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View Full Version : [Kit] A bit random this but ...



neilyboy
05-04-16, 12:04
... has anyone toyed with the idea of wearing a go-pro or similar (other wearable cameras are available!) to review your decisions in the days after the event?

What are the pro's and con's of this? I'm obviously talking about for the lower levels not natonal leagues etc.

cheers for your thoughts

4eyesbetter
05-04-16, 13:04
I've been wearing a Panasonic A-100 in most of my games for the last two years and I can safely say that it's one of the best investments I've ever made. I'd recommend it to anyone who can afford it.

neilyboy
05-04-16, 13:04
thanks 4eyes. Can I ask where you got it and what other holders you have for the camera?

4eyesbetter
05-04-16, 15:04
The major benefit of the A-100 and other models in that range is that Panasonic designed it with the idea of being directly head-wearable. GoPros are lovely things, but for our purposes they're shite because they were designed with the assumption that you'd clip them onto a helmet or mount them on some fixed object. The Panasonics all clip into a headphone-style mount that sits next to your eye. (Other mounting options are available.) Looks like this, apologies for low-quality image.

http://i.imgur.com/SKs8iRl.png

The one drawback with the A-100 is that it's a lens on a long string, leading to a control box. Looks like this.

http://i.imgur.com/49fnvUJ.jpg

Which means you have to put the control box somewhere. And guess what? The string is half a metre too short to be really useful. I've had extra pockets sewn into my shorts, but if I were any taller than 5 foot 9 it simply wouldn't reach my waist and I'd have to keep the box in a somewhat awkward arm holster instead (a shirt with a top pocket would be ideal, but apparently rugby doesn't believe in shirt pockets).

There is a newer model, the HX-A1, which doesn't have the control box, but it also has massively reduced battery life that doesn't really make it feasible for us (from ~2hr 30min to ~80ish minutes at 1080p HD). You can get a screw-in extended-life battery and go back to 2hr 45-ish, but I've not tried that and I'm not entirely sure that the weight distribution would work.

Image quality with the A100 is okay but not razor sharp like you'll get on a camcorder; you'll be able to see hands on the ball at a range of 10 yards, and be able to tell whether the hands passed the ball forward or backward at 20 yards. That's all you need.

There are two different models of head mount. The original A-100 mount is rubber and plastic and looks like this. (http://hdvcam.net/wp-content/uploads/Panasonic-HX-A100-Ear-Hook.jpg) There is a newer, quite a bit better, lightweight metal mount that looks like this. (http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server3300/f9fok/products/8548/images/10945/1054530__42096.1434404161.600.600.jpg?c=2)

My personal recommendation would be to get a HX-A1 plus extended life battery, but that's just me selfishly trying to get someone else to drop money to test something (not least since I can only find the VW-BTA1 battery on eBay and grey market import sites). You'd be looking at about 200 for the lot. An A-100 will cost less than 100 on Amazon or eBay and include everything you need to start, except a microSD card (make sure it is a microSD). 32GB is plenty for multiple games and you can have a Class 10 card for 10. Make sure you get the black, not the dayglo orange, unless you're looking to coordinate with an equally orange shirt.

A final word of warning: do not under any circumstances buy the A-500, or "the one with the screen". You get all the disadvantages of the 100; very, very slightly improved image quality; a bunch of useless Gucci crap features that you'll never use; and you'll pay at least 150 extra for the privilege. If you feel minded to do this, you should instead get a 100 and PayPal me the difference, which I promise to use for something more useful.

edit: they produce Panasonic .MTS files, which you can play with VLC Player without needing to convert them

crossref
05-04-16, 15:04
an american ref I met told me he has a drone, which follows him around the pitch. Start it going and forget about it. If its battery dies it flies back to where it started from. I didn't see it, but it sounds good.

OB..
05-04-16, 16:04
an american ref I met told me he has a drone, which follows him around the pitch. Start it going and forget about it. If its battery dies it flies back to where it started from. I didn't see it, but it sounds good.So if he is 20 metres behind play, so is the drone?

How often does it get hit by the ball?

4eyesbetter - I haven't been impressed with the refcam footage I have seen, because the camera does not work like your eyes do in suppressing the blur as you shift your attention sharply (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccadic_masking). Have you found this a problem?

