Veo Camera 3 Weekend Recordings

Recording soccer with the Veo 3 camera at a showcase in Dallas was fun! In this initial Veo camera review I’ll share my experience over the long weekend and then I’ll follow up over the coming weeks with more in-depth look at the camera system overall.

Veo 1 vs Veo 3

If you’re a parent or coach and currently have a Veo 1 camera or you don’t have a recording system then the Veo 3 will definitely let you record and stream all your games for your tournament or season.

We’ve used the Veo for club teams, high school teams, and individual players and the Veo 3 has some new features that will help in all those areas.

High school teams – If you’re recording a C team, JV, and then Varsity game all in row the Veo 3 has enough space to store all the games. If your first game starts in the afternoon and the Varsity game ends up under the lights, the new HDR in the lens will
keep the video clear in those stadiums that have lighting and the contrast issues in the past.

Club teams – If you’re a club team travelling out of town the Veo 3 lets you livestream the game back to the fans at home. The new ability to stream to YouTube and Facebook, vs watching the game in the Veo Live app, makes it accessible to more potential fans (ie grandparents who forgot their Veo live login)

Individual players – If you have one of those players that’s on multiple teams (Club, ODP, futsal, guest playing) the camera is quick to setup and take down. So if you’re rushing from one field to the next it’s pretty easy to take down the camera, put it in your trunk, and head to the next game. I remember when the Veo 2 first came out the startup/shutdown time was frustratingly slow but with the Veo 3 my camera turned on in only 20 seconds, and turned off just as quickly. Connecting in the app and pulling up the preview only took me another 20 seconds.

Coaches – If you’re a coach or assistant coach that records the games you’ll be happy that it’s easier to connect at a distance from the camera and that it connects & starts/stops much faster than before.

Veo 2 vs Veo 3

If you’re already recording with the Veo 2 and happy with your camera, even if you stick with the current camera you might want to think about checking out the new tripod if you travel a lot.

I just flew with the shorter one to Orlando for another ECNL event with the travel case and it was great to travel with. It’s lighter but still sturdy and the travel case makes it simple to fly and check it on the plane.

As a current Veo 2 owner there are a lot of similarities with the new model which makes using it pretty simple. Here’s a look at some of the things that will be familiar.

Camera Chargers, Cases, Lights, and Quick Release Plate

You still charge with the same USB-C charger and it fits into your camera travel case. Moving from Veo 1 to Veo 2 required changing cables and cases so I’m glad these are the same. There is new model of camera case, the main difference from what I see is that the clasps have a release so you won’t accidentally open the clasp, but the current Veo 2 case works fine. So if you’re upgrading from 2 to 3, you don’t need to order a case.

The camera uses the same system of three power lights to indicate the battery charge and also the two lights for network connectivity and the camera status.

The plate is built right into the bottom of the camera, rather than a metal plate which threads into the bottom of the camera for the earlier Veo versions.

If you use a variety of tripods like me you might miss taking the plate off and being able to thread your 1/4″ tripod in the bottom of the camera. For most people it’s just one less thing to forget to bring to the field.  You’ll still need the quick release part that threads onto the top of your tripod.

Veo Camera Specs

Update – After we published this review we got some follow up questions I hadn’t included initially. Here’s more detail on the Veo 3:

Hard Drive – The storage space seems equivalent to the Veo 2 camera. It would have been nice to get more space but we haven’t run into issues with our cameras with the bigger hard drive and wireless connectivity introduced with the 2nd model. Where more space would be nice, if you’re recording multiple teams at an away tournament or if you’re doing an all day event on a field.

Lenses – On the outside of the lenses it’s labeled:
-100 FOV
-30 FPS
-4K HDR

Battery –  I haven’t had a full day of games yet so I haven’t maxed it out. After live streaming a 90 minute game it went down to about 70% of charge.

Player Spotlight – A reader asked if player tracking will only work with the Veo 3 camera. I’ve inquired and it sounds like it will work with older models of the camera.

