Video Equipment & Editing Advice
My previous Blog post focused on Cameras and where to start if you are looking to set up and film your sports team.
Following on from there, I thought I’d touch on some key accessories required for both cameras and computers. In my next Blog I’ll go through my own process for filming a game of rugby which is then uploaded to the Coach Logic platform for analysis and review.
I’ve been operating as a single camera set up for many years and have added a few Accessories that have helped me out and improved my filming since I started out with just an old compact video camera many years ago! Filming gear and accessories can be expensive but hopefully these tips can help you out whilst working within a budget.
I like operating with a minimal set up where possible which allows me to keep mobile especially if I’m filming pitch side or filming during a Rugby 7s event where I’ll be moving about quite a bit.
I shoot straight to camera onto SD Cards and, following a game, I can quickly import the footage from my Card onto my Laptop and then export that as a ‘Full Game’ video file so it’s then ready to upload onto Coach Logic.
For starters, a good solid platform is extremely helpful. It’s really worth spending a bit of money to get a good quality Tripod. There are a lot of options out there and for many a Tripod may seem like a secondary requirement that you don’t need to spend much on, but it’s well worth the investment to buy a Tripod that is sturdy, will give you smooth panning shots and last you a good number of years.
I still use this more compact style Tripod for some filming but have also added a slightly larger version with a fluid head that gives me a smoother pan and tilt. There are plenty of makes and models available to suit your budget and if you’re able to go into a store and test out you’ll get a good idea of what size tripod will best suit your needs.
I have a number of essential camera accessories that I take with me when filming matches, including the following;
- Backpack/Camera Case
- Spare Batteries for Video Camera
- Rechargeable AA Batteries for Audio equipment
- Waterproof Cover
- SD Cards
- External Microphone/Headphones
Quite often I’ll just be filming one game on any given day but occasionally I’ll be covering a 7s Tournament or may have two or even three matches to film for a Team.
I always carry a second battery with me so I can easily and quickly swap them over when I need to. I may also take a charger with me or sometimes a direct power lead depending on what/where I’m shooting so that I can rotate or use a direct power source.
Another essential is a waterproof cover for my camera. I’ll check the forecast if I know I won’t be shooting under cover and if there’s a chance of rain I’ll make sure to pack my cover! You can get specific waterproof covers for certain camera makes/models. If you’re in a pinch though, I have found that a large Freezer Bag can do the trick for smaller video cameras!
My camera has two SD Card slots and I have a number of back up cards that I keep as well. I have used ‘SanDisk’ and ‘Lexar’ Cards for several years which are either 32GB or 64GB in capacity. Ensure you get a fast enough card for your camera – UHS Class 3 is fine for Full HD & 4K filming, be sure to check read/write speeds – if in doubt, information will be given online for cards that can handle higher spec footage.
I sometimes include an external microphone in my pack if required, or radio pack if i’m filming a game where the referee is mic’d up. My Camera has two XLR Audio inputs, rather than a 3.5mm input jack so I also use an adapter to go from 3.5 jack to XLR port. They can be picked up fairly cheaply.
I’ll also carry a set of earphones so I can monitor the audio levels and check the sound is coming through ok – that way, if there is an issue I can do something about it at the time of recording rather than find out when it comes to importing and reviewing the footage.
Sometimes I shoot a game with an additional smaller camera on top of my main camera. For this I use a camera mount that sits in the ‘Hot-Shoe’ and then screws into the bottom of the smaller camera which then sits on top of my main Camera. This allows me to keep the top camera on a wide angle whilst zooming with my main camera to get a closer view when I need to – all whilst operating with a single tripod which makes things much easier.
When it comes to editing, I use a MacBook Pro and Final Cut Pro X, which is available on the Mac App Store for a one off payment of £300. I previously used Microsoft Movie Maker for PC in my earlier days starting out which is a good way to get into editing and playing about creating movies. Another free option for the Mac is ‘iMovie’ which is another good starting point to get into editing and exporting as a movie file and upload to Coach Logic.
Final Cut Pro X is a great piece of Software that I have been using for many years now. It is simple enough to transition to once you’ve got a feel for video editing if you’ve been using other software but also includes a wide range of professional options for editing video.
I use it for promotional and motivational videos as well as simpler things such as exporting a full length rugby game for uploading to Coach Logic. Another good option for video editing is Adobe Premier – available on both Mac and PC on a monthly subscription. Other video editing software is available and many offer free trials for you to try and see how you get on before committing to purchasing.
I love using my MacBook for editing. It’s a powerful computer and, being a laptop, it is portable and suits my needs when travelling. I try to only keep current projects on my laptop and store any older work on back up hard drives. Once I’ve finished with a project I will transfer all my video files onto a portable drive to keep my computer running as smooth as possible.
Whether you use a Mac or PC there are plenty of options available for editing and reviewing your footage. Just ensure your computer can handle video files, particularly if shooting in 4K – some older machines may struggle to cope with larger files.
I have quite a few older Back Up Hard Drives now – over the last few years I have been using Seagate Portable Back Up drives. I find these really useful as they are small in size (size of a Passport) and they only require a USB connection and no other external power input. You can purchase in many capacities including 1GB/2GB. I keep regular back ups of my video files and for more important files I will back them up onto multiple devices. There are many brands offering great storage options with large capacities and great portability so you can easily keep them with you when you’re on the go.
It’s all about finding a method that suits you for shooting and editing. I have my own routine for editing and uploading as quickly as possible to get footage online for review by coaches and players.
Times have changed quickly – only a few years back I was spending several hours just burning DVDs and posting them out to coaches but now I can upload an entire game onto a secure platform and Tag the Game ensuring the review process can start earlier and be much more effective.
I’ll talk more about my process of filming, editing and uploading to Coach Logic in my next blog.