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Old 02-26-2019, 07:44 AM   #1
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk/ Aikido Society of Memphis
Location: Norfolk, VA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 162
Filming in the Dojo

Any recommendations for cameras to film short movies of techniques in the Dojo?
We're looking at the Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-FZ300 or possibly a GoPro Hero 7 black.

Jim Baker
Aikido of Norfolk
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:48 PM   #2
Dojo: Kitsap Aikido, Poulsbo, WA
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 54
Re: Filming in the Dojo

These days, I'd say having good lighting and a smooth panning tripod is at least as important as having a good camera. That is, unless you need extra fine detail (go with 4K), extra slow motion (look for 240 fps), or very low light (detachable lens/large lens). My camera is a Canon Vixia HF R800 (1080p @ 60fps) and seems to do tolerably well.

One of my dojo buddies rolls with a 4K camera, but the editing takes forever and eats up a ton of disk space and RAM. It's a bit in excess for Youtube, but he was working on his cinematography portfolio.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:53 AM   #3
Dojo: Torrey Pines Aiki Kai
Location: San Diego
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 105
Re: Filming in the Dojo

I have used a gopro hero 3+ and then a gopro hero 6 black. I shoot every class, so data storage is a thing. My original intent was to shoot the hero 3 at 2.7k 30 fps and window around inside that in the editor, to isolate and better frame interactions of interest. I expected to render the final down to standard HD. Moving and zooming within the original frame gives the sense movement and camera man feel to a fixed camera setup. I am using premier pro cs5.5 as the editor.

I never got a good output from the hero3 with 2.7k source material, the shot video bubbled at contrast edges. This could be due to my not getting the "right" settings for the rendered to look good. I was not going for top quality video rather well framed video so the action was really observable. It also required a fairly ballsy compter to edit.

A memory card issue across 2 cards I owned lead me to believe the hero 3 had died (now not sure it did) and bought the hero 6. I have not shot at anything higher than 1080 because I have not upgraded my computer so I don't know about the higher resolution capabilities, though I expect to do some 4k 30fps tests soon. The HD video quality is not as good as the hero 3. There is a lot of flickering of background in the source video. There have been complaints about this, I don't know if it pertains to all hero 6s or just some of them.

Also gopro forces you to use their software to offload their video. Used to be you could plug in the camera and drag and drop you clips, wont do that so you have to use their crappy software. They are rebels so things like "what software revision is this" which should be in the about pull down, is not there. It has been a standard of windows programs to do this but those little gopro anarchists don't have time for that. In the past I have also shown up at the dojo plugged the in camera (the hero 3) and it would start a software upgrade and me not let me shoot. I almost stomped the camera to death for that one time.

So I do not recommend. Get something with a better lens, that has software written by programmers not tunnel visioning into the "app" world, that doesn't keep trying to push the gopro community on you.

Last edited by Hilary : 02-27-2019 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
Walter Martindale
Location: Edmonton, AB
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 785
Re: Filming in the Dojo

I like my Sony digital SLR with 28-80 zoom - fill the memory? change cards. Buy some spare batteries and a couple of memory cards. And yes, a decent tripod is good to have except when there's lots of hard ukemi on a sprung floor. Then a steadicam mount helps.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:08 PM   #5
dps's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,382
Re: Filming in the Dojo

Jim Baker wrote: View Post
Any recommendations for cameras to film short movies of techniques in the Dojo?
We're looking at the Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-FZ300 or possibly a GoPro Hero 7 black.
It depends on what you are going to use the video for. Is it for personal use for yourself or someone else? Advertising the dojo? Training inside the dojo? Youtube? Commercial use?


Go ahead, tread on me.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:13 AM   #6
Dojo: Aikido of Park Slope/NY Aikikai
Location: NYC
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 107
Re: Filming in the Dojo

I just started doing some videos....and I recommend that you invest in a couple of lights...what a difference!

I'm using an older mirrorless Lunix
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:26 PM   #7
Dojo: Shoheijuku Aikido, Fukuoka
Location: Fukuoka
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 146
Re: Filming in the Dojo

I use an iPhone X for most things, held with a Glif attached to a handle. I also use a Sony RX10 on a tripod.

Aikido chat: https://discord.gg/kZwmeC9
Naturally having something useful to say is like natural responses during training: It takes much practice.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:39 PM   #8
Erik Calderon
Erik Calderon's Avatar
Dojo: Erik Calderon's Martial Arts Program
Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 76
Re: Filming in the Dojo

I use a Sony FS-7, GoPro, Osmo, and iPhone. All three are fun to use, but definitely if you have good lighting, it's hard to see the difference in the picture.

Investing in good lighting and a very good microphone is probably more important. Cell phones now have such good camera's and some shoot in 4K.

If you check out my youtube channel, you'll see several video's that I shot using all camera's. I wonder if you can tell the difference... http://www.youtube.com/c/erikcalderon

I also have the video's on my website: www.shinkikan.com

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Old 03-21-2019, 07:17 AM   #9
David Norton
Dojo: Pax River Aikikai / California, MD
Location: Lexington Park, MD
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 27
Re: Filming in the Dojo

What David Skaggs said. It all depends on what you're doing it for.

Full disclosure: I know almost nothing about the technology. But I've worked with film makers, and there seems to be consensus that it's less about the equipment, and more about other stuff; lighting, background, etc. When we filmed "Dumbass Shakedown", my director used a mid-range camera, but his biggest grip was about the fluorescent lighting and plain white walls.

My suggestion... use what you have, and see for yourself how it turns out. And find a friend who's got some technical knowledge to help & guide you through.
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