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


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Old February 26th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #1
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Hero2 at Sams.

I've been thinking about getting a Hero for several months now.

After reading all the negative reviews on BandH and Amazon about the Black Edition freeze ups, I've just been hesitant and have almost talked myself into getting a Hero 2.

As I've been casually looking around, they've become harder and harder to find new. Especially the motorsports edition which I thought would be the most useful to me, but on Amazon that thing is almost the same price as a Hero3 Black.

Well today, I found myself at Sams Club and I went down their electronics aisle just for fun. While they didn't have the Hero2 Motorsports edition, they did have about 60 outdoor edition bundles with the wi-fi backpack accessory for $199.00.

That right there is mighty tempting. I figure with those straps, maybe I can hang it from a tree and check the picture on my phone to make sure it's framed up right. Haha.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

I just recently picked up a couple of used Hero2's for $150 for one and $160 for the other. One came with a few adhesive mounts for helmets & such and the other with a helmet mount.

I ordered tripod mount adapters for both, a RAM suction cup mount from amazon (better than the GoPro suction cup mount - more solid), and a magnetic mount from Rigwheels (small but takes 35lbs vertical pull to remove it from a vehicle.

At my age I don't skydive, cliff jump, ski, surf, or scuba dive. My main application will be very tight places, foul weather, and applications where I need filming attached to a vehicle, but these are amazing little cameras for what they cost. And very sturdy - one video starts with parasail deployed then the camera comes loose from the operator and falls 3,000 feet to the ground continuing to film a "tumbling blur" until you are suddenly looking up from brown grass up a chain link fence and the parasail visible WAY UP THERE.

Camera is still running when you hear, "Hey, here it is! It's still recording!"
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Old February 27th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #3
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

That's a mighty tempting deal...

Though I wouIdn't discount the Hero 3 Black just yet. I'm convinced most of the issues people are experiencing are based on user error to do with things that are second nature to many of us, but not at all obvious to a video novice - things like formatting cards before each use, using a card reader, transcoding if necessary, etc. Granted the GoPro 3 does seem to be more sensitive to these things than an average camcorder, but I do believe the firmware is now at a point where most of the problems are user-generated.

I base this opinion on my own personal experience - I've never once had my GoPro Hero 3 Black lock up on me, yet I lent it to a friend who came back to me within 30 minutes saying it kept freezing up. A quick battery recharge and format and I was unable to reproduce the problem, even cycling through menu's as fast as I could.
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Old February 27th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

I've heard/read that the Hero3 errors are largely user generated. That may be true.

But, for my purposes (using this in weddings) the capabilties of the Hero2 are adequate. (at 1/2 the price of the Hero3 Black)

I borrowed the Hero 2 from a friend for a huge wedding last year, and it worked great mixing it with my Sony NX5U, a Canon XHA1, and Canon XA10.

Just haven't taken the plunge yet, but the price on these at Sam's, with the included wifi adapter seems like a great deal.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 03:16 AM   #5
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

Many people who reported problems with their Hero3 (not only the Black edition) are quite familiar with GoPros and some customers had to return cameras two or three times till they got a working one, so I guess only a small percentage of the trouble can be attributed to user errors. In a rather low-key comment on their facebook page, GoPro admitted about a fortnight ago that "some" Hero3 are affected by a bug in the software and that they are working hard to fix it. No information was given how long this will take.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

Took the plunge yesterday. I checked Amazon, and the same Hero2 Setup was selling for about $350.00, so paying the $199 at Sam's was just too good to pass up.

The Wi-Fi solves the major problem I had, in that there's no LCD screen on the GoPro, so setting up a shot is a little tricky.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 03:56 PM   #7
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

