Video 101: Watch yourself improve

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Camera basics: There are many important factors when choosing a camera but the first two you should know about are frame rate, and shutter speed.

Frame rate means the amount of individual frames the video camera can take per second.

Shutter speed is the speed at which the shutter opens and closes; basically, the amount of light that comes into the camera. For most endurance sports, a 30 frame per second camera with it’s preset shutter speed is sufficient.

Observing a slap shot or a golf swing can be done with the same camera but you will likely see a blur in some of the frames. Motion blur occurs when the subject moves within the frame while the shutter is open. The less time the shutter is open (i.e. the faster the shutter speed), the less movement will take place. Learn more about frame rate and shutter speed.

Software for analysis: Personally I like free software and there are plenty of good programs out there for analyzing human motion. What I look for in a program is: must be able to analyze video in slow motion, draw angles, save or print each frame with the angles on it, and measurements.My personal favorite is Kinovea.  It’s very easy to use and is of course free.  Others I’ve tried are, MaxTrag (trial offer), Pin Point (iPhone), and Silicon Coach.

Taking the video: The most important aspect of the video is making sure that your subject is always in view of the camera. This may seem redundant but in sports such as hockey where players can be shielded by the boards, you may not be able record the individual if your view is obstructed. Other aspects to keep in mind: make sure to have lots of light.  If you want to measure angles or distances be sure to video directly perpendicular.  Lastly, make sure to have a stand to keep the camera still.

That’s filming in a nut shell.  I’ll do another post shortly on exactly what to look for when capturing video.



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