While I am sympathetic to inquiries about specific manufacturers equipment, I have no strong opinions for two basic reasons:

  1. Every manufacturer will say that their equipment is "the best" but only one of them will be right. Claims about being the best system are almost always a sales and marketing feature and have no connection to real life testing in almost every case. Ask the manufacturers for system specifications and details of the tests that they have performed to "prove" that they are the best system and draw your own conclusions based on their responses.
  2. There are many different motion capture systems available and end users like yourself all have different needs - without knowing all the details of your needs and the application of the system, it would be meaningless to say that any specific system is "the right system" for you.

My recommendation has always been that anyone in your situation should visit other motion capture labs, preferably labs that are performing the same kind of evaluations and measurements as you plan to do. Talk to the people using the equipment and make your decisions based on what other users say. In general you will find that the motion capture system end-users opinions are worth much more than any manufacturers marketing materials, or glossy brochures. For example, many systems these days claim "real-time" results - ask them what "real-time" means to them? Some manufacturers will say the real-time means data within a ten seconds, some have delays of less than one second, and others will provide the data with 0.01 of a second (10ms) - but they all all say that their system is "real-time".

Try to get an understanding how each system works - understanding how a system works is essential because when you run into problems with the results (everyone does, sooner or later), knowledge about how the results are generated will make faultfinding much faster and easier. Some questions that you might want to ask are:

  • Are the system measurements accurate and reliable?
  • Is the system easy to use and understand?
  • Is it easy to interface other manufacturers sensors (force plates, accelerometers, EMG systems, electro-goniometers etc., to the system?
  • Is the system supported, when something breaks can the manufacturer fix it quickly?
  • Can you export the data from the system into a standard format like C3D that you can access and share with others?

When you have answers to these questions, you will have a very good idea of the best system for your needs.