Sports videos are fun and rewarding, but sometimes it's difficult to capture that winning touchdown or jaw-dropping play when the action goes by so quickly. Here are some basic tips and techniques that will help you shoot videos you’ll treasure for years.
To get the best video, you’ll need to do what the pros do and get as low and as close to the action as possible. Getting a shooting spot on the 50-yard line may require arriving early and some fast-talking, but it’s worth the trouble. Want to get down to ground level? Check out the Switch Grip 2.0 system on the Samsung QF20BN, which lets you shoot with either hand, or position the camcorder vertically or horizontally.
The 20x optical zoom on the QF20BN is a great feature—it even lets you zoom in on the stitches on a baseball—but use it with restraint. It’s best to shoot wide unless you’re absolutely sure what’s going to happen next. An amateur photographer will zoom in on the batter and capture the crack of the ball coming off the bat, but will totally miss the drama as the home run sails over the fence. A wide shot will get the pitch, the hit, and the runner rounding the bases, with no frantic camera movements as you struggle to catch up. During a basketball game, though, it makes sense to occasionally zoom in on the basket in anticipation of a slam dunk. But for most of the game, keeping a wide angle is your best bet.
A tripod is essential for getting great shots at sporting events. No one likes “shaky cam” footage, especially if the action is moving quickly. Keep the camera as still as possible. If the action moves out of the frame, use slow, graceful movements to reposition the shot, and try to keep the action centered in the frame. Occasionally, it may make sense to move to another shooting position—the end zone, for example—when the action heads to that side of the field.
Video cameras don’t have quite as many settings to master as still cameras, and for most sports situations you can get great video using the defaults. Set the White Balance to match the type of lighting you’re shooting in (daylight, cloudy, fluorescent and so on), and feel free to tick the Exposure Value setting down if bright light is blowing out your video. Sports footage should look realistic, so it’s best to avoid using art or special effects modes.
The best editing program in the world won’t help if you don’t have the material you need. Shoot everything, starting well before the game ever begins. If you have kids in Little League, shoot them taking practice swings before the game and checking out the fit of their gloves. Get those opening coin tosses or handshakes, and that all-important “Play ball!” Shoot the whole game from start to finish if you can, and capture the emotions afterward (particularly if your team won).
Judiciously edit the video into a montage of scenes. You don’t need every play. Most of a soccer game is running back and forth, and a lot of any football game involves standing around. Quick outs in a baseball game don’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, so focus on the home runs, the dramatic catches, and the other team’s best hitter striking out. Smart editing can turn a three-hour video—which no one will ever watch again—into a 10-minute highlights reel that you and your kids will revisit over and over. Adding a music soundtrack can make the video even better.
Want to share a preview snippet of the action while you’re still courtside? Built-in Wi-Fi® on the QF20BN lets you upload videos and photos to social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube any time you’re connected to a wireless signal. The QF20BN can also back up videos to your PC with the included Auto Backup software.
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