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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old July 12th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #16
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

I love my Replays...the form factor is much easier to deal with and they now have a power adapter so if mounting to a car or motorcycle, you don't have to worry about battery life!
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Old July 12th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #17
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

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Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
I love my Replays...the form factor is much easier to deal with and they now have a power adapter so if mounting to a car or motorcycle, you don't have to worry about battery life!
Robert, is there a way to do remote start/stop recording with the Replay? For me wire would be okay; wireless would be much better.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 06:19 AM   #18
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

I'm new to GoPro having read a lot of glowing praise about these cameras, however I am finding the short-comings very annoying and would like something of a similar size for easy to place and discrete recording (not covert), but with some user control. I realised that this is designed for rugged/dangerous situations but with a bit more user control it could be so much better.
The things that I find make it unsuitable to integrate into my (mostly indoor) event work are:
Not having any direct means of attaching without the use of the housing, I'd rather a tripod socket on the camera so it can be used without a housing. I've found that when enclosed in the perspex bubble it is prone to flaring and internal fogging.
Not having any control over the exposure, it blows out the highlights all to easily. A simple +/- expo compensation or expo' lock would be useful.
Not having any control over the white balance, it is swayed by changes in theatre lights for example. A simple indoor/outdoor or push to set would be helpful.
The bit-rate could do with being higher, 15mbs leaves it looking phone quality when viewed on a large TV.

It seems that much of this is addressed by the Extremecam. Does anyone have an opinion and first hand knowledge on that cam?
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Old July 15th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #19
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

I find the GoPro image quality a bit underwhelming although if I were a snowboarder or BMS rider I would be more enthused. GoPro's promised ProTune firmware update will apparently deliver 35Mbps recording plus "a Neutral colour profile offering greater flexibility in colour correction & Log curve encoding offering more detail in shadows and highlights. Reducing sharpening and noise reduction for improved professional post-production and colour design workflows."

You can change the white balance & exposure on the Replay 1080XD plus some other stuff but only by editing a txt file on the micro-SD card & doing an update.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

Posts #9, #11 and #13 show that I have extensive knowledge of the Extreme cam George.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 02:46 PM   #21
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

I picked up a GoPro 2 to see how it performs and discovered it's much better than the GoPro 1.

There's now more detail in the shadows and the contrast is lower. Not as harsh. Color balance is a little better too, without excessive yellow saturation. The sharpening is still excessive with obvious unsharp mask outlines around objects. As I understand, the ProTune software is supposed to improve those characteristics, including turning down the sharpening.

What's really nice is the WiFi remote. In addition to remotely turning the camera on and off, and triggering recording, the wrist remote also provides the camera's battery status and recording time.

Turning the camera on is just a single quick press, and recording can be triggered almost immediately and at distances of a few hundred feet. I can follow a kayak fisherman, for example, and be able to turn the camera on from a chase boat and know that the camera's running or when the battery needs to be changed.

While the WiFi back has its own internal battery, it will feed off the camera's battery when the internal battery is run down.

The wrist remote's battery lasts for several hours, but not enough to cover me for a 10-hour day. I can charge it up in the field so that's a workflow I'll have to sort out.

I picked up a second camera and WiFi remote. Both cameras can be triggered simultaneously off a single remote, but I opted instead to trigger each camera independently, which means wearing two wrist units. For geeky people like me, that sort of jewelry isn't unusual.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:27 AM   #22
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

Tom, sorry I should have acknowledged that I'd read your fine contributions, what I was trying to get was a wider view regarding the problems I'd had with the Hero2 and how/if the Extremecam dealt with them any better. That is the lack of expo control, lack of white balance lock, and the problem with fogging lens when used in the bubble.
I know that I'd probably find this by scouring the web, and to some extent I have, but I've found that one of the delights of DVinfo is the way that many people with direct experience are happy to relate their opinion on equipment they've used which can often uncover answers to some of the questions I'd not thought of asking, or suggest ways that the shortcomings can be overcome.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:55 AM   #23
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

George... regarding the fogging, there are dessicant strips that GoPro sells which solve that problem. If direct exposure to water isn't an issue, then you can use the skeletal back or skeletal housing.