Camera SIM Card

The camera SIM card now is on the back rather than the bottom. My guess is that putting the SIM card on the bottom of the camera helped keep water out of it for the Veo 2. The Veo 3 has a weather resistant plug over the SIM card port now that it’s on the back of the camera below the indicator lights.

For the Veo 2 you had to use your thumbnail to press in the SIM card to get it in and out. The Veo 3 has a setup more like your phone, where there’s a tray that holds the SIM card and you slide it into the camera. You can only put the SIM card in one way so it should make sense how to position the SIM card. It was a bit of a trick getting the SIM card tray out due to the weather resistant plug. I used the SIM card pin to loosen the tray then wiggled it out. You really only need to put the SIM card into the camera once or just occasionally.

In my tests I was using a T-Mobile 5G SIM but I know another team that was using AT&T 5G successfully.

Veo Camera Features

Now we’ll take a look at some of the new features in the Veo cam 3. These are some of the more notable changes between the Veo 3 and earlier versions.

Since we were on the topic of streaming I’ll start there.  We had a lot of family members not able to make the trip to the showcase and many of them were watching each game from back home. If your team travels a lot you probably know the pressure of making sure the recording or livestream is working so everyone who can’t make it can see the game.

I remember when the Veo 2 first came out we were at Regionals in Chicago and I might have said one or more curse words trying to get those games to stream. This past weekend was a much different experience, I swiped to go live and each time I breathed a sigh of relief as the stream started and the families back home were able to tune in : )

Veo Camera Livestream

The improved modem in the Veo 3 will let you stream 5G off a SIM card without having to use a hotspot. I’ve been using a hotspot for the last year since the Veo 2 didn’t stream in 5G. However, I’m the one who sets up the camera and have done this many times. I’ve had to help many other parents and managers from other teams on the sideline to figure out how to record and stream with the camera. With the SIM in the camera, vs an external hotspot, it’s one less step (and one less thing to forget) for the camera operator.

Now that the Veo 3 is more capable in terms of livestream they’ve also added an insights and diagnostics tab on app.veo.co where you can look at the strength of signal during a game. Doing a speed test in the app gives you a graphical indicator but if you want to see the actual rate you can go into the diagnostic tab.

One of our games started off with a pretty slow rate and then as we got into the game it increased. I don’t know if it was just the service itself or some adjustment they made in the livestream service but it definitely helped because the slower rate it was more pixelated and then once the stream rate picked up the picture was clear.

One of the things I like about the Veo Live app is now you can clip moments out of the livestream. That feature isn’t specific to the Veo 3. Over the weekend I was clipping the goals and dropping it in the GroupMe for anyone who wasn’t watching it live. A tip on that, there’s about a 2 minute delay on the stream. So once you’re done celebrating the goal and the kickoff happens, immediately go to live and clip the goal to share.

Another nice development, which isn’t specific to the Veo 3, now you can set a custom stream source. This means you can use Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to livestream to YouTube or Facebook rather than Veo Live if you’d like. For the last year or so when people would ask about streaming to YouTube they’d have to look at a camera like Pix4Team since they supported RTMP stream and Veo did not.

One place this really comes into play is for clubs that have a big fanbase. They don’t want to require an app to watch the games. Now that you can setup a source and add overlays those teams have the option. I do like the scoreboard and clock you get in the Veo Live app.

Here is a livestream video that shows you how to setup a stream using re-stream. Now you don’t need to use re-steam unless you want to be able to broadcast it to multiple sources at once.

Veo Camera Audio

One of the days at the showcase was really windy which was a good test for the new wind filters. It’s a good thing that the Veo added the ability to turn off audio on the camera because now with the new microphone & wind filter you pick up a lot more on the field (and on the sideline).

I was recording with both the Veo 2 and Veo 3 and you can hear the players talking to each other on the field with the new camera. With the V02 camera you mostly hear wind noise.

