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Just to continue that shake up feeling we’re not going to discuss the models in the usual descending order, and we’re not going to go into the specifications in intricate detail. The point of this article is to help you make the decision on which model to buy. To do this we’ve gone through reviews from the Top Internet Reviewers, and looked at buyers reviews and reactions since the product went on sale.
For the people thinking:
“Ah! I’m even more confused. Now we have two HERO4 models, a HERO3+ model, a HERO3 model, and a HERO which should be a GoPro HERO4…but it’s not.”
Relax! it has complicated things a little, but the HERO3+ Silver and the HERO3 White are between the HERO4 SILVER and the new HERO entry level. This means that the cameras haven’t been directly superseded by the new HERO4 (as is usually the case) and we’ll discuss that in separate article.
GoPro themselves have always been able to play the high specification card, but with the capacity of the cameras currently moving faster than the market for viewing such high resolution material it would make sense to focus on the best (read: most realistic) specification for the mainstream user. For now that seems to be the GoPro 4 SILVER.
What Does The HERO4 SILVER Have To Offer Me?
With everything the old GoPro HERO3+ Black edition had, plus the addition of a new integrated touchscreen, the HERO4 SILVER has possibly become the new market leader, at least for users looking for a top class specification and maximum user-friendliness. The introduction of the screen has given it two major advantages:
It addresses one of the main limitations with action cameras, which is not being able to easily check your field of vision until after the event.
It allows better handling of the menu navigation, which was always a little frustrating even before the introduction of an ever-increasing list of camera settings.
The screen alone sets it apart, and when you consider the 20% lower price tag for theGoPro HERO4 SILVER compared to the current price for theGoPro HERO4 BLACK it makes it even more tempting.
But what of you’re on the fence between the GoPro HERO4 SILVER and the GoPro HERO4 BLACK…
Why Should I Consider Paying More For The HERO4 BLACK?
The one thing that may sway your decision on whether to plump for the BLACK is the 120 FPS (Frames Per Second) available at 1080p. For lovers of slow motion this can be seen as a real bonus, and it’s likely to be used more often than the higher resolutions of 2.7K and 4K.
For people who decide to stay with the SILVER, 60 FPS at 1080 p is still a very respectable option, and based on your own post-production ability it can still produce excellent results.
Is A Touchscreen Good Enough Reason For Me To Buy The GoPro HERO4 SILVER Over The GoPro HERO?
Realistically the two cameras aren’t comparable. The new GoPro HERO offers an entry-level alternative at a great price for people wanting to get into the sports camera market on a low budget.
If you were to consider a different GoPro to the HERO4 SILVER you should be looking at the 3+, not the new HERO.
OK I’ve Decided I Want A GoPro HERO4. Which One Do I Buy?
To recap, we’re not drawing parallels with other sports cameras. This is just for people who have already decided on GoPro. Check out one of our other articles if you still need to make the decision “Which action camera?” and not “Which GoPro?”. Start by asking yourself the following questions.
Do I have 4K monitor to fully enjoy the finished video?
Do I have a computer with the processing power and hard drive capacity to handle 4K postproduction?
Do I have editing software that can handle 4K?
If the answer is “yes” to all of the STEP 1 questions, and you can put the time into getting the best out of 4K footage, then you can certainly consider a GoPro 4 Black. If the answer is “no” to any of those questions, then consider whether you want to make that investment or it’s better to leave the GoPro HERO4 BLACKalone.
Am I still into video but don’t have all the hardware and software required to really get the most out of 4K?
Am I into my sport/activity and love re-living the best moments?
Have I got a bit of extra cash and would really like to experiment with all the different options that a more advanced camera offers?
If the answer is “yes” to STEP 2 questions, then the GoPro HERO4 SILVER is properly worth the extra money for you.
