The best video camera for soccer might be one that records soccer games for you, letting you watch the match rather than spending your time filming it. The Veo camera is a soccer tracking camera that uses artificial intelligence to pan and zoom smoothly to follow the ball around the field for you. It’s been a great soccer camera system for us because it’s fast and easy to setup and use – not just for filming soccer games but also practices as well.
Veo Camera Review
This Veo camera review comes after two months of using the ai camera to capture several training sessions and 46 matches across 34 different teams ranging in format from 4v4, 7v7, 9v9, to 11v11. If your team trains and plays at different complexes around town like ours then this soccer field camera is great because it’s more portable than a camera system like a Hi-Pod.
There are lightweight soccer camera poles like SVT Advantage you can use but the Veo camera is nice because you don’t have to manually follow the action – instead you set it on a tripod, hit start on your phone, and let it film your session or game while you watch or coach.
Veo can be used for soccer video highlights but also as a soccer tactical camera that captures a larger field view and allows you to see the play develop and how your players respond. If you’re a parent looking for an easy way to capture good game video then Veo is one of the best cameras for soccer moms and dads.
The camera lets you video youth soccer games without any training or experience and come away with game film you can share with the coach, save for highlights, or even use for soccer recruiting videos. It’s an even better option for soccer clubs because you can help share the cost of the camera system across teams and the back end is setup to easily allow multiple teams across a club to share a camera.
Easy Soccer Video
If there were a “Soccer Video for Dummies” book then this camera could be on the cover. The very first set of games we recorded with the video camera was an out of town friendly and we didn’t even travel to the tournament. We sent the camera with a team parent who had never used it before (and who’d just had surgery on one arm the day before).
He came back with great footage of both games. So if a one-armed rookie recorder soccer dad can use the Veo camera to film soccer games it seems pretty safe to say that most soccer parents, team managers, or soccer coaches can easily use the Veo camera.
The video was helpful to the coach who sent out coaching points to the players on where they could do better. Early in the season it was good for the coach to have the game video to review and see what areas needed work. It was also nice to have highlight clips for players and their families for big plays and goals.
Veo Camera Benefits
To put this review in context we haven’t used an elevated soccer camera system before and I haven’t used video software tools like Hudl for tactical analysis so we don’t have an existing system we’re comparing it against. However one of the reasons we hadn’t used those systems was because of the cost and complexity of getting all the right equipment and the time and and the expertise needed to learn and use them.
Before meeting the Veo team at the United Soccer Coaches convention this year we’d spent a lot of time researching the different options for soccer game video for a soccer team or club. We were looking for a simple and cost-effective solution for filming youth soccer games.
We had a list of pain points we wanted to solve with the camera we ended up buying so when I saw the Veo camera demo at the convention I knew right away that it solved a lot of the issues we’d listed. At that point the camera wasn’t shipping to the United States yet so we put down a deposit to reserve one as soon as they became available. Here’s a clip of the founder of Veo, Henrik Teisbæk, and I chatting during our meeting about why he and his team built the soccer camera.
Later on in this Veo camera review we’ll look at challenges we faced with video and how the soccer camera helped solve them. At a high level, here are our favorite things about the camera.
The very first time you use the Veo camera give yourself extra time before the match to power up the camera, get it on the tripod, connect to it with your phone, and start the recording. However, after you’ve used it a few times the setup takes under 5 minutes. Last Sunday I arrived at my daughter’s game at the last minute and my son had the camera up and recording before the starting whistle.
Fellow soccer parents know the drill of dropping your kid off at the gate since there’s no where to park. With our 13 year old, I can drop him off with the camera and he gets it setup and running in time for the match. I like the flashing green light on the back of the camera that lets you know it’s recording. If he gets it setup and started I don’t even have to connect to the camera to make sure it’s working, just glance at the green light and if it’s flashing I know we’re all set.
After a match you plug the camera into your network at home and it uploads the game into your Veo dashboard. This gives you an easy way to share goals and other highlights with players, families, and coaches. Before Veo I don’t know how many hours of game film I left sitting on hard drives or in the cloud, never shared with anyone simply because of the steps and time necessary to share it.