I had gotten wind mufflers for Veo 2 and put them over the mics myself but I left them off for this comparison so I could see the difference between current camera and the new model.

Previously with the Veo 2 before we used the wind filter I would sometimes drop the volume watching it back so you didn’t have to just listen to howling wind. Now as a coach you can hear the players communicating with each other during the game, which is a great improvement.

Veo Camera Video

The footage the camera captures has improvements I noticed over the weekend, the first had to do with the splicing of the left and right camera.

Left & Right Lens

In the windy weather when there was a big gust that moved the camera you could see movement on the Veo 2 where the left and right lenses were spliced together. The footage on the Veo 3 camera didn’t waver like it did for the Veo 2.

I don’t know if it’s because the lenses are better physically secured or maybe the software is better at handling the movement but the Veo 3 handled it better.

Recording Into the Sun

On the second day of the ECNL showcase the wind stopped and the sun came out. The league was recording all the games with their own cameras and asked that we not obscure their view.

That meant I recorded from the opposite side of the field and into the sun (which you typically try to avoid). With earlier Veo camera models recording into the sun could create a shading difference between the left and right lens.

I don’t know if it’s because the lenses are better or the software is better, or maybe both but I didn’t see that shading difference in the new model. This photo shows a play where a player is running across the middle of the field recorded by the Veo 2 and the Veo 3.

Zoom Level

Something else I noticed between the Veo 2 and Veo 3 cam was the zoom level of the camera in follow mode seemed to be tighter on the action.

Comparing the two matches at any given point in the game the new camera is tighter on the action and had less dead space at the edges. So it seems that the intelligence in the camera has improved it’s tracking

Camera Lenses

The lenses in the new camera seem to be set a little deeper into the camera surface, or at least have a bigger lip, I’m assuming to keep more rain off the lens cover.

I don’t know the specs of the lenses but you can tell they have improved from the Veo 2. Here is a look at a night game where I zoomed into the play on the far side of the field in interactive mode.  With the digital zoom the video pixellates but the video from the Veo 3 is a higher quality than the Veo 2.  I should have also recorded it with a Veo 1 and compared the three to show the progression over the models but didn’t think that far ahead.

 

Veo Camera HDR

The new Veo camera has high dynamic range (HDR) which helps with how the camera and its software handle and process the video. One thing I’ve noticed is that HDR helps when recording at night.

As you probably know recording under the lights can create challenges because of the contrast between the light and dark parts of the field, lights can overexpose part of the video.

There’s one high school stadium in particular we play at that causes contrast problems every time. So I’m excited to try out the new camera. It does seem a lot of it has to do with where the lights are located and where your camera is set up, hopefully this new update will help with that.

I recorded a night game and as the player and ball moved between differently lit parts of the field the HDR helped the video stay clear. Above is a screenshot showing the difference between the video of the Veo 2 and Veo 3 at night.

 

Veo Camera Connectivity

Since I was recording from the parent side every game I didn’t have a need to connect to the camera from across the field but at one point I walked over to parents to use the instant playback feature and show them a goal. I was abled to connect to the camera from the corner flag so I could tell the range of the camera connectivity had improved and the instant playback worked great from there.

I already earlier that the startup/shutdown is much faster on the camera but it also seems the ability to discover a camera in the app has improved. I’m not sure if that’s an app improvement or maybe because the Veo 3 has better Bluetooth signal, or maybe both. – Note in the Veo 3 launch video they shared this graphic on the improved coverage.

 

Camera Cooling System

One thing that’s visibly different that I haven’t tested out much is the new cooling system on the Veo 3. If you look at this image of the bottom of the Veo 3 you’ll see how the cooling system now has a lot more surface area to pull air into the camera. The vent goes all the way around the bottom of the camera so probably really improves air flow.

There’s also a new mesh vent above and below the plate to allow more air in and out of the camera. If you live in a place like Texas or Arizona and tried to livestream games back to back in the dead of the summer with the Veo 2 you may have run into issues with overheating.

