Elevated camera on the cheap
There are a few coaches in our neck of the woods with elevated camera tables that produce some really nice game film. Problem is, they cost far more than I am willing to pay for better film. Other guys have brought deer stands to games, which is something I considered for awhile. You can get a 16' stand for around $250, but I wanted something higher and didn't want to drag a deer stand to every game and scout.
On the advice of another coach, I taped my monopod to a step ladder at our post season festival and set it to record. I had my doubts because no one was going to move the camera to follow the action, plus it would be two long clips (change the battery at halftime), which is a pain when uploading your film. Regardless, the wind blew the stepladder over and my camera broke. This presented an opportunity to buy a new camera with the features I wanted.
I present to you, my elevated camera on the cheap. You need:
1) a camera with wifi that allows remote control via smart phone. There are 2 brands that have this feature, Canon and Sony. I avoid Sony like the plague because everything they do is proprietary and I had problems sharing film in the past. So I went with a refurbished Canon VIXIA HF R80 listed at $229 from Canon. It was just shy of $260 after tax and shipping. In hindsight, I might have just bit the bullet and went with Sony because the Canon software (Camera Connect) does not work with this particular camera. Luckily, I found a third party iPhone app for free called CameraAccess plus that did the trick.
2) A long pole. I bought this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HJGZ956/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. $95 delivered. It telescopes from about 6 feet to 24 feet. There is a 12' model available for $68 and a 30' for $114. The bottom section is 1.5" in diameter and this particular model comes with a camera mount adapter.
3) A tripod. I bought this one: https://www.solidsignal.com/winegard-3-foot-heavy-duty-galvanized-tripod-antenna-mast-mount-sw-0010. $24 plus $11 shipping.
I tested it out in my front yard tonight and I think it's going to work fine. I'll stake the tripod to the ground and bring sandbags in case we play on turf. I have a Lithium Ion jump starter with a USB charging port that I'll bring to make sure my phone doesn't die. I will also have to disable my screen lock so our film guy can use my phone. I'll set it up to point somewhat downward so it will catch the entire field, but he'll have to pan the camera by rotating the pole. He'll use my phone to see what is being filmed and to start and pause recording.
So a 24' high mast camera set up for around $400.
When in doot . . . glass and oot.
I bought a pole like that a few years ago. I put a remote control Sony Action Cam on it. I mounted a piece of pvc pipe on my equipment cart that had an inside diameter a little bigger than the pole and inserted the telescoping pole in it. That allowed my camera operator to turn the pole. Below is a link to a preseason scrimmage I recorded with it. The football is ugly but you can get an ideal of the type of video you can get with it. I did not like the fish eyed video and could not figure out how to get rid of it but I love the elevated view.
We have done the hunter's stand for trees (I own one), an extension ladder to climb on top of a building, as well as a hunter's stand on top of my van. We have rain gear for the camera, extra batteries, a backup camera in case of failure, a DeWalt generator in case there's no power on site, etc. The pursuit for good video is a never-ending pursuit. In my 12 years as a youth header, we never missed a game for video. My office looks like the NFL Films vault. lol. Thanks for the share.
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."
The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."
@32wedge I like it. The fisheye effect comes with the action cams. My son has a few GoPros and I have 2 knockoffs. Fisheye was the main reason I decided not to use action cams. Cost was another. I think a GoPro is around $400.
When in doot . . . glass and oot.