Thursday, 6 February 2014

Cameras Videos and Stuff

One problem with digital cameras is the delay between pressing the button and it taking the picture. This makes it very difficult to get a good full draw shot (except in the unlikely event of you wanting to take a pic of a compound or recurve archer who will often hold at full draw for ages). There are fancy expensive cameras which get round this, but I was looking out for some thing cheap that I could take out and about without too much worry if I drop it in puddle or lost it.
I'd been scouring the internet and came across the Kodak ZX1 a pocket camcorder that films in HD at 30 frames per second (fps) as usual, but also films HD at 60 fps. The optics on the camera are pretty rudimentary with a tiny lens like a pin hole, but they are cheap as chips. I brought one off E-bay ony £22 including postage. Note, Kodak no longer do digital cameras so there could be some bargains about.
I got it last night and tried it indoors, the pics were a bit grainy and I tried it in the garage trying to video a bow on the tiller. Unfortunately the optics wouldn't take in the whole length of the bow... hmmm I was a bit dissapointed. Mind at twenty quid I'd got a 16Gbyte memory card and rechargeable batteries that fit my rugular camera (also Kodak) so It was a no lose scenario.

This morning I tried it out in daylight filming myself shooting a few arrows... Bingo! Filming at 60 fps in HD meant I could grab stills off the video at better resolution than with the regular camera. It also slows down nicely even down to 0.125 times speed and it looks smooth. Of course if I down load the video to the blog it gets compressed to hell and still looks rough which is irritating but I'll try a tiny clip of 0.25 speed to see if its any better than the usual. Here's a couple of stills grabbed from video and the clip.
The still shows my relaxed draw is much shorter than I thought. OK it still doesn't stop the arrow in mid flight but it's better than my usual camera. On the uncompressed video I can see I tend to come up slightly above target then drop onto it and ease off maybe an inch of draw.
Whilst not real slo-mo, the camera does offer some improvement on my regular one. I'm toying with the idea of making a mounting so it hcan be a head cam to see if I can capture the feel of field shooting. It will also be handy for family occasions and assorted other stuff. Overall I'm V happy with my twenty two quids worth.

I also had a visit from the chap collecting the Darbyshire Yew bow, he was very pleased with it. We had a good old chat and he brought me one of his other bows for a bit of remedial work. I don't usually work on other bowyers bows, but I was happy enough to have a look at it for him and hopefully give the bow a new lease of life. Shame the weather is so wet at the moment as this means it may be a while before I hear how he gets on with the bow.

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