Using the Nokia N90 to Film Ice Hockey

Last Saturday, Scott Shalom, Bill Maurer, and I officiated a men's college ice hockey game between Drexel University and Villanova University in Philadelphia. I thought it would be interesting to see how Nokia N90 video clips of a hockey game would turn out, so I lent the camera phone to my friend Shane Hanlon who was at the game to evaluate our on-ice performance.

Before the game began, I gave Shane a 90-second explanation of how to shoot video with the N90. I showed him how to open the camera so it went into video camera mode, how to start and stop recording, and how to zoom in and out using the Carl Zeiss Optics Tessar 2.95/5.5 lens. Shane gave the N90 back to me with three video clips of the game on it. I decided to publish two of them as-is. I'm not publishing the third clip because it's very short and doesn't really show anything. It's pretty clear that Shane was just getting used to the camera at that point.

When you look at these two video clips, you'll probably ask, "Why is the camera focusing on the officials and not the play?" It's because Shane is there to watch the officials. He spent a lot more of his time taking notes than playing with the N90.

Drexel vs Villanova, December 10, 2005, 1 minute 09 seconds.

The point I'm trying to make by publishing these clips, however, is that the Nokia N90 is very easy to use and does a surprisingly good job of capturing the action in one of the fastest sports commonly played in the Northern Hemisphere. The lighting conditions inside the Class of '23 Ice Arena at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadephia are not very good, yet you can easily see the action and identify individual players and officials on the ice.

Drexel vs Villanova, December 10, 2005, 3 minutes 24 seconds.

Remember, these videos were shot with a palm-sized Nokia N90 mobile phone, not some dedicated video camera. These video clips are displayed at 246 x 210 pixel resolution here on Operation Gadget, but they are recorded at 352 x 288, so the image you see when playing the video directly off your PC with a media player is approximately twice this size.

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