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gopro cameras

Postby tarponfan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:17 pm

Howdy shutterbugs!

I'm considering a video camera that is well suited for use on the water. I see a lot of cool outdoor footage shot with GoPro cameras, but after digging around I see some poor reviews of their latest flagship product, the Hero3.

Here are the links to buyers comments and to a review that references some of this negative feedback.

http://www.amazon.com/GoPro-HD-HERO3-Bl ... ewpoints=0

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-a ... ro-hero-3/

Does anyone have firsthand experience with this product? Any other recommendations?

Thanks
John

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Re: gopro cameras

Postby KnotCase » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:55 pm

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen such a huge negative reaction to a supposedly big time product. KO, what's the scoop on this?

PS - love the Amazon reviewer who bought the "Brown POS" model.
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Re: gopro cameras

Postby kendalloz » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:34 am

By accident I ended up with 2 Hero 3 black editions (my wife bought me one the same time I bought one...so I kept them both ;) ). From my experience and from what I read on too many video forums...

The first few batches of Hero 3 cameras had some major issues. The main issues were cameras freezing (had to remove battery to start over) and batteries not charging. As far as I know the battery issue is fixed. Some of the cameras still freeze. Mine have frozen a few times. It is a pain to have to take the battery out. But I have learned to let the camera "boot" when I first turn it on. It seems more likely to freeze if you turn it on and immediately start pressing buttons. If you turn it on and let it "warm up" for 15 or 20 seconds it seems to be fine. Battery life on the Hero 3 is much worse than Hero 2. A Hero 3 with battery backpack (2 batteries) lasts only as long as a Hero 2 with one battery. If you shoot at the higher bit rates (protune setting) you need to buy faster more expensive cards. Also, the 2 K setting is stunning as well but many computers will not play video files that large.


But after all those negatives, the image quality and sharpness are stunning. Sharpness tests have shown some settings to be as sharp as $50,000 pro video rigs. The 120 frames per sec at 720p makes incredibly sick slow motion. The wifi for control by smart phone works super for me and is very slick. My 2 cents if you are into video and want the best quality get a Hero 3 and live with the quirks. If you are more beginner and want more simple operation and reliability get a Hero 2.

It also helps to read forums where video nerds test these things and can save you a lot of time learning which settings work best and how to avoid problems (like freezing). Some of the folks on "pro" forums are indeed pros and have way more experience than some guy on Amazon.

This is a long thread but a lot of good info...Vitaliy is the super smart world leader in hacking camera firmware. The guy Rambo is a pro who shoots a lot of regattas and such and has a lot of GoPro experience.

http://personal-view.com/talks/discussion/4910/gopro-hero3-4k-is-here-in-baby-steps-for-399.99

PS I installed the Protune firmware on my Hero 2 before I sold it. It froze a few times after the install. Never froze before. So shooting at the high bit rate protune setting may be a cause for freezing. There is no need to shoot at protune unless you want to do a lot of color correcting after shooting. With protune on it is more like shooting digital stills in raw (you edit later) and protune off is more like a jpg where the camera decides what looks best. Non-protune files are much smaller and easier to use in most computers.

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Re: gopro cameras

Postby tarponfan » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:17 pm

Kendall

Thanks for your reply. I'm a beginner but in denial about it. So while I should get the Hero2 - that little voice that gets me in trouble is saying - "go on, get the Hero3.... those people that are having all the problems just don't love technology the way you do ...."

Better go the safe route before I talk myself into frustration.

Thanks again,

John

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Re: gopro cameras

Postby kendalloz » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:36 pm

John, I mainly upgraded to the Hero 3 for the 120 frames per second. It makes for great slow motion! If you shoot action that is a feature the Hero 2 cannot match.

There is nothing "wrong" with the Hero 3 you just have to learn to live with shorter battery life and a few quirks. The ones being shipped now are probably issue-free if you leave the protune
setting off (which is default).

Of course if you buy a Hero 3 the Hero 4 will out in a month shooting 240 frames a second!!!!! :shock: :D

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