Most of the reviews I’ve written have covered shoes, clothing, and fuelling products.
For this review, I have turned my attention to a well know video recorded; the GoPro.
GoPro gear is manufactured in the U.S.A. and was formally designed and marketed by Woodman Labs based out of California. Now, GoPro has incorporated, and is recognized simply as GoPro. The company manufactures high def (H.D.) personal camera’s that are used in a variety of settings due to the camera’s super small size, durability, portability, and versatility. A simply search on youtube for the GoPro Channel will lead the visitor to a plethora of über cool adventure based short videos.
I purchased my GoPro from my team store up in Orangeville about a year ago. I had seen some of the aforementioned video’s while surfing youtube, and decided that the camera would be a fantastic tool both at work and while at “play”. Our team managers uses their GoPro to video tape numerous events that T.R.F. members participate in, and the lasting memories that are captured are great. That’s how I’ve used my camera. I’ve recorded down hill skiing adventures, zip-lineing through a tree top canopy, and even cross country running events that my athletes have participated in.
I’ve waited almost a year to write this review, so that I could make some ‘useful’ anecdotal comments regarding the system (I’ll save you the specific techno-jargon as it can be found at the GoPro site).
First off, the camera is indeed very durable. While downhill skiing, not only was the gear subjected to some extreme cold temps, but even after the ‘odd’ fall – the camera survived with no issues. Battery life in such conditions was acceptable, and after almost three hours of constant use in -20°C temps, I managed to record a lot of great footage. The camera can be mounted in a variety of ways, but while running, skiing, and cycling, I’ve predominantly used a head-set mount that allows full mobility. My hands and body are free. Getting used to the head mount does take a little time, but once set up correctly, I personally don’t have any issues with the gear at all. Having it mounted on my head feel no different that wearing, for example, a Head Sweat’s visor. Motion/stability control is great. The camera is user-friendly. Getting acquainted with the features that are offered, takes very little time. Downloading the images is similar to downloading images from a DSLR or point-and-shoot camera. Cross platform (PC vs Mac) has not been an issue for me at all. (Some reviews have noted that older operating systems can cause problems, but I am currently using both Windos 7 and Msc OS-Maverik – with zero issue). The camera is so versatile that the limiting factors in its use are the users very own imagination. In my opinion, the systems only real fault is in its ability to capture “clear” audio. Because the camera sits in its own protective, water-proof case, recording high quality audio is a challenge, especially on windy days. This however, has been address by GoPro with its latest addition the GoPro Hero4 camera.
I would recommend purchasing the largest micro-SD card that you can afford. Video’s and photo’s “eat” a lot of memory, and having to download content, or swap memory cards would be a nuisance. Additionally, I would recommend purchasing the LCD “BacPac” to round out the gear. On its own, the GoPro has no screen to permit video play back – you are forced to download the camera’s content to do so, however, with the BacPac, this inconvenience is mitigated. As one get’s acquainted with the camera, GoPro offers a wide variety of of accessories for its products. You’ll be tempted to purchase the different camera mounts for the camera, adding to the addictive nature of video recording that the GoPro creates.
Not sure if the camera is for you? Ask your team/store manager if they have one. That’s what I did, and they were kind enough to let me try out their own for a while – it didn’t take long to place an order to get my hands on my own.