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Most of your new DSLRs also do video in HD or 4K.  That way you would get both in a single unit.   Many now have apps that if you have it set on tripod you can control etc... via your phone.  Also you can transfer video and pics via wifi from camera to phone so you can send out pics/video immediately to friends and family.       This is what I would get

Nikon Z6

Enjoy taking high-resolution photos with this full-frame, mirrorless Nikon camera. The FX-format sensor is compatible with F-mount NIKKOR lenses for shooting options, and mirrorless operation makes it lightweight and easy to handle. This Nikon camera shoots 24.5-megapixel stills at up to 12 fps and video at 4K UHD for versatile media creation.

A lot depends upon your needs, goals, and price range. I was looking for something simple and light, remote control with phone, multiple shot angles, 1080p resolution at 60 fps, and could be set up to stream live (with a couple of additional accessories). I went with a GoPro Hero4 Silver and it has done everything I've needed so far in very compact and durable package.

What tequila said.  A lot depends on your goals.  Are you shooting from behind the back stop?  From center field?  Looking for a few clips?  Looking to record the entire game?    If you're just looking to get clips of your son AB then a cell phone will probably work.  If you looking to shoot from center field the you are going to want something else.  We use a Sony HDR-CX900 for shooting vlogs, internal stuff and social media posts at work.

I used it to film some of my kids games.  Really nice camera but not cheap and it maybe overkill depending on what you want to do.


Last edited by joes87

A basic smartphone can do almost anything you would need for recording your son at a baseball game, including live-streaming. You can buy accessories like mounts, tripods, handles and even gimbals to improve the recording quality. The only reason I can think to upgrade would be for optical zoom, which is much better than digit zoom if you're too far away from the action to get clear video. For that you need a camcorder or DSLR. You can get a decent Sony or Panasonic camcorder w optical zoom for less than $200. Those don't have too many modern features, just basic high quality video recording. Camcorders or DSLRs with lots of cool features like wifi (not for streaming) will cost at least $500 and realistically more like $1,000 and up.

MidAtlanticDad posted:

A basic smartphone can do almost anything you would need for recording your son at a baseball game, including live-streaming.

Totally agree MidAtlanticDad. I will add that the reason I chose an external purpose-built device is because A) I didn't want my phone dedicated/allocated to this during the events, and B) I wanted easy control over the storage, which can be quite significant with med/high quality video. I felt that dealing with the management and transfer of this data on an iphone was kind of a pain.

Last edited by tequila

I am going to make a bit of an odd suggestion.  But first, I'll explain my criteria for buying it.  I hate getting right up to the fence to video an at-bat, particularly at a place like Lake Point or at a showcase (I prefer to be invisible).  My phone camera just doesn't have enough zoom to get this job done.  Second, my phone was getting filled with video so I wanted something that stored the data off my phone.  Third, I use my phone during a game so this gave me another reason to get a separate camera.

I ended up getting the DJI Osmo, which is a drone camera on a stick.  I met a filmographer who was using one and he raved about it.  Fantastic zoom (72x), takes HD video (60 frames per second), stores video on mini SD card, and has an amazing stabilizer that works great for baseball.  It is really professional quality video that makes great clips for a recruiting video.  Also, your phone is the "view finder", so you can set up the camera on a tripod and control the action from your seat in the bleachers.  It's not cheap, but fit perfectly into what I was looking for.

tequila posted:

Totally agree MidAtlanticDad. I will add that the reason I chose an external purpose-built device is because A) I didn't want my phone dedicated/allocated to this during the events, and B) I wanted easy control over the storage, which can be quite significant with med/high quality video. I felt that dealing with the management and transfer of this data on an iphone was kind of a pain.

Agree right back at you. Also if you have other interest like skydiving (GoPro) or high quality photography (DSLR), those other options make more sense, too. Still, it's amazing to me that my iPhone 8 can record 240fps at 1080p for amazing slow motion video.

