San Francisco 49ers Invest in Panasonic P2 HD Camcorders for Coaching Analysis

As the NFL''s San Francisco 49ers launch their quest for an NFC West division title, the team does so with an assist from a variety of Panasonic P2 HD camcorders that are being deployed for coaching analysis. Prior to the beginning of practice for the current season, the 49ers invested in three AJ-HPX3100 P2 HD shoulder-mount, an AG-HPX370 P2 HD shoulder-mount and two AG-HPX170 P2 HD hand-held camcorders, as well as six AG-HMR10 handheld AVCCAM HD recorder/players.

“We utilize all of the camcorders every day,” said Michael Christianson, 49ers Coordinator of Football Technology and Offensive Assistant. “We shoot the three HPX3100s and the HPX370 from lifts or towers, and use the HPX170s as on-the-field cameras to shoot various types of drills from the ground. The higher-end shoulder-mounts give a greater detailed look from above to shoot a wider arrangement of scenarios while at practice.”

“On game day, we utilize the HPX3100s as our game cameras, shooting one from a sideline location and one in each of the two end zone locations,” he continued. “We are shooting DVCPRO HD in house for all our practice footage and also converting that footage to AVCHD (6mb) via the AG-HMR10s and to DVCPRO standard definition for game exchange purposes.”

Christianson explained that he teams each P2 HD camcorder with an HMR10, taking advantage of the AVCCAM recorder''s ability to take an HD-SDI feed. The Panasonic P2 HD camcorder with AVCCAM recorder configuration provides the lower data rates of AVCCAM recording and the redundant, higher quality recordings of P2 HD.

“A standard workflow for us during practice would be to shoot all six cameras from different locations,” Christianson said. “We pop the SD cards out of the HMR10s (using the P2 recordings as a backup) after each drill and then ingest that video via XOS Digital''s Thunder Football HD (a digital editing/coaching system designed specifically for football).”

“Because of the AVCCAM format we are able not only to ingest at a quicker rate but also capture the pause records and marks and create specific instances of each play in practice,” he added. “The camcorders are providing an immediate benefit when it comes to time and workflow efficiency.

“Digital editing used in tandem with the Panasonic camcorders give us the flexibility and access to certain types of footage instantaneously and allows us to have the video readily available for the coaches within a time frame we would never have with tape. Essentially, before the team walks off the practice field the edits are ingested and complete for viewing. High-definition is a tremendous advantage in the 16x9 aspect ratio alone in affecting how we view a football play. That, encompassed with the quality boost, has made the evaluation process significantly easier and clearer.”

Christianson said, “The Panasonic gear is invaluable for our work as a coaching staff. It has made the world of the 49ers much more efficient and provided us with limitless capabilities when it comes to what we shoot, edit and ultimately evaluate. Another benefit of AVCHD acquisition is that rather than storing DV25 footage, AVCHD more than quadruples the current capacity of our existing servers.”