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How Do I Choose the Best Motion Tracking Camera?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2016
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There is much variety in the motion tracking camera market, which can make it hard for users to find the right camera for a job. The amount of hertz (Hz) determines how much power a motion tracking camera uses and how complex the motion data can be. Markers are often used to capture motion, and the more trackers the camera can pick up, the more precise the movements. The smallest amount of movement the camera can track and pick up will be an indication of how tiny a movement can be and still be captured, and cameras that pick up the tiniest of data will likely be best for professional data tracking. Using multiple cameras will provide a more complete field-of-view, but the motion tracking software that comes with such a camera will likely only accommodate a limited number of cameras; users should get the highest camera threshold possible.

Every motion tracking camera operates on hertz; it gives power to the camera and allows it to function. A higher hertz rating means the camera needs more power to work but also can capture more complex data. A low-powered camera will be suitable if basic data, such as walking or simple dancing, is needed. High-powered cameras can record complex action or fighting scenes and other advanced movements.

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Most motion tracking camera devices rely on physical markers placed on an actor or actress. These markers convey bone and motion data to the camera and make it easier for the camera to pick up movement. The more makers the camera can use at once, the better it will pick up any movements. An alternative is a markerless camera, which does not need markers to track motion.

A motion tracking camera has to be extremely sensitive to motion, more than most other cameras. This means the camera must be able to translate even the tiniest movements — within the micron range — into data. The smaller the minimum range of movement, the more complete the motion data will be. Extremely accurate systems will cost much more, but amateurs can use cameras within the high micron or millimeter range to save money.

When someone purchases a motion tracking camera, he or she will typically get software that is responsible for translating the movements captured by the cameras into data. Each program has a limit on the number of cameras that it can control simultaneously. A higher camera threshold means a better field of view, so the software can capture motion at many angles.

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