Swing Catalyst supports many different types of video cameras, the different types fall into 2 different categories.
- Imported video from a video recording device such as a smart phone or hand held camera.
- Live/streaming video capture using a computer. The image is automatically synchronized with other hardware sensors.
When choosing a camera for video capture of high-speed motion it is very important to be aware of Global and Rolling Shutter.
Rolling shutter is commonly found in all consumer-level cameras today, and will give from moderate to severe distortion of high-speed motion.
For a golf swing this results in an effect where the club appears extremely bent during the downswing.
Generally speaking all consumer-level cameras with a CCD sensor use Global Shutter, and all CMOS sensors use a Rolling Shutter.
Importing video files
Swing Catalyst can import video clips/files from most hand held recording devices available today.
This is a very good alternative if portability and easy of access/use is a high priority.
It is currently not possible to combine imported video with other hardware sensors such as a launch monitor or motion/balance plate.
All known handheld cameras use a Rolling Shutter.
Some good cameras with high-speed support are:
- Casio Exilim EX-F1 (discontinued)
- Casio Exilim EX-ZR200 and EX-ZR100
- Nikon J1/V1 (high-speed mode does not give a rectangular image so may not be ideal for full-body capture)
Note: These types of camera's are not supported as live streaming camera's in Swing Catalyst.
Live video capture
Using live video capture you can capture from multiple video cameras/angles simultaneously and automatically have all the data saved and synchronized.
The accuracy of the data synchronization depends a great deal on the type of camera. The best cameras for synchronization are CCTV cameras using our recommended capture card, or our recommended high-speed machine vision cameras.
Most of our recommended cameras use a Global Shutter, which eliminates the rolling-shutter/bent club distortion effect
For live video capture we currently support and recommend using the following camera types:
- CCTV/Analog video cameras (CCD sensor) with a 4-port Winnov 4400 VO Xpress capture card
- MiniDV cameras using a firewire/iLink cable*, **.
* MiniDV cameras have been discontinued and are not commonly available.
** Older CMOS cameras generally use Rolling Shutter, CCD models use Global Shutter.
High-Speed Machine Vision Cameras
Swing Catalyst supports a number of machine vision cameras. These cameras provide unique benefits for data synchronization.
There are many different types of machine-vision, in general there is a much greater variety in terms of both resolution and frames per second. We generally recommend a minimum of 50/60 FPS for golf swing analysis.
- FLIR Blackfly S series cameras.
- AVT Prosilica GC, GE, Manta and Mako series machine vision/high speed cameras (PVApi only)
- Point Grey (camera settings are limited to Point Grey Flycap for Swing Catalyst 9.3 and older).
- IDS uEye machine vision/high speed cameras (in particular UI-1220LE USB 2.0 & UI-3220CP-C-HQ USB3.0). We do not recommend high resolution & high speed cameras from IDS. We also do not recommend multiple USB 2.0 cameras together.
- USB3 Vision, GigE Vision & GenICam are supported through third party licensing (requires a dongle)*.
Machine vision cameras can use both CMOS and CCD sensors, and both Rolling and Global Shutter.
* Supporting other cameras through Halcon: https://support.swingcatalyst.com/hc/en-us/articles/204954637
High resolution cameras (up to full HD) is not recommended due to the longer encoding times and increased file sizes, depending on the frame rate and resolution it might not produce a satisfactory experience, therefor we do not recommend the combination of HD and high FPS (160+) at the moment.
From a technical perspective Swing Catalyst has support for DirectShow/WDM cameras, so it is often possible to use other cameras such as webcams etc.
The DirectShow support is not suited for use with Machine Vision / High-speed cameras.