The camera itself (duh) – The battery for the camera – A mini-USB cable – An underwater case rated to 40m/131ft – An alternate/secondary door for the case that allows for better audio – A small stack of GoPro stickers – A small quick-start guide and other paper junk – A flat adhesive mount – A curved adhesive ….. But, when it comes to playback, it might be played back at 30FPS, which then results in that one-second moment of action taking 4 seconds to play back.
Finally, the Hero 4 Black, GoPro’s flagship and the camera under review, carries over the same small form factor for which the company is known, but doubles high-resolution frame rates to 120fps for 1080p and 30fps for 4K.
Recently though, GoPro changed things up a bit, releasing a new “Hero” entry-level camera (note, no “4”) while introducing the Hero4 in Silver and Black editions ($400 and $500, respectively). Another first was that the Black wasn’t just the Silver with a few more features or camera modes. The Silver …. Get better reviews from people who actually have this product! write a reviewsee all reviews →. No one has started a discussion about this product yet. Why not be the …
If you choose 1080, you get the option of something called SuperView. This feature lets you capture a bit more of the sky and ground by taking a 4:3 aspect ratio shot and, as GoPro puts it, “dynamically stretching” it to a 16:9 …
Choosing the correct GoPro settings is what makes the difference between success and failure.
Part 1 of this article will help you choose “GoTo” settings that you can rely on whenever you pull out your GoPro, and explain why they are suitable. It’s always better to start from something that you know and understand before exploring all the many features and settings that your camera has to offer. Get the choice of these three nailed and then start playing with other options when you have some time to spare.
Part 2 briefly covers several other settings that are worth checking out.
If at the end of the article you decide that you would like to explore settings in more depth, you can either grab our Free pdf explaining Resolution, Field Of View and Frames Per Second, or you can get a copy of our recommended resource the Project GoPro eBook which covers a variety of GoPro skills in greater depth.
GoPro Settings Part 1: Find A “GoTo”
1080p / Wide / 60fps
Probably the most versatile setting you can choose.
High quality image.
Angle that’s wide enough give excellent peripheral vision, even close up.
Frame rate that will give the option of producing reasonable slow-motion if the mood takes you during editing.
At 1080p this provides the best HD quality that the major of screen manufacturer systematically support at a reasonable price, and with the least hassle. Why the least hassle? 2.7K and 4K are without doubt major break-throughs, but they come at a price. At 1080p, and with 60 frames per second, you’re already going to start capturing a large amount of data. That data has to be transformed and stored very rapidly; at this setting everything should cope well both during filming, and as importantly during editing. The high setting will start to complicate things, especially if your editing equipment has limited resources.
If your GoPro has a habit of switching OFF when recording on this setting either make sure the Protune is switched OFF, change the frame rate to 30fps, or use the setting below.
720p/ Narrow / 120fps
Great for giving a more focused, enclosed feeling. Sometimes having a Wide angle can take the edge of your film; literally(*).
Use this setting if:
Posting the video on social media. It’s ideal, and few people will notice a difference in quality.
You know that Slow Motion will be imperative when editing. This will give you loads of scope without having to regenerate frames to fill gaps during post production. Remember to check that your software can import at this frame rate.
You need the film to have a more focused, or faster feel, reducing the Field Of View can help (you can also try this at 1080p). Focal points such a Speedometer on a motorcycle will appear to take up real estate on the screen, and passing objects will appear to close in and pass more rapidly.
Reducing the Field Of View in the GoPro settings also reduces the amount of data being transformed, hence reducing the risk of the camera blocking and heating, without affecting picture quality.
(*)The Wide angle occasionally creates warping or ‘aliasing’ around the edges of the image. This isn’t the classic goldfish bowl optics of a ActionSports camera; this is a technical issue concerning data transfer, where the rate of information becomes too high and the camera process starts throwing away bits of information to keep up with pace.
1440 / Wide / 30fps
This GoPro setting produces a nice clean “classic” feel with exceptional quality. You may feel the need to do some dynamic stretching during editing, or you may find you can reframe to suit proportions, but the quality should stand up to it. There’s no real need to do this, and the lack of aliasing with this setting makes for a very crisp video.
