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Summary of responses regarding video cameras

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  • Summary of responses regarding video cameras

    Hi all,

    As promised here are the responses to my query about video cameras - to
    recap I have included the original posting below. A big thanks to everyone
    that replied I found all help/advice very usefull!!!!

    Hopefully this will also be usefull to others too, if anyone has any
    questions feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer or direct
    you to someone who can help you better.

    Thanks again

    Daniel Robbins

    Original post:

    I am looking to obtain a video camera that I can use for human motion
    analysis. I am currently preparing to start bases supervised experience
    scheme and will hopefully be looking at gait analyses and work with martial
    artists. Obviously I will be looking to undertake some experience within a
    3D motion analysis lab, but would also like to purchase a standard video
    camera in order to obtain some footage from actual training sessions.

    I am on somewhat of a budget and so am fairly limited as to what I can buy.
    I would prefer to get something faster than 30fps. However, to date the only
    option I can see is the samsung VP-HMX10 HD (50fps) that is within my price
    range. I dont mind if the camera produces interlaced files requiring offline
    processing, but I would prefer a camera with internal storage as at this
    point in time I am working with a desktop computer (I appreciate it may
    well be an idea to also purchase a laptop - but as I say I am on a budget so
    these things take time).

    I am interested to hear if anyone has reccomendations as to what is
    available and/or what are the most important things to consider when
    purchasing a camera for human motion analysis??

    I would appreciate any help or advice that can be offered and will of course
    post a summary of any replies.
    Many Thanks
    Daniel Robbins
    Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

    I recommend the Canon EXF1 camera. It is essentially an SLR with video. It
    uses SD memory cards (we use 4GB cards to get 30mins of video at 300fps) and
    it will take 60, 300, 600, and 1200fps video. It divides the CCD to increase
    speed, so 300fps gives you 512x384 pixels. It has burst mode in still camera
    mode so you don't have to worry about missing the critical frame when
    photographing fast action. It is rather more expensive than a standard video
    camera, but is well worth the extra because of the tremendously increased
    functionality. See a review at:
    Hope this is helpful.

    Dr Alan Walmsley

    Hi Daniel,

    >From my (limited) experience with martial arts motion capture we found 50 Hz
    to be far too slow to capture the movements required. Bear in mind also that
    a single camera will only give you 2D capture and this is not ideally suited
    to this application. Finally if working with actual training session then
    check potential camera purchases for resolution and ability to deal with
    light conditions as well as frame rate.

    If your budget stretches to high speed cameras I would recommend Basler or
    AOS of which I believe that Basler are cheaper.

    Good luck,

    Dr. Sian E. M. Lawson


    I was recently surveying camrecorders for gait analysis. Appeared that the
    cheapest one was among the most suitable; that is, it included firewire and
    mircophone input (used for for synch signal). The model was Canon MD215
    (special price 119 €) dvd. Otherwise ordinary and basic. Note that there are
    also webcameras that do 100 fps and cost around $ 100 or less. We have used
    webcamera for gait analysis and is ok for visual analysis. And because they
    are cheap one can afford several .

    Regards Frank Borg

    What I did for Badminton was use a standard video camera that was 25 frames
    (PAL) but, as it was interlaced, in software I separated the fields for
    50fps. OK, this halves the spatial resolution but temporal resolution was
    more important to me.

    I'm guessing you're using NTSC which would give you 60Hz using this method.

    Regards, Joe

    Hi Daniel,

    I was in Fry's Electronics in Tempe, Arizona, a few days ago and saw
    some really nice JVC "full HD" camcorders that were less than $1000 US
    each. Each had a fairly large hard drive built in (60 or 120 GB). What
    made them stand out was their claim to capture progressive scan (not
    interlaced) at 60 full frames per second with a resolution of 1920 x
    1080 pixels. These cameras also could record at other "HD compatible"
    resolutions like 1440 x 1080 (progressive and interlaced, "1080i").

    >From what I understand, the original USA HDTV specifications defined the
    highest HD resolution to be 1440 x 1080 (a 4:3 ratio with rectangular
    [4:3] pixels). When displayed, the full width would be equivalent to
    1920 square pixels. In other words, the TV would "stretch" the 1440
    pixel horizontal resolution using a 4:3 ratio to make it equivalent to
    1920 square pixels. In fact, this is how they got to a 16:9 ratio for
    wide screen TV from the conventional 4:3 ratio of regular TV (4:3 x

    Anyway, now that most "full HD" LCD displays have square pixels most
    advertize 1920 x 1080 resolution and it is nice to find a camcorder that
    actually records at this exact resolution (rather than 1440 x 1080 with
    rectangular pixels). The bonus is that you get 60 full frames per second
    as well rather than 30.

    Perhaps they are also availble in 50 Hz versions if you want deltaT to
    be exactly 0.02 seconds rather than 0.016666... Seconds. You can check
    out Fry's Electronics at Perhaps they have the cameras on
    line. Good luck. Let me know what you end up buying. We are also looking



    Dear Daniel Robins
    I would recommend standard firewire camcorders. They can be found in various
    price levels, all depending on what you prefer and the images can be
    de-interlaced to 50/60 fps.
    A good lens is of importance, you don't want to much distortion.
    Zoom influences the demands for the measuring room (if measuring inside) and
    Some of the cheapest camcorders have limited access to shutter speed. This
    parameter is important since even regular gait has quite fast periods
    (at least if you want to auto-track as in our KineView software)
    Hope this helps
    Best regards

    Hi Daniel,

    If you don't care if the video is interlaced, actually all those regular
    video cameras of 30fps (frame per second) are actually 60 interlaced fields
    per second. You can get 60Hz interlaced video from these cameras.

    And if the video footage you are to processing is not very long, all Sony HD
    video cameras using CMOS have the capacity of taking 240 fps short video for
    3 to 6 seconds (then you need to wait for around 30 seconds for processing
    before you can capture another piece of video.

    Yungchien Chu

    Hi Daniel,

    I can suggest several awesome cameras which we integrate into our motion
    analysis systems. Unfortunately, budget drives what you can buy. So, I
    have listed 4 of my favorites. In my expert opinion, take a look at the
    InLine camera which has on board memory. It can also go wireless and
    battery pack for mobility. Coool huh. I give this camera 4 stars and 2
    thumbs up.

    Starting with my favorite....

    #1 - InLine by Fastec 250Hz USB +/-$5,000 (new list price for 2009)
    note: 500Hz and 1000Hz also avail. Laptop freiendly.
    #2 - SportsCam by Fastec 250Hz USB and compact flash card +/-$6,500 (new
    list price for 2009)note: 500Hz and 1000Hz also avail. Laptop friendly.
    #3 - Sentech USB 60Hz +/-$800 (STC-TB33USB-A) Laptop
    #4 - Basler 105Hz Firewire +/-$1,900 Will need
    a robust computer if your using more then one camera.

    For additional information on these cameras, and others

    Victoria L. Berger

    HI Daniel
    I am not sure exactly of how much you are willing to spend -
    But might I suggest Basler 602f (black & white) or 602fc (color) cameras -
    with the right software driving the cameras they can film at a frame rate of
    100 fps, and with streampix you can support multiple cameras at the same
    time - perfect for 3D. Although these cameras do not store images in the
    camera head (which is an advantage becuase it makes the camera unit very
    small). These cameras are used frequently for human motion studies - You can
    find more information on the streampix site
    I hope this helps,
    Chris Sanford

    Many Thanks
    Daniel Robbins
    07930 919600