Why does the quality of my vids suck?

Every time I’ve tried to record myself yoyoing, it turns out really crappy. The frame rate sucks and you can’t even really see what’s going on because it’s too blurry. How can I fix this? Is it the camera (I’m using a very small digital videocamera) or is there some trick of the trade that I’m not in on?

Try using a HD camera, might help.

yea try getting a hd camera camera i think i got mine for 350 or 400 ask for one for Christmas or your birthday that’s what i did. unles you have 400 dollars just laying around

I deem those posts WRONG!

There’s nothing special about an HD camera. It’s the number of Mega Pixels the camera can record with that determines the video quality. After a certain number of Mege Pixels a company is able to call a camera HD. There’s no reason an SD camera can’t shoot video as well if not better than an HD camera. The letters “HD” are likely to put a much bigger price tag on a product so if you can find a SD camera with a good number of Mega Pixels, more power to you.

well HD, is talking about the video resolution.
In camcorders we dont use much the word “megapixels,” we are more toward the video resolution.
If you look at Youtube at the bottom right corner us see the numbers 260p, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p.
Now some videos doesn’t even have 720p or 1080p. Thats bcuz the video was filmed in a non - HD cam. By changing those setting it will bring u better quality
Take a look at my video change the settings around

Also u r right about HD is just a name for MONEY! but it is also because of the amazing quality it brings to the holder of the cam. I own a HD cam my self and it really does make a difference compared to my silly little Digital Camera.  ;D ;D But a Digital Cam with lots of mega Pixel is a good way to start, bcuz its cheap and its also compatible with great captures of video clips.

Good explanation. If you look up, “How to choose a camcorder” on YouTube/Google you’ll get some good results.

Its cause your camera isn’t a super-8 camera.

“The best camera is a book on lighting.” -Mark McBride

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Alright, thanks all. I guess I’ll look into a better camera, that seems to be the common concensus.

Point me to an example of one of your videos that suck. I gotta see what you’re talking about.

You also have to look at things like your eventual end product as well. If you’re getting garbage in, then you’re getting garbage out, but if you start with garbage, it only goes downhill from there. Plus, since most of you are using YouTube, it’s got to go through get another conversion to be used on YouTube, which ensures yet another quality hit.

Since you’re talking framerate, I’m thinking you’re using a camera connected to your computer via either built-in or USB attached. In which case, you have a whole new slew of issues that may or may not apply. You could have a camera that the maker no longer supports, and hence whatever you spend, well, you’re boned. I have several Logitech cameras that are in this category, but that just means I can’t use them on XP and above. You might be using USB 1.1 instead of USB 2.0, but if we’re talking 720X480 standard definition at 30fps, you’re pushing things, but not a whole lot to the point where I would worry unless you’re trying to do other things on the USB bus at the same time. You could have a slow computer and/or slow hard drive. Let’s face it, the demands for performance keep increasing, so higher speed computing is always going on, but hard drives are sort of stalled but that’s to keep the prices reasonable. 7200rpm hard drives are pretty good for most work, and I recently upgraded my laptop to a 500GB 7200rpm drive for around $60(the price has since dropped to around $53 now), so it’s affordable too. It could also be your software. Most of the stuff that comes with video cameras sort of sucks. Let me clarify that: if you’re using a dedicated USB-type camera, the software that’s often included really isn’t all that great. Most “after-market” offerings are much better. These cheap iLife cameras, which I bought as a pair for like $30 over a year ago, ain’t all that great, but they aren’t total round balls of crap either. If I use Sony Vegas Pro or even Nero, I can get ALMOST acceptable results for what I’ve been doing with them. HOWEVER, I think due to the limitations of the cameras themselves and where I’ve been shooting with them(when I do shoot, which is rare), I don’t think they’d be suitable for yoyo performance recording. Lastly though, I suggest if you’re going for a USB-connected camera, spend over $50, it makes a big difference. While you’re at it, also make sure it’s getting it’s connectivity directly to your computer or via POWERED USB hub(the type that has a power adapter that gets wall power). These cameras need some electricity to operate.

Really, here’s my suggestion:
For affordable options that are also compact, there’s plenty of choices on the market, including some 720p high definition offerings. The FLIP cameras(which are being discontinued as Cisco lost interest in it) are fast, fun, affordable and in general do a pretty good job. I have 2, I’m getting a 3rd. BUT, you’ll want a tripod too, but for the weight of the camera, you can get away with the $20 tripod stand, the type with the telescoping legs, not the little over-priced Flip desktop/tabletop tripod with the bendy legs. What’s also nice about the FLIPs are the are self contained. Flip a button and the USB interface swings out. Plug it into your computer, move your files and edit. It charges through that as well, although you can buy the FLIP charger, but I find that it charges so fast it often causes heat problems to the system. Be warned, battery life can be short. The MINOs with their integrated battery, seem to be the worst, while the ULTRA’s with their replaceable rechargeable battery, can accept AA batteries and you can keep on going. But the built in memory that all FLIP cameras use do limit recording time. Use this ratio: 4GB/hour.

