A video camera that records the images to tape provides the user with a number of options, depending on what type of analysis they are performing. For a qualitative analysis, the recorded movement can be viewed directly from the videotape in real-time, slow motion or as a still image, using an appropriate video playback system, without the need for any computer hardware or software. Alternatively, the user may choose to capture the video images from the tape to a computer hard drive, where they are stored in the form of a video file.
This is an attractive option as, with the aid of appropriate software, images can be presented in ways that are not easily achievable when playing back directly from tape, for example, the display of multiple video clips simultaneously. It also enables a quantitative analysis to be undertaken, if appropriate digitising, processing and analysis software is installed. Video images that are recorded to a camera’s hard disc drive (HDD), RAM or Flash Memory are usually transferred subsequently to a computer hard drive, where they can be displayed or processed for quantitative analysis.
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Capability of the system
The process of capturing video images to a computer can either be done in realtime or at some point following the filming session. Which of these approaches is taken will be determined by a number of factors including the specification of the camera and the filming environment. For video cameras that record to tape, or which have their own hard drive or memory, capture to computer can be done post-recording. With the majority of high-speed cameras this is the only option, as the required data transfer rate exceeds the capability of the system.
In most situations with standard 50 Hz cameras, capture of video to computer can be done in real-time. With appropriate software, and the requisite connectivity, video sequences from two or more cameras can be captured simultaneously in real-time. When capturing video images to a computer, the following practical issues need to be considered.
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