Promo Camera

Just wondering what camera teams are using for good robot match videos and shots.

Depends on the type of shot you want to achieve. There are onboard cameras like GoPros and the like for robot perspective footage (WiFi and wireless disabled during competition). There’s handheld cameras like DSLRs (Canon Rebel Series or similar) for interviews, team video, recording matches from the side of the field. All the way at and up to what the field uses for broadcasting which varies venue to venue. It could be a single webcam up on a PVC pipe pole or it could be a full frame studio camera being run by someone.

What our team has used

On Board: GoPro (random series that students owned, team never purchased one), Sony Cyber Shot (Coach owned and donated), and we also tried using a raspberry Pi camera saving video to an SD card using the ribbon camera (cool but not great quality video). You don’t need the latest and greatest GoPro because besides higher resolution and motion stability you don’t need the connectivity and wireless features at all. Finding a second hand older generation GoPro is cheap and will work great.

Handhelds: Nikon CoolPix 550 (it tries to be a dslr without the changeable lenses). The team has a Rebel Series now and that’s our main camera for everything. We do student interviews, competition videos, team photos, etc. It produces good quality media and is easy enough for the students to operate. Any camera can be good field side if you use a monopod or a very easily collapsible tripod. That will make even the lowest quality cameras still produce watchable match footage. Look for cameras that have good optical zoom over digital zoom. With a good optical zoom you can zoom in but leave some extra room so you don’t have to jerk as much. Then in editing you can digitally zoom and not have as much pixelation. If you digitally zoom it’s already pixelating the image. Always never use the digital zoom.

Field Cameras and live streaming: I don’t have any involvement in field setup or the broadcasting systems. I see what I see at events I go to. Every event has something different and either way they all end up feeding into a laptop at the field table to be broadcast out to twitch. That’s why most times it’s a usb web cam up on a pole. They are easy to connect to a computer and get a feed out of without worrying about IP cameras, PoE switches, etc. I don’t think this is what you were asking about.


This Thread has a lot of helpful advice on what cameras to buy and other things as well, because you’ll learn that there’s so many things other than cameras you’ll need to do media things.


I definitely agree with @kingc95 in that a good answer to this depends on the context, but if you want a good all-around media workhorse, you can’t go wrong with a second-hand GH4 and a decent kit-style lens. Try markets like KEH and MPB for good used or refurbished prices.

Unfortunately, this combo will run you around $700-800, so take my recommendation with a grain of salt.

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