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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:16 am 
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I'm still playing with it. In that sailing series, of course the camera was moving all around up at the tip of the mast. So there is a lot of movement as everthing changes position between shots.

Yesterday morning we had some squalls blowing through. I changed the camera to a frame every 30 seconds, and set it on a tripod on the patio. Here's a small squall blowing over.



Slaughter, we are finally having some good luck with an Olympus point and shoot. After going through two of their earlier ones, the SW 770 and 1030, I swore off the Olympus. But then I broke down and bought the newer, re-designed Tough 8010. They addressed most of the things they needed to address. Still, I got an underwater housing for it for the diving photos. But I think that it would be okay to 30 ft. even without the extra housing.

The Olympus has a one-touch video mode. It takes better video than the GoPro, and for sure, better stills. It fits in your pocket. It's rugged. You might want to look at that one.

There are a bunch of new, small SLRs coming out, and other small digitals with interchangeable lens. I am holding off on future camera purchases until I see what crops us.

The GoPro works. I think that the video function would be fine for a short duration thing, like a ten second free fall or twenty or thirty seconds of fast action. But for what we are doing it's not much good. Taking two hours of distorted video pretty much leaves you with something that nobody wants to watch. Heck, I didn't even want to sit though five minutes of sailing video. It gets boring real quick. The time lapse approach at least gets it down to a manageable short length.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:37 am 
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sorry to post again so soon, but I think I have come around to the idea of using an extension pole, like these guys are using:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F9T_X5Cg7k&NR=1

Putting the GoPro up on the mast puts it effectively out of reach. With the extension pole approach, we can generate a video in short bursts as it lets you turn the camera on and off and change settings etc. and not be stuck with hours of boring sailing video.

I've already exchanged one Hobie paddle for an extendible, single blade thing. I am going to change the other one, too. The stock Hobie paddles are not much good for this boat. The extendables are good for a lot of things, like steering, fending off rocks, poling in the shallows, building a whisker pole, and now, extending the GoPro. I bought every mount GoPro makes, so I can easily rig the camera to the extension. The little clamp for bicycle handlebars will do it. I think this might be the best solution.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:46 am 
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The GoPro camera itself is a cheap piece of junk sourced from an oriental maker. It'll never take good photos or movies. The genius of the company that is selling these lies in the various attachments they manufacture and provide for the camera. It's just a shame that the attachment system is built around such a crummy camera.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:14 am 
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Tom Kirkman wrote:
The GoPro camera itself is a cheap piece of junk sourced from an oriental maker. It'll never take good photos or movies. The genius of the company that is selling these lies in the various attachments they manufacture and provide for the camera. It's just a shame that the attachment system is built around such a crummy camera.


Well, I'm glad you said that. I was trying to be polite, but I basically agree. They are marketing the "Go-Pro Guy" image. "Buy our camera, and you'll be leaping off of bridges with a bungee around your ankle by Saturday.
Surfing 40 ft. waves by August." They do have a couple fun programming modes that are not common on other cameras, but not enough to dedicate the camera to the effects. I think the imaging is a gimmick.
The packaging is pretty good. Hey, I bought one. And I am a suspicious old codger.

“Don’t Sell the Steak — Sell the Sizzle!"
Elmer Wheeler, marketing consultant, 1937.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:51 pm 
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Gringo,

The photos that you have posted from the GoPro Hero look really good. Your skills as a photographer surpass those of the camera.
I have one of their old SLR's that I got as a gift but sad to say the Kodak waterproof disposables are better.
Has Olympus solved the sliding cover problem? I have an old tough 6000 minus housing and am always worried about sand.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:04 pm 
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I didn't have any sliding lens cover problems with my previous two Olympus, the SW 770 and 1030. Both of them leaked. And the leak was at the small hatch. I got about a year out of the 770 before it failed. The 1030 flooded the very first time I took it snorkelling. I went down to about 20 ft. in the USVI and that was it. Olympus doesn't wanna hear about it either, if one floods. Its tough noogies.

