Did you see that crazy curveball by Clayton Kershaw? Or the crazy skills Babe Ruth had as a batter?
You have? Awesome. That is the problem.
Okay it is only a problem if you have never seen yourself batting or pitching and if you have never recorded your baseball!
You most likely know how fast the average fast ball by Randy Johnson is, or how many inches Ted Williams used to rotate his hips before hitting the baseball with his bat. All of this is great as a comparison and you should totally emulate the way the best players played the game. Especially as your brain learns movements best by studying videos or pictures.
BUT this only works if you have something to compare these professionals to. In other words: You. Need To Record Your Baseball!
Most likely you will be blown away by certain things. Most coaches have great tips on how to improve certain things, but words can never describe what you might see on a video. It will open your eyes and you will be a different player afterwards. This is now my number one tip if someone asks me for advice.
“Just record yourself and compare this to pro players. It will save you a lot of time, if you do it right.”– Myself
The important part here is “if you do it right”. That involves the equipment and also some other small things. For example a good video analysis app. I checked out a few in this article, so make sure to read it. There is also information on how to set up your camera in order to get helpful videos!
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Equipment to record your baseball
First of all you need a great action camera to record your baseball. I would suggest to spend some money here, as this is the main piece of equipment you need. It also massively influences the quality of your shots and your learning curve, so better buy something reliable with great quality.
There are a few cameras I can highly recommend:
GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition
This is the king of action cameras, built by the market leader GoPro. This 12 MP camera with a built in touchscreen has a few options that make it extremely attractive for recording yourself while hitting baseballs:
It is really small and light-weight
The camera has literally no weight, but it is super durable at the same time. The measurements are 6.23cm x 3.3cm x 4.49 cm (L x W x H). That is much smaller than a smartphone, but the quality is much better.
4K videos are not a problem at all
You can either at HD with up to 240 frames per second (you can see everything with this slow motion option) or even with 4k at 60 fps. This is crazy, if the device you use to watch your videos on can play 4k videos. You can moreover use the live streaming mode to instantly share your videos.
You can control this camera with 15 different voice commands. You think you threw a great pitch? Stop the recording with your voice and immediately check out the video on your smartphone, which is connected to the camera via the WiFi option. Very helpful while you record your baseball.
This mode makes your video seem like you recorded it with a gimbal. It is insanely smooth by nature, so there is no need for a gimbal anymore.
Yeah you read it correctly. 240fps is an option with this camera. This makes a really smooth and gorgeous slow motion video.
The only problem with this camera might be the price tag. But seriously, who buys a great camera just to record some sport videos. If you buy this camera, there are endless other use cases for it. I would definitely consider it.
GoPro Hero 7 Silver
Record your baseball with the sandwich GoPro Hero 7 version. It is slightly better than my third pick, but also slightly worse than the GoPro Hero 7 Black.
The GoPro Hero 7 Silver is a 10MP action camera that is of course also rocking a nice touchscreen.
It also offers some great features:
4K videos are possible
Same as with the GoPro Hero 7 Black you can take some stunning 4K videos with this camera here. Only downside: You only get 30 fps instead of 60.
Not as cool as 8x slow-motion, but still decent to analyze your swing. Allows you to record with 60 fps. Combine it with a great app for video analysis, which I tested here, and you have a great slow-motion video.
Yep. This bad boy camera also listens to your angel-like voice. I love this!
If you are on a stricter budget, but you still want a great camera, this one’s for you. If this camera is still not in your price range, you might want to check out my two budget recommendations.
Yi 4k+ Action Camera
Ever heard of this one before? No? Me neither. But damn, this camera has got some serious power (and a very sexy price point). Perfect choice to record your baseball.
Super tiny but a big touchscreen
This camera is even tinier than the GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition. It measures 6.5cm x 3cm x 4.2cm (L x W x H), but at the same times offers a 2.2” touchscreen. If you do not like the touchscreen, they also have you covered with their
Yeah, voice control is not only a thing with the market leader. Yitechnology also uses this feature for its flagship. This gives you hands-free control over the camera. Awesome!