There is a little setup for each team. When you first get the camera you add the players to the team, they get an email, and then create a login for the Veo site. They can watch the whole game, just jump to the highlights, or when you tag players for specific clips they see all those clips specific to them on their dashboard once they login.
After your game is processed in the Veo cloud it automatically tags any goals that were scored. As you can see in this picture you can easily go to any goals to watch and download them. It makes really easy to create highlight videos of the games. This saves so much time, after a game is uploaded and ready we can download the clips and create a soccer highlight video in a matter of 10-15 minutes.
This is different than the automatic Goal tagging that I mention above. With highlight tagging you can highlight a clip anywhere in the match and associate it with any player on the team. This feature is great for coaches who are reviewing game video and want to offer feedback to their players. The video below shows an example of how you can use the highlight tagging to point out things you might not have time to talk about during a game.
One thing to note is that this video doesn’t show how you can tag a player to a clip so they get an email letting them know there’s feedback available. The video shows how you can create the clip and download it but an even more convenient way to handle it is to tag the player.
I did offer a lot of feedback to the Veo team around this feature in terms of improvements I’d like to see for the benefit of coaches. Sounds like a lot of those changes will be included in upcoming releases so it’s nice to see the company listening to user input.
Smooth Consistent Game Footage
Since there is no human error factor you don’t miss parts of the game where the cameraman doesn’t follow the ball. If you’ve ever recorded clips of a game you can probably relate to missing a goal, save, or tackle for any number of “operator error” reasons. When you’re watching the game live it’s easy to forget about the basics of good game recording techniques. The right approach also depends on what you’re making the video for. Are you recording the game for tactical analysis or to get highlight clips? Should you be zoomed close to the action or zoomed out so you can see half the field?
One of the game hosting/analysis solutions I evaluated offered free training courses on how to record soccer games for tactical analysis if you used their software package. This was a great benefit but obviously the challenge to a soccer parent or club coach is finding the time to go through that training. I don’t really want to become an expert at filming soccer games, I just want the footage. With the Veo camera you don’t have to worry about doing a good job recording the game. Once you get it started you can pay attention to the game and know that you’ll have good video footage, as long as you’ve charged the battery the night before : ) No more missing a big play because the camera operator didn’t pan in time to catch it.
Multiple Field Views
When you’re watching back a game record with the Veo camera you get a toolbar in the dashboard above the video that lets you review the game in multiple different modes: FollowCam, Panorama, or Interactive Mode.
The default is FollowCam where the video shows the game as a typical camera person would record it, panning and zooming to follow the ball as it moves around the field. This is how I watch most of the games but when I get to specific points in the match where I want to see what’s happening off the ball or off screen I switch to Interactive Mode.
Interactive Mode lets you pan the camera around the whole field and see any action off the ball. The video below shows the difference between the FollowCam and Interactive mode and how you can use them to complement each other.
If you have a package above Basic you can also download the video of the whole match in mp4 format. That video doesn’t offer the different modes but some folks like that option so you can upload the whole game to YouTube.
Easy to Watch
I already mentioned it’s easy to share from a coach’s perspective but as a soccer parent I also appreciate how it’s easy for the player to see their highlights and get feedback. Here’s a view of the player dashboard where they login and see the clips that have been tagged for them to review.
So in one place they can see their goals, saves, big tackles, or just any feedback the coach has for them about the game. I love how you can watch the game or clips of the game on your phone or tablet. The other night as I was putting my daughter to bed we opened up the most recent game on my phone and watched some highlights.
You’re probably not going to have pre-teen girls watch back a whole match but if you can show them small clips and point out what they did well and where they can improve the soccer game video becomes a great teaching tool.
Veo Camera Benefits Summary
As a soccer parent the three things that I do not miss from our old soccer video approach are:
- Having to babysit the camera at each game
- Missing critical game moments
- Storing, organizing, sharing game videos
The goal/highlight tagging, multiple field views, and ease of watching are great for coaches/clubs but as a soccer dad my favorite features are how easy it is to setup the camera, simplicity of sharing the video with players/families/coaches, and just the ability to consistently get a quality video of the whole game without having to be a cameraman.