BUT this Tough 8010 is re-designed. There is only one hatch, and it's got both an o-ring ( gland) and a face seal. The latch also has a separate dog so it doesn't come unlatched. I think they missed an opportunity to put two side dogs in that hatch, but what they did is miles ahead of the old SW series.

They fixed the telephoto/zoom issues, and some other software stuff. There are still way too many gimmicks in the software, but hey, what can you do? It's marketed to people who might want to do some processing in the camera. Horrors.

Based upon my previous experiences with "waterproof" digitals...I still bought the separate underwater housing for the Olympus.

I am doing a lot of experimenting with the GoPro. I'm sure we can find some uses for it. Lots of people seem to like them.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:52 pm 
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The YouTube clip is Stringy's who, as far as I know, invented the GoPro extension pole, and has had some really good results with it.

What you are saying about the Olympus warranty is the same for Panasonics and I'm sure all the rest. If you read the cameras instructions on care and maintenance, there are so many loopholes for the company not to honour a warranty, that you may as well buy it for $100 less without a warranty from 'Honest Johns Dodgy Camera Deals'.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Yesterday I got my first serious sailing in on my new TI. Went to Lake Merwin just South of Mt. Saint Helens. Had some decent winds and even some chop. I had my iPhone in a waterproof case and took some videos while sailing single handed (literally!). Here's an example:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/rrLR_YuxUR0[/youtube]

After spending all night playing with iMovie to put it together I'm totally bit by the video bug. I had been planning to get the GoPro HD but after seeing some less than favorable reviews decided to take a different tack (pun intended).

Today I picked up a Fujifilm XP20 at Costco for $139. It's waterproof to 16' (OK, so no serious scuba diving) and supposedly very rugged. What I like is Costco will let me return it if I'm not happy. Now I'm off to Home Depot to cobble together a pole mount made of 1/2" schedule 40 PVC and a 1/4"-20 bolt. I did a quick test in my garage with a prototype and it seems to work OK. Just need a more robust mount and a tethering system in case I lose control.

I'll be making underwater videos of the grandkids at Walt Disney World next week. I'll give a follow up report when I'm done.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:10 pm 
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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrLR_YuxUR0&feature=player_detailpage[/youtube]

OK, let's see if this link works...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Gringo,
Were you not concerned when you first saw this camera that it had a fixed lens, no viewfinder, no screen and therefore no way to actually frame a shot? The lack of these essentials should have given you some idea of what this camera is all about. :?
For that clip you posted I used a 2m tent pole and the bike seat post clamps. I'm working on a better pole using a telescopic boat hook. I've added the Hobie single paddle handle adaptor to give me an idea of where the camera is pointing and am looking at ways of extending the top mount 90 degrees off the pole end so that the pole is less visible.

Tom Kirkman.
Maybe you could elaborate on your experience with the GoPro?
Cheap maybe but definitely not junk. This little camera is capable of reproducing images and video that rival those from $5000 cameras. Do your research. There are many comparisons. For $300 (the price I paid just for the UW housing on my Canon camera) you get a full HD video recorder that can record continuously for around 2.5 hours and at 60fps WITH an UW housing and accessories. Replacement accessories are cheap.
That’s why so many professional broadcasters are using this camera. What was on top of the cage when the Chilean mineworkers were rescued? A GoPro HD. It’s very popular in Motorsport broadcasts, surfing comps, skydiving, ski-ing and MTB’ing. Anywhere you want to capture action as the person experiences it and at true HD broadcast quality.

I am amazed people put down a product when they aren’t using it as it was intended. It’s a POV camera NOT a point and shoot general use camera. :roll:

PS- What professional cameras aren’t oriental?

Slaughter,
I certainly wasn't the first to stick a GoPro on the end of a tentpole. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:24 am 
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well, actually, its' NOT a "Point of View" camera. The marketing people at GoPro have taken that phrase, which is a legitimate cinema technique, and are using it to sell cameras. I looked up several definitions, and basically, the one on Wikipedia ( yeah yeah I know all about Wikipedia, I have written some of their definitions) is as good as any other:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_view_shot

Bottom line, a "Point of View" camera would be the camera used to show you what a character is seeing. The Point of View shot is just a scene between two other scenes. NOTHING TO DO WITH WIDE ANGLE OR FISHEYE. To say that a POV camera is a special piece of equipment is wrong. ANY camera could be described as a Point of View camera if it was used to illustrate what a character was looking at. An old Kodak Super 8 is a "POV camera". A Polaroid is a POV camera. Point of View is a scene. Not a piece of hardware.

