GoPro for backpacking? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Micro / POV Camera Systems

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 4th, 2012, 12:08 PM   #31
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

Big (for a compact) sensor in the S100.
Plus external manual controls. I don't travel with DSLRs anymore.

On topic, an iPhone probably has a better camera than the GoPro.
__________________
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at camerarentalsvancouver.com
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #32
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

A bit more background...I've done backpacking videos since 1987. My first was a documentary on the Appalachian Trail, shot on super 8mm film. I've since used hi-8, mini-dv and most recently HDV with a Blu-ray release. I use an ultra-light tripod and even wireless mics (the bluetooth variety Sony has with its HC-3). But everything has to be packed in along with the normal backpacking gear for stretches up to a week at a time. Finally, I have two herniated discs and I'm 58 years old. So I'm in a bad mood if my gear weighs in at more than 4 pounds total.

The trail I'm hoping to shoot this time around is the Israel National Trail. The first 2 weeks are in the Sinai desert where water has to be buried in advance.

As I said earlier, my 2nd camera (whether a GoPro or a Canon or something else) is to be used as a "chest cam" that I can use for my interactions with people--taxi drivers, other hikers, hostel owners, whoever. So its quality doesn't have to be stellar but certainly should have acceptable audio and I shouldn't have to be worrying if I'm cutting someone's head off.
The advantage of GoPro, I suppose, is the ready availability of a chest harness and all the clip mounts and its super wide angle.
The Elph advantage is that it's cheap, its auto controls are okay for 'run and gun' and its video quality is better than GoPro.
The S100 advantage is its manual controls (which would be useful especially if I were using this as a back-up to my Sony). Both it and the Elph are 24mm.

Unless I'm missing something...
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #33
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

A trip to Home Depot is all it takes to fab a chest harness for any small camera (though easier if you buy the GoPro one as a base).

I can see how a chest interaction camera would suit the GoPro with the ultra wide/high lens, BIG advantage to the GoPro. However, audio out of the GoPros is bad, especially in a case (which you need to mount to the chest rig). FWIW you should probably try and shoulder mount for a better angle if you are talking to people.

IMHO, you should rent a GoPro for a day or buy one from a place (Best Buy?) that's easy to return to. The real advantage of the S100, by the way, is that it's phenomenal in low light with the big sensor. The GoPro turns to pudding in anything but very good lighting (I may exaggerate slightly, but really, what you see in all their promo stuff is best case only).

Try em both out in person, go from there.
__________________
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at camerarentalsvancouver.com
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

How's the audio on the S100? Acceptable? Tinny? Probably no external jack, right?
I didn't realize the GoPro required a case with the chest mount. The mud situation sounds pretty grim too. Is there any "fan" site for the S100 where devotees have congregated? Are people trying to do amazing things with it (like shooting feature films)? Is it the best camera, ounce for ounce, on the market now?
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #35
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

A few reviews are panning its battery life, though...saying it's a deal breaker for them!
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #36
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

As this interesting discussion winds down, I'm still left with the question "Ounce for ounce and dollar for dollar and pixel for pixel, what's the best video camera out there?" (I may even pose that as a new thread because, clearly, I'm so unaware of what's out there.)

But I'm still thinking that, after all is said and done, it may be the Canon Elph 300...
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 772
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

If you are willing to spend $600, I'd go with the TM900. If you are limited to $400, consider the TM90 ( haven't used, but its a scaled back, smaller version with less features and lower grade lens). There is a very long discussion on the TM900 you may want to look into.

I used to use the HC3 as well and loved it. The TM900 is about the same size, but is quite an upgrade in low light and good lighting.

My two cents worth!
Roger Shealy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #38
New Boot
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey BC
Posts: 7
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

We have been using the Drift Innovation HD 1080p and Swann 1080p FREESTYLE HD 1080P on an adventure series. An inexpensive water proof case can be purchase for the Drift. It has a wireless remote that you can wear on your wrist, offers a small LCD display making it much easier to compose a decent shot, and offers a 9MP sensor for really decent image quality. It will also record in 25 or 30fps at 1080p which makes cutting the material into a 24fps timeline a whole lot easier.

The Swann is a 8MP sensor but the kit comes with a water tight case and the LCD display is removable. It also comes with a remote.

Both are quite small relative to the GoPro and Contour HD POV cameras.
John Banovich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6th, 2012, 03:59 AM   #39
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

I'm with Roger - the near-universal camera is the SD900, and it's price:size:weight:performance ratio is outstanding. It's a camera that will handle almost anything and bring back startlingly good pictures and sound, movies or stills. OK, it's not waterproof and its 35mm wide-angle is so-so but it's a filmmaker's dream in a tiny package. Your 'ounce for ounce and dollar for dollar' question is answered.