I haven’t had a chance to record or stream with the Veo 3 in the heat so haven’t put it through the paces. However, when I was uploading I noticed the temp on the Veo 3 was lower than the Veo 2 so it seems the new system does keep the new model of camera cooler.

Veo Player Tracking – Player Spotlight

Since publishing this Veo camera review I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the Player Spotlight feature they announced. When I used the new camera the Player Spotlight wasn’t available. It sounds like it will be released sometime over the summer. This is definitely something that many camera owners have been asking for over the last year or two.

I don’t know how it will work but sounded from the presentation that it will be an add-on feature. Kind of like livestreaming is an add-on feature. Not all teams need to livestream so you’re able to get a plan without it for less. It seems like the Player Spotlight will be similar, it won’t be required in all plans but you can add the feature if your team wants it.

They alluded to a few improvements in the camera (like stabilization/HDR) that made it easier for the new camera to track players. I don’t know if Veo player tracking will be available on all camera versions. One thing they mentioned in the launch was the ability to set a tolerance for how closely you want to follow a player. I suppose for older camera models maybe you could adjust the tolerance since it might not be able to track players as well.

However it works, we’re excited to try it out once the feature is live and I’ll let you know what we think.

Veo Camera Upgrade

When the Veo 2 came out a lot of people were asking about an upgrade path and that’s one of the reasons why we created a place you could buy a used camera, so that teams who want to upgrade can find a team for their old camera.

Helping to take some of the uncertainty and risk out of buying sports cameras is one of the reasons we started this site. So if you end up getting a new Veo and you regret it you can always list it for sale on our site and we’ll waive the listing fee as part of the camera launch.

Looking back, some of the main differences between the Veo 1 and 2 had to do with live streaming and hardware updates, like a much bigger hard drive. Having the ability to live stream and store a lot more games was a good reason for teams to upgrade from the original camera to the V2, especially teams that travelled a lot for soccer.

Should You Upgrade?

A question a lot of teams are asking is whether the features in the new Veo model are worth upgrading from an older camera to the latest tech. Hopefully our first look at the camera help with that some. If you have a Veo 1 chances are getting a Veo 3 would be worth the upgrade.  There are camera owners who had a Veo 1 who decided not to go with Veo 2 because they were worried about rollout issues. The Veo 1 was was less complex, had simpler technology, so had less that could go wrong.

I remember when the Veo 2 came out the first few weekends I definitely had some frustrations. I took notes and shared them with Veo and they pushed new firmware updates based on customer experience to fix those issues. To be fair, you could get a Veo camera discount if you ordered early so the early customers got a lower price. We worked through some of the kinks but also spent less money so it was a trade-off. I’m happy to report that my first recordings with the Veo 3 have all gone much more smoothly!

Veo Camera Discounts

You can sign up for a Veo camera 3 discount here. If you order a Veo 3 and want to sell your old camera we aren’t charging a listing fee to help out teams who are going through an upgrade.

We’re actually running the offer for any kind of sports camera. You can list a Veo 1 or 2, a Pixellot, Soloshot, or whatever kind of sports camera you currently use. The exception would be cameras that you lease, for example the Trace, since you need to return that camera at the end of your usage. Some cameras like SeeUsPlay have a hybrid model where you can bring your own equipment OR lease it so be sure that whatever camera system you’re listing is one we own. We help you figure that out as part of the listing process.

Typically you pay a fee to list your camera and if it doesn’t sell we refund your fee (they always end up selling). One weekend I was down in Orlando at an ECNL event and a team listed their camera while we were playing in our second game. The camera ended up selling by Monday, so they definitely can go pretty quickly!

If you have questions about the new camera and how it’s working for us you can always send me an email, ben@easysportsvideo.com, or give me a call, 816-398-8846.

If you’re looking for a Veo camera discount we can save you money on the camera, just enter your name and email here for the discount – Camera discount.