So saying a GoPro works the way it does because it's a "POV camera" is just swallowing their marketing Kool-Aid.

Saying all cameras are asian is kind of misleading. Stuff made in the PRC is no way in the same league as something made in Japan. Not by a LOOOOOONG shot. ( pun intended)

Now, having said all that, I agree the little camera has it's uses. And I have already explained, several times, that I did not look into it enough before buying one. Would I buy another one knowing what I now know about them?

I'm not sure. Its a fair chunk of money for a gimmick. It reminds me of the smoke, and gray, and other special lens filters I bought years ago for a 35mm Nikon I was shooting. They were fun for a while. Took a few dozen interesting special effect photos, then put it all away never to be used again. Will I still be entertained with these neato looking fisheye shots six months from now? We'll have to wait and see. I know I don't like the video, and now understand that this distortion is going to be like this when looking wide open spaces. A distant scene shot of Laramie Wyoming would look pretty distorted, too, with the plains curling down under the subject at the edges. There's a place for one of those, every now and then. A shot in an enclosed areas, like a jungle path, would not be as bad. Its a matter of learning the camera. Its got it's uses. Of course the $ 5,000 camera pros love it. From their standpoint, it's a disposable. That's not my situation.

I've got several cameras at the moment, including this Go-Pro. It's one of three waterproofs, so it'll get used. I love the camera-on-a-stick approach and will be trying that next. I am also looking forward to trying the camera on the dog's lifejacket. I've seen some dog-cam video, and so far, they've been pretty jerky. Maybe by putting it on a padded lifejacket I can smooth some of that out. Also, I suspect a swimming dog will help keep the camera on a single plane and smooth it out. Just some thoughts on that. Sadly, I might need to get a bigger dog as a camera platform. Just kidding.
But for someone who can only afford one waterproof digital for now...I suspect the money would be better spent buying an Olympus Tough 8010 and figuring out a way to remotely push the video button on it. PVC and string are cheap.

In any case, if you are in the market for a camera to use on your new TI, you should carefully consider your needs and expectations before plunking your hard earned money down. Don't depend on the people selling you the camera to point out all the nuances. I speak from experience.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:38 pm 
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So it's not a POV camera yet you're going to use it as a dogcam?
You've lost me. :?
Call it what you will. The footage from this camera is available for all to see on their website. That was what got me into buying one over a year ago. Not a sales pitch. I was impressed with the quality of the images.
This little camera has got me interested in photography all over again.
I agree with you in that it should not be your main camera. It should be used as a supplement to a conventional camera and not a substitute, as I posted here back in March 2010 viewtopic.php?f=71&t=21650&p=97089
It's a shame you didn't read this post before your purchase.
I think your criticism of this camera is premature. You've been using it for how long? :roll:

PS: Just noticed on the GoPro site thay have a 30 day moneyback guarantee.


Last edited by stringy on Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:10 pm 
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I think this little example explains exactly what we are all discussing. But first, watch the 1st clip before reading the comments.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/show-your-w ... ories.html

If you're still not convinced this is a 'great value for money' camera

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/show-your-w ... gopro.html

And how did he do it......

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/show-your-w ... opter.html

Bugger the extension pole. I can see your mind tick'n over now Stringy. Operating an AI and a chopper, now there's a challenge.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:39 pm 
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What a find, $450 and two weeks to build.... Bugger multi-million dollar UAVs.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:26 pm 
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Thanks for those links Slaughter. 8)
I'd be a bit worried about about the chopper over water but wouldn't it get some great shots of the AI/TI! (if it could keep up) :wink:
I've just got the Human Planet series on DVD and they used a small portable hot air balloon for some of their aerial shots. It's got me thinking about using party helium balloons for getting the GoPro aloft. Needs further research. :)


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