Video Analysis Software
The most important part of your kit for video analysis is a camera which will produce the quality of footage that you need. Alongside this camera, we highly recommend that you have a good quality tripod to increase the stability and smoothness required for proper review. Below, we will give some impartial advice on some key parts of equipment but please feel free to use our Contact page if you have any questions about your current equipment or would like some recommendations.
Most modern cameras will provide you with HD quality filming capacity and the ability to store footage on a memory card in the camera. HD quality footage takes up a lot of storage space, so we recommend that you get a compatible memory card for your camera that is at least 8GB. If you are likely to be filming a few activities before transferring the files onto a permanent storage area (computer or external hard drive), you really should be looking towards 16-32GB memory cards. Another important consideration is the battery life of your camera. The standard battery provided with your camera can often not have enough capacity to keep the camera powered for a whole game, so look towards getting a longer life battery to plug into your camera. This way, you will have a long life battery to use as standard and the normal battery can serve as a backup for longer filming sessions.
A good affordable camera we would recommend is the Sony CX250 HDR. This is a compact camera but will provide high quality footage which is easily accessible. The camera has a USB lead attached so you can easily transfer files from your memory card onto a computer after filming. It also has a couple of outputs which will be handy for you. The composite and HDMI outputs can be utilised for live capture into Nacsport/Codimg when used in conjunction with the capture devices below, and importantly, the composite output port will also allow you to get an adapter lead so that you can use a Lanc controller with the camera. A Lanc controller is a really handy device that you can attach onto the arm of your tripod to control the zoom and recording function of your camera without having to lean over the camera and use the small controls on the top of it. When used in conjunction with a quality tripod and arm, the Lanc controller will vastly improve your filming technique and quality. A really good quality Lanc Controller is the Libec ZC-3DV but there are lots of controllers out there on the market!
A sturdy tripod that will provide fluid movement in all directions is the key to filming success. Most tripods will come with a plate so that you can securely attach your camera to it, so we recommend that you then look out for a tripod that allows free movement and has an arm of long length which you can use to control this movement. Another handy thing to have on your tripod is a spirit level that you can use for setting up the extension amount on each leg and positioning of the head that your camera will sit on. A good tip when checking your levels is to look at the pitch markings or posts with your camera to see if they line up with the edge of your camera screen. A really good quality tripod is the Libec TH-950DV, you may want to purchase that or look at the features and characteristics it has to find a suitable alternative.
When choosing a laptop, it comes down to personal preference (Mac/PC), requirements and budget. PC laptops will offer you a more affordable and wider range of options to choose from, but if you are set on choosing a Mac, please note that you can still use Windows software such as Nacsport/Codimg through the use of Boot Camp and software like Parallels. As with most software, there are minimum specification requirements needed from your machine, so these are always good to look at when choosing your laptop or computer. Also bear in mind that if you are wanting to work with HD quality footage, this is a processor intensive thing for a computer to do. We would urge you to look at an Intel i5 Processor as a minimum if your budget will allow it.
Previously, video analysis software relied on you capturing footage from your camera into a computer by using a Firewire connection. Firewire cameras (and firewire ports on computers) are typically expensive and are not as widely available anymore, so there are a range of capture devices that allow you to directly work with your footage by utilising different camera outputs like HDMI and Composite. With Nacsport and Codimg, we recommend two fully tested capture devices to use:
Avermedia Live Gamer Portable / Avermedia LGP Lite. This is a fantastic device for capturing the highest quality footage from your camera. By connecting the HDMI output of your camera with this device that plugs into the USB of your laptop, you can power the device and also capture in HD. The solution is more expensive than the Hauppauge USB Live 2 but we strongly recommend using this device for high quality footage. Another benefit of the device is that it has a secondary output on it, so you could even connect another HDMI lead to a screen to view a larger picture of what you are filming, which is a great process for getting more eyes on the action!
Hauppauge USB Live 2. This device takes the composite feed from your camera and then allows you to connect to the computer through the USB port which also powers the device. With this connection established, Nacsport/Codimg will recognise the camera feed so that you can do a live capture and registering on a 720x576 resolution.