Yet I sense that you're not really a filmmaker Lynne, you're an adventurer that wants to bring back the glories of your expeditions to let others bathe in your excitement. All the cameras listed here have their USPs, all have their pros and cons. But I keep coming back to the fact that the Sony HC3 has served you well all these years, and the SD900 is the bang up2date version of that.

It's no chest cam, so a GoPro (with the open back to let the mic hear better) could be a very lightweight addition to your pack. The GoPro is famous for good reason, and herby speaks a man with an Extreme cam and an SD900. Same SDHC cards but different batteries of course.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 6th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #40
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

I like all this hard-won wisdom accumulated from the field, and not just theory.
Does the Panny TM900 have a similar ultra-light bluetooth wireless mic? (The Sony's is so easy to use, no wires or dangling cables, and it weighs only a couple of ounces.)
The Canon Elph 300, auto everything, at $170 and just over 4 ounces, doesn't ring your chimes?
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #41
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

As far as I know the 900 doesn't have that very clever Bluetooth mic (isn't it a radio mic rather than Bluetooth to give it greater range?). That does sound an excellent feature. I have a tiny Samson radio mic and receiver, both powered by a single AAA cell which would be almost as small.

I don't know the Elph 300 at all. Most cameras chime my bells, but I only write about those I've used, tested and know.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 07:05 AM   #42
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 772
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

Lynne,

The Panasonic doesn't have a plug-and-play bluetooth mic like the HC3. What the TM900 does have is much better manual controlled sound and sound levels so if you use a higher quality mic you can capture it in better fidelity. In general the on-board mic on the TM-900 is slightly worse than the HC3. If the Elph is a true contender, I wonder why not continue using the HC3? Although it lacks sharpness compared to the TM900, it's probably better than the Elph. Here are three vids to help you understand whether the difference between the HC3, TM900, and GoPro Hero2 warrants you plopping down $800 or so:

HC3:

TM900 (stills using Canon 7D):


GoPro Hero 2 (in very bright conditions. Falls apart rapidly in less-than-bright light)



The Sony Sony ECM-AW3 Wireless Microphone might meet your needs. I think it is a generic bluetooth mic that doesn't use the Sony proprietary shoe, but please check carefully to make sure before purchasing.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; January 7th, 2012 at 08:30 AM. Reason: Added Hero2 footage
Roger Shealy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #43
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

Thanks for the effort behind posting the clips. I'll check them out shortly (as I'm presenting uploading a youtube video and my system's getting a bit clogged).
I think this discussion strikes a chord because it goes far beyond backpacking. What we're talking about here is a search for the best pocketable (ie, packable) video camera. By saying "pocket" it has to be small and light. That rules out 98% of the cameras out on the market.
Until recent, a pocketcam meant muddy and grainy...hardly broadcast quality. But clearly the game has changed with the stripped down versions of HD-SLRs like the Elph and the S100 and others. But the
Flip and GoPro and Drift and the Croc compete for our attention too.

I just remembered something that might be a deal breaker for some of the contenders--the charger/power source. As intrigued as I was about the Elph 300, if a "wall-wart" charger is necessary to recharge the battery, then the weight factor has suddenly doubled. Anybody know what the Elph or the S100 requires? (My trip is 2 months overseas so recharging is going to be a necessity.) This is where a AAA-battery option like the Flip Ultra suddenly becomes a real plus.
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #44
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: williamsport, pa
Posts: 604
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

It was fun watching the 3 different videos...
The Sony showed me its familiar "soft" look. (After all, it's a 5 year old model.)
The Panasonic was so sharp as to throw me off, not looking quite "real" (considering I'm supposed to be wearing glasses but usually don't).
The GoPro was sharp to my eyes (but colors not as true). Wish I knew how bad it looks under less than ideal light.

Nevertheless, thanks for posting! I'm almost positive the Sony bluetooth is a proprietary device. It's pretty tricky to get it to slide onto the hot shoe properly. I guess they designed it that way so the shoe wouldn't get dirty.
Lynne Whelden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #45
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fayetteville, GA
Posts: 772
Re: GoPro for backpacking?

Lynne,

I have the proprietary Sony bluetooth also. I believe the one I attached to my last post is non proprietary as some of the posters were using it on other cameras. If so, make sure you get a camera with a 1/8" audio jack!

Also, This posted video of the TM900 was my first real use of it. I have since turned down the digital sharpening setting two notches, which makes the image a little more pleasing and I can sharpen as needed in post.
Roger Shealy is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Micro / POV Camera Systems

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:19 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network