GoPro Settings Part 2: Others Things You Should Check
SD card: before you start
Always format the SD card in the camera before doing anything.
The FORMAT option is found under the “delete” menu. This is logical for an Engineer, who would format the card after downloading and deleting the files from the camera. Many camera users have an inbred fear of delete buttons, or may have deleted directly from the computer, so the Delete menu may not be the natural choice searching for a formatting command.
When moving files from the camera to a computer, take the SD card out and place it in a card reader rather than transfer by USB.
To set your camera this depends on your region. For the States it’s NTSC, and most Europeans have PAL. There are regions with SECAM and MESECAM, but if you are in doubt check.
The obvious differences that you will see are in the frame rates when setting your filming mode. NTSC works in multiples of 30, whilst PAL has multiples of 25. This is to take into account the difference in power standards between America (60 Hz) and Europe (50 Hz). To give a more visual example, anyone who has landed at night in a plane may have noticed that the lights below on the main roads appear to ripple of flicker; this is the effect of the electricity cycling over a distance. Choose the wrong settings in your editing software and you may get the same type of flicker.
GoPro Settings For Photos
Leave it on 12 MP wide. After transferring to your computer, you can crop, zoom, or re-frame during post-production. The GoPro effectively just scales the frame size down by cropping internally, so you may as well do this yourself and have the choice of re-positioning the frame as you want it. Unless you are looking to squeeze in more photos on your SD card then there is no real reason to change mode.
During the day: Put it on auto and it will give your footage a consistent look. If you think the colors look flat and the picture not very sharp when you look at the film, that’s good, that’s what it’s meant to do, don’t be alarmed. In reality, things are not extra sharp and colors are not over vibrant; most consumer cameras add this digitally. Professional ones spend their time gathering as much information as possible allowing the editor to make better color correction and sharpness during post-production.
At night: Switch it off. It creates ‘noise’ and that ruins the extra detail you’re getting.
Simultaneous video and photo
There are two ways of capturing photos whilst recording video; either pressing the power/mode button at any time during video recording, or setting the camera to take a photo every 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds during video recording.
The photos will match the aspect ratio in whatever mode you are filming at the time. The results will not be the same quality as a 12 MP photo but they will be as good as high-resolution video screen grab, so depending on intended use afterwards (photo on the wall, or photo in a video) you may want to think about which mode to use; a specific photo mode will be better if you’re intending to hang it in the office.
Changing the GoPro settings to loop video footage.
What’s that I hear you say! I can change GoPro settings to use it like a security camera; if you plug the camera into a power source and leave it running you can set the time so that you always have the last ‘X’ number of minutes that you filmed. The only difference being that a security camera would do this for 24 or 48 hours and your GoPro will do this for 10, 20, 30 minutes, etc.
If you’d rather just watch some video to get you rolling, try this:
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D-GUYZ was created some years ago by a group of mountain biker friends from the East of France. We are a “Riders Collective ” with all levels of rider.
Our philosophy: sport, nature, pleasure and Ride of course !
We practice extreme sport but essentially MTB Downhill, Freeride, Enduro and more recently Snowscoot!
This year we have some sponsors, our principal one being “Bikelab” MTB mechanics and suspension specialists, and “Custom Racing” who make our shirts.
This season we proposing some co-operative contracts for the development of our Team with the brand Transition. Year by year D-GUYZ have grown and try to become bigger every season.
Next season we’ll be proposing a new cooperatives, for bikes and clothing, with new riders and new partners to aid the best riders in our region.
Spirit of the D-GUYZ?
The founders of the collective are huge fans of MTB and communication graphics (photos, videos, clothing creations…)
But how to remain stylish when you get off your bike???
D-GUYZ found the solution in it’s streetwear collection!
Our brand is still in it’s infancy, but beware; we’re working on this in every season…before, during and after our mtb session!
