Cameras for Jiu Jitsu GoPro Hero Black Iphone 5s and Canon 5d MK III

Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera Comparison

Mar 12, 2015

Whether you are a parent, coach or student, the question I am always asked is: “What is Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera for filming students and competition?”. That is a great question. The answer can depend on the circumstance. Today I will share with you the best Jiu Jitsu action camera for three different scenarios.

Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera Comparison: “The iPhone 5S (or above)

BACKGROUND: Fact: There are more iPhone cameras on the planet today than all other cameras COMBINED and is the most popular camera in the world. And one of the best. Until recently, the iPhone was the photographer’s leisure camera. Good sensor, decent built-in controls and great for immediate sharing. But a few key changes in the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 set the benchmark and a breakthrough for mobile photography. That is the slo-motion feature on the iPhone 5S. If you haven’t used it do it now, it changes the game. ANYthing in slow-motion is just awesome to watch (I have an example clip of my brother’s dog Charlie playing tug of war featured here).

USE: The iPhone 5S will shoot at 120fps and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus shoot at 120fps and 240fps in 720p. Best if you’re shooting from 5-12 feet away and for only :30-:90 seconds at a time. Get the larger capacity hard drive if you’re going to take it to class or tournaments.

GREAT FOR: Short bursts of action. Posterizing opponents (I said it), and cinematic music behind epic slo-mo of your most recent guillotine (you agree).

NOT PERFECT FOR: Timing. Must be perfectly executed. You cannot just let the shutter roll on an iPhone. It will heat up or you’ll burn through drive space quickly. You also need decent light, must be close to subject and has no zoom. Also bad if while in a guillotine you look up to see you’re about to be immortalized in cinematic slow-motion just before you black out.

ADDED FEATURE: Select forward-facing still camera. Hold low and aim up at subject and click the Volume buttons on the side to take a picture. With some practice, this will produce some of the coolest “Hero” shots you’ve seen!

Image of Iphone 6 Plus
Best BJJ Action Camera Comparison – iPhone 6 Plus
Photo of a dog taken with iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S Added Feature: Forward-facing Camera / Shot of “Charlie” on 5S

Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera Comparison: “GoPro Hero”

BACKGROUND: The GoPro Hero has been the standard camera for action for the last 10 years. The best features today are the incredible 4K images at 30 fps, 2.7K at 60 fps and 1080p at 120 fps (same as the iPhone 5S) and the wide-angle lens and hands-free point-of-view (POV) opportunities.

Image of GoPro Hero (black)
Best BJJ Action Camera Comparison- Choice Two: GoPro Hero (Black)

USE: Best if you’re shooting from 5-12 feet away and benefit from the wide-angle lens. This means outside, in large venues – anywhere where size and scale can add to the image. Where the iPhone can shoot what is right in front of you, the GoPro can give a wider context of entire field-of-view. And if you can get close, its more forgiving in light, produces a more rich dynamic range and can be mounted about anywhere (including your chest or head).

GREAT FOR: Medium bursts of action. Posterizing opponents (from the first-person). Feeling of being right in the action. This camera is great for capturing confined spaces like an entire class on the mat and photographs where wider visual context matters.

NOT PERFECT FOR: Distance. Absolutely no zoom options. Shutter has a slight delay before the sensor starts to process, so it works for video but like the iPhone, don’t count on timing that still action shot. Immediate visual feedback and replay is only possible with an accessory LCD back, which is great (and once you’ve tried it once, necessary) but costs a bit extra.

ADDED FEATURE: Key fob remote to start/stop recording from a fixed position. Camera has many additional features for time-lapse settings and variable fields of view. Waterproof and underwater housings are included (see additional housing enclosures for shooting underwater).

Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera Comparison: “Canon 5D Mk III

BACKGROUND: The Canon 5D Mark III is one of the best cameras on the planet. Period. Professional photographers use this camera in all but highly-specialized circumstances. We have used this camera for the last 4 years and its our go-to for any scenario where we are willing to “accept no substitute”. The Canon 5D Mark III works for novice and professional at the same time, shoots video and stills in 23 Megapixel greatness and can stop motion with incredible shutter of 1/8000th/sec. Video size and frame rate up to standard HD (1920 x 1080) at 30 fps, 25 fps and the ‘film-look’ of 24 fps. Add to the body the included 24-70mm and the 70-200 telephoto lens and you never have to buy another piece of equipment again. These are the two staple lenses for all portrait and action photography today. The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens covers the close-to-medium distances, is fully automatic focus, uses Canon’s best-in-class, ultra-quiet focusing system. The counterpart is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras. This picks up where the portrait lens stops and provides a 2.8f-stop throughout the full focal zoom. These are two of the best lenses on arguably the best camera body you can buy.

Canon Mark III Camera
Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera Comparison- Canon Mark III
Mat Stratta Photo taken with Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70mm Lens
Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70mm Lens
Photo of BJJ Studnets training taken with Canon 5D Mark III with 70-200 Lens
Canon 5D Mark III with 70-200 Lens

USE: Best for all-around use. High quality still images and video as well as that 24fps “film-look”. Great for portraits (see my portrait here was taken with the Canon Mark III and the 24-70mm lens) as well as medium-range zoom in almost any lighting condition.

GREAT FOR: HD video recording, high-resolution still images, portrait and professional photography. Depth-of-field. Create super-thin planes of focus. Shoot in low-er lighting conditions utilizing the ISO settings, and freeze images and take rapid-sequences with hair-trigger response of the shutter.

NOT PERFECT FOR: High frame rate (slo-mo) video recording. Camera records at standard fps, so slo-mo is not part of the current capability (although it could be a part of future firmware upgrades).

ADDED FEATURE: High Dynamic Range (HDR) setting provides amazing HDR photography. Then read the manual for the other 1000 or so features of this camera.

Comparison Summary:

We have used them all. And as you can see, the only choice to make is regarding environment, distance, type of footage, storage space, speed, dynamic range and overall HD quality (remember, not all HD is the same). But from the iPhone’s slo-mo functions and great sensor, to the GoPro’s versatility and 4k resolution to the Canon 5D Mark III’s complete package and professional-level trimmings, what should drive your decision for the Best Jiu Jitsu Action Camera is ultimately what you want to get from your final image.

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