Has anyone used a setup with a tripod where you just leave it and record the entire game? If so, where do you put the camera? Did you ever get complaints?  

I have not done this but I've seen lots of people do it.  I have never seen a problem with it.  Having said that, I think the result is rather awful.  You have to have a wide enough angle so that you cover the whole field, which means the batter and fielders look like they are 1/2 mile away.  Second, it's the wrong viewing angle to get a hitter since you can't really see the swing.  I don't think it has any recruiting value.  If you want it to record your son for posterity, it's probably fine.

I purchased an AKASO V50x for about $60, a tripod for $15 plus a mini SD card.  So, less than $100 all in. I narrow the field of view to 110 degrees to avoid the fish eye.  I looked it up on Amazon. it's up to $85.

My son is a catcher, 3B and pitcher and it has excellent picture quality at up to 4K30fps.  4x zoom. I wouldn't recommend it for an outfielder.

You can find some really good quality cameras below $200. The reviews I saw on GoPro said that it was not good for baseball. I don't remember why, so I went a similar but different route.

I just googled best video/action cameras for less than X dollars and checked out the list and read the reviews.  Just depends on how many X dollars you have to spend.

I was hoping to find something close to the quality of my phone. The Canon reviews were solid but the rep at B&H said it may not be good in low lighting situations. I was surprised to find out that meant a cloud. It works fine for AB's and to get video of my son catching, but anything past the SS in cloud cover is like old school Atari figures. 

I've heard terrible reviews on the GoPro's for baseball. Another parent was trying to use one at the beginning of the season and then just offered me a nice bottle of bourbon to get a copy of my video. Now I upload the video to the school  HUDL account for the entire team to use.

Our HS team has begun streaming all games from an iPhone. Nice to get the film. Not cinema quality but every hit is captured and available to anyone who wants it!. There are contraptions from Amazon that bungee to the fence making it pretty simple to set up. Kudos to our team for adding a pocket radar and scoring/broadcasting games on iscore—we have grandparents across the country tuning in!

It obviously depends on your needs.  I don’t have any expertise if you’re looking for high quality.  I’ve been looking for a an alternative as well and here’s what I’ve used or encountered.  

Last year I was using the Periscope app to live stream with iPhone. Twitter bought and has retired it but I think you can livestream with Twitter now too, but haven’t got that far.  I think it will store your feed, like periscope did.  Livestream is for the grandparents and family.  I use “the fence clip”, which is pretty solid on regular chain link, but isn’t great on backstop with netting.

Another dad on our team is testing the game changer team manager app’s livestream in the beta.  Seems to be getting better.  It doesn’t have a option to save or store the video   Just mentioning it in case someone is interested in livestream options too.    

A dad this weekend was using two GoPro Hero9s to get footage.  He setup one behind home and another closer to the dugout to get the batter.  I saw the behind home footage and it was really good quality in my opinion.  The feature I like too is the ability to live stream through your phone as your recording.  Also saw that GoPro subscription is $49/yr for unlimited cloud storage.  Pretty decent option as I’m no long a fan of maintaining external drives at home.  

Another simple setup I liked was a dad had a 5ft tripod with an iPhone/iPad set back about 15 feet from the fence.  Not gonna get the best quality but the fence was not a distraction in watching the video.  Might be an option for youth, probably not for HS depending on the seating.  

No adjustment needed so far. I also have a large USB battery handing from it in a carpenter pouch, so that’s probably helping keep it stable.

For phone control, it’s good to within around 75 feet of range in my experience. But once it’s recording, I never mess with it until the end of the game. I install it, align the camera, then walk away. Once the anthem ends, I hit record. If I’m near it,  I’ll check every other inning or so to see if it’s still recording, but that’s it.

GoPro Hero 8 and a LynkSpyder for me too. I do not use the Wi-Fi to control from the phone, seems to use up battery and adds heat to the gopro. I just start and stop between each half inning. On board battery normally lasts for an 1hr 45min - 2 hours game time. I will be getting the batter pack to make DHer games a little easier. Zoom in so the just the outside edges of 1st and 3rd are showing. Get all the hitting, and son plays 3B and C. So it works out good.

