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Old 12-11-13, 11:54 AM   #1
Garfield Cat
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GoPro Hero camera

I want to buy a gift of a GoPro camera and wanted some recommendations from here. Which model for all round purpose, not just bike riding.
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Old 12-11-13, 12:21 PM   #2
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Are you sure you want a GoPro? There are a number of manufacturers with a variety of shapes, mounting systems and capabilities.

I had a GoPro at one time and sold it because it really wasn't that good. The cheap Chinese camera that I have now is a better camera in all respects than the GoPro Hero3 White that I used to have. I have a whole list of stuff that the GoPro failed at, and the cheap Chinese camera has none of those faults, and does not have any new faults as far as I've been able to tell so far.
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Old 12-11-13, 01:34 PM   #3
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GoPro is overpriced, but the Hero3+ Black does have better video quality than the competition. If you're not getting that model, you should look more closely at the cheaper competition.
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Old 12-11-13, 03:09 PM   #4
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It's a gift, so doesn't matter what you want, but what the recipient would appreciate the most. If the recipient's heart is set on a GoPro, anything else would be a disappointment. If what they want is to video their activities and rely on your wisdom to provide the optimal solution to that, then have at it.
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Old 12-11-13, 03:57 PM   #5
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I just purchased the new JVC Adixxion GC-XA2. Have only had a chance to play with it a bit, but the video quality looks good. It is water proof, drop proof etc right out of the box. More to come in a few days. Cost was $299.
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Old 12-11-13, 04:43 PM   #6
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I agree, the GoPro Hero3 Black is excellent for video quality. If you're looking to drop that kind of coin, go for it.

All of the problems that I was having were firmware, so they may be fixed by now, but at the same time they probably exist across all the models so even the Black may suffer from them.

This is my current camera:
http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2013/11...nd-so-far.html

The ONLY thing I've found wrong with it so far is that it resets from car to sport mode when you charge it. This is extremely minor compared to the issues I had with the GoPro.

The point about it being a gift is a good one as well. It seems like the only action cam in existance in the public mind is the GoPro - like every ebook reader is a Kindle, every action camera is a GoPro, and every tissue is a Kleenex. It's up to you and your knowledge of the recipient whether they would be disappointed if it doesn't say "GoPro" on the lid.
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Old 12-11-13, 08:37 PM   #7
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After looking at the Hero 3 black, and then seeing the Garmin VIRB, I thought the Garmin would be a better choice for my uses. That said, I ended up buying an SJ1000 Chinese camera for $85. For what I needed this seemed to be just fine. If I use it a lot I'll buy a better one, but the "better one" may not be all that much better, just more useless features.
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Old 12-11-13, 08:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I want to buy a gift of a GoPro camera and wanted some recommendations from here. Which model for all round purpose, not just bike riding.
I have a few of the Silver models. I've used them on the bike and just started using them on the Phantom Drone. Works great either place.
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Old 12-12-13, 08:14 AM   #9
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I asked a friend who went to monoprice and bought this model

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...seq=1&format=2

He returned it for various reasons. Since this is a gift, I went to REI and bought the Black 3+. At least I'll get the membership points.
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Old 12-12-13, 02:23 PM   #10
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I guess I just went with the GoPro because I kept seeing it being used in big budget TV shows and videos (Myth Busters, etc). I've been very happy with my older model GoPro. It has survived lots of things I didn't expect it to (falling off the bike a few times at 20+ mph and bounding down the pavement) with no hint of any problem. Are the others that tough?
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Old 12-12-13, 02:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Are you sure you want a GoPro? There are a number of manufacturers with a variety of shapes, mounting systems and capabilities.

I had a GoPro at one time and sold it because it really wasn't that good. The cheap Chinese camera that I have now is a better camera in all respects than the GoPro Hero3 White that I used to have. I have a whole list of stuff that the GoPro failed at, and the cheap Chinese camera has none of those faults, and does not have any new faults as far as I've been able to tell so far.
I'd be interested in seeing that list before I get another GoPro
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Old 12-12-13, 04:24 PM   #12
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I'd be interested in seeing that list before I get another GoPro
me too.
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Old 12-12-13, 04:55 PM   #13
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OK then.

I had a Hero3 White.
It was extremely picky about the MicroSD cards that it would work with. I have about 12 and only 2 of them worked at all. The rest just gave a card error, even if I reformatted them first. When I called support, they basically told me that I should stop buying ****ty cards.

All of the cards work perfectly in all my other devices.

Once a card had been formatted in the GoPro, it was often very difficult to get it to work in another device. In one case I could only get it to be recognized in my Panasonic camera. It wouldn't WORK in it but the camera recognized it. Then I formatted it, and it was then recognized (but not working) in my Win7 PC card reader. I had to format it twice more in the PC before it worked right again.

The loop recording, where it erased the oldest file after the card filled up to do continuous recording (car mode, essentially) only worked if you started recording with space left on the card. If the card was already full when you hit record, it just said "card full" and shut off. Since I just put it on "one button record" and was just pushing the button and shoving off as soon as I heard a beep, I didn't know for days that it wasn't actually recording.

Support didn't even really believe that happened, or if it did said it was probably due to me buying crappy cards. I bought their recommended card, a 16GB Sandisk Ultra class 10. It did the same thing. They just shrugged.

I had one instancewhere the camera just couldn't record to the card that I'd been using for days, and couldn't format it either. I had to just not record that day, and when I got home, song and dance the card into working on the PC, reformat it, then reformat it in the camera, then it would work again.

Also it's a damned awkward camera to mount, physically. Just a weird shape. It looks like a brick duct taped to your helmet.

All that combined with the fact that the picture quality and low light performance of the White version are honestly sub par for a camera costing more than $100, and I just gave up and ebay'd it. I'm far more happy with the camera I have now, it's very similar to the Sony ActionCam but it's a lot cheaper, smaller and has a few more nice features.


Please note that ALL of these are probably firmware problems, which means they could probably fix them - if they didn't already think that their product was perfect in every way. Maybe they're already fixed. Maybe it was just the White version, though as a software developer myself I'd think that if they are using separate firmware libraries for SD card handling in their three cameras, they're really not very smart. Odds are that these problems were cross product (and again, they might all be fixed by now for all I know).

Unfortunately they are things that you can't know until you get it in hand.
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Old 12-13-13, 08:39 AM   #14
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Thanks. Good to hear feedback.
I don't like the interface on my older one. You have to look at the front of the camera to know anything about its current state, or start/stop it.

I still give the GoPro perks for being so rugged.

Last edited by dbg; 12-13-13 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 12-13-13, 09:52 AM   #15
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I recently bought a GPH3 Black Edition (non-plus), having fun with it so far. I bought a San Disk Extreme card for it that is dedicated for use w/ the gopro only. Worked like a charm right out the package. So as I said in my other thread, stick with San Disk and you should be worry free. Only complain I have having to pick up all the small parts and accessories for it. It gets expensive quick! But there are a bunch of knock offs on ebay that are just as good as OEM (some but not all).

@dbg, they now have an android app (I assume IPhone too) that lets you control your gopro and even see on the cell phone what and how you are recording. Works great too. You can change any setting via the cell phone.
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