The D-GUYZ brand sponsored four riders this year to give hem a leg up, and in return they produced some great photo and editing opportunities; Alexis Collart (1 of the 4) making some quality video this year.
The youngest of the riders, Antoine Ringenbach, aka “Teen Talent” produced somme great work this season (http://www.zapiks.fr/teen-talent.html), and in this video he hooked a freeride back flip…at only 13!
Hero 3’s run pretty hot; we can’t yet comment for the 3+. Having squeezed the size down and put even more pressure on the battery (which is often the source of the heat), there are no real surprises. So what are your options if this is a concern for you?
Before doing a little analysis, be clear that this subject is discussed in the manual so it is a known issue under certain conditions and the camera has a mechanism to deal with it. So does it concern you because you don’t want your head to catch fire, or do you believe it to be the root of a bigger problem?
Just concerned because it feels damn hot? Normally there is a temperature indicator that will flash if the camera is beginning to over-heat. If you see this it’s probably time to switch it off for a while; and not just left on standby….completely off. On standby it’s still consuming, and if it’s consuming it’s heating.
Did the camera shut itself down, and it felt hot when you checked out what was happening? Maybe you should run a dry test and leave it running on the bar whilst you survey the LCD display. Find out if it’s just shutting off or you’re getting an overheat indicator before it switches off. If you didn’t see the indicator then you maybe you’re reading too much into the fact that it was hot and you should look elsewhere…try software level or card problems.
What conditions are you using it in? Out on the beach with a full waterproof housing, or in sub-zero on the north face of the Eiger? Clearly climate and enclosure are going to have an impact and, without stating the obvious, leaving it on the beach in full sunlight isn’t going to help. Try keeping it in the cool bag with your drinks when you’re not using it, and if you’re not surfing the pipe for 1h30 solid, give it a rest between runs.
If you’re in the snow, bury it for five minutes.
More seriously, aside from GoPro Lab’s possible issues, have you bought any aftermarket batteries or chargers. The standard battery already has a big job on, and we see that search results throw up cheaper batteries that have a higher mAH. It would be foolish of us to say any given battery is a good or bad choice without knowing fabrication details, but in the wider scheme, different maximum mAH and different charging currents can give similar batteries different output capacity curves. Some suppliers/manufacturers will manage this well and some will cream of the top off cheap imports. The results could be a little bit like “over-clocking” a home computer; your on-line gaming performs better, but the boost in performance results in riskier operating conditions.
As the battery is generally the cause of the heat (aided maybe by the processor) we would recommend charging either out of the camera or in the camera from a suitable wall usb charger rather than computer usb. And give it full cycles by letting it become fully discharged before giving it a full charge. Do not be tempted to give short boost charges just because it’s Li-ion. Those who had issues straight out of the box, finding that the battery life was poor until going through three or more full charge cycles will already understand this. Bear it in mind and maybe test it out yourself and noting any performance differences along the way.
We’ve not yet seen a heat-sink aluminium door on the market, and maybe this could be an option, but in the meantime just be kinder to your camera and set it up with a 120 second auto switch off setting…or you could ride faster to cool it down!
If you’re puzzled by all the GoPro camera models on the market and can’t decide whether to go for the new GoPro 4 or get a bargain on previous models, here’s an older post covering some of those older models.
Well its looks smaller! But that’s only the case. So why pay the extra money for the 3+, especially if I’m just upgrading?
There are a few features that could be interesting:
As if the “old” Black Edition wasn’t sharp enough, this one is claiming another 30% improvement, so for those of you that don’t need glasses or for those who wear extremely large glasses you’ll probably see the difference. For everyone between with consumer editing software, you may not be aware of the difference in the finished video.
Improved battery life. Yes, we heard lots of stories about battery life that could tempt the wallet out, but to be honest we’re pretty happy with the 1 hr 30 offer by a well maintained battery at the moment.
