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GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

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GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby herdbull » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:16 am

Anyone have one of these and use it in the field? I received one for Christmas and I am thinking of taking it along to Mexico with me and I'm just wondering what you guys have found that works, don't work, tips, tricks, other??

I just picked up a head/helmet strap for it. First impression was it seems uncomfy with using it just as a head strap. I have numerous stick on attachments for a helmet but I don't know if I trust those in extreme weather conditions. While 3M makes some great sticky stuff I've not always had good luck with them in the winter.

Any input on these units whether it be good or bad is appreciated. They seem pretty straight forward, point in the right direction and hit record. But like I always say, "those who do know, and those that know do." No better data than experienced users.

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby nicholasblee » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:17 am

My first investment was a tripod mount - $8. You can't mount it directly to a regular tripod without it.

Also, make sure the firmware is up to date: https://gopro.zendesk.com/home

They make a helmet mount that is straps instead of sticky; might want to check that out depending on whether or not your helmet can accommodate it (though I've been impressed with the sticky mount)
http://gopro.com/camera-mounts/vented-helmet-strap-mount

They key to the head strap is to find the right position. I spent a lot of time adjusting the straps and the position on my forehead, etc... Once I got it all dialed in though, it was pretty comfortable and works well (I wear it on runs sometimes).

I also got the suction cup mount ($30) and it sticks really well to any smooth surface.

Also, if you're going to be taking it out on long excursions, you'll want to get some extra batteries and maybe more SD cards (I have 3 batteries and 48GB worth of SD cards). I also got the car charger so I could charge the batteries while driving to and from trail heads, campsites, etc...


Video of snowmobiliing to the top of Marshall Pass last weekend (mainly using the suction cup mount)



Short clip of me running using the head strap:


Trying out the timelapse feature:


My next little project will be to build this and take it with me on some climbs to get some aerial footage:
http://rcexplorer.se/projects/2011/09/the-tricopter-v2-5/

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby jrs1965 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:20 am

I've found that using the chest mount for the GoPro is the most comfortable way to go. It works well for skiing but no so great for climbing situations like the Knife Edge. As you can see in the video below most of the footage is pointing towards the ground. In my opinion the helmet mount tends to pan/move around to much since I'm always moving my head...


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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby herdbull » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:46 pm

LMAO... sorry but the knife edge video is funny as you know what seeing both arms and legs going at it. How does that chest strap work with a bigger pack on? I just got done doing some hiking/hill work and that's a great point about the chest mount versus head mount. Even though what I was hiking wasn't all that steep I think I would have ended up with 29 out of 30 minutes of video of the fronts of my boots and 2 feet in front of them going up the hill. Amazing how much time you spend looking down. With a head mount on steeper stuff I think you would get dizzy watching the video going up down up down.

edit to add: dude you fricken killed the knife edge!

On that same note though the running video is super still. I think someone must have good running form :-D . On a side note how do you like the handheld bottle for running? I see a lot of guys out west running with just one or 2 of these and no bladder. I've contemplated trying one but I love having my hands free. I suppose it beats water sloshing around in a bladder. Amazing how still and clear the snowmobiling video was too. Way different than my handheld HD Everio. You damn near get vertigo watching some of my hiking videos.

I thought maybe I could incorporate the camera and some sort of a strap system into the pack chest straps but I don't think that will work. I might have to get a chest mount and play with it to see how it works with my different packs on. The video quality looks great in all of them. I think I'm going to like my new toy.

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby nicholasblee » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:16 pm

I love the handheld water bottles. I used to just wear a hydration pack but once I tried a handheld, I started using them for all of my runs 20 miles or less (assuming I don't need to carry a jacket or other gear).

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby jrs1965 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:22 pm

herdbull wrote: edit to add: dude you fricken killed the knife edge!


Herd,

Thanks, other than the crazy long approach I loved doing Capitol and would do it again x1000. No issues with using the chest mount with my Osprey Atmos 65 which is 4100 cu. in. The straps you can see flapping all around in the the Knife Edge video are from my Osprey Talon 33 which is a day pack. We camped at Capitol Lake but I was still able to cram and strap all my gear to the Talon 33 for an overnighter.