Just my opinion and anyone can disagree, but I have been using GoPros on my sidecar and motorcycle for a couple of years now. I have also used flip, Swann, Chinavasion Extreame Cam, Tachyon XC and many pov cameras, too. For all of them, the GoPro far exceeds the rest as to a quality end product. I believe that virtually all message boards and web sites about any group of cameras will discuss enough problems and issues that the casual lurker would instantly believe the camera in question is a real piece of crud. However, as Paul Harvey would say, "and now for the rest of the story." There are actually far more satisfied customers and those with no problems than there are the negative ones. In fact, some, but not all of the issues are indeed from self-inflicted user problems and simply not reading the manual correctly or worse, just ignoring the advise. These folk tend to get so frustrated with anything that they usually can see the forest for the trees. They frequently return cameras that are likely not really broken in the first place, make nasty remarks about the brand and then try to push their own negativity on everyone else by bashing a product. Having said that, there are also some issues that GoPro itself has created by not making a manual that actually follows a step-by-stepr processs in an easy enough to follow manner. It is lain out a bit poorly and unless you had previous experience with a GoPro, then you may not really know how seriously to take some of the info. They also made some really, really stupid moves in putting the new H3s on the market before talking to the customer base and getting ideas as to what would work and what would mean a big moan and goan as it failed. I'll specifically point to the failure to make a housing that had the opening for external adudio and cables in it for the new H3's. Developing a very poor camera mount called The Frame and wose, manufacturing a camera that only produces substandard aduio when it is enclosed in the clear plastic housing or in The Frame. There is no lens protection when using The Frame and the audio then from the internal mic is still substandard. It is muffled much worse in the stock housing. There is an annoying buzz in the audio on many H3 y cameras. Worse yet is that the support services seem to be either inept, untrained or uncaring when contacted. The plan of the day seems to be to have the consumer return the camera and simply replace it, instead of getting down to fixing the real problems and actually providing service to the consumer in a professional manner.

You won't find the H2 the best low light camera for inside filming of weddings and events. The barrel effect will also distort enough in some situtations that a better choice of camera would be a good thing to consider. However, for action cam work, working in setting that are really set to such events and simply having a good, dependable camera, it is hard to beat the GoPro. Drift and Contour cameras may make someone happy, but a GoPro is really the better all around choice on most counts that matter. You won'g go wrong with an H2, but the new H3 will outperform it in what it can do. That is, if your like me and own one that is actually dependable, durable and easy to work with. The unfortunate thing for the new H3 owner is that your going to have (HAVE) to spend more money on audio mics, aduio mic adaptor, housing and so forth to really get the most out of this camera. GoPro made a huge mistake in rushing to marked with the product and for a bit less, a good H2, especially the Motorsports edition, will actually cost you less in the long run. This is more a GoPro problem than anything and it is a shame to see them self-inflic their own bad PR in ruining their well-deserved good reputation.

I personally advise folk to hold off in the purchase of a new H3 camera. Too many bugs right now and even with them working some out, the price is still overly high and the results can indeed be frustrating if you happen to have a camera that flubs up more than it works properly. Wait and see. I went ahead and bought my Silver, as I am not a pro videographer and don't need all the bells and jangles. I got really good with my old HERO 960 in settin gup the field of view without any backpack, so I didn't order one for my Silver. Battery life is a real issue on these cameras, even without all the WiFi and other compnents involved. So far, no problems for me, but I do recognize that not everything out there is the fault of the owners, too. If you get a good buy on an H2 take it and let the H3 ride until Christmas or as a birthday gift or Father's Day gift or such. BY then perhaps some of the initial issues will be worked out with firmware and such.

Just as a personal tip on H3 cameras:

I found the audio to be horribly muffled and sounding like someone was speaking into a barrel when I used the internal stock microphone of my new GoPro Silver. I tried many different things to try to improve it. I even purchased The Frame too in hopes that it would allow better aduio. That didn't happen, so I modified The Frame by removal of the dust covers on the sides and top of the mount and added some earbud cutouts in that area. That really didn't help, either. I then tried to use the various skeleton back and scuba underwater back plates to the housing with poor results. Finally, by sheer accident, I had the rear cover completely removed on my GoPro housing. I then found that I can do better with the camera placed inside the housing and held in place with a couple of small rubberbands. This eliminated using The Fram and provides much better protection of the lens. It is a bit quesitonable as to it improving the audio, but in tests on the motorcycle I believe it does better than The Frame, myself. the best audio though comes when you use a modified GoPro clear housing that has a drilled out hole for the mic adaptor to be plugged in and an external mic. I have used clip on mics, flexi mics and a stero mic on mine and all with great success in the improvement of the audio.

Here is an audio clip and you can check it out for yourself:

http://www.yout.be.com/watch?v=yDAAIMXh_-k

Here is the ballcap mount I was using at the time with my H3 Silver GoPro camera:

GoPro - Ballcap Camera Mount - a set on Flickr

Good luck in what you purchase.
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Old February 28th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Re: Hero2 at Sams.

I just got my H2 and WiFi Backpac updated with the latest firmware.

It worked fine and it connected to my cell phone (HTC EVO3D) using the GoPro app that I downloaded with no issues.

The lag on my phone was only about 2 seconds at most. For setting up a shot, this should be awesome.

I can also change settings on the H2 remotely from my phone.

This may be the neatest little $199 I've spent in a while. Haha.

Very pleased so far.
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