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


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Old May 29th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #1
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Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

Hi there,

I wanted to know if any of you have sourced successful alternatives to the GoPro style of POV camera.

I know there are loads of SD Card-based compact HD video cameras on the market (The Kodak Zx5 comes to mind) but of course they don't have wide angle lenses.

They don't have to be as compact as a GoPro, but something with a reasonably wide angle lens would be a bonus.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Cheers,

David
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Old May 29th, 2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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Re: Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

The Contour range of cameras are designed for the same kind of purposes as the GoPro, but every camera of their's I've seen footage from has had severe CMOS skew to the point of being unusable for my purposes. To be honest though I haven't checked out their offerings for almost a year so things have probably changed since then.

What is it in particular about the GoPro that doesn't meet your needs? Is there something in particular you have in mind that you're trying to achieve?
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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Re: Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

I do have one GoPro (series 1 Hero HD) and in daylight I am reasonably happy with it but in low light it's woeful...even as a cutaway camera at conferences in reasonable light it delivers a poor picture. Again, I have used the GoPro in dance concert events and - even though it has allowed fantastic angles to be shot - I have been really disappointed with the inability to handle low light or highlights.

I do understand, however, that this is a problem inherent in cams with small sensors.

I do want to get some more smallish cams that record to cards for the concert and conference events as second or third fixed cams, but am shying away from more GoPros because of cost. I guess I am wondering what is out there that will deliver at least the same quality/wide angle view as a GoPro even under low light, but with less cost.

Have I described my needs well enough?

Thanks for the response!

DC
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Old May 30th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Re: Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

Thanks for the explanation David.

Unfortunately, as you say, this is a problem that will plague all cameras in this group. Maybe check out some of the small 1/3" CMOS handycams, as these will likely offer significantly better lowlight than the sports-style cameras.

As for cost, well there is not much room to move below the budget of the GoPro! Perhaps some of the compact digicams will have useful video features but I'm not too familiar with any of them.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

Panasonic GH1 with a 14mm f2.5 pancake lens will be about as good as it gets, cheap secondhand and very reliable, will run until the card fills up battery runs flat (few hours). I have two of these cams, awesome IQ and good in low light compared to camcorders and point and shoots.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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Re: Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

I have been using the ReplayXD cameras with great success. They are lipstick-style but smaller than the Contour (I own one of those too) and have some very cool features.

At full 1080p, they are not as wide as the GoPro and therefore have a LOT less distortion. They are much lighter than the GoPro and the mounts are much more solid. All aluminum.
The in camera settings are adjusted via a text file and can be copied from camera to camera. The coolest is the HDMI output which makes framing super easy.

The only issue I have with them is the battery is not user replaceable. It lasts a solid 90 minutes though and they just released a separate back for the camera that powers it from a 12v battery source. Great for cars and motorcycles.

Worth checking out!
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 12:34 PM   #7
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Re: Camera options other than GoPro/DriftCams etc?

Thanks.

As an addition to this, do any of you know what compact HD camera has long record times? The beauty of the GoPro system is that the camera will record until the card is full, whereas a lot of the compact cameras only record, say, for 14 minutes at a time and have to be re-started manually.

My requirement for these cameras are "set and forget" so I would not have the option to regularly re-start the recording.
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