- Golf Swing Camera Buyers Guide
- The 5 Best Cameras To Record Golf Swing
Recording your swing for analysis is one of the best ways to improve your game. To get the best results you have to use the best camera that you can afford to record and review your swing.
For the budget-conscious, there are cheap webcams and a multitude of apps on smartphones available. To achieve the best results some features will justify the investment in a special camera.
Golf Swing Camera Buyers Guide
As with all golf equipment you have to buy the products that are best suited to you and not the cheapest on the market. You would not buy just any driver or club just because they are cheap. You want to have the best that you can afford.
When selecting the best-suited camera there are some things that you have to keep in mind.
The resolution of the video should be sufficient to show the club in every frame that you review. The picture must be clear, and you may even want to zoom in on some detail in the frame. Videos taken on a low-resolution camera will show a blurred picture if you zoom in on the detail.
Generally, cameras record at approximately 30 frames per second (FPS) but cameras with a higher recording speed, more than 30 FPS, are extremely useful for a golf swing that could be completed in less than 2 seconds. The higher the speed the more frames will be available to identify specific areas that could impact on your swing.
The shutter speed plays a huge role in the clarity of each frame produced by the camera. Cameras with a shutter speed of less than 1/1000th of a second will produce blurred images.
A good camera will offer shutter speeds of 1/2000th of a second or better and ideally you should be able to control the shutter speed manually to ensure that you select the best shutter speed to adjust to the ambient lighting.
The camera should record video in a specified format such as VGA on a memory card, hard drive, or USB device. To analyze your swing, you will often have to transfer the video from the camera to a computer or other device that can be displayed on a bigger monitor.
High definition will provide more resolution and deliver a clearer display on a big screen. However, a high speed, high definition camera can be very costly. If your budget does not allow for this, you will obtain superior results from high frame rate and shutter speed at the lower VGA quality.
You will need to be a significant distance away from the camera to maintain and record your whole body and swing. To aid you in taking videos indoors where space is a premium you can invest in a wide-angle lens.
Some high-speed cameras come with a fixed wide-angle lens making them less effective as they must be placed close to you and this will distort your positions in the golf swing.
To achieve the best results from the recording the camera should be on a stable base and not at floor height. A tripod to place the camera on is highly recommended.
For a quick view of what was recorded, it is immensely helpful if the camera has an LCD screen to replay your swing on.
For the effective use of the camera while recording and to minimize walking to the camera it will be helpful if you have a remote control to manage the camera from a distance.
The software on your camera will play a huge role in the replay of your swing on several devices. Some software will enable you to connect your camera to capture your swing on a computer or display it on a larger display in real-time. Consider any limitations on the software that the camera has before you make a final decision.
Smartphones and other mobile devices enable you to download apps that can link to your camera for analyzing your swing.
You will be taking the camera to the range on occasions and therefore the portability of the camera is of extreme importance. Make sure that it does not become too heavy when you have to carry it or someone has to hold it for a few minutes to take a quick video.
As you use the camera in indoor and outdoor environments the power supply must be continuous, and it would be wise to keep a spare set of batteries available if you go to the practice range. The camera should have a power indicator to show when you are going to run out of power.
For the best results make use of the slowest slow-motion setting on your camera (120 frames per second and up). Slowing down your motion is crucial to see what is happening during your swing.
Also, be aware of the “rolling shutter” when recording as cameras that shoot in high speed can distort images at high speed.
A good practice will be to record your swing from at least 2 angles to see how the clubface reacts during the swing process.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Best Camera To Record Swing
|UHD 4K video recording||
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|Casio Exilim EX-F1 6MP 12x Zoom 2.8-Inch LCD Pro Digital Camera||
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|Fujifilm X100V Digital Camera||
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|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII||
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|SwingShot Cyclops Pro||
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The 5 Best Cameras To Record Golf Swing
A welcome feature on the RX100 VII is the ability to record in UHD 4K video at 30/24 fps for exceptional clarity. The camera absorbs 1.7 times the information required to display the output in 4K.
The SteadyShot mode creates a smooth picture and reduces the amount of shaking and vibration. Included in the VII is Sony’s advanced XAVC S recording format for enabling high bit rates up to 100 Mb/s. Sound is recorded via the 3.5mm external microphone port for improved audio recording quality
Buttons can be programmed to access more than 40 functions for quick access to the most commonly used settings.
The Casio Exilim EX-F1 is regarded as the world's fastest digital camera for the consumer market with CMOS Shift image stabilization.
It can shoot up to 60 fps at 6-megapixel resolution images utilizing the 1/1.8-inch high-speed CMOS sensor.
Videos can be recorded on a variety of removable media such as memory cards and media cards.
