focus as play goes from one side and one end of the ice to another. Auto focus will probably occasionally lag enough to be problem in any case, so be prepared to tweak it quickly manually.

In general I'm not fond of interlaced video, but for action sports like hockey, your best bet is definitely 60i (since we don't have 60p or 120p!). Smoother to display and if you do want to do some 50% slo mo in post, it is much quicker and easier from 60i than 30p. Wouldn't even consider 24p for this unless it was specifically for artistic effect in a "film."

I found that the lighting was a lot lower in our rink than what my eye perceived. No way that I could have shot 1/500th. But 1/60 or maybe 1/120 will do fine as far as stick and puck motion; 1/120 will give much less motion blur on slo mo (but still reduced rez on doing slo mo in post anyway, of course), but not quite as smooth on normal speed playback; shooter's option on which way to lean. Not going unnecessarily high on the shutter speed will also keep you from having to open up the iris as much, which will help a little bit with depth of field, and therefore focus.

This is standard advice for US 60i cameras in European 50Hz environments, or vice versa (and I've screwed this up, too!) but perhaps this is a similar concern, maybe not...in case the rink's lights are of a type that rapidly vary in intensity with the 60Hz electrical supply, stick with 1/60th to make sure you don't get variations in exposure as the shutter catches the lighting at different points in the brightness cycle, or if you go faster, minimize the risk of a cycling effect by sticking to multiples 1/60th. I'm sure there's a proper technical term for that but I don't know it. Wonder if anyone else has greater experience with that kind of issue?

Similarly, unless variability in the brightness throughout the rink is otherwise unworkable, I'd set an exposure (either Tv with Exp Lock, or full manual) and leave it. Much like focus or zoom, automatic metering can result in a little bit of "hunting" for exposure that you'll see in the footage. The consistent exposure may save you some corrections in post.

You'll probably do ok white balancing on the ice, but I'm under the impression that ice might give a high-K (blue) bias. So if there's a fairly clean, white area of the boards you can use to white balance, it might be preferable. I agree with your idea of crushing the blacks. Still, at least one of the teams will probably be wearing dark jerseys and you don't want them to be just dark blobs devoid of detail. So really the mid-range is your sweet spot. Conversely, tthere's not much important detail in the boards or the ice, although you don't want to blow them out (100IRE or more) either. The latitude and overall exposure setup is just a judgment call you'll have to make based on the lighting there at your rink.

If you're shooting tape, have a plan for tape swaps at the intermissions -- pre-label blah blah!

That's about all that comes to mind for now. Have
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Old February 1st, 2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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Peter,
I am glad you chimed in thanks.

I was really wondering about the shutter speed. If you beleive that 1/120 will be enough then I will stick with that. I really don't have a good feel for the sports and shutters that best fit my target speeds.

I was thinking that if I used 30p I would need a little more speed which is where the 1/500 came from.

Now that you mention the big bloobs...One team will be wearing black. I would like the background to black out as much as possible but I think you are correct. One team will be wearing black and I would like to get the best detail on them....

I think I should just set up at default and leave it alone.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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Often I've been shooting hockey games and never used the shutter speed. I always set the camera on AV and played with the iris for the lightening. Maybe I should experiment this another time.

Like Peter is suggesting high above one side of center ice is the best place to be.

Playing too much with the zoom is definitely a NO NO. No doubt that you have to have a tripod. Panning and having a fluide movement sure is important when watching the game. For the focus, before the game starts zoom to the farthest corner set you focus and leave it in manual mode. I always look for a corner which is far and where I can find some text, I then make the image sharp. You should then be OK and will not have to worry during the game. Do not zoom to close to a player (i.e face of a player) you will automatically get out of focus. If you do so, in zooming out you will be back in focus.

If you have a small 13 inches TV bring it with you. Plug the TV to your camera using a RCA cable, film the game while watching it on TV. It will be easier and in the meantime will keep you focus on what you are acheiving.

Definitely 60i, you will regret it if you go 30p or 24p.

Good luck!
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 08:16 PM   #5
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Update:
I beleive the footage is going to be good. I shot last night and have yet to view on a TV. While between periods, I captured some to my PC just to confirm color and stuff.

I went 60i the entire time. On my PC I have the dreaded artifacts, but I think playback on regular TV will look fine.

I started out at 1/180 with an Iris at 2.2. After my first campture review I dropped it down to 120 and opened the Itirs up all the way. I beleive play back on the TV will be brighter, but I made this move mainly because it seemed very dark. But the color looked pretty good.

Once I got set up I could tell that the shadows off the ice were very little. Basically the same lighting went over the arena.

My biggest adjustment came in between periods 1 and 2. I actually removed the 20x lens and went with the 3x lens. This turned out to be a major good move...the Wide angle will make todays tape review with the team much better. I was actually directly above the penalty box/dug out directly at mid court. If you can picture this, I was not 1" beyond the wall of the rink. When refs would call a penalty they were under me. My 20x lens was requiring me to pan waaaayyy to much. So I went light on the glass and was able to frame from the end zone area to about 5 before the redline. (Mid ice). There was NO tracking of the puck one I was pointed in either end. I struggled zooming in on a couple knuckle buster, the rowdy fans and the score board. But overall this call was one that worked very well.

