July 16, 2024

go pro camera


The Go Pro series of video cameras is built for action.  In a previous article (click here) I introduced you to the Go Pro.  I mentioned that it was a great camera if you are an action type but that while I thought it was a neat concept I really couldn’t find a purpose for it in my own travel and photo work.

Well, guess what.  I have no sales resistance.  I mean – ZERO.  I was so intrigued by the GO PRO that I recently went out and purchased one.  I’m pretty good at rationalizing.  I’m sure I’ll find some uses for it.

I selected the newest and smallest camera in the GO PRO collection – the GO PRO HERO 3+.  I’ve got to say that as I’ve explored it I’ve found it to be a very neat piece of photo gear.  It will shoot stills with it’s 12 megapixel camera. It will shoot time lapse images. It will shoot “burst mode”, capturing 30 still images in one second. And then of course it will shoot video up to 1080p at 30 frames per second.  That’s a lot of power in a very small package.  How small is it?  Well in the photo below I have placed a quarter next to my Hero 3+ for comparison. Yep – it is small.

gopro & quarterBeing small, the Hero 3+ has a minimalist approach to camera controls.  There is one “mode” button on the front and one shutter release / select button on the top.  On the front there is also a tiny LCD status screen which provides information and menu data.  The screen is tiny – because everything has to be small on this little camera.  I was a bit concerned at first that these limited and tiny controls would make camera operation difficult.  But the Hero 3+ has a feature that solved that potential problem is an elegant and  effective manner – it uses WiFi.

The Hero 3+ has built in WiFi.  It works well with a key fob sized remote control allowing you to operate the camera from a distance.  But for me the best aspect of the WiFi feature is that it was a simple matter to  link the camera up to my iPhone 5s using the GO PRO App (free from GO PRO).  The App works like a charm, allowing you to totally operate the camera without having to touch it (or those tiny little buttons!)  The smartphone App allows you to actually see a live view of what the camera is “seeing” on your smartphone. With the App you can operate the GO PRO’s shutter release to take an image or start / stop a video.  You can also change operating modes. You can turn the camera on and off.  I’ve used several smartphone Apps designed to operate cameras in the past.  I have to say that the GO PRO App is without a doubt the easiest and most effect App of this sort I have used.  It syncs quickly, maintains a good connection, and operates easily.

The GO PRO series of cameras is known for having a wide variety of accessories available.  These allow you to customize your gear and use the GO PRO in various activities and configurations. Mine came with a protective plastic case (see photo below) with two different style backs.

gopro & case

My GO PRO also came with two different styles of adhesive mounts.  I’ve also added a bike mount to my GO PRO kit as well as a set of lens covers.

So, how does the GO PRO Hero 3+ shoot?  After all, that’s the real issue with a camera. I ran my first test the other day.  It was a great Fall afternoon, perfect for a bike ride. A fine opportunity for the GO PRO test run.  You can see the results in the Go Pro Trial Run video link below. (For those of you unacquainted with You Tube – after you hit the “arrow” in the center of the screen to start the video you can be sure you are viewing the video at the highest resolution I provided (720) by clicking on the little round “gear shaped” icon which will appear at the bottom right of the YouTube screen and selecting 720 HD – but then apparently this option may not be available on mobil devices – life is complicated)



At this point I should probably mention – I really have essentially zero experience working with video.  I’m a still camera guy.  So this video thing is clearly going to present a learning curve.  As a result, this first attempt at putting together a video took me a rather long time and the results are still far from what they could be.

As with any photo project, shooting with the GO PRO is just the first step. After shooting, the data capture phase, the video needs to be uploaded to your computer, the format converted depending on your intended use, and video clips need editing as does sound (yes – the GO PRO captures sound with the video) .  For a more finished product you also will want to add titles, transitions between clips, and perhaps background music and / or voice over audio.  For a “newbie” like me – well, as I said, it’s a bit of a learning curve.

The video included above is shown at a resolution of 720 due to it’s being a YouTube link (YouTube is something else I am going to have to learn now it seems – where does all this learning stuff end?) but the camera will shoot at a FULL HD resolution of 1080p.  I didn’t include any of the live audio recorded during the ride in my video, mainly because it was rather boring and mostly road noise and vibration transmitted to the camera through the bike frame.  It will take some time to learn how to use audio effectively.  The final editing is adequate at best.  More to learn – always more to learn.

So as you look at the results, keep in mind that most of the limitations are not the fault of the GO PRO camera.  This camera works really well and captures great images and video.  I can’t want to use it more.  Of course I guess that means I will have to get more “active.”  That may be a good idea anyway.

Full Disclosure:  I purchased the Go Pro System personally and the review is entirely my own.  If you have an interest in a Go Pro you can pick one up at Amazon.  Use the links below or click on the Gold Amazon icon at the top of the page.  You’ll get the same price but your purchase(s) will help support this site – thanks.

Go Pro On Amazon for Travel And Photo Today



Go Pro Video …… And Enjoy The Adventure!

Dr.B, The PhotoTrekker

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