And if you want, you can remove the housing's lens, too.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:17 AM   #24
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

Thanks Dean. I can see that for your productions these small inexpensive POV cams must be great when you are shooting wild and wet adventure but my needs are less physically demanding; I've called over here from the wedding and event forum. You probably know that some of us less adventurous mortals are using GoPros to grab interesting or difficult points of view during wedding days or theatre productions. These can involve setting the camera and leaving it and hoping for the best, unfortunately so far I've not been able to get the best due to the factors I've mentioned above. I think that either I'm expecting too much from them or I'm too critical or they are not the right tool for my style of work. Still I can always clamp it to my car and hope I pick up some 'interesting' drivers' manoeuvres which I can send to Harry Hill.

Cams left and right are locked off Sony cx550 on auto expo -2 and they match well with my HM700 centre cam but the Go Pro is on a different planet colourwise, over compensating for the blue lighting. A simple ability to lock the white balance would have avoided that.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #25
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

George... Yikes! What a difference in color! However, it doesn't look like you have too much trouble with seawater hitting your cameras. :-)

I think the ProTune software is supposed to allow you to lock the white balance. But it's not available yet, unfortunately. We're all waiting.

The problem I face is the housing preventing the camera from hearing anything. I'm looking at ways to use the skeletal housing and sealing it up with something thin but waterproof. Although I'm not using the audio from the cameras, I still could use a decent track to help synchronize them with the other cameras.

Are you using the GoPro 1 or GoPro 2?
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #26
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

Dean water is definitely not a problem for me, unless it keeps raining here and water rises to stage level.

On the sound note, the GoPro did actually get me out of a situation with this show. I had placed it without the housing so the mic was clear. One of the performers did a solo without a house mic so I had nothing other than the music track going to my audio from the desk and the sound on the two locked-offs was not very good as they were at the back of the auditorium, the little mic on the GoPro picked it up fine if a little dynamically thin, so I may just keep it on for that.

I'll keep an eye out for news on the ProTune, that would be a great help as well as a bit of +/- exposure compensation.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #27
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

If you don't need a waterproof action camera then the GoPro is very expensive for the quality of video & facilities it offers. You will get far better video for a fraction of the price using a little point & shoot camera e.g. a Canon Ixus HS 220 costs less than half the price of a GoPro yet has a 5X optical zoom lens & manual control of WB etc
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:11 AM   #28
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

Dean it's Hero2.

Nigel that makes sense, I think that I was so swayed by some of the footage and enthusiasm posted that in my desire to inject another dimension into my work I turned a blind eye to the Hero's shortcomings, which reading back were all there to be found. I would definitely find something along the lines you've suggested equally easy to work with as the Go Pro with potential a more useful outcome. The impact of the signature 'fish eye' or ultra-wide effects of the GoPro is only useful in very small doses anyway.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:49 AM   #29
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

One problem with the Ixus... I have an Ixus 500, and it does pretty good HD video and reasonable sound (video can be 1280x720 or 1920x1080). But it only records for about 12 minutes, or whatever the 4GB file limit is. If you lower the settings, you might get longer.

I'm not sure if that applies to the Ixus recommended above, but George mightn't want to have to keep popping down to the stage every 10 minutes to restart the camera!

I can't help but wonder if a simple 300 handycam (with a WA adapter if needed) might be a good idea for things like this.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 07:00 AM   #30
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Re: Gopro Hero2 or Replay 1080XD for General Use?

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Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
One problem with the Ixus... I have an Ixus 500, and it does pretty good HD video and reasonable sound (video can be 1280x720 or 1920x1080). But it only records for about 12 minutes, or whatever the 4GB file limit is. If you lower the settings, you might get longer.
That is something that I had forgotten but as a workaround CHDK (that ancient ancestor of Magic Lantern for the Canon DSLRs) does have a facility for running a script that will restart recording once the 4GB limit is reached Continuous Video Scripts - CHDK Wiki

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Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
I can't help but wonder if a simple 300 handycam (with a WA adapter if needed) might be a good idea for things like this.
That is indeed a separate discussion that is already ongoing over on another sub-forum Shooting weddings with small handicams
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