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Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

What has your experience been with GoPro cameras and is there a better alternative?

Asked by Earthbound_Misfit (13069points) July 11th, 2017

I’m thinking of buying a GoPro to take on my next road trip. Do you have one? Do you like it? What are the pros and cons in your opinion? Or is there an alternative you like better?

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13 Answers

rojo's avatar

I have used a GoPro and presently own a GoPro knock off. They are fun but I would not consider using one for my main camera.
The GoPro I used was an older one and did not have a viewscreen in back so I have lots of shots of me looking at it to see if it is running. The one I have has a screen but when I have used it underwater I cannot see the screen so it is useless. It also only has three settings Wide, Mid and Telephoto (which is not really any such thing) and they are a pain to change on the fly.
The quality of the video is good but unless you are doing something exciting it is no better than the video you get off of most phones.
The accessory brackets and straps are somewhat spendy but not ridiculous and they do provide more flexibility for a variety of situations.
Unless I was skydiving, snowboarding, skiing, downhill racing or some other action sport, for the $400.00 I would buy something else like my Sony DSC-TX30 which is waterproof, shockproof, easier to operate, does not need the protective cover and costs less.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Thanks @rojo. I have a Canon DSLR and an Olympus OMD EM5 compact, mirrorless camera that I’ll take with me. I thought a GoPro or similar would be great to put in a bracket on the dash to record some of the scenery as we travel around. And I want to go whale watching a couple of times, so I thought I could take some video content while I’m out there. We might also go and paddle with dolphins too and do that sort of thing. The scenery where we’re going is supposed to be stunning. I thought I could even get some sort of accessory so one of us could wear it while we go for a walk.

I’ll check out the Sony camera. I do like the idea of having something waterproof and shockproof. We were over on Fraser Island and that’s serious 4 wheel drive territory. I wish I’d had a camera I could fix to the dash then because it was like being on a roller coaster, up and down, up and down but we also went through some great bushland and the views of the ocean were spectacular, once you got to the beach! So I’d like to be more prepared this time.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I used one of the original models for motorcycling. Got some cool videos from it. I don’t think the price is really justified.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Thanks @ARE_you_kidding_me. That’s what my husband thinks. He also said he didn’t believe they’ve kept improving them. So I’m also interested in seeing if there is something similar that is may not be so pricey but is as good or better.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

They’ll do some handy things like stream live video now. I saw a cool video where someone was using one on a crab trap and would watch as they entered then pulled the trap up out of the water.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

That sounds great. I’d like to set it up outside near the pool and leave it to film the kookaburras dive bombing the pool. I can think of a few ways we could use it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

How far witl it transmit live video? I’d like to but one (or a similar unit) out by my pond to alert me if a green heron is grabbing my fish.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think it uses wifi so you would probably need a range extender. I grab those old wrt54g routers at yard sales, load ddwrt firmware on them and set them up as range extenders. I have my whole yard covered as well as my workshed. You only get about 10mb/s out of them but it’s usually good enough for our nest cameras. Probably be good enough for a gopro too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me That is a great idea! I need 75 meters and part of it is through woods. I was considering running Cat 5e and accepting slower speeds. Your idea is better.

rojo's avatar

If you are just looking for an action camera check This out. This is what I ended up with instead of the GoPro when I went looking for a new toy. I does the same thing and provides many of the same accessories for much less. One thing though, it is not compatible with GoPro accessories; the mounting bracket is slightly different.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@LuckyGuy Some of the older models had removeable antennas with TNC connectors so you can run a Yagi if you want. A little birdie told me with the firmware hack you can turn the power waay up too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Ooooo. You know me too well.

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