Recording your golf swing will be optimal on Full HD but other options are depending on the specific purpose of the recording
- Standard videos can be recorded on 640 × 480 pixels at 30fps
- Full HD videos on 1280 × 720 pixels at 60 fps.
- High-speed videos on 512 × 384 pixels at 300 fps, 432 × 192 pixels sat 600 fps, and on 336 × 96 pixels1at 200 fps
The camera can zoom 12X optical and up to 48X digital for close up shots of the ball contact area
High-speed video can be slowed down for viewing your swing in action. You are now able to shoot ultra-slow-motion movies at speeds that have until now been available only on professional level cameras. This makes it possible to collect valuable visual information for swing analysis
Super-fast shutter speed using CMOS electronic and mechanical shutter can be set at 1 to 1/2000 second on the automatic setting, and as high as 60 to 1/40000 second on manual exposure
Videos can be recorded and viewed through either the 0.2-inch electronic viewfinder or the 2.8-inch wide viewing angle TFT color super clear LCD screen
The minimum system requirements for playback of the videos on your computer are Windows Vista/XP (SP2) running on an Intel Pentium EE 3.2GHz or higher / Intel Core Duo / AMD Athlon 64 FX series / AMD Athlon 64 X2 series or equivalent. For optimal viewing, you will require ArcSoft TotalMedia Extream software.
The camera measures in at 5.04 inches x 5.12 inches x 3.15 inches and weighs in at a mere 1.48 pounds and is powered by a battery that is included in the package.
3. Fujifilm X100V Digital Camera
- Great LCD screen and viewing options
- FHD recording is slower than some of its competitors
X100V features a newly designed, incorporated 23-millimeter F2 lens, at maximum resolution with minimal distortion.
It offers an improved close focusing performance even in the toughest conditions when you attach the optional adapter ring with the weather-sealing protection lens (sold separately).
X100V is designed for quality and speed and always delivers exceptional image and video quality.
Innovative technology, X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, and X-processor 4 combination drive the success of the X100V.
Pairing this exceptional, 26.1MP, back-side illuminated sensor, and powerful quad-core CPU results in incredible quality, wide dynamic range, lightning-fast processing, and precise AF performance.
Images and videos can be viewed on the X100V’s advanced 0.52x magnification optical hybrid viewfinder or its 3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF). It is also possible to use the electric rangefinder function (ERF) to activate a mini EVF display within the OVF window.
The two-way tilting LCD touchscreen in the back of the camera and adds another first for the X100 series as it provides intuitive touch controls. Furthermore, when folded flat it fits seamlessly into the camera’s slimline body, and in doing so, this sophisticated LCD touchscreen finds the perfect balance between functionality and portability.
Videos can be recorded at 30 frames per second on 4K video, 120 fps on full HD or super slow-motion footage can be recorded using the camera’s setting.
4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII
Features to be found in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII
- Pixels Effective: 20.1 Megapixel
- Maximum Resolution 5472 x 3648
- Aspect Ratio 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
- Sensor Type CMOS
- Sensor Size 1 inch
- Image File Format JPEG, Raw
- Image Stabilization Digital, Optical Lens
- Focal Length 9 to 72mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 to 200mm)
- Optical Zoom 8x
- Digital Zoom 4x Maximum (32x Combined Zoom)
2x Optimized (16x Combined Zoom)
- Focus Range 15 inch to Infinity (Wide)
3.28′ to Infinity (Telephoto)
- Shutter Speed Mechanical Shutter 1/2000 to 30 Second
- Bulb Mode 1/2000 to 4 Second in Auto Mode
- Electronic Shutter 1/32000 to 30 Second
- 1/32000 to 4 Second in Auto Mode
- Exposure Modes Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
- Continuous Shooting Up to 20 fps at 20.1 MP
Up to 90 fps at 20.1 MP for up to 7 Frames
- Interval Recording Yes
- Self-Timer 2, 5, or 10-second delay
- Recording Modes UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p, 25p, or 29.97p
Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p, 59.94p, 100p, or 119.88p
- Video Encoding NTSC/PAL
- Audio Recording Built-In Microphone (Stereo)
External Microphone Input (Stereo)
- Audio File Format AC3, Linear PCM (Stereo)
- Viewfinder Type Electronic (OLED)
- Viewfinder Resolution 2,359,296 Dot
- Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x
- Monitor Size 3 inches
- Monitor Resolution 921,600 Dot
- Monitor Type 180° Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- Built-In Flash Yes
- Memory Card Slot Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Duo Hybrid
- Connectivity 5mm Microphone
- HDMI D (Micro)USB Micro-B (USB 2.0)
- Wireless Bluetooth
- Battery 1 x NP-BX1 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion,
- 3.6 VDC, 1240 mAh (Approx. 240 Shots)
- Dimensions 4 Inches wide X 2.29 inches high X 1.69 inches deep
- Weight 65 ounces
If you are a keen golfer with a significant budget, the DSC-RX100 VII is a match made in heaven. It can be used to take professional-quality photographs and double up as a video camera that you can put to use for recording your golf swing.
