Parents of soccer players ask me this question all the time and while there is never a single answer to a question like this, there are definitely ways to make the answer simple for you.
But before I start offering my opinion, based on years of real world experience, let me first tell you that I’m not an Audio / Video (AV) expert, I don’t hang out in the AV forums, we’re not going to talk about the “lossy” quality of the codecs or the benefits / drawbacks of the various video compression schemes.
If you’re looking for the king of “geek speak”, you’re reading the wrong article.
My focus is 100% on the parent or coach that wants to get really good quality video of their soccer games for coaching analysis, video highlights for college recruiting, and / or video that looks really good when you watch the game at home on your large screen TV.
Issue #1: 4K versus not 4K
In general, avoid all 4K cameras because the current cameras are all recording at 30 frames per second (fps) and you need to record at 60 fps (see issue #2).
Issue #2: Frame rate
There is a lot of action taking place in an average soccer game so unless you’re fixing your camera in one spot i.e. on the goalie… your camera needs to be able to handle the movement of the players, ball and you panning the camera as the action flies by from one side of the field to the other.
Do not buy any camera that does not record at 60 fps.
Issue #3: Size
Bigger is better. This is a generalization but almost always true.
A bigger lens will be able to pull in more light and a larger image processor is better at taking that light and processing it into better quality video.
Under sunny skies, none of this matters much but for night games, games played under overcast skies or in the rain and indoor games it matters a lot.
You will definitely notice a quality drop from bright sunlight versus these other “less bright” conditions and this quality drop will be far more significant with a smaller, generally cheaper, camera.
Issue #4: Storage
Internal flash hard drive or SD cards both work fine.
I personally prefer a camera with SD cards for storage because it means I have no limits and I like the convenience of removing the SD card from the camera and inserting it directly into my computer.
What you store your recording on is insignificant unless you buy cheap SD cards – get only video quality 90 MB/Sec SD cards.
Issue #5: Price
In general, you do get what you pay for with camera gear.
So you can get a $279 camera that appears to have similar specs of the more expensive cameras but they will never be the same… or even close to the same.
Try to stretch your budget into a “prosumer” (cross between a “professional” and “consumer” level product) model to get many of the high end benefits without the dramatic price jump to a full professional model. You will get years of use from this camera so consider this when buying.
My Recommendation: Canon – VIXIA HF G40
Buy it at Best Buy and use their credit card to pay for it over 12-months using their 0% financing offers. They usually will not stock this model but can have it for you in 1 or 2 days.
You can buy it from other sources like Amazon… I just prefer buying from a local retailer and Best Buy will cut you a deal on the memory and other accessories if you buy them at the same time.
Here’s a link to the camera – Camera Link
I’ve owned the G30 for several years and the video quality is excellent. The G40 is an updated version of the G30.
I use (2) 64GB SD cards and have never run out of storage but I did buy a high capacity battery because the standard battery can cut things close at times, especially when 2 games are played back to back without enough time to recharge the battery.
The final step in creating your Player’s Page and your playlist. SocrPro makes it easy for college soccer coaches to watch your skills or maybe you simply want to show your friends and family. Either way, it’s fun and free so enjoy the game.
Remember that Socrpro has an amazing Mobile App that’ll keep all your updates at your fingertips.
SocrPro.com isn’t just made for the soccer coaches, it’s made for the soccer players too! Now you can create your own highlights and video playlist with an online presence that you control. It’s easy, fun and free so join today and let’s see your best soccer plays.
In this video, I demonstrate how to sign up for your Socrpro account and then create your player page and finally create and share your highlight videos.
With the performance of the USMNT converting the players into World Cup spectators, it’s been a common mantra that US Soccer needs to “come together” to solve the lagging performance problem and create a powerful development system.
But is this really what we need?
If we’re going to “come together” as a group, who should we “come together” around?
Will we look to the mothership of US Soccer to provide the guiding light or should we circle the wagons around a German, Spanish or Brazilian program? Or maybe put the women’s team in charge since they’ve proven they can win on the world stage… so many options to choose from.
But I think any “single” program we choose will ultimately fail.
It reminds me of the old story of the semi-truck that drove under the bridge too low for the trailer to clear and got stuck. While everyone was “coming together” pulling the truck from the front and pushing the truck from the rear with no success, 1 young boy watching from the curb suggested they let some air out of the tires to lower the height of the trailer.
This boy could have “banded together” and provided an additional shoulder and legs to push with the rest of the crowd but that truck would still be stuck under the bridge; not moving an inch forward.
