I want to start recording my lessons (and some rides too) but I'm at a loss as to which camera/recorder to get!
Can any one recommend one? There won't be someone who will be able to video for me so I'm looking for more of a set up and go camera (but of course want to be able to have it used in hand if need be). Other criteria are that it needs to be simple to use and can't break the bank! Would love to keep it under a $100 if possible.
Most point and shoot digital cameras have video capability these days. Mine is a Canon SX120IS. When I read up on it before purchase the reviews did say the video was on the low quality end, but I said "I don't want to shoot video" and bought it anyway. As it turned out I use it for video a lot. No the quality isn't the best, but I can see what's going on, and hear the coach when I have a lesson so it's fine. I will look for higher quality video in my next camera, but this is fine. I stick it on a tripod in the corner, or on a fence post or mounting block or where ever I can find and it does the job.
The one quirk is that despite the manufacturer claim that it will record until it runs out of memory, it only records 3.99G at a time. This translates to 38-9 minutes. So I try to remember to go and stop recording, and start a new one partway through the ride/lesson.
I have a little Kodak handheld (similar to a Flip) that I could set up on a tripod that I used a couple of times. Super simple operation, just had to switch to video mode, and then hit the big record buttong. Worked well enough, only problem with that is you have a very limited field of vision if no one is doing the recording for you. So I was either very tiny, lol, or off camera for a lot of the time. I think this will be an issue for any camera you get.
I saw a gadget that would hold a smartphone or very small camera on a turntable that had a built in motion sensor so it would turn the camera/phone to follow the action. It had a limited range, but in a few years maybe there will be one good enough to use in the arena!
I use a Sony Handycam. I like to be able to zoom in and out while a rider is on course and the Handycam allows me to do that easily. Nothing is worse than having the horse and rider so small you can't see anything.
My new Samsung S 3 phone takes awesome video, seriously. Can video a ride any time. Can be emailed immediately to the trainer or set up to watch on the computer or tv. Being able to play back different rides in different saddles helped us learn more about which saddle is better and why. Kind of cool. If you eant quick and easy, consider one them.
I bought it a few months ago because I was doing a really important clinic and wanted to be able to preserve the ride. Since then I've used it around the barn and in lessons quite often. I like that it's really easy to use-- at my barn people tend to hang out ringside so I can just hand it off to somebody without a whole lesson on how to use it.
I picked up a Jazz camcorder for $18 at Wal-Mart. The 8 gig video card is $9.88 and I've been able to record over an hour of lessons and frankly, don't know the capacity of both camcorder and video card. It's super easy to use and download onto YouTube.WM also offers an HD camcorder for $27.