4eyesbetter
05-04-16, 16:04
The best way to answer this is with some example video, which I'll upload this evening.

Once you start moving at a certain speed (and that includes moving your head as well as your whole body) the video stops being watchable because of blur, but I don't actually spend that much time moving at high speed, and most of that is done while there's nothing to look at anyway. 85-95% of the decisions I make are caught in good enough quality to get at least a sense of whether they were credible.

Rushforth
05-04-16, 16:04
Sounds good, 5eyesbest.

chrismtl
06-04-16, 02:04
I know someone who has one of these: https://shop.soloshot.com/
It tracks you around the field and has an autozoom feature available too.

I know some people who have done the gopro (both head mount and chest mount). Problem with head mount is that it shakes a bunch when you're running around (they're really made for extreme sports and stable mounting) as well as it being particularly uncomfortable since they weigh a decent amount. The chest mount gives a better picture, except that it doesn't necessarily look at what you're looking at.

4eyes, why not use a radio harness to hold the "remote"? Some of us have vests, but lots use running pouches that strap around your waist and are better than having an arm strap. Something like this: http://www.mec.ca/product/5028-449/spibelt-small-personal-item-belt-unisex/?f=10+50005+50616

FatherFlipper
06-04-16, 16:04
I would presume/wildly guess that you would need to get usage of these cleared with your society and/or the teams? And would any footage be able to be used in disciplinary hearings?

Am quite interested in using these myself - was thinking about it over the weekend actually. And with a big birthday coming up, might be something to suggest for a present (wife won't let me have a new Xbox).

4eyesbetter
06-04-16, 17:04
Just realised there's an upload y'all can take a look at from last summer. Please don't spread this link around.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2snow0_surso-h1_animals

You should be able to get a good enough idea from the first 5-10 minutes. Here you can also see the one drawback; because the camera sits to the side of my left eye, it's great at seeing what I can see out of the corner of my left eye, and useless at the corner of my right eye. When I look for offside you can see how it shows the left of the line perfectly but never gets to the right, because my head doesn't turn far enough to bring the camera over.

Never had any issues with using it. For junior games I got the society to contact the league first, having drawn up a "use of camera" policy that basically says "don't record anything in the sheds, cover the lens at all times when in the sheds, don't record anything not directly connected to the match".

And yes, a copy of the video goes in with dismissal and brawl reports. Oddly enough, in the first game I ever did with it, I sent someone off for stamping on a tackler who wasn't clearing the ruck as quickly as he liked. "You make sure you send in a copy of that video", says his coach meaningfully. I send in the video with the report. Coach accidentally hits Reply All and copies me in on the "you know what, I don't think we'll be appealing this one" message...



4eyes, why not use a radio harness to hold the "remote"? Some of us have vests, but lots use running pouches that strap around your waist and are better than having an arm strap. Something like this: http://www.mec.ca/product/5028-449/spibelt-small-personal-item-belt-unisex/?f=10+50005+50616

Might work. Would it stay put if worn up above the stomach, though? I could easily see a six-foot-four guy trying to wear one and it barely reaching his ribcage. The cable is 70cm/27in long, but properly clipped into the headset it's closer to 20in/55cm.

OB..
06-04-16, 17:04
And would any footage be able to be used in disciplinary hearings?We successfully cited one player because a supporter happened to be videoing the game. Unofficial but accepted nonetheless.

crossref
06-04-16, 17:04
your control box would fit into one of those GPS pockets that pro-players now wear between the shoulder blades.

chrismtl
06-04-16, 18:04
Might work. Would it stay put if worn up above the stomach, though? I could easily see a six-foot-four guy trying to wear one and it barely reaching his ribcage. The cable is 70cm/27in long, but properly clipped into the headset it's closer to 20in/55cm.

One of these might be an option too. A few guys I know use them. I kinda used a similar design and made it out of lycra instead of the neoprene and it works well and keeps everything above your diaphragm so you can breath properly. Also holds 2 radios so you can use your video camera and a radio for a TO3/assessor.

http://www.lwsc.com.au/uploads/images/Medium%20Vest.jpg

crossref
06-04-16, 18:04
perhaps a sports bra, worn back to front, would do the job :)