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Old September 17th, 2006, 09:09 PM   #1
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The best football camera?

I'm currently shooting high school football for a coach and am going thru a crisis of sorts. I'm having a heck of a time following the ball in the too small 2.5 inch LCD screeen as is found on my Sony HC3. I need a high def or SD 16:9 format camcorder that has high res 3.5 inch LCD and/or similar specs on the viewfinder. And one more thing...I need to be able to have time code or clock displayed on the tape (which rules out the FX1, I think). What camera might fit this bill? I need it fast, as the season is already in progress!!!! Thanks.....
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Old September 17th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #2
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Hi Lynne,

Why not just use a seperate monitor of at least 13" to 15" size. When I did a season of soccer, I discoverd that the 9" monitor I had used for most other Video was just not big enough to follow the ball. I went out and got a 13" and got along fine. I've made custom sun-shields for every monitor I have (X4 - 5" to 15"), if you can't shoot from a sun/light protected area - like the Anouncer/Press Box.

I also use a custom extendable control handle (2' to 4' in length) along with both wired and Infrared Remotes. I almost never use my Cam's viewfinder or side LCD. This also allows the Cam to be at max height (7') while I sit comfortably.

Just changing to a slighter larger side mount LCD I don't think will help. I doubt you'll find it much easier with anything less than a 10 to 13" monitor.

Can send you pics if interested.

Harold
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Old September 18th, 2006, 06:21 AM   #3
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I appreciate your input. I'm not ruling out monitors but I do like a simplified set-up. I always use batteries rather than a/c for that same reason. To be honest, I am contemplating using a portable dvd player (by Initial) with its 10 inch screen mounted on an $80 gooseneck, as well as adding a Varizoom Rock. In one fell swoop I've then added another battery to worry about, 2 more cables, more to worry about in rain (2 out of 3 games this year have been downpours so far)....that's why I'd prefer to go with a do-it-all camcorder. But my fear is that the only one that meets the criteria might be the Z1, which is way too expensive for what I need. Are there any other camcorders perhaps by other manufacturers that have the hi rez 3.5" LCD, a hi-rez VF, 16:9, and the ability to burn in time code or hr/min?
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Old September 18th, 2006, 08:56 AM   #4
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I got a Philips PET1000, a 10-inch portable DVD player, mainly to act as both a viewfinder screen and for playback viewing. Its screen is higher resolution than most and it switches between 4:3 and widescreen display. It has component and S-Video outputs and the composite video input puts a nice picture on the screen. It also has a digital audio output. I carry a pack of DVDs around with me, that have a dozen of my best productions on them, so I can show them to interested people, when I'm not shooting. When I go to a show-and-tell birders meeting, I set it up on a table and play my bird shots of the month.

If I'm doing an event where I'm not moving around, I use a sealed, lead-acid, gel-cell battery-----the deep-cycle type, to power everything. I put it on the ground below the tripod and have multiple splits going to small, inexpensive voltage converters for each thing I use that needs power, so no other batteries are needed, except for backup purposes. There's enough reserve power in the 12-volt, 35 amp-hour battery, to run the gear all day. I've done a similar thing with a lighter-weight, 10 amp-hour gel-cell, that I wore in a belt-pack.

I'm not sure why there would be a problem, if you needed to put date and time on a copy of the tape. If it's a digital copy, it could be called up by the playback machine. If it's an analog copy, the data can be added to an S-Video output going to the recorder.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #5
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an external monitor sounds like the best option, but if you're thinking about the Z1 as a solution, why not the much less expensive FX-1, which you can pick up used in these parts for fairly inexpensively...it has the same viewfinder, if you're using an HC-3, you're probably already equipped with an additional audio add-on, and you don't need the Z1's PAL options.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 09:29 AM   #6
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Hi Lynne,

Does your Cam not allow you to show date/time on recorded material ?

That particular Initial you're looking at has a rather good Pic compared to a number of other similar units.

Monitor size is a function of what's the minimum that you can easily see what you need to see - like that football flying thru the air. With my vision, that's about a 12" to 13" monitor for the ball sports, most others I can use my 5" or 8" LCD monitors.

How the dickens do you protect youself and that Cam in that kind of rain ???
I refuse to put myself and my equipment in the open rain, will only do it under some adequate cover. ( Tent, Truck Camper Shell, Press Box, Etc.) I can stand to get wet, but the equipment sure can't.

I've been doing what Steve's been doing (xtra batteries) for the last 10+ years or so when doing out side Horse Shows and such, but I run 2 VCR's, a monitor, and the Cam. I can run these up to 12 hrs with my battery setup.

You may get enough view time from the DVD Player on it's own battery anyway.

Harold
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Old September 18th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #7
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As always, your input from the field is good. Regarding the time code issue, after consulting a chart here on dvinfo that was put together by Chris Hurd back when the FX1 was relatively new, it seemed to indicate that you can't get that data burned onto the tape when using the FX1 as playback. And my playback deck is a nearly 10 year old Sony DHR-1000. It can burn in data but it doesn't seem to handle the widescreen DV format. So I have to count on my camera to do that. Can anyone who owns an FX1 verify that you can't burn in time code while shooting?
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Old September 18th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #8
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i'm not sure what you're referring to, exactly, but my FX-1 seems to lay down timecode just fine...
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Old September 18th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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But then when you use the FX1 as your playback deck, can its composite or S-video cable show a burned-in time code? Like what legal deposition tapes have with the clock running in the lower right corner? That's what I need to deliver to the coaches--a VHS tape with time code burned in so they can locate specific plays later on. Can the FX1 generate such hr/min/sec/frame characters from its mini-DV cassette's time code?
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Old September 18th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #10
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i get it now...i've never had a reason for this, so i'm not sure...i'll look it up, if i can find the manual...unless someone else can weigh in first...
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