Nicholas mentioned the suction cup, video below was made using the suction cup on my skis. Unfortunately the suction cup only works on warm days...


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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby jmc5040 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:20 pm

I got the original GoPro back when it first came out primarily to use skiing. I've always worn it on the side of my helmet since you can capture your goggles and shoulder area in the video which gives some more reference to the action (my opinion). I also have a tendency to barely miss branches tree skiing so I did not prefer it high on my helmet. Turns out those 3M pads don't hold up to well to shear stress under cold temps as the whole mount ripped off my helmet. I must have turned my head sideways under a branch which left the camera in the impact zone. The lesson I learned from this is to tether it to the helmet strap so worse case it is still hanging there.

I searched and searched for the first one that I lost, but never found it. I bought a new one soon after though and still use it skiing. I haven't used it hiking/climbing yet, but have thought about it.
"My senses become heightened and the stresses of life fade with each step I take further from civilization. When I'm in the wilderness my brain and body work seamlessly together to do their finest work - a single flowing track down one of natures high peaks." - Jeremy Jones

Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:17 am

+1 on the teather idea. The helmet mount is the way to go for climbing but the chest mount works well for hiking. And the secret to making a hiking video that isn't painfully boring is to use the time lapse feature.

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby herdbull » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:32 pm

well after my first go around with it trail running today me thinks I needs to work on form :( . Darn thing was almost hard to watch :lol: Was that running video done with a head strap mount? I thought I had it pretty tight but maybe I'll crank her tighter and try it again.

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby nicholasblee » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:05 pm

Yeah it was done with just the head strap mount. It has to be pretty tight, even the upper strap. And, adjusting the camera higher and lower on my forehead until I found a good spot made a huge difference (I could feel the camera bouncing less).

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby RoanMtnMan » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:03 pm

The GoPro is a really cool media device. It works well for documenting personal experiences!

I grew tired of it for POV of skiing, biking, climbing, and rafting long ago though. However, it does record great images for it's size, durability, and quality. I think it has finally arrived to a point where the cleaver user mounting and manipulating lifts the mundane video to a differently level. I own one and use it from time to time, but rarely do I employ the POV. People participating in athletic activities are just too bouncy for good video in POV. I believe this tool has a place in the future, but one that is different from how it is commonly used. I have been experimenting with it as a stationary device and like what I see much more than most of the on-athlete mounts. But I have to add, that if one is doing something truly exceptional, it's not always easy to document and any video is better than none.

Keeping the GoPro stationary and searching for unique perspectives makes for unique videos. That may take a variety of mounts, but it is my experience.

If you are set on mounting to a person or machine. Just use a bunch of duct tape and save some money. It works in most situation. Have fun.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

"An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” --Marco Polo

www.CalebWrayPhotography.com

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Re: GoPro: Looking for field use tips/advice

Postby atalarico » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:56 pm

So, welcome to the "Is it on?" question asking club. I have an older GoPro Hero HD and a Hero 2. I love them! I've used them ice climbing, rock climbing, mountaineering, snowboarding, and all sorts of other goofy times.

I would say the best accessores to get are two extra batteries and an external hard drive for the exploded file size for video editing! The battery life isn't the greatest, and definitely more so in the winter. They're relatively inexpensive and get to be somewhat easy to put in once you're proficient.

Otherwise, it's all about experimentation. Different angles work for different activities. Rock climbing is still the toughest to do well. The lens tends to get scratched up, and the perspective isn't always great. That being said, they sell replacement lens kits which I would also pick up. Each kit comes with two lenses, and screws for both.

The widescreen angle also tends to exaggerate pitch angles and makes everything look a lot steeper than it is. Cool for bragging rights, but you'll still know in your heart that the 3rd class you took video of wasn't as steep as it looks to your non-climbing friends and family. =p

I have never had issues with the 3M adhesive mounts coming undone off my climbing helmet or snowboard helmet, and they're at least three years old. I did apply them to alcohol cleaned surfaces though with heat. I think I have a video from Kelso Ridge and Mt. Neva that's pretty fun.

Torrey's - http://youtu.be/EvuLYJk6psk

Neva - http://youtu.be/FwIJIcyhpEs

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