It'll go against the grain some, but I'll share my experience.  If money and time is no object, then discard everything I am about to say.  With a lot of money and time/work, there are good solutions out there.  But if money and time are finite for you, pull your iPhone out and commit to a less than desirable baseball watching experience and record what you want yourself.  You think you'll hate it - and you might - but know you may end up hating it LESS than what it takes to get great video through something other than your phone.

Most people I've interacted end up spending hundreds of dollars and lots of time for something they end up labeling as "better than nothing" once the final product comes out.  I just had a buddy (whose has lots of money) return his brand new GoPro Hero 9 and all it's accessories (total cost was about $500).  Once he quickly realized all that goes into the process of recording and/or streaming games and bounced it up against the end product, back it went.  He streamed one 5-ining game and got the text message from his cell provider that he'd already exceeded his monthly allotment of his fastest bandwidth.  I took a look a his stream.  The quality from his GoPro 9 looked great - for a live streamed high school baseball game.  I could fairly easily tell who the hitter, catcher and umpire were.  But who was playing any other position in the field?  No chance.  And he was streaming at the highest resolution possible.

There are a TON of obstacles that must be accounted for each and every time you want to record and/or stream a game:

Net backstops (vs fence/chainlink) are auto-focus killers.  If you're shooting through one of them, you're hosed without something like the Lynk Spyder.  So finding a great place to mount your camera is always hard.  Every ballpark is different and presents different challenges, so you're showing up early to set up.  Every game.  FOV - are getting every defender even though no one can see what the RF is doing without the help of GameChanger?  Are shaving off the RF and LF from the picture to get a slightly better view if the batters or infield?  Do you have enough battery packs?  How often do they need to be switched out?  What about a double header?   Did you remember to charge all the batteries right after last night's game when you got home at 10:30pm? Do you bring an extension cord?  Can you find an outlet for it?  Are you and your phone close enough to where you mounted the camera?  Is your camera and/or phone overheating in the 96 degree 98% humidity? Do you end up sticking your phone in a cooler with ice in between each inning?  Is the autofocus refocusing on the thing you'd prefer it does?  Do you have a cell plan with enough bandwidth and data limits?  Do you need to lease a wifi hotspot device since your camera is too far away from your phone?  Gonna share the live streaming link with your friends, family and other parents?  Cool, but understand you'll be getting texts from them when the feed goes down/service is interrupted.  People will get very comfortable once you feed them once.  The list of obstacles extends well beyond this list, but for the vast majority of people who choose to do this, you're signing up for a job.  If you're seeking another job, you'll strike gold here.  If you'd prefer games are more laid back and satisfying for you holistically, consider NOT adding this job to your resume.

When Covid killed my 2021's highly-important-for-recruiting spring season last year, I was VERY close to buying a Mevo+, a Lynk Spyder and all the fixings for summer ball.  Thank Jesus I held up and went with shooting everything with my iPhone.  It WAS indeed a job and not easy, but for me, it was a much better alternative to what the start up costs, daily setup, time commitment, responsibility, headaches, streaming, recording, editing, tear down, etc would have been.  In the end, I got ALL the shots I wanted (with the quality I wanted) with the least amount of hassle and headaches.  My advice is to research everything to Nth degree and be sure of what you're signing up for BEFORE you spend a penny.  My wealthy buddy figured throwing money at it would make for a worthwhile and easy experience for himself and others.  There is NO easy path to getting great video.

No way I can use my phone to video the entire game. I will use it for AB’s though. The quality is much better than the camcorder I bought. I will use the camcorder to video my son catching. The quality for that is fine. I also just figured out how to use my Apple Watch to control my phone camera. So I’ll slide the phone into the mount when my son is on deck and turn it on from the comfort of my seat. Take it out when he’s done

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