What’s Best to Film:

When going over your options of cameras for indoor sports and outdoor sports, should you consider using a mobile device? Cameras on both the latest Smart Phones and iPads have become so advanced that parents and coaches have started to use them to video sporting events like volleyball, softball, basketball, wrestling, and even football. There are a variety of pros and cons when shooting with a mobile device versus a video camera. But, the question remains, is it ok to record video with a mobile device, or leave it to the professionals?

Let’s start with the pros:

  1. The cameras on both tablets and phones have become so advanced that you are going to get a better picture that is crisper and clearer than you would with most consumer video cameras. Newer phones and tablets can even shoot in 4K, giving you the optimal resolution.
  2. Mobile devices can be charged through a portable battery/charger. This will allow your phone or tablet to stay charged all day, making sure you never miss the action.
  3. The phones and tablets are light and easy to transport. Add this with a lightweight fluid head tripod and a holder for your mobile device and you’ll be set.
  4. The screens on newer smartphones or tablets are much bigger than a consumer-grade video camera, making it easier to follow the action.
  5. If you are using a sports video platform like QwikCut, you can use their mobile app and upload your video clips live. You can even stream with your mobile device, giving fans access to each play, as it happens

The cons of using a mobile device:

  1. Mobile devices may overheat when outdoors. If you are using the mobile device outside during the day, you will have to keep it in the shade to prevent it from overheating.
  2. A mobile device may not have a lens that allows you to zoom. A camera will allow you to digitally zoom but as you do that, you may lose clarity and resolution.
  3. Older phones and tablets don’t always have the best resolution. You’ll want to test your device to see the quality of the video before you shoot a game.

What about using a GoPro for sports? GoPros work great when connected to the chain link backstop or on the soccer, hockey, or lacrosse goal. GoPro cameras work great for baseball and softball. Since it is difficult to get a camera operator to stand behind the backstop for an entire game, GoPros are a great option. GoPro cameras use a lot of battery power. Having a charging block or backup batteries is necessary when filming for an extended time. Editing tools allow the user to cut out the dead time in those sports, making it easy to capture the entire game once you hit record.

So, should you be videotaping with a mobile device, or leave it to the professionals? For indoor sports or outdoor sports where a videographer has a shaded place to film, a mobile device will work great as long as you do not need to zoom in and your device films at a good enough quality to review the film! If you have an outdoor sport that needs heavy zoom, a physical camera may be the best fit for you.

If your athletic program is interested in streaming pay-per-view high school sports, filmed through a mobile device, check out the QwikCut platform as a fundraising option.