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


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Old October 16th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #166
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

I'm not a likely candidate for a used Sony Action Cam, without the option (thanks to B&H) of returning it if I don't like it. Thanks, however!
To stir up the pot even more, ever hear of the Polaroid XS7 POV camera? For $69 you may be able to get a lot of what any of these more expensive cameras offer (limited to 720P). Geeesh! Now I've seen everything.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #167
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
I'm not a likely candidate for a used Sony Action Cam, without the option (thanks to B&H) of returning it if I don't like it. Thanks, however!
To stir up the pot even more, ever hear of the Polaroid XS7 POV camera? For $69 you may be able to get a lot of what any of these more expensive cameras offer (limited to 720P). Geeesh! Now I've seen everything.
Funny, the one thing that is making a huge difference for me in "Usable" footage is the steady shot. That's something I never use on my main cameras, can't even remember the last time I did. But in the way I use this camera (on pole's and such) I don't know what I'd do without it. I really didn't notice how much difference it made till I had shot a good bit of footage with it.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 07:51 PM   #168
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Sony is making available reuseable anti-fog inserts for the waterproof case to prevent condensation. These may also reduce any rattling, as they are like pads:

Sony Anti-Fog Insert for Action Cam AKAAF1 B&H Photo Video
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #169
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

The GoPro inserts would probably work just as well too. Also, don't forget some Fog-X wipes.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:50 PM   #170
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Works on the GoPro so something you could try on the Sony WP case is a 5mm hole with a 10mm Gortex patch from an old ski jacket etc on it. Rejects water but allows air to pass both ways.. This is for ON water activities like a kayak with splashing and short term dunking.

Would not do this underwater at pressure.

Yes I've done this successfully and it works, you can also buy ready made insert vents as detailed here on my blog post in 2009 Rambos Locker Outrigger Canoe Blog: Permanently Preventing Fogging of the GoPro Lens
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Old October 19th, 2012, 07:19 AM   #171
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Despite all the excitement over at the Hero 3 site, I still haven't given up on Sony. (For one, I'm skeptical that the Hero 3's claim to 2x more sensitivity in low light is really going to amount to much, considering how bad the Hero 2 is. I mean, two times better than crap is still 1/2 crap! Also, as Woody points out, Sony's unique steadicam feature proves invaluable at times. All we've seen of the Hero 3 is footage taken by experts under the best of conditions and edited under the best of conditions. I'm not drinking the kool-aid yet.)

Question for anyone who's used the Sony headband arrangement...is it comfortable enough to actually wear all day long? Or would the weight of the camera and case end up giving you a headache or a cauliflower ear after a while?
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Old October 19th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #172
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

There are *two* headband options - one for the camera in the case and one for the camera without the case. For all-day use the latter would presumably be better, if you are not in the rain.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 03:55 PM   #173
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

I was out filming waterfowl all day yesterday, so all Iíve done today is view and chop footage and I collected a lot with the HDR-AS15 yesterday. I think Iím at the point I can sum up my view of it.
Your mileage ďWillĒ vary as just with anything else, how you use it will influence its value to you. Also like anything else, there is no ďFree LunchĒ and there are some issues. Weíve all seen the promo videos by both Sony and Go Pro but that is not what flows magically out of the camera and on to youtube.

First the white balance issue. The Sony is strong on the blue channel. I couldnít tell you if it is a technical compromise or if it has something to do with a lens coating but itís definitely strong. If you donít have the software or practice color correction (CC), this could be a big issue to you. I CC in After Effects with Color Finesse 3. The majority of my work is outside, so Iím used to having to CC almost all footage anyway. Most leaves are reflective so I get color spill from that and usually have to dial down yellows or something of the like, so having to pull down the gain on the blue channel is no burden on me and no big deal. Iím sure you can get the same effect using a single color wheel in a ďFast CCĒ plug-in. However, if you are not into CC, youíre stuck with the bluish tint.

Iíve had some bad results with the white balance indoors under yellowish light sources. There is not much if anything that can be done with it, itís unusable. I believe a simple firmware adjustment could solve this one but I have to be honest, I didnít buy the camera for use indoors. It would be a nice addition to be able to use it in such a way though as the camera is very handy to just whip out at any time. I really donít think it would be hard to implement a white balance menu that just had auto, daylight, cloudy, florescent and tungsten, thatís actually kind of old tech.

