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Best Video options for recording a halftime show


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I am the designated halftime show recorder. I’m currently working with a base model Sony video camera. It has decent picture quality but not enough wide angle view to cover the entire field from atop the press box. I’ve requested a taller stadium/press box. It’s “under consideration”...

 

Our band marched 212 this year and at several points the show stretched end zone to end zone. My trusty Handycam can only get roughly 20 to 20.

 

What do other band parent/videographers use to record your band’s halftime show? Does anyone have a suggestion for better wide angle viewing?

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I am the designated halftime show recorder. I’m currently working with a base model Sony video camera. It has decent picture quality but not enough wide angle view to cover the entire field from atop the press box. I’ve requested a taller stadium/press box. It’s “under consideration”...

 

Our band marched 212 this year and at several points the show stretched end zone to end zone. My trusty Handycam can only get roughly 20 to 20.

 

What do other band parent/videographers use to record your band’s halftime show? Does anyone have a suggestion for better wide angle viewing?

 

With a band that stretches from end zone to end zone, I've had the same challenges videoing the Allen band.  My regular Sony video camera works OK when I can shoot from the press box at Allen's stadium, but that's a very high vantage point.  My go-to for the wide angle is a GoPro with an external microphone connected to the mini-USB port.

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Not really a camera guy, but if you're using a camera that has swappable lenses, your solution is likely a specific lens rather than a specific camera.

"Wide-angle lense" is a term I've heard thrown around a lot.  I'm picturing that as what you'd need to be able to cover endzone to endzone.  But that's with a DSLR like a Canon or a Nikon that would be able to achieve this....not so sure how that works with videorecorders.

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When you bring the term "wide angle" into play, the equipment costs can increase exponentially. I considered a dedicated wide angle for my DSLR. It was cost prohibitive for a single season. My band member is a senior. I almost shelled out $1800 for one lens.

In my research I found that a 14mm wide angle lens seemed to be optimal for most high school stadiums. This is actually considered "ultra-wide". My research found them readily available for $1500 and up. Couldn't justify it and settled on 18mm.

Dedicated wide angle camcorders are out there too.

Almost all consumer camcorders (labeled "wide angle") are actually the equivalent to 35mm and some even 55mm. Lucky to get 20 to 20 in a stadium up high with 35mm. To get the wide angle we need for shooting marching bands, you'd have to move up the cost ladder to something in the lower pro to pro camcorder. 2K and up.

I didn't look at Go-Pro. Would need to research more.

 

#Takigan

You are correct. Brand is not that important as long as it is a reputable brand. Cannon, Nikon, Sony. Detachable lens, absolutely. Both DSLR or camcorder. Thus the cost cosideration.

 

If your free to burn some cabbage the options are wide open. If you're on a budget, it would be a good idea to visit your local photography & videography store. In the central Texas area, that's Precision Camera & Video. (I'm not affiliated with them in any way, just a long time customer who can vouch for their service and professionalism).

 

In any case, on camera audio controls are a major consideration. I started out with an external mic with wind shield. Eventually kept it in my bag only to be used in heavy winds. They seemed to distort the audio or focus on a smaller angle of attack giving off sounding recordings. This caused a lot of grief in post processing. Keep in mind that we're not recording a Youtube interview or blog. We're trying to capture the sound of 200-300 instruments in unison from almost 100 yards away.

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Thanks all! I already have a D5000 DSLR, just never seriously considered using it for dedicated video. I’ll play with it in the off-season and decide which of my options works best. That GoPro idea is also percolating.

 

RudeDog, did you have any problems bringing recording equipment into the Alamodome? I recorded at Regional and Area but just assumed that State would not allow it since they are videoing too. Not really an issue for me any more since Lumberton will most likely bump back up to 5A after next year and my kid will not get another shot at advancing. Still good info to pass along to the next guy.

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I fortunately landed the "official" band videographer. The directors arranged for ISD, BOA and US Bands credentials. I mostly road with the band so gained access to behind the scenes stills and video that I wouldn't otherwise have had. Coming in with the band wearing credentials, I had no problems. This allowed me to enter events with a photography backpack carrying 2 bodies, 6 lenses and a tripod and access to places not offered to the general public.

 

We had 2 dedicated photographers that shot from the stands or field when they could and I shot stills from up high while recording. I'm sure our band yearbook coordinators are pulling her their hair out.

 

If you can set up an arrangement like this, you can get stills and vids on bus rides to and from events, rehearsals, warm-ups and band halls. I'm producing an end of year video and being able to capture video and/or audio of inspirational speaches from directors and drum majors before release makes great conent.

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Ltowndad,

 

Check the D5000 video capabilities. Not sure it can shoot high resolution for very long.

 

Edit: With a factory battery, the D3300 will shoot 22 minutes of 1080P 60fps video, then the video function shuts off to keep from damaging internal circuits. With an aftermarket battery, it only shoots for 10 minutes then shuts down. Found that out the hard way.

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