April 10, 2006
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I'm looking for an economical digital video camera that will be set up to catch riders' numbers as they cross the finish in bicycle races. The Sony Handycam I've used produces frames that are blurred when I step through them. The camera needs to be able to capture very clear images when I go back to step through the frames one by one. Any suggestions or specs I should be looking for?
| | I get this question most frequently from golfers who want to deconstruct their swings, which is essentially the same task.
Until recently, however, there hasn't really been a good answer. But Sony's recently introduced DCR-DVD505
camcorder has a new feature called Smooth Slow Recording, which captures 3 seconds of video at 240fps and plays it back at 60fps. Because tape can't record at variable frame rates, we've only now begun to see products--tapeless models that can record to DVD, SD, hard drives, and so on--that offer this type of flexibility. As far as I can tell, the DVD505 is the only consumer model to offer it; the Panasonic AG-HVX200
is capable as well, but I suspect $6,000 is outside your definition of economical.
has been an avid photographer for almost 30 years. Her digital-imaging coverage has been referenced by academic journals and Web sites and published in all forms of media.