Veo Camera Costs
The Veo camera has cut out a lot of the stress and mess and made soccer game video really easy, however, the camera isn’t cheap.
You can certainly buy a low end video camera and an entry level tripod for significantly less than buying a Veo camera. If you’re a soccer parent of a young player then that’s probably what you’ll do to start. However, as your kids get older and you have more kids that start playing soccer you’ll go through a lot of the same pain points that we have. Eventually you’ll probably realize that all the good features of the camera are really enticing and you’ll see why we were willing to spend the money.
Veo Camera Discounts
If you’d like to use the Veo camera but don’t like the price tag you have a few options. One choice is to split the cost with several other families on your team. It’s still not cheap but certainly makes it a lot more affordable. Of course the question becomes who actually owns the camera and what do you do when some of the players leave the team? For more ideas on Veo camera costs you can always email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Veo Camera Rental
Another option is to rent out the camera for a few games or maybe a whole season and split that cost with team parents. We’ve started renting out our camera to teams and coaches in our area and are working on making more available to rent for teams or clubs that would like to try them out. Again, you can reach out to us at email@example.com or check out our soccer game video page.
Veo Club Camera
A third option is to talk to the coaches and directors of your soccer club about getting a Veo camera for the club to share. The Veo dashboard is setup so that you can have multiple teams all using the same camera. In our opinion the Veo camera is a perfect fit for a soccer club. Creating a team is really simple on their site and once you assign a coach to the team they can handle inviting their players from there. One feature that would be nice for soccer clubs is for Veo to add a team manager role for access management. The coach could assign the team manager that role so they could take care of inviting the players and answering any questions from players/parents about the videos and how to access them.
Lastly, before you look at investing in a Veo camera let’s take a look at who the camera might not be a good fit for.
Veo Camera Questions
There are a few questions that could help you rule out Veo as a soccer video option if it’s not right for you.
Do you need to review the film immediately after the game?
The biggest downside of the Veo camera compared to a traditional camcorder is you can’t watch it back immediately after the game is over. We knew when we bought the camera that you couldn’t review the footage right away. We don’t need to but I could see how could come in handy in some situations.
Do you want to live stream the game?
The Veo camera has a hard drive that stores the footage and you upload it to your network after the game is over to be processed. We have a player on our team who’s grandfather is sadly in the hospital and can’t make it to the matches. He watches our recordings after the fact but has asked if he can watch them live.
Right now you can’t stream the game with the Veo camera. I don’t know if that will ever be a part of their solution. I know it does have Wi-fi capabilities so you can connect to it from your phone but I don’t know if it was built to allow for streaming at some point in the future. I know there is a camera called FieldVision we’ve been wanting to test that mentions the ability to live stream but they were recently acquired by another tech company so not sure what that means for the camera.
Do you want to record other sports?
We’ve had several parents ask us if they could also use the camera to record other field sports like football, lacrosse, or rugby. The Veo camera is only for recording soccer so don’t plan on being able to use it to record their basketball games in the winter. If you want to be able to take video of other sports then you’ll need to use your iPhone or a camcorder for those. All our kids play basketball in addition to soccer so we just rely on our phones to capture those clips.
Veo Camera Package
When you buy the Veo camera they ship you both the camera and a tripod and create a 12 month subscription for their video hosting/sharing service. Here’s what’s included when you buy a Veo camera:
The camera itself is shaped like a triangle. As you can see from the picture, the design allows each of the two lenses to face one half of the field. It’s a compact design, definitely not large or heavy. It’s 9 inches from one side of the triangle design to the other, 6 inches from the back of the camera to the front, and only 2 inches tall.
The small size makes it easy to transport. The camera comes in a padded carrying case and includes a charger you can store at the bottom of the case. The case itself is only 13x11x6 and has a carry handle on top. The case is a really nice way to carry around the camera to keep the lenses safe from scratches, as you can see in the pic the padding keeps it tight and safe. Once or twice I misplaced the case and was leaving the house in a hurry and ended up slipping it into my laptop bag.
The back of the camera has two ports underneath a rubber cover, one for charging the camera the other an Ethernet port for plugging into a network. The case also contains a mount that you screw into the bottom of the camera that clips into the tripod.