What US Soccer really needs are more people “doing their own thing”.
Experimenting, modifying, adapting and learning from every mistake and every success to “evolve” the performance of soccer into a world beating dynasty.
Trusting coaches and clubs to drive performance because they want to win games, build their clubs and ultimately devour the less successful, lagging clubs. To allow a free market approach without artificial hindrances of a controlling authority that decides who’s awarded “academy” status or who receives the centralized funding dollars.
To truly accelerate the performance of soccer, it’s necessary to allow as many “experiments” to take place concurrently so the best ideas can matriculate to the top while the weaker ideas fall off and make space for the next opportunity for success.
We don’t need to “come together” around some mythical genius soccer organization and hope they’ll solve the problem of US soccer, we just need to go out and win the next game, win our tournaments and take home the trophy for whatever league your team plays.
Set the example of how a good club creates success and you’ll set the example for the nation.
PS There are simple things every coach can do to improve the performance of their players and team. Improving their “soccer IQ” is the quickest and easiest way to win more games and SocrPro.com is the easiest and only coaching platform built from the ground up specifically for you.
Flip a perfectly weighted coin and the odds are 50/50 that it’s going to land on heads with the exact same odds for tails.
But flip the coin 10 times and it’s almost never going to land 5 times on heads and 5 times on tails. But… and this is the “big” but”… flip the coin long enough and the results will catch up with the odds and eventually you’ll find the coin does indeed land on heads 50% of the time.
That’s just the nature of statistics.
You can run from statistics but you can’t hide forever. Eventually they always catch up with you and bring the results based upon the statistical probability.
You see this in sports all the time.
Good teams out-play bad teams and still lose. Bad teams catch a lucky bounce and win games they never deserved to win.
But over the course of a long season, and more so over multiple seasons, the teams that “play the odds”, that do things right repeatedly are the teams that achieve long term success while the weaker “lucky” teams eventually drop off and settle into the lower positions they deserve.
The ball won’t bounce your way forever and it eventually comes down to the numbers.
This last weekend, our soccer team was playing a weaker team and was dominating on every measure of the game i.e. time of possession, passes completed versus passes lost, shots on goal, corner kick opportunities, etc.
By every measure, we should have been crushing this team.
But 1 good cross and a bad luck “own goal” later, all that hard work was negated and we found ourselves down 0-1 half way through the 2nd half.
Nobody could believe we were actually losing to a team we so thoroughly dominated all game.
Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for them, the relentless grind of “statistics” finally wore the other team down and by the end of the game, we came out on top with a 2-1 victory. The ball stopped hitting the cross bar and going a foot wide and started hitting the back of the net.
The final results deservedly matched the performance of the 2 teams.
In years past, it hasn’t always worked out this way.
Athletically, our team was always a soul crushing beast that shut down other teams defensively based upon sheer talent and individual effort. Not allowing opposing teams to score was a specialty of the team.
But not playing “proper soccer” was also a hallmark of the team and the statistics showed that the other teams were clearly playing “better soccer” even with less talented players.
While our team would win games, we also lost many games we shouldn’t have lost and never played to the level the talent pool should have allowed.
The problem was the “statistics”.
Time of possession was horrible because the passing ratio was worse than horrible. And the passing ratio was horrible because the ball was played disproportionately in a narrow channel in the middle 1/3 of the field.
Even the most talented players cannot overcome this type of poor ball management… they couldn’t outrun the statistics.
Slowly but surely, the team lost games to players far below their abilities, were relegated down 2 divisions and lost talented players tired of consistency losing games. All the time wondering why the “good luck” balls weren’t bouncing in their favor but never looking at the statistics to understand the true root cause.
Sound like a team you know?
- Do you know your team’s performance statistics?
- Do you even look at them?
- Do you have a methodology in your club or is everyone flying by the seat of their pants and hoping to win with sheer talent and determination?
SocrPro can change all of that and is revolutionizing the science of soccer in ways that bode well for the coaches and clubs using the system and is going to greatly increase the performance separation between those that do not.
It won’t happen in the first 5 flips, maybe not even in the first 50… but give it enough time and the statistical beast will wear you down and then eat you for lunch.
You just need to decide if you’re going to be the beast or the brisket.
SorcPro – Does it All!
PS Version 2 is now live so go check it out for yourself… oh yeah, did I mention it’s FREE? Try it today – Get your Free Copy – Click Here