Finishing line camera

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by Gidday, Jul 14, 2014.

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  1. Gidday

    Gidday New Member

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    Hi Folks

    I'm not real strong on cameras. We want to build a finish line system for our regattas. Here are some limitations we have to work with that will influence the selection of a camera.

    Closest boat is 40m, furthest is 78m. This area must be in focus the entire time so auto focus is not required.
    We are recording from the shoreline.
    Camera needs to be able to do continuous shooting. We would like 60fps.
    We want this hooked to a laptop for instant review once the race has finished.
    We need to interact with the camera via software eg activate, deactivate
    It will be mounted approximately 3 metres above ground level.

    We appreciate there are many race systems that can do this but they are super expensive and most of the cost is the super duper 1000th second cameras. We don't need this. We don't travel fast enough to make this necessary.

    Budget

    <$500 (Aus)

    Size

    Unimportant

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you? We are looking for definition to see across the entire regatta course.

    * What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x) We are looking for enough definition to see across the entire regatta course.

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10). 10

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? No

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Continuous shooting

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? No

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? No

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Yes

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate? No

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? No

    All help appreciated.

    Thanks

    Joe
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Are you interesting in videos or still shooting? You mention 60 frames per second for continuous shooting, which is way too high for consumer level digital cameras. But there are some cameras that shoot video at 60 frames per second.
     
  3. Gidday

    Gidday New Member

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    Hi Andy

    Thinking about what we are trying to achieve, which is the place of the boats as they cross the line, we came to the conclusion that a photo finish is the most reliable form of place determination, particularly if the race is close. We discounted video but am happy to be persuaded otherwise. The reason for the 60fps is that the boats are capable of a maximum speed of 20km/h which will have them travelling at 7.5cm per frame and we have taken a decision that we can live with that tolerance.

    Cheers

    Joe
     
  4. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I was wrong about 60 fps not being available for consumer-level cameras. The Nikon 1 series of "mirrorless" cameras have very high continuous shooting rates. For instance, the Nikon 1 J3, which can be purchased online in Australia for about $550, can shoot as fast as 60 fps, but only in bursts of 20.
     
  5. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest video for this instead of continuous still frames. For this application there are a couple of issues with continuous still frames: 1) The frame rate is variable during the burst, where a video will be at a steady rate. 2) Once the continuous still burst is done, there will be a "blackout" period while the memory card tries to catch up with the camera's internal buffer. You could miss a crossing during that blackout. A video camera has no blackout, since it does not "burst" in the first place.

    Kelly Cook
     
  6. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I agree with Kelly. There's software that lets you examine a video file frame-by-frame.
     
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