Alesis has the VideoTrak, which I like but it has some quirks. I got it for $80 on sale, but it normally retails for near twice that. Standard definition, but uses Type III SD cards, so you can either take the cards out and put them into a card reader, or you can use the supplied USB cable(or a suitable alternate you may already have) to use the camera as a storage device and/or to charge the camera. It is a standard definition device, bu I think I can record over 3 hours on a single 4GB card and I swear it seems the battery lasts forever.

I prefer dedicated hardware. Use the right tools for the job. Plus, a lot of you yoyo folks want to be able to go to “Exotic locations” such as the park, random graffiti-covered street alleys and other “not in the living room” locations. These cameras are compact(fit in your pocket) and set up fast and are easy to use.

One note about HD:
Due to the intricate nature of yoyo(like seeing details of string tricks), I can’t say I’d recommend standard definition unless you’re just doing a presentation or at the very least, aren’t concerned with all the detail. But, if you’re trying to TEACH or really show off what you’re doing and you want people to see the detail, by all means go HD. But, with the prices of consumer HD equipment dropping, I’d say go ahead and explore HD anyways. In my case, editing with Sony Vegas Pro, I can always render in a SD format from HD source. HD gives you more options as you can always render DOWN. Rendering UP doesn’t always yield pretty results. I had to incorporate some SD components into an HD presentation, and while it worked, the stuff I had to pull in was already compromised in the first place, and then “blown up”, it didn’t help matters.

So, if you can, just consider HD as the way to go. 1080p is what you ideally want, but 720p is a decent compromise for what you’re going for.

Super-8? What, you have some sort of obsession with small sprocket holes? Got any film laying around? I can transfer it!

^Wow. I’m exausted after that.

Thanks for the time though, it really helped. I appreciate it.
As for a video, here’s one of the worst ones. It’s not a great trick, but whatever.

get a flip video, there cheap and awsome, thats what i use…

Where to begin.

I mean, it depends on how nit-picky I want to get. Moving objects like fans cause higher bandwidth because the compression codecs can’t really do much there. But I’ll skip stuff like that because it’s number crunching stuff.

Your set:
I personally prefer a “simple is better” and not to sort of bring up some stuff I was discussing with someone on the IRC channel, we’re both in agreement that “less is more”. Black backdrop, no distractions. But I realize we all can’t do that.

Lighting makes a BIG difference, but you can’t use hard lighting. Backing the light away only makes the problem more difficult. Use a THIN white sheet or tissue paper to soften the light. Brighter is better. You want to shoot if you can DOWNWARDS, but if you also can(key word, ALSO, not “either/or”), a direct light. Again, diffused. Your white-ish background isn’t helping but it can be dealt with but we don’t want back-fill lighting Right now, everything looks filthy. This is due to insufficient light, which is causing it to be grainy as if you’re shooting on film in low light. Ah, how far we’ve come both forwards and backwards! I swear, it looks like a neglected 8mm film as far as QUALITY is concerned. I know, I’ve transferred a LOT of junky 8mm film, which includes my own family’s films.(yes, FILMS, not videotapes!, but I’ve seen a fair amount of junky video tapes too).

Attire. Can’t see a bright string against a bright background. Try darker solid shirts. We can’t see the string. Don’t use dark strings, it’s better to go dark background with light foreground items. I prefer solids, but either way, just NOT white or bright shirts.

Camera distance: BACK IT UP!! Then zoom it in. You need to give the camera room to “breathe”. This gives you more options later on as well. 10-12 feet works best if you can swing it, if not, go for 8 feet at a minimum. You also need to open it up a bit. Why? To see the whole trick, which includes up, down and side to side. Yeah, we’ll end up seeing your face. It’s not the point, the point is the trick isn’t restricted to where the framing is, so adjust your framing to where the action will be, which means less zoom, which means “more distance”.

You don’t need to go into color correction at this point in time. Well, you might. Just brighten things up, diffuse the light and you should be fine.

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I’m speechless in the best way possible. I think Studio42 may be receiving a plea for lighting advice from yours truly within the next few days…

I’m always reachable via PM or IM as well. Phone works, but I don’t answer it much these days. Text I reserve for my high priority clients. Email is a bit sketchy due to my aggressive anti-spam filtering.

If people want help, I’m glad to help. I want to focus on the positive rather than the negative. I do video as part of what I do, but most of my products are poor because the audio/show element is prioritized and so video is merely for documentation/QC purposes.

Thanks to things like YouTube, people have forgotten the rule of “Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it”. However, we all have to start somewhere and we all have to learn. So, why not try, screw up and ask for help. Failure is NEVER a true failure if you still take away something useful from it. We learn from our mistakes.

So, you want to learn or need help? I’ll try! Just, don’t beg. I’m not worthy of a beg. I’m humbled by those who wish to get help.

Ok, I had to go out of town for a week and was unable to reach the Internet, so apologies for the late post here.

As for the advice you all gave me, thank you so much. I have yet to try videoing again but I am sure it will help.

Now I would like to take the time to say something extremely cheesy. Chris a.k.a. Studio42, you have been very helpful. I have never seen somebody take the time and effort to put together forum posts like the ones in this thread. I understand your profession and knowledge of this field make that much easier, but you still put in considerably more effort than most people (not that other posts are bad). So, thank you. You’re awesome.