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Micro / POV Camera Systems
Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old April 17th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #1
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Which camera is Best for What?

Is there anyone who reviews and compares like gopros, pov vio, Sony HXR-MC1, etc

I would really like to have a better idea on what to use or purchase for different situations

thanks for the help
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Old April 17th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

I'll admit to only having the GoPro, it's an INEXPENSIVE, durable, capable, compact little device that does very well at it's intended purpose. Replacement parts are cheap and the mounting possibilities are almost endless.

It's failing is low light and I really don't like that the latching buckle comes off the housing so easily, it's only blind luck that I haven't lost it. The menu is a little like cracking the enigma, but it's not bad once you have it figured out. Those are really my only complaints.

They now offer a 3D kit and detachable screen, I haven't used either one but I like that they offer upgrades to the existing camera instead of orphaning one and making you buy a new one if you want the new features.

It is a SportsCam, it won't ever make a primary camera, but your primary camera probably wouldn't do well tethered to a kite or a surfboard.

Hope that helps, it's as close as I can get to answering your original question.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

I'm in the same boat...only first hand experience with the GoPro. Prior to buying it, I spent quite a bit of time surfing around the web for scattered reviews on the various offerings.

I think the GoPro has enjoyed such success because of their brilliant marketing model. All of the others that I looked at seemed to be "jack of all trades, masters of none"...quite generic in their intended uses, where the GoPro markets the camera in packages; if you're using it for cars, buy the motorsport package, surfing/watersports, buy the surf pacakage, etc.

Although the reality is that much of the components and mounts are the same from one package to another, and of course the camera is the same, it gives the buyer a sense that you can have a "one stop shop", buy the motorsports package and you have every possible way of mounting it to a car, etc.

In practical terms, it works as advertised too. The camera is brilliant; with adequate light it takes stunning video for it size. It's tough as nails, very compact, and if you break something, cheap to replace. the lens FOV is very wide; you're not likely to miss much action.

From footage I've seen from the others and various comparisons made here and elsewhere, I think it at the very least holds it's own in image quality, even with cameras priced considerably higher.

I have a couple of them because they're so versatile and small. they are cheap enough to be sacrifical if the shot you need requires that. I'm sure that spending two or more times the money will get you a better image, and a better camera but for what it is...a POV camera....intended to be put in "bad" places...its very tough to beat the bang for your buck. I certainly wouldn't use it for much indoors; I have equipment that's head and shoulders better quality. But at the same time, I'd never dream of mounting my Sony on the back of my motorcyle, or hanging it off the front axle hub which is where one of my GoPro's spend much of it's time.

What is your intended use for a camera like this?
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Old April 17th, 2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

I have used all three and I own the V.I.O.POV.

The SONY is a great camera, but at a premium price. It is the only one that allows you to change the angle of view without changing the resolution. The Zeiss lens is great. You're stuck with SONY proprietary memory sticks.

The GoPro is what you read through out this forum, a great little camera for cheap. Image quality is good if there is light and no opportunity for flare. It's cheap enough that you can buy one, have fun with it and then leave it sitting on your shelf. I think there are probably a few thousand of them sitting on someone's shelf after they get tired of it's limited functionality.

The V.I.O. is the camera I own because the quality is every bit as good as the SONY and it's less than 1/3 the price. Great lens, great video, external mic option, lots of convenient features, readily available media, you can see what you're setting up and company support is excellent.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

The No1 question is do you require complete waterproofing or underwater. That rules out most of them except the GoPro.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #6
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

IMO a "SportsCam" without a waterproof housing is like a jeep with bald tires and no spare: it will work fine until you try to use it like a jeep, and then it will die suddenly and painfully.

The waterproof housing is great for underwater, but also think about dust, sand, rain, snow, mud, the mayo from your hogie, etc. GoPro or otherwise, the waterproof housing is must for me. (I even have one for my G12.)
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Old April 17th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Newland View Post
The No1 question is do you require complete waterproofing or underwater. That rules out most of them except the GoPro.
V.I.O. POV is waterproof.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 03:05 AM   #8
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

I have the VIO POV. I can put the camera on the end of a stick and monitor what it's getting with the little remote control on the top end of the stick. So I can get shots of fish being gaffed or film in tight quarters if necessary, while being able to monitor what the camera's seeing.

I still intend to get the GoPro because I can get it down deep where the VIO POV can't go.

So both cameras are good. Each has a specific application.

Sort of like asking which is better: a socket wrench or a box wrench. Well, it all depends on what kind of nuts you're dealing with! :-)
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Old April 19th, 2011, 02:15 AM   #9
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Dean I've seen the underwater footage you posted with the VIO POV. I'm trying to imagine how you're going to improve on that with the GoPro since you will have to guess where you're shooting with it and you certainly can't track anything like you did with the VIO POV.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Kirk...

The VIO POV can only go down a few feet.

The GoPro can go down a hundred feet. I'm planning to use it in a couple of situations where a "manned camera" isn't practical.

However, I will have scuba gear on hand in case the rig with the GoPro gets stuck on the bottom.

Be aware that the standard GoPro housing can't be used underwater due to the curved port. For underwater use, it has to be fitted with a flat port. A curved port, when used underwater, will create a "virtual lens" and throw everything out of focus.

Someone posted a video taken by an unattended GoPro to see what fish do around an artificial reef. The presence of divers change fish behavior significantly. It's interesting to see what happens when humans aren't around. I can't locate the video right now but will post a link if I do.
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Last edited by Dean Sensui; April 19th, 2011 at 05:56 AM.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 03:32 AM   #11
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

I've had my VIO POV down to 30' and it was fine. Seems like there's a market for a housing for it.

Please do post any footage you produce with the GoPro.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 04:59 AM   #12
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Dean's right, the GoPro is a waterproof land camera, not an underwater camera. There's a subtle and very important difference, and it's all to do with picture quality. GoPro themselves don't seem to have sorted this, though I'm sure a proper and dedicated under-water housing in on the cards.

The little 5mm lens is beautiful, almost flare-free and giving very sharp results complete with barrels of distortion (as it were). Once inside its housing it's not flare-free, but then you've added a non-coated front element into the mix.

Exposure is controlled by shutter speeds and ISO values, so footage can take on a distinctly staccato look in daylight.

tom.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 07:52 AM   #13
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Eyeofmine is producing an excellent modded gopro case for U/W work with the camera. They are using factory cases and mounting a flat lens port on it that eleiminates the out of focus issue really well.

I would imagine that GoPro will also eventually offer a similar mod since they did respond to consumer calls for a skeletonized case for external hookups, an LCD back, extended battery. 3D mount etc.
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Old April 19th, 2011, 09:25 PM   #14
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Just be aware the all aftermarket flat lens fixes will vignette in R4 or R3 mode (960 or 720) so that restricts you to R5 (1080) mode only. Only the DIY solutions like i have done here will allow all modes and enable filter material to be attached.



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Old April 20th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #15
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Re: Which camera is Best for What?

Sweet Ian, really neat. Complete with cutout for the menu button. So your flat glass front element covers and still leaves the curved glass GoPro housing lens intact?
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