Recording soccer games can be hard. We’ve heard this from our users time and time again. This kind of feedback is exactly what led us to start designing Hudl Focus Flex, the portable version of our smart camera system.

We want to make recording easier. We know you need to make every moment count, and that becomes much easier with video. But if it’s too time-consuming or frustrating to capture that video, you might give up and miss out on all the benefits. We don’t want that and neither do your teams. That’s why we’re going to go over some common filming challenges and how Focus Flex can solve them. 

Challenge No 1: Having someone reliable film non-shaky video

No one wants to watch shaky video with audio of someone chewing popcorn. And it’s unlikely that anyone available to volunteer also happens to be an amateur videographer. More likely you’ll have to ask assistant coaches or younger players who won’t know when to zoom, how much to zoom, when to pan, how much to pan, and so on. 

Solution: Why not remove the need for a cameraperson entirely? 

That was our goal when we created Focus cameras

These cameras automatically follow the action so no one needs to be responsible for it. How? We applied a powerful algorithm—trained over hundreds of games and thousands of hours of video—to pinpoint the ball, players, officials, the scoreboard, and more. This is player-tracking technology at its best. 

And with the camera finding the action on its own, you can repurpose that cameraperson to another job. So you basically have a freed up staff member to plug in somewhere else.

Challenge No. 2: Getting the right angle

Getting a high angle of the field is crucial to getting good soccer video. But unfortunately it’s common to not have bleachers or other equipment to reach that high angle. 

A low angle makes it hard or impossible to capture the entire pitch, making it harder for coaches to teach from the moments that matter most and for players to review and understand the lesson. Not to mention you could have people walking in front of the camera or other obstructions. 

Solution: Why not get a camera that’s designed to capture the ideal angle?

Focus Flex hasn’t been released yet (it’s coming next year), but this incredible portable option is still made for getting the perfect angle. We’re still finalizing the tripod best used with Focus Flex, but you can be sure it will be stable and high enough to get an ideal angle for review.

Challenge No. 3: High quality video

Your cameraperson obviously impacts your film quality in a big way, but so does the device itself you use to film. SD footage simply won’t give you the crisp view you need to see the finer points of the game. 

Solution: Why not use a camera that records in 1080p?

Focus Flex records in HD, giving you crystal clear film to review with your team. 

A lot went into making this a reality. We had to take weather conditions and the angle of the sun into consideration. Our engineers created a rubric for grading video quality to ensure the video would surpass expectations. From coaches’ feedback, we knew key factors were things like the consistency of video playback—meaning no stuttering, no dropped frames, etc.—and that the camera accurately followed the play without blurred images between one camera lens to the next. 

We emphasized low image noise, strong color and sharpness. Focus video is high quality, and now once it’s in Hudl, you can even pan and zoom in on the film. You’ll have all the details you need.

Challenge No. 4: Running out of battery life or storage space

Not all cameras can last the length of a tournament day. Or even a regular match length for that matter. 

There’s not much more frustrating than a battery dying in the final minutes, right before a last-minute goal. Video takes up a lot of space on a memory card. Running out can be a huge hassle.

Solution: Why not use a camera designed for long days on the soccer pitch?

It’s simple: We’ve tested the storage space of Focus Flex and feel confident it has enough space for an entire tournament day. 

When it comes to battery life, an external battery pack should give you at least two matches in between charges. 

---

As you can see, we’ve created Focus Flex to meet the challenges soccer teams face when it comes to filming. So start getting excited—the release of Focus Flex is only a few months away. 

Interested in hearing more details straight from our Hudl product managers? Check out the capture presentation from Hudl 90, our recent soccer conference.