Next would have to be video ďNoiseĒ. Iím pulling a good bit of noise in most of the footage I get but this is similar to the white balance issue for me. Itís a pretty simple amount of noise and I have and use ďNeat videoĒ noise reduction software. The Neat video takes it right out without much effort at all. Itís a low amount of noise and really I donít think most people would notice it, except in the low light footage. A ďgood bitĒ to me is any I can notice that goes beyond fixing with just an adjustment to contrast in post.

The heat and ďRattlingĒ Iím going to lump together since they are both associated with the housing. I have not had the camera shut off from heat but I have had it get pretty hot. Filming in the housing for extended periods in temps over 70 degrees builds heat pretty fast. I have been using the DIY PVC open mount a lot, more so for the clearness of having nothing in front of the lens and the clear audio for syncing to but it has pretty much eliminated any heat issue I have had and the rattling.

The rattling isnít a huge issue but if you are dependent on the audio from the camera for your clip, you are going to get some if you have any vibration to contend with. I first used some thin adhesive backed foam from a craft store but it actually made the fit to tight. It worked well but made it difficult to get the camera out of the housing when it was on a mount, like the suction cup mount. I have gone to using the soft side of Velcro. You need to be careful and only use small pieces, like ľĒ by ľĒ squares. One on each side in the front and back and that will solve the rattling issue and not be too tight, making it difficult to get the camera out.

Lastly, the dreaded ďFoggingĒ or moisture issue. The last couple of days here in NC have been at 100% humidity in the mornings. Being a guy that films outside 99% of the time, Iím in the practice to getting out early and having a cup of coffee or something while I let my equipment acclimate to the environment. But using the open mount has pretty much solved the fogging issue for me unless I need the water proof housing. Iíve found that I use the open mount more so than I do the water proof one, so this issue has become much less for me as I have another way to hold the camera and just about anything I would use the WP housing for, I have time to acclimate.

In my personal opinion, I believe the biggest drawback or issue in regards to the Sony cam is simply associated with its newness. They are just now getting the initial customer feedback on it. Slowly we are seeing things appear like the moisture control sheets and the rumors/projections of LCD screens, skeleton housings, flat water lenses and such. I donít think itís ďWishfulĒ thinking at this point to believe Sony will come to the table with more that supports their POV Sport cam and anything we get is just going to sweeten the deal.

The Sony cam has some significant positives. Not that I would count on it for a production but the audio for a 200 dollar camera is pretty mind blowing, dang nice for syncing and good in a pinch. The steady shot is without a doubt the #1 selling feature of this camera. All the picture quality in the world isnít worth anything if the stabilization isnít manageable. There are basically three types of users for these POV sport camís. The redneck ďHold my beer and film this with my sport camĒ type but they donít care about any of these issues. You have the anal retentive power user with all the software and such to handle these issues. But for them these issues are minor and easy to deal with to get surprisingly great video from the Sony. Then you have those in between, those that are trying to pull a finished product out of the camera or very close to it. If you fall into the latter, youíre really the only one that has to weigh the issues with how you are going to use the camera and how others use it doesnít really provide that much info on it. The video Iíve been putting up on youtube havenít had much if any adjustment at all but Iím going to start using the camera in other work where it will be CCíd and de-noised, along with some other editing and just because I can do that shouldnít have bearing on some ones purchase if they are not going to be doing that as well. I find the company videos a double edged sword in that regard. I know marketing is important but it seems somewhat unethical at times.

Iíve had some discussions with people over the introduction of the Go Pro3ís, some even longer winded than this post. The Sony HDR-AS15 comes in at a price point to compete with the Silver edition and the AS10 the White edition, they also fall in line with those spec wise as well. Obviously I donít have a GoPro3 to compare with but I do know what I will get out of the Sony and the deciding factor here for me is going to come down to the steadyshot feature of the Sony.

I think those trying to compare the Black edition against the AS15 are being somewhat disingenuous. Some of the specís actually donít even come into play. You canít sell me on 15fps regardless if its 720 or 4K resolution. 2K, I can use 2K 30p if itís not shaky if it is, itís not worth more than stable 1920 x 1080. To add to that resolution is not the end all and is likely the last thing I am going to look at for quality of an internet video or DVD. People are trying to play spec vs. spec and that doesnít really pan out in the real world of using the product. Levels of noise or white balance between the two would really only matter to those trying to pull a finished product out of the camera.

