How To Film Yourself While Riding – Tracking Systems For Equestrians
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One of the biggest challenges I have as a rider is being able to ‘see’ what I look like while I am riding. For me, it is so helpful to see what I look like while I’m riding. It’s odd, I know. But being able to see how I am holding my hands, or sitting on my horse helps me to correct the things that I’m doing wrong.
And while my husband tries to be helpful, he gets really bored when I ask him to come out and film me. I mean, I am happy to ride, and ride, and ride. But after about 5 minutes he is like, “how much more footage do you need?”
It is very helpful, but I really hate asking for his help because I know he is busy and has his own things he needs to be working on.
And I have tried filming myself with my cameras, but the cameras don’t follow me. They are stationary, and they don’t get everything. Then there is my GoPro. It offers some cool shots, but it is from my perspective, and I can’t ‘see’ the entire picture.
Which led me to looking for a ‘robotic cameraman’. And believe it or not, there are a couple of these available. Which is really exciting for someone like me, one who often rides alone.
When I learned about these camera platforms, I got REALLY excited. That is, until I found out how much they cost.
This set up looked intriguing. I could set up my phone to record while I’m wearing a tracker. That way the camera, or my phone could track me while I’m riding.
But then I started reading the reviews, and it seems like there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to configuring everything. I don’t want to spend my time setting up a camera and calibrating the tracker. I want to set up the system, get on my horse and ride.
And then there is the cost.
The Pixiem system costs $835.00 with everything you need to get started filming yourself WITH your phone. That seemed a little steep for me. SO I kept looking for options.
The soloshot is similar to the Pixio set up, but it includes a camera. They actually have 2 different cameras to choose from. And they have a refurbished section to which makes it a little more affordable. But even then, they start at $499.00. And they have been refurbished. So who knows if they are going to have issues.
If you want a new one, it will cost around $899.00, and that is JUST for the camera. No tripod, or card. The Soloshot also uses a tracker that you have to wear. And from reading the reviews, and having personal experience with the team at Soloshot, I’m not impressed with their customer service. I’m sorry, but if I spend my hard earned dollars on a product, I expect the company behind that product to be courteous and responsive.
Affordable Tracking Devices
Thankfully, Pixio and Soloshot are not alone in their technology. There are companies springing up with tracking systems, and now there are affordable options.
Prosvet was the first tracking system I bought. And I was excited when I ordered it, it was less than $26.00! Crazy right? And while it is a great holder for my phone, it wasn’t the best tracking system.
First it is SLOW. And when I’m riding a huge horse that has long legs, and walks fast, the device couldn’t keep up.
Even when I would just be walking on the ground or trying to get film footage while I was tacking up, the tracker would lose me.
So for someone filming close, and sedentary it might work great. But for me, it didn’t quite hit the mark of what I needed it to do. S then I continued my search, and I found PIVO.
Ok, this thing is a game changer. I have to say that right off the bat. After my failed success with the Prosvet, I wasn’t holding out a lot of hope for the PIVO. But the reviews, and the videos they show on their website showing the device in action, with horses, really made me decide to give it a try.
I chose the silver package because it moves faster and was the upgraded edition.
When I bought it, it wasn’t on sale. So I paid $197.00 for it.
It came with the device, a charging cable, a remote control, and a carry case.
I downloaded the app for the device, and got to playing with it.
At first, it was a little challenging because I didn’t read the instructions. SO I was just playing with it and I didn’t understand all of the touch screen options. But after a brief learning session, I figured it out.
And now, a few app updates later, I can honestly say this thing is awesome. I have it attached to a tripod, and I simply put my phone on top, open the app and sync my phone and I’m ready to film!
With the latest app update, it follows beautifully. Right now it has a Beta Horse version that is working really well at tracking me while I ride.
The PIVO Specs
In case you want to know the specific details of the PIVO:
Turn your iPhone or Android smartphone into your personal cameraman – the interactive Pivo Pod Silver allows hands-free Face, Body, Horse and Action Tracking.
Covers all angles – Wherever you go, Pivo Pod Silver follows to capture every expression and move. Video call and live stream while you move. Pivo Pod Silver auto-rotates a full 360° in just 4 seconds.
Precise control- Every Pivo Pod Silver comes with a remote control, plus Smart Capture modes allow you to take pictures and videos with voice command, the snap of a finger, or just striking a pose.
Even special effects- Create like a pro – with the Pivo Pod App for iPhone and Android you can create GIFs, cinemagraphs, 360° Motion Timelapses, Tiny Planets or Panoramas – no editing skills needed.
Very portable- Take your pocket-sized Pivo Pod Silver anywhere, and record every moment with extendable stabilizer feet and compatibility with standard ¼” camera stands.
The Best Robot Cameraman
In the earlier app version, it would lose me even while I walked with Plezant. And it had a problem tracking him in my arena, which has dark dirt. And well he is a dark horse, so the tracking would fall off a lot. However, with the latest version of the software for the app, the unit has no problem tracking us. Even in the dark dirt arena. And it even has
I have to say I am very impressed with this little device. I have only used it outside, because, well, I don’t have an indoor arena. Some of the reviews on Amazon say that people have a hard time being tracked, but from the videos they have posted, they are riding in a dark indoor arena. So maybe with some added lights, they would have an easier time. For myself, outside, it has worked very well (with the latest software update).
How To Film Yourself While Riding – Tracking Systems For Equestrians
I’m pretty sure you can tell by my review which device I prefer. The Pivo is the most affordable, and most reliable device I have found to make it possible for me to film my rides. For me, this is incredibly helpful not only for my riding, but for the videos it provides me for my YouTube channel. So for me, the PIVO is a very valuable (and affordable) option for me.
The few images of me riding Plezant were stills I captured using my Pivo.
If you are looking for a unique gift idea, or have been searching yourself for an affordable filming device, I would highly recommend the PIVO. And I think right now they have some pretty good deals on it, well I hope they do. That way you can get (or give) a great gift to your favorite equestrian!