Good camera for video/motion tracking

Hello everyone. I searched through some previous threads and read through replies relating to this questio. But it’s been a while and prices/technology has changed a bit, as it does. I’m looking for a decent camera to play with for motion tracking exercises and just general photography. I’m debating between something like the Canon powershot sx510 or something in the entry level dlsr market, like the canon t3i. The specifications and prices vary between these two from $200-~600 USD.

I’d like to save money if I can get good tracking from something like the powershot. The powershot can take video in full hd 1080. If anyone has any input or experience, or even suggestions, please feel free to let me know. I’d rather not spend 3x what I need to if I can help it. Thanks in advance for any help.

make sure it is ccd not cmos. cmos has a rolling shutter, it scams one line at a time so each line if off set by how ever much the camera moved during the previous line. you want a global shutter. not rolling shutter. ccd record the entire frame at the same time just like a film camera, it wont have the jello effect of cmos sensors. both of the cameras you mentioned are cmos cameras.

this one is only 720p but will give you much better results. its sanyo not cannon, but its only 200 new or about 70 used. this one is cannon. again only 720p for video but it is only $140

this panasonic does 1080p and is only $270.

any of those, even the budget canon, will give you better results than the more expensive ones you are considering.

take a look at this page, it will show you the distortion rolling shutter causes. . you cant accurately track with a rolling shutter because you need motion/parallax to determine the point position. for a still shot with no movement cmos is fine. but if its still there is nothing to track. if its moving and there is something to track the points are moving around from each other. a point that is directly above the other in reality wont be above each other with rolling shutter movement. the bottom point will move the exact amount that the camera moved during the shot so you get slanted results.

the 3 i listed are just the quickest examples i could find on the 1st two pages. i was being lazy. amazon has 27 pages of ccd cameras if you want to look thru and find something else you would prefer. you dont have to buy it from amazon, they are just a site easily accessible to everyone so i use them for examples, not as a recommendation you should buy from anywhere in particular. you can use it to find a model you like than buy that model where ever you like.

rdo3, dude you’re awesome. Thanks so much for the information. I’ll check out the links now and make sure to consider this aspect as well. Rolling shutter is important, certainly. Mainly what I have in mind is video on a tripod without much movement, but in this way I can future proof my plans, in case I want more movement of camera. thanks again!

I was thinking about asking this question, it’s nice to see that it’s been asked for me.

rdo3 thanks for the info. I guess the rolling shutter explains why my point and shoot camera always has horizontal lines going through it when I take videos. You did miss something though. Image stabilization. This would distort the image and make it harder to track.

Frobenlus.Edge, just keep in mind that no matter how stabilized your camera is on a tripod, if objects in your frame are moving they will also have the same rolling shutter effect, to varying degrees. But this shouldn’t be an issue unless you are object tracking as normally you’d mask out any moving objects in your scene for general matchmoving. If you have access to PFTrack or Nuke, you can remove rolling shutter from your shots but if you have the chance go with a camera that uses CCDs / has a global shutter.

It’s also recommended to run static shots through matchmoving software too because there usually is a tiny bit of movement present, as minimal as it may be. This used to be way more important though due to film registration problems, back when people were predominantly shooting film

you are right tardis. i apologize. image stabilization works by cropping the image makeing it have a constantly shifting center so lens distortion models will distort not undistort the images. keep the center of the lense the center of the frame. shaky footage is actually much easier to track than cropped footage, and you can stabilize it easily as a last step so the cropping doesn’t throw the tracking off. avoid auto stabilization, if your camera has it turn it off. blender can do the stabilization for you later. it cant uncrop your images later.

Wow, wasn’t expecting any more input. Thanks for further comments Rigby40, Rdo3 and Tardis Maker. I actually ended up going with a canon sl1 bc of the price/video quality. I’m just took some videos this morning to work on and I think this will do. I did check those other cameras posted but I actually liked photography as well and after a whole lot of research and watching hours of youtube videos I decided on the sl1, which has the same hardware as the t3i or t4i in a smaller form.

There’s of course rolling shutter, known beforehand but for the price (~500 USD) the video is beautiful. I feel I can workaround the issues to a level that is a good compromise. I’m glad to see Blender has a pre-built in option for canon aps c sensors. In any case rdo3 you’re right on with your advice and I thank you for it. But since I will be using the camera for other things as well I decided to go with the sl1.

Now that it’s been a few months since you got this, what do you think of it now? Would you recommend it?

– edit , missed the orig. date

Your Operating System will play a big part in the Hardware

is it
Linux ? ( what distro and what version )
Apple Mac ? ( what version )
Windows ? ( what version )