4K at 60fps and live streaming
There is not much to say about this. It is just amazing to have 4K videos at this fps rate and not having to pay premium for it. You can also take slow motion videos at 240 fps with the Yi 4k+ and immediately livestream them via the live streaming mode.
Probably the best part about this camera. You have nearly all the features the GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition offers, but this is the price.
Honestly, I do not have much more to say about this camera. The only downside is maybe, that it does not say GoPro on it… but does that really matter, when you record your baseball?
SJCam SJ7 Star
This is another budget action camera with a lot of power that you have probably never heard of. Check out these awesome features and definitely consider to buy this camera:
12 MP and gyro stabilization
This camera comes with 12 MP and has a built in gyro stabilizer, so you will always have crispy clear pictures and videos.
4k and up to 200 fps slow motion
Nothing much to say here. It is a bit worse than the Yi 4k+, but still great. The SJ7 Star can produce 4k videos with up to 30 fps and slow motion with up to 200 fps. The only problem is that image stabilization does not work with 4k videos. Why? No idea…
There is a remote control
Bad news: This cam does not offer voice control. Good news: it offers a remote control, which you can use for a range of functions.
A lot of supplies are included
I was surprised when I checked the supplies for this camera. There is a lot of great stuff already included when you buy the camera like a waterproof case or multiple different attachments.
Of course there are also some negative aspects. As I already pointed out, this camera does not offer voice control, nor does it have GPS. There is also no decent app available and the touchscreen is not on the same level as with higher priced action cameras. Also you cannot take pictures in RAW format, but this is not really important for filming your pitching.
Other helpful equipment
After you have decided which camera you want to buy, you need some other equipment. How else will you make sure your camera is stable and the video is useful?
Mounting: Attach your camera anywhere
You should totally buy something to attach your camera to a fence or any other object. Otherwise you will just be able to put your action camera on the ground, which is not a helpful angle at all. Better invest some money into a tripod, to get great videos out of your action camera.
GoPro Jaws: Flex Clamp
This is great if you have a fence or something else nearby, where you want to put your camera. This thing attaches to almost everything while you go for some swings
GoPro 3-way Grip
A really solid alternative to the GoPro Jaws. Can be used as a grip, arm or a tripod. Really helpful if you do not have anything close by to attach your camera to. Just use the GoPro 3-way Grip as a tripod and your camera is standing still and freely.
JOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit
This is the best option in my opinion. It is a flexible tripod which means that you can attach it to a fence or any other available object, but it can also stand freely on its own. It is an all in one device and has a great price point. Definitely worth a shot. Moreover this surely works with action cameras that are not built by GoPro.
Get a drone: be able to analyze the transverse plane of movement
Transverse plane of movement? Never heard of it? Make sure you check this article, where I explained the different planes of movement that you should capture with your camera.
In short the transverse plane of movement shows rotational movements of your body, which can only be captured from above. This is why you should think about buying a decent drone.
RCtown Brushless Drone
Great drone with a fair price point. Can fly up to 20 minutes in one session, is able to rotate in every direction ands supports different kinds of action cameras. Also the mount can be moved in multiple directions, so you can capture perfect shots from above.
Definitely a great option!
Of course there are multiple more drones available, but I think for taking a video from above, this one has the best price-quality ratio, which is why I will not recommend more drones. This baby totally does the job.
Bonus: Be data driven
Apart from visual clues via a video you should also consider gathering data about your batting. For this you should consider buying a baseball sensor, which will tell you all about your bat speed, hand speed, time on impact and many other metrics. Combine this with a slow motion video and a great analysis and you will improve massively in no time.
I tested multiple baseball sensors here, so make sure you read this article to find the perfect baseball sensor for you!
Get home safe,