ZoomCam, any interest if I produced these for sale?
I've been developing a recording system for paintball/airsoft/shooting sports that does what all the action cams can't... Allow the VIEWER to SEE the hits... Since we play a sport that happens far away, and action cams are made to show right around the person wearing the cam. You have to have a camera with zoom to be able to see what you are shooting at.
So I started developing my ZoomCam system, it took a while to get it to where it is today, lots of trial and error, but I finally have a system that WORKS, and works well. It can withstand hits, and can capture your best shots even out to 300 feet away!
I wanted this for myself, but a few people have asked me if I would sell them one, and I am finally at the point where I could sell it if there was enough interest to produce them.
It wouldn't be cheap. (nothing good is cheap...) As you need a high end video camera to be able to handle the zoom AND image stabilization needed for long range filming, while also being able to handle the "shake" from a paintball gun. I've been using one of the hardest "kicking" paintball markers available since I started testing with my stock Tippmann A-5. As I figured if I could get it to film without shaking with that, then a smoother firing marker would be no problem.
But, these cameras cost over $300 today (my original test cam Sony HDR-SR1 retailed at $1,999, so they have dropped a TON in cost).
And each enclosure has to be made to match the camera being used, so I couldn't easily sell a enclosure without a camera...
Each one allows the side to open, exposing the lcd screen, and another opening where the battery goes for replacement, and another door to access the camera controls.
I would also recommend an Apex barrel for the best results (as they shoot "flat", where other paintball barrels shoot arched, which means you can't zoom in as much as the paint is dropping so much at longer ranges, that when it is zoomed in, they are out of the frame when the paint gets there).
My new version is much smaller than my original prototype, and can be used on any paintball system with a barrel that is 7 inches or longer.
The question is, would you be willing to pay $650 for a ZoomCam system for yourself?
That would include a 1080p HD camcorder that recorded to a flash drive system with tons of image stabilization and a high end lens system, that was designed to match up to a custom ZoomCam enclosure, which keeps the camera angled correctly for capturing your shots on film, while also dampening vibration to the system, and reducing the noise signature, while picking up the game noise around you.
I can also do custom graphics for the ZoomCam enclosure to match your marker, and can be replaced or changed at a later date.
My new camera is on its way (after testing out just about every 1080HD 60fps camera with zoom on the market trying to find one that does what I need for this system). I can make them by hand, but if there is enough interest I could have it produced in quantity, which would mean I would have to pay for them up front, (where if I make them one at a time, it is just my labor costs and material costs, instead of paying someone else to do that part).
Oh, here is a recent video from my last event, using my old version ZoomCam.
link for mobile viewers
Ghosts in the Woods! TRY Paintball NOW! Get off the Couch with some Woodsball Fun at Trails of Doom! - YouTube
Here is my testing prototype. (new one is smaller).
I would say no. The additional weight of a full blown video camera on the barrel of a gun is somewhat cumbersome, and for the $650, I could get a Contour or GoPro, and mount it to the barrel of my gun. I would still have cash left over.
That being said, half the fun of recording a paintball video is seeing what's going on directly around you, not just seeing someone get hit with a paintball. If you are truly interested in doing this, I would say your time/money would be better invested in making better lenses for the 2 previously mentioned cameras.
Yeah, this isn't a "single cam" solution, you really need a helmet cam with wide angle for your primary cam, then when you aim your marker, that is when you switch to the ZoomCam. I've played with it as a primary and it can be done, but you really have to pay attention to what you are doing.
It isn't for everyone clearly, but for people that want to capture what they see on the field of play, it is the only way to do that effectively.
The weight on my system is around 2.5 pounds total, and it actually "balances" out your marker, as the front weights about what the back does on my A-5.
With the new one I am working on it should be even lighter.
Here it is without the skin balanced on my hand.
There are a vast majority of products out there. I would save you money and time and use it for personal purposes.
Very cool. I am not the photographer sort who would purchase this, but that is definitely one of the better paintball videos I've seen.
To be helpful, I would suggest maybe trying to modify an existing camera to suit your needs.
I like the idea.
At the shop we have discussed a camera-scope/laser range finder set-up.
This would only appeal to a small group. And we know about niche markets
The go-pro style of cameras are "look at me" doin ma thang camera.
There is always room for another idea because they lead to better ideas.
I have been half hearted working on one for our sniper rifle and using my old camcorder.
Your idea has a place. Keep working on it.
Always trust your instincts. You only need your own approval.
I have people that want to buy my failures.
Just look what has come before us. Good guns or bad guns they are all part of paintball history.(anything paintball)
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