The quality of images is the result of high-level technology that is expected by a top-end camera.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII is a compact camera that is a mix of speed, reach, portability, and is extremely versatile as it can take still images and record videos. Finding an object to record is simple through the 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder that pops-up when the camera is switched on.
There is furthermore a 3-inch 921.6k-dot LCD touchscreen that can be used as an alternative to find the subject. The LCD screen can tilt allowing you to work from high and low angles and the touch screen allows you to set the focus and shutter functions. The screen can tilt from 180° upward to 90° downward. If you experience difficulty in the ambiance lighting, a pop-up flash will illuminate the subjects.
For a wider field of view, there is an impressive 24-200mm-equivalent ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens covering wide-angle and telephoto focal lengths for enhancing flexibility in a variety of conditions.
The 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS CMOS sensor, along with an improved BIONZ X image processor produces an extended distance at high-speed performance and UHD 4K video recording. The sensor is designed to increase the shooting speed and enables uninterrupted shooting up to 20 fps for tracking a rolling ball such as during a putt.
To enable tracking fast-moving objects such as a flying golf ball there is a Single Burst Shooting setting that shoots at 90-fps. The CMOS sensor was designed for rapid and precise focus and tracking in both still images and videos.
The combination of S-Log3 and HLG gamma settings provides an impressive video recording experience. The High Frame Rate shooting allows recording videos at speeds up to 960 fps for slow-motion playback.
Linking the camera to an external device can be done via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to store the images on a linked device with more storage capacity. The camera comes with a remote control to display the images on the LCD screen and control the shutter release remotely.
5. SwingShot Cyclops Pro
- Ease of setup and use
- You can select to record at 60fps at 720p or 30fps at 1080p
- Takes no more space than a club in your bag
- 4 different modes
- Might get left behind on the course
- Continuously removing and replacing the top
- Frames per second: 60fps at 720p or 30fps at 1080p. TruVue technology removes fisheye distortion
- Battery: 2100mAh provides 2.5+ hours of uninterrupted operation.
- Dimensions: 4 inches high X 5.1 inches wide X 4.8 inches deep
The package includes:
- Rechargeable battery
- 2-piece shaft
- Stainless steel turf spike
- AC charger
- USB cable
- The GPS Antenna is accurate within approximately 1 yard and can detect your location
- The bright LED illuminates when it is recording
- The camera can capture either 60 frames per second at 780 pixels or 30 frames per second at 1080 pixels.
- Sounds are recorded via the microphone and it can eliminate wind noise
- Four different recording modes
- The device is water-resistant making it ideal for outdoor use.
- A high-impact plastic boy protects the camera from damage and the weather.
- There is a stainless-steel spike for ease of setting up on any reasonable turf condition.
- It will fit comfortably in your bag as it is the same length as your clubs.
- Video transfers can be done from the USB port located on top of the Cyclops PRO
Setting up and using the Cyclops PRO is amazingly straightforward. You decide where you want to place the camera and push the stainless-steel spike into the turf. Push the on/off button, select your mode, recording time, and you are ready to continue. Various recording length is available in all modes except Lesson mode.
There are 4 modes for recording
- The first mode is set for Lesson and it records uninterrupted at 720p and 60fps.
- The second mode is set for Range allowing for a 10-second delay before recording for a preset period of 10, 15, or 20 seconds at 720p and 60fps.
- The third option is the Course mode has a 10-second delay followed the preset 30, 45, 60, or 75 seconds of recording at 720p and 60fps. This mode is ideal to record 9 holes.
- The last mode is similar to Course mode, but it provides a higher definition recording at 1080p and 30fps
There are many cameras available on the market in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functionality. Most smartphones enable you to take videos and then link it via an app to view your swing.
This is not always the best route as there may be compatibility issues between your smartphone, the app and the output device.
Using a camera that is designed for recording your golf swing with an associated app will make your life much easier and less expensive at the end of the day.
We hope that the variety of cameras that we have presented provides you with ample information to make an informed decision and aid you in selecting the camera that is most suited to your lifestyle and requirements.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII is an excellent all-round camera with recording ability. This could be an excellent selection if you want to utilize it for taking images related to your golf swing as well as a hobby.
Our winner is the SwingShot Cyclops Pro for the ease of use, simple setup, and splendid features including the GPS. The construction is very robust, and it will withstand long-term use in the outdoors.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.