The tripod that ships with the camera is a steel Manfrotto tripod made in Italy. When it’s fully extended it elevates the Veo camera up to 12 feet. The tripod has three sections – the base and two risers. You can actually set the camera up and record from the sideline (as shown in the picture) without putting up the risers.
If you play at soccer complexes that limit the height of elevated cameras to six feet you can use this approach. However, in general it’s best to raise both risers and get the camera up to maximum height when recording 11v11 games. You can still get a pretty good video of the whole field with 7v7 or 9v9 if you put up just one riser.
To buy the same Manfrotto 111BSU tripod yourself on Amazon it’s about $270 and Veo charges you $250 as part of the package so it’s cheaper to get the tripod through them. Other sites online charge $284 for the tripod. Unless you’re buying several cameras the Veo camera discount isn’t available but you can definitely save some money by getting the Manfrotto from Veo.
They also offer a taller stand that goes up to 24 feet high but we’ve been fine with the 12 foot tripod. We’d probably have a harder time transporting the 24 foot tripod around to games. The Manfrotto 111BSU is about 65 inches tall when its collapsed down to it’s base height. We’re able to transport it in our Honda Accord by putting it in the trunk and having the top part come through the access panel into the back seat. Or in our mini-van we can fold down a backseat and fit it into the trunk.
In order to use the camera you need an annual subscription to their service. This provides you access to the video rendering, hosting, and streaming/sharing of the games your record.
Right now they have two levels, Basic and Elite. We went with the Elite option because we film for multiple teams. The Basic subscription is setup for single team use and the Elite for more than one team. It’s a monthly fee for the service, $25 for Basic and $50 for Elite. You pay for a 12 month subscription when you buy the camera. Here’s a screenshot of their comparisons of the two plans.
Another benefit of the higher package is that the video rendering happens faster for your uploaded games if you have a package above the Basic level. To give you an idea, for one of the first training sessions we recorded we captured 50 minutes of the session.
It took a little under 2 hours to upload the session to into their cloud and resulted in a 3 Gig file after it was rendered. The rendering process takes another few hours after its uploaded. During that time you can see the video on their site but you can’t use the FollowCam/Interactive mode and you can’t download the game video until it’s done processing.
Soccer Video Camera Extras
After using the camera for a little over a month there are a few things that might come in handy. None of these come with the camera but if you’re using it a lot they’re probably worth looking into.
External Camera Battery Pack
One nice thing to have along with the camera is an external battery for tournament weekends. If you have multiple players with multiple games on the same day it’s nice to have a power source you can use to charge the camera in between games. One thing we discovered is that you can’t charge the camera while it’s recording but with an external power source you can charge it in between.
We went with the the Duracell Powerpack Pro because you can also use it to jumpstart your car or inflate your flat tire, which can come handy for soccer families driving to games and tournaments all around the city or state. Or you could go with a smaller power bank that has an outlet.
One nice feature of the Veo camera is the green light on the back that blinks while the camera is recording. You can check the battery level of the camera from your phone but it’s nice to be able to just look up and see if the light is flashing. If you’ve been out recording games all day and the battery dies you can plug in your portable power supply and charge it long enough to give the camera juice to finish out the game. It would be nice if you could charge the camera while it’s recording but currently you’re not able to do that.
Video Editing Software
You can’t edit the videos inside the Veo dashboard but you can download the game or clips into your own video editing software. Here are a few examples of where that comes in handy.
We usually start the camera recording during warmups and don’t end it right away after the game so the game video that gets uploaded to Veo has extra footage at the front and the end. It’s really nice to have some video editing software to trim out the pre and post game footage that you don’t want.
One tournament weekend before we had the external charger we were looking to save on battery because we had so many games in one day so we’d stop recording during half time. This meant that each half uploaded separately into the Veo dashboard so we downloaded the two clips and used the video software to merge the two halves together and publish on YouTube.
In another tournament we recorded two games back to back on the same field and forgot to stop and restart the recording in between. This meant the two games uploaded together into Veo so we downloaded the footage and used the video editor to split it into two games that we then uploaded to YouTube.
