How to make a mobile telescoping pole camera for football, soccer, lacrosse, and any other sport

In this post I’m going to cover how to make an affordable telescoping pole camera that can easily be held and moved around the field by the filmer, and can extend from 15 to 20 ft high. Here’s what you need:


1) Camcorder, Sony HDR CX 290, this records in beautiful HD MP4 files either 1080 or 720. It is a much less expensive model and does have LANC via the multi terminal

2) Wonder pole

3) Sony Remote

4) Adapter cable for multi terminal

5) LANC adaptor cable

5) LANC extension cable

6) Long lasting Sony battery

4) 7″ monitor, Lilliput 7 inch, this mounts on the pole with this clamp, Pedco Ultra clamp

5) Case, Pelican 1550, this protects the camera and all of the electronic components breaks down your games. We’re a web-based video editing and analysis application for sports organizations, specializing in breaking games down for you, game exchange, video sharing, and game analysis. We serve HS, amateur, college, youth, and pro teams. We support football, soccer, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, rugby, and many other sports.


  1. I am using the Sony HDR CX290 and I don’t see how to change the LCD settings to display the normal LCD while recording to the Lilliput (using component video). It displays the image but not the LCD items (Zoom Status, Record Status, etc.). On the Sony HDR CX110 there is a menu option to change the LDC display settings to component output. I don’t see that on the CX290. I’m trying to use the mini usb lanc and then splitting the camera control and component video using one connection into the camera. I don’t want to use the HDMI cable as I’d have to leave the LCD open to to that. Appreciate any thoughts.

    1. Hi Brad,

      Unfortunately you may not be able to display the overlays…I ran into the same issue myself on that camera and that was over HDMI. I think Sony has really dumbed down their newer models so they can cut costs and not confuse the average consumer who probably would never use that feature. Either way that cameras MP4 and LANC ability make it a great camera for the price.

      1. I am using a Sony HDR CX380 and when I hook it up to the remote monitor it does not display the LCD overlays (record/standby, zoom, etc…) However, when I hook it up to my Sony LCD TV the overlays are displayed. Is this because the LCD TV is a Sony? Is there an inexpensive monitor out there that will display the LCD overlays along with the recording image. Without this it is hard to determine if you are recording or in standby. This is critical if you are filming on a pole. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      2. Did you try both the HDMI and RCA outputs for the video, and did you fully look in the cameras menu for any possible display settings. I haven’t tested this to know more details.

  2. Have you every tried a GoPro Hero 3? I have a 3+ and will be doing some testing to see if the footage is usable for soccer analysis. Zoom is not important as I am trying to capture a wider angle to show positioning and play. Let me know what you think and if you would like to to see some test footage let me know.

    1. Hi Warren,

      I wouldn’t recommend a GoPro because the lack of zoom doesn’t allow you to frame the shot, your at the mercy of where your standing. Even if you want a wider shot, you still need to frame the shot so the video is actually usable and not just a huge panoramic like shot with dots running around the field.

      It would be interesting to see the results.

  3. I have built and used several of these setups for filming youth sporting events. The Sony CX290 has been discontinued and is getting harder to come by. It’s replacement (CX330) does not have the same multiport and Sony has not provided new adapters for the LANC connection (thanks Sony!). Do you have any recommendations for another entry level camera? I am intrigued by some of the new WIFI remote connections (Canon, JVC via a smartphone or tablet) but have read that the controls are slow and glitch.

  4. Up till now, Sony was the last model to keep LANC ability in the lower consumer camcorders. It may appear they are also dumping it in favor of wifi. On all of the wifi cameras we’ve tested, the remote display was far to delayed, the frame rate was so low, and zooming controls were not smooth.

    Depending on what your filming, wifi could work…but in most cases I would not recommend yet.

    We’ll do some digging to see if we can update our camera recommendations regarding LANC control.

    1. If it supports LANC via the multi port, then yes. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to find a camcorder that supports LANC. This is the single most important feature so you can control the camera if its on top of a pole.

  5. VidSwap,
    I am just getting started in filming games for our soccer club. I have the Cx290 camera. Are there instructions for connecting the cabling or is it self explanatory? Multi-plug is used for remote control and must use the mini HDMI out or is there a way to use multi-plug for control and video?

  6. Are you familiar with the SVT Advantage camera pole system. It is being used by several clubs here to capture soccer games – seems pretty easy to use and very economical when compared to the other comparable systems.

  7. Partially. It was developed by a friend – basically a hobby that grew into a business. Feel free to contact us via the website. The goal is to provide a versatile, less expensive alternative to many of the stationary camera poles (which are pretty pricey). The filming has proven to be very helpful for my daughter’s team.

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