All in all, Iím happy with the Sony and staying with it. There is a lot of brand loyalty going on with Sony vs. GoPro but Iím staying outside of that. To me it comes down to usable footage. The issues with the HDR-AS15 have been easy for me to deal with and overcome and Iím sure things will only get better down the road. If GoPro had steadyshot, Iíd have a Black edition on pre-order but they donít so thatís my rational for not jumping on that band wagon.

Thatís my two pennies on the subject
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Old October 19th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #174
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Thanks for the detailed report, Woody. Regarding the steadyshot, given that you're a software guy, do you think using the GoPro Hero 3 with some stabilization program (like what imovie or FCP offers) would be equivalent to Sony's capabilities?

Mark, am I right in thinking that, in order to wear the camera around one's head, you have to buy (1) the headband strap itself and (2) a plastic case (either waterproof or open-air)...both adding up to $55 or more?
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Old October 19th, 2012, 05:07 PM   #175
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
Thanks for the detailed report, Woody. Regarding the steadyshot, given that you're a software guy, do you think using the GoPro Hero 3 with some stabilization program (like what imovie or FCP offers) would be equivalent to Sony's capabilities?

Mark, am I right in thinking that, in order to wear the camera around one's head, you have to buy (1) the headband strap itself and (2) a plastic case (either waterproof or open-air)...both adding up to $55 or more?
Lynne,

I use Mocha for tracking as it's planer and not pixel based tracking and gives me the best results. However, how well it does is based on the footage. The more it shakes, the worse it is and the more involved it is to stabilize. Not to mention, with most software you have to scale up after stabilizing if you are not cropping to a lower resolution. Its quite a bit more involved than color correction or de-noising.

Given the nature of the use of the POV sport cameras, I don't think just the software makes the difference as I've had footage shot with steady shot that I still had to run through Mocha. Without steady shot, that footage would not be usable.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #176
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Lynne: "Mark, am I right in thinking that, in order to wear the camera around one's head, you have to buy (1) the headband strap itself and (2) a plastic case (either waterproof or open-air)...both adding up to $55 or more?"

I don't understand the question, so I will just say what is true:

1. The camera comes with a waterproof case, which you can use or not use. You do not have to buy a case. There is no other case option right now (you can buy another (the same) waterproof case).

2. There are two headband options:

A. A headband combined with a holder for the camera without the waterproof case. This is the smaller, lighter alternative. $24.99.
B. A headband that allows you to use the camera with the waterproof case on it. This option also allows you to use any band, not just the one it comes with (detachable). $29.99.

So if you bought both, it is $55, but you do not need to buy both. So, no, you do not have to spend $55 to wear the Action Cam around one's head - you can spend either $30 or $25.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #177
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Woody has given an excellent review. It is inevitable that folks will compare with the new GoPro 3. There are two advantages the Sony has:

1. The built-in stabilization, as Woody has mentioned.

2. A working, effectively real-time, remote viewing capability by wifi for Android and Apple. The Go Pro version has a lag of 3-4 seconds (and no Android yet), which is almost useless; the Sony is .5 seconds and hardly noticeable.

3. The Sony has those slo-mo modes.

I am also interested in resolving power -sharpness. The pixel specs - 1080, 2K, etc - tell us nothing about the number of lines of resolution the cameras are actually capable of. Both the Action Cam and the new Go Pro, from what I have seen, have significantly lower sharpness (resolving power) compared with even low-level regular camcorders, including ones that sell for less. I wonder if the Go Pro 3 has really improved in that dimension over the Sony, at say, 108030p?
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Old October 19th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #178
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

As always, Woody gave a pretty darn good summation.

Color Finesse works very well and is part of almost all my CC. I have found I can desaturate everything in Color GHears and then rebuild the colors the way I want.

Everything else can be worked around. If I sell my Sony at my price, I won't be ubhappy but if I don't, it's still a darn nice little camera.

I will but at least one GP3 Black at some point but GoPro always has buggy releases, so I'll wait.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:28 PM   #179
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Thanks for the kind words guys.
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Old October 20th, 2012, 07:34 AM   #180
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Re: Sneak Peek at Sony POV

Thanks for clearing up the confusion about the headband, Mark.
I'm wondering if a (white) sweatband would accomplish the same thing. Just cut two slits in the side (as they're double-layered) and slide the camera inside. Perhaps the white would help to keep the camera from overheating in direct sun.
I do wonder, however, if the Sony headbands allow for "aiming," pointing the camera in a downward or upward direction. Any thoughts on this?
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