The best video editing software for our needs has been WeVideo. We started off with Microsoft Movie Maker but we’ve become a fan of WeVideo because it renders everything in cloud for you. This means is creates the videos a lot faster and doesn’t suck up all the processor on your laptop.
Also, my daughter likes to edit her own soccer video clips for her team but she only has a Chromebook without a lot of processing power. She likes WeVideo not only because it lets her edit videos on Chromebook but also because it has a lot of good resources for creating highlights. Here’s a soccer highlight video that she made with WeVideo.
As with any piece of technology you buy, especially new technology, it’s important to know what kind of support you’ll get when you have a question or if something goes wrong. We’ve been really happy with the level of support we’ve gotten from the team at Veo. This is a nice surprise since support isn’t always a priority at new tech companies who have so so many things to juggle that support sometimes falls through the cracks. This hasn’t been our experience with Veo, they’ve been very responsive and prepared for all our questions.
When you first get your camera it comes with a printed user guide to help you get going. They also have a searchable Veo support site that has all the same information listed online. Once you’ve purchased a camera they send you getting started emails with links to all the various support articles.
For example they have pages on getting started, recording & camera, uploading, managing teams, FAQ, sharing, highlighting clips, tagging players, and downloading your videos.
When your camera arrives you have to set it up with your account and we had a question while going through that process. I just replied to our original onboarding email and they got back within a few hours. Over this season I’ve sent them a variety of emails with questions and suggestions and they’ve always replied to me within a day.
The support team also has a chat feature on the site you can use to contact them if you have questions. Since the company is headquartered in Denmark you can run into times during the day when there’s no one online due to timezone differences. That’s one suggestion I have for them, to add a support person in the U.S. timezone.
Fortunately we haven’t had problems with the camera itself but I did inquire about how they handle those situations. If your camera stops working you can mail it back to Veo for support. If it’s an issue with the camera being defective they’ll repair and return it to you at no charge. If you damage the camera, say by dropping it lens first on the concrete, you can still send it back for repairs but there is a fee. At the time of this review it’s $100 but I imagine that could change over time.
Veo Wish List
As we’ve used the soccer camera we’ve sent our feedback to the product team at Veo letting them know what we’d like to see them add or change. Some of our suggestions were already in the works and will hopefully be rolled out by the end of the quarter. Other ideas were a little more complicated so they’ll have to evaluate where those fit into their product roadmap.
Here are a few things that would be helpful for us:
Commenting/Tagging Upgrades – The most feedback we sent was around the tagging/commenting features. We won’t list them all here but I think coaches will really find this a valuable tool as those continue to improve.
Multi-Team Sharing – When you record a game both teams competing would be interested in the footage. Right now it’s setup to easily share it with one of those teams. I wish we could easily share the game and clips with both teams.
Charge While Recording – Currently you can’t record while the camera is charging. For long days with many games it would be nice if you could be charging the camera as it records.
Consolidated Download – We’d like to be able to download all the clips and highlights at once. Currently you can download them one at a time, a nice enhancement would be a consolidated video (or even zip file) that downloads them together in one shot.
WeVideo Integration – Of course not everyone uses the same video editing software so this wouldn’t be a benefit to all users. However, it would be great if we could import clips right into WeVideo from the Veo site. Right now we download them to our hard drive from Veo then turn around and manually upload them into WeVideo.
Veo Camera Review Summary
After using the Veo camera for half a season we definitely recommend checking it out for your team. The camera really does make it easy to record, store, and share great soccer video footage. Probably the biggest challenge that teams will face is figuring out how to make the camera work in their soccer budget. Whether you’re a soccer parent, soccer team, or soccer club you can email us for ideas on how to make the Veo camera affordable for your players – firstname.lastname@example.org
We actually had a few more sections planned for this video camera review. However every game and tournament we record results in lots of questions about the camera. We’ve told soccer team managers, parents, and coaches that we’d send them our review but since we keep spending our weekends at games and tournaments we haven’t gotten it out as quickly as planned. So we’re going to publish the review without those sections and add them later on.
We’re also polishing off an unofficial “Veo Users Field Guide” that has all the tricks and tips we’ve learned about capturing and using good soccer video with the camera. If you’re interested we can send you a copy, just enter your email address below