I did get some focus confusion before the players were out there on AF. I went manual and then later on tinkered with Auto again once I had players on the ice and it seemed to work faily well. But again I need the tape to make a real assesment.

the coach asked for the tapes immediately and of course I agreed. But made sure he will give them back so that I can look at it again. I wish he has requested 16:9 rather than 4:3 but he is using a projector.

He normally uses a smaller Sony with 3CCD. I am not sure which model, but I know the low light abilities are probably better than mine. So I am looking forward to his feedback.

Oh BTW a Hockey score that is 10-6 with Rowdy Home fans made it quite interesting.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 10:24 PM   #6
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Excellent !

One of the thing I do when filming hockey games is to record directly onto a DVD recorder in highest quality. I always used the firewire port and once the game is terminated I provide the coaches with two DVDs.

Depending on the level of the team a game might be more than 60 minutes in duration. I then pause when the play is stopped.

The lighting never caused me problems, is it because I shoot in AV. I do not know.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 08:37 PM   #7
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I was in an absolute dungeon.
For some reasons by DVD do not look as good as my raw tape???
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 09:49 PM   #8
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Hello Guy,

What do you mean by "For some reasons by DVD do not look as good as my raw tape???".

How did you transfer your tape recording onto a DVD? Are you transferring your tape footage onto a computer and then making a DVD? When looking at your tape footage on a TV how does it look like ? I would guess here the only thing you would be doing would be to connect your XL2 camera to a TV and play the tape. Very basic setup. If in watching the filming at that time the result is not correct, I would be very surprised that you could make it better.

What was exactly the purpose of your filming? Was it to help the coaches or to make a souvenir for the players?

It all depends on what you are trying to acheive.

- When filming for coaches I always film directly onto a DVD recorder (Pioneer DVR-633H) and see the result on TV right away. It does not take me more than twenty minutes after the game is finished to create a DVD. As the coaches come out of the players room I provide them with a DVD. My job is then terminated. The idea here is not to bring work at home.

- When filming for souvernirs, I always record on tape and use a video editing and a DVD authoring software.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #9
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When I take the camera and just use it as a VCR directly into the TV it seems that my footage picture quality is better.

I capture my footage to my PC though Firewire with Pinnacle Studio ( I know this is not the best software) and I burn my DVD with a Pioneer DVD burner. DVR-X122 ( http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/review4501.html )

I do this for the coaches to review with the team for learning.

I also have a Panasonic DVR/DVD Burner DMR-E85H that have yet to capture to. I am not sure which one will dub a DVD better but I will see.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 04:50 PM   #10
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Hello Guy.

You should not have any problem capturing onto the hard drive of your Panasonic DVR/DVD Burner DMR-E85H. Creating a DVD with this unit should also be very straight forward.

Since your are doing this for coaches to review the game there is no doubt in my mind that you should use your DMR-E85H to record using XP mode.

At the end of each period you stop the recording which then create a file per period. When creating the DVD you than have one file per period to select. Your menu will then provide one choice per period for selection.

Also, if you use the pause button between each play, it then create somekind of chapter. This is very good for the coaches as they then are able to use the skip button on their remote control to go to a specific play (in anyway this is what is happening with my DVR-633H).

Absolutely no need to load this onto your computer, not for one second. You save yourself a lot of time and your are not face with drop frames.

99% of the time I use my camera and record onto a the DVR-633H. I only record to tapes when I film year end show and want to perform video editing with FinalCut Pro.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #11
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I will give it a look tonight and see what kind of difference there is.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #12
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Got any clips online?
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Old February 13th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #13
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HI Guy & Daniel,

I've been using the TV as Monitor and the Pana's (& now the Phillips) HHD/Burner units for a number of years now. Mostly doing Horse Shows.

Putting to the HHD's allows for basic editing and making as many DVD's as you want. I will also back up to RAM or DVD-RW's for the important stuff.

I also use my custom made Extendable Control Handles and IR-Remote's by FiberOptic cable, in addition to an vertical articulating Cam to Head mount.

I have found these Mods to be extremely useful for any motion type Video.

Harold
Attached Thumbnails
Taping a Hockey game tonight...-articulating-head.jpg   Taping a Hockey game tonight...-articulating-head-2.jpg  

Taping a Hockey game tonight...-hv20-mods-002.jpg   Taping a Hockey game tonight...-hv20-mods026.jpg  

Taping a Hockey game tonight...-hv20-mods-005.jpg   Taping a Hockey game tonight...-hv20-mods21-002.jpg  


Last edited by Harold Schreiber; February 14th, 2008 at 09:20 AM.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Hoang View Post
Got any clips online?
For what ever reason the coach has not returned the tapes to me.
As soon as I get them I plan to put something up.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Hoang View Post
Got any clips online?

Yes here ya go...

These are captured with pinnacle studio using firewire. I left them in the original .AVI format so they are very large despite the small footage.

I have included 3 files. (I hope I have these correct)
1.) 20x lens, f1.6, shutter 1/180, 60i
2.) 20x lens, f2.2, shutter 1/120, 60i
3.) 3x lens, f2.2, shutter 1/120, 60i

FYI - I have yet to figure out how to host the video's on my website the correct way (I am the techie on that also). These are just links and you can download the files.

http://visualboxscore.com/boxscores/....6_180_60i.avi (142 MB)

http://visualboxscore.com/boxscores/....2_120_60i.avi (92 MB)

http://visualboxscore.com/boxscores/....2_120_60i.avi (91 MB)

also here is a still from the #1.
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Taping a Hockey game tonight...-20x-lens.jpg  
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