A question for the fans

Obviously, there are a lot of youtube gun and shooting videos out there.  I have a question for you guys about what you like to see in shooting videos.  Do you prefer the first-person camera angle or the third-person camera angle?   I personally like a mix of both; for me the “first person shooter” angle is a lot more visually interesting, especially when the camera is close to the shooter’s line of sight.  However, the third-person angle is obviously more beneficial for demonstrating technique and observing areas that need improvement.

So if you were watching a video for educational and entertainment value, would you want primarily 1st person footage, 3rd person footage, or an equal mixture of both?  Vote in the poll below and add your answers to comments.


  1. Really, the best for training purposes would be if you ran both in a split screen or picture in picture. Being able to sync the two views can be really helpful.

  2. I was recently at a Silverlight (basically Microsoft’s version of Flash) conference where they had multicamera angle streams so the user could switch as they needed.

    In your instance, since you’re closer to the web than the TV, it makes sense to not only film multiple angles, but let the user decide which one suits him or her the best at that moment.

  3. I too would prefer a split screen. Or have a shot shown from one camera then the shot shown again from another angle. Having both views to me is very important.

    Keep up the great work Caleb!

  4. True line-of-sight first person view is most exciting to watch (along with split 3rd person views would be even better) because you can see the exact what the shooter sees (think sight picture)! But it’s hard to achieve and awkward for the shooter. The shooter has to have some type of optical prism device mounted in front of his/her dominant eye to split the light to reach the eye and the recording sensor. Until the true line-of-sight video recording device becomes less obtrusive, I doubt we’ll be able to see such footage from real masters in real matches.

    If you are only slightly off the line-of-sight, all in a sudden it’s not that much fun because sight picture is completely off.

    I think shoot calling video featuring Travis Tomasie is true line-of-sight view.

    A good multiple 3rd person view is good for enjoying the shooting and analyzing stage strategy/performance as well. A few remotely controlled cameras from down range and some behind the firing line from different angles operated by experienced video-photographers.

    I guess I’m asking too much but it’ll be a truly amazing view(s) if all above can be done.

  5. Really, the best for training purposes would be if you ran both in a split screen or picture in picture. Being able to sync the two views can be really helpful

    And be able to compare Shooter X’s run to Shooter Y’s. Why did one ace the stage and one completely pooch it? Something like the overlays of skier’s runs that we get in Olympic downhill skiing TV coverage.

    And real-time (or close to it) scoring. What good is watching a shooter run thru a stage ten seconds faster than anyone else if he/she misses every target? The *why* of a good run vs. a bad run is what we need to explain better.

    1. Definitely agreed.

      Of course, all of these are a ton more work than having your friend hold the camera and then pushing the “upload” button. But they’d be awesome.

      1. You wouldn’t want to do it for all the stages in any given match, but if you pick three stages and set up 3-5 GoPro HD cams downrange on each stage (total cost $2500-3500 (-ish)). The major expenses would come in post, I would think, though I’m not up on state of the art there.

  6. I prefer the third-person because it shows most of the mechanics of shooting. However, I would like a first-person PIP down in the corner.

  7. Use the camera angle that shows me what you want me to see.

    So if you were doing something on footwork, you’d need a 3-rd person view to show me your feet and legs.

    If you were doing something on target identification where you want to show me how to do a good scan, first person.

    Something on shooting stance, perhaps comparing weaver and isosceles, would need both. How should it look on the outside (shoulders and feet) and what should I see my arms doing (elbows and hands).

    If I can make a request, how about the first video is on how to do a good press-out??

  8. It all depends on what you are demonstrating or teaching. Some things can’t be done in first person and vice versa.

  9. This is hands down my favorite style for watching shooting videos:

    Seeing both simultaneously works wonders for me, I like being able to see the perspectives of the shooter and the viewer together.

  10. Picture in picture but, remember to switch the views. For example, when illustrating the action, step by step, use third person for the large frame and show a front, side and rear shot. The small picture should be first person.

    When demonstrating the action in total, reverse the views so the first person takes up the larger screen.

  11. I’ve experimented with planting little Flip cams downrange to catch the action from a different POV. I just avoid putting them on stages with steel, because I haven’t learned to shield them from splatter yet. I’d like to see more of this elsewhere, because the shooter’s back hides things somethings.

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