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Old November 21st, 2008, 10:53 AM   #1
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Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Really good camera for videotaping sports?

Recently retired, I’ve have been volunteered to videotape my daughters’ high school teams’ soccer games. I’ve been doing so using my old Sony Digital 8 and burning DVDs for the coaches. Although the product is only fair, the coaches have been using them daily for instruction. I’d like to produce better quality DVDs for the coaches to work with. I’m thinking that a professional worthy camera would provide better low-light quality (most games are under lights), smoother zooms, and better detail.

I’d likely use the camera for other events too – volleyball, basketball, plays, recitals, robotics tournaments ... all the things that my kids are involved in. Can someone steer me in the right direction?

I’ve been impressed by ads for the Canon XH A1. I understand that now a newer model, the XH A1s, is about to become available. There’s no store around here that sells either, so I’d have to order sight unseen. Does anyone have thoughts on these cameras for my purpose? Is there a better choice for sports? I already have a dandy tripod that I’d used many years ago with my heavy RB-67. I’d use it but maybe fit it with a better head for smoother movement.
Richard Sharum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2008, 11:16 AM   #2
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Location: Novato, CA
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Hi Richard,

Canon does not have the XH A1s out which is an updated version of the XH A1. I have an XH A1 that I use to shoot a variety of events. Most of my work is on dance recital, plays and other various hi motion activites. The Canon does a great job but it is not the type of camera that you can pick up and get the most out of in a few hours. There is a sharp learning curve but if you're up for that it's a great camera. The 20x zoom lense will come in handy for sprots events.

For shooting sports you'll probably find that using a good tripod is essential. Getting one that can be balanced for the camera setup as well as a good fluid head on a steardy tripod is a must for the work I do.

There are other cameras that would work for your applications so I would say you really need to try them out before putting that kind of investment down. Sony's Z1U would be another good option.

Just my opinons and experiences.

Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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The Canon Xh-A1 or A1s would be a great choice. The reality is that any of the current HDV or AVCHD prosumer level camcorders will work fine. They're all good cameras and it really comes down to the user. If you get an A1 and spend some time testing it, and figuring out what you like in an image, you'll be very happy with the results.

On the tripod front, you'll want a good fluid head and sturdy legs. I'd suggest the Libec LS-38 as a minimum and you could always go up from there.
Josh Laronge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Location: Olathe, Kansas
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Hi Richard,

You might consider the Canon HV30.

Another Retired Guy.


By the way, which D-8 unit do you have ??
Harold Schreiber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2008, 09:53 PM   #5
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I'd give the new Panasonic HMC150 a serious look too, especially for sports.

I have an A1 and LOVE it, but....did notice some motion artifacting when filming my daughter's soccer games.
I researched things a bit and concluded that the AVCHD codec may be better for sports. Tried it at a soccer game last weekend, it worked great. Very sharp picture. no motion artifacting or "ghosting". I definately recommend that you give it a good look.
Steve Wolla is offline   Reply

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