While waiting for my pattern to arrive in the mail, I decided I'd go take another look at cameras, this time using different words. One site that kept coming up had a range of mocap cameras, and all showed their prices. So I decided to inquire about their hardware.
He recommended that I used their second most expensive camera over their cheapest, as well as 8 of them for a grand total of $8,570. Sounds like I'm being upsold... Also not sure how 8 x $600 camera = $8.5k.....
It's not easy finding cheap cameras. All the companies want you to buy their entire bundle: Software, 8-20 cameras, a suit, head cam, mounts, and also pay for them to come into your studio and do the installation. Essentially they want you to hand over your wallet so they can turn it upside down and shake it.
People have a really, REALLY skewed sense of the word "affordable". I saw one site claim it was affordable for mocap, found out they wanted $3200 per camera, and only allowed you to buy as few as 6. Almost $20,000 is not affordable!
It's starting to seem like I'm going to have to build my own cameras in addition to the suit, just to circumvent the money grubbing "No, you have to buy all of our stuff! 100 cameras, 12 suits, 40 software licenses to all 6 of our software products, and you need a minimum of 5 studios to pay us for installation at." companies. Why can't I just buy a single camera? What if one breaks? Do I have to buy 8 cameras, mounts, another suit, and installation just to replace the one broken one? It's beyond ludicrous that they do it this way.
Whatever. Once my suit is ready, I'm going to look into alternate camera options, including building my own possibly using Arduino or something. I'll also put instructions for whatever I end up going with in the plans.