Increased WiFi range. Not an issue for a lot of Bikers and Boarders as the rider generally has the controls. The biggest issue for us would more likely be interference with the multitude of other WiFi equipment around us. We practically swim in the waves from all directions. This kind of thing is extremely environmental and something difficult to quantify.
Bottom line for us is…we wouldn’t update from a 3 Black to a 3+ black, but would certainly consider it if we were sporting a Silver or White, and your Christmas list had a hole in it. Or maybe scoop up an Original Black Edition at a bargain price whilst stocks last.
Mr GoPro, if you’re listening, we still think the original Black is capable of so much more, hence the 3+ and not the GoPro Hero 4. Please let us have a software upgrade and leave the “oh look! We simply must buy a new one” stuff to iPhone users. We might buy the smaller case though, that’s cute 😉
The GoPro HERO 3: Black Edition…
…is the top of the range GoPro camera model (whether you go + or not, it’s still Black, Silver, White). It is Wi-Fi enabled, and has a 12-mega-pixel image sensor with 2 x better low-light performance than the previous range. It has a 6-element wide angle aspherical lens and can support up to 4K resolution video. It can also capture 2.7K, 1440p, 1080p, 960p, 720p and 480p video up to an impressive 240 fps (depending on resolution) for high-speed action and impressive slow motion playback. The Black Edition includes the Wi-Fi Remote in the price.
It has a micro HDMI output, a microphone/composite video port, and a microSD card slot that supports up to 64GB cards. Other features include video looping, Protune capabilities, manual white balance, and time-lapse recording. Impressively it also supports continuous photo shooting and burst photography at up to 30 fps. Picture in video is a feature which lets you simultaneously record video while shooting photos at 5, 10, 30 and 60 second intervals. A GoPro app is now available which facilitates live video preview and remote camera control via a smartphone or tablet.
Still can’t decide? Lets move to some other GoPro camera models.
The GoPro HERO 3: Silver Edition…
…which replaces the HD HERO 2, is a Wi-Fi enabled action camera with an 11-mega-pixel image sensor and a wide angle aspherical lens. Like its predecessor, the HD HERO 2, it also comes with a waterproof housing that can protect the camera to a depth rating of 197’ (60 m). It also captures up to Full HD 1920 x 1080p video at 30 fps, and supports several other recording resolutions and frame rates. Compatible with the LCD Touch BacPac, the Battery BacPac and the Wi-Fi Remote, it shares most of it’s brothers pedigree. The video looping, Protune capabilities, manual white balance, and time-lapse recording are also there, whilst the burst shooting is down to 10 fps.
The Silver Edition has most things that your TV resolution can cope with at the moment so it remains an excellent buy, and colors are well contrasted. Low light and rapid changes in light have always been the culprit of sudden drops in image quality and the HERO 3 range shows in remarkable step up in handling this issue. It’s worth noting that the lens of the Silver Edition still remains a step below the specification of the Black Edition. Check out the video here to see the differences between the HERO 3 Black Edition and the older HD HERO 2, especially with low light inside the tunnel. There is also a short version of this video, plus Parts 2 and 3 of the descent that can be found on our YouTube Channel or on the Team Videos page. The HERO 3 footage undoubtedly gives better detail, noticed particularly when looking directly at surfaces like snow, but the color can look a little drained. In reality this is a none issue as it can be dealt with in post-production, however we’ve purposely not treated any of the footage here with post-production filters or changes in back-light so that you can see the raw difference.
The GoPro HERO 3: White Edition…
…an updated original HD HERO, has nothing on its spec to be embarrassed about and with a significant cost difference to its Silver and Black brothers, it can still deliver 1080 HD quality results. Smaller, lighter than the original and now equipped with the new lens to reduce distortion you’re getting a good all round deal if your budget won’t stretch further. If you become a demi-god when it comes to killer angles and awesome editing, the audience may be too involved with the video to notice differences in quality, and certainly for some web-based applications the resolution is sufficient.
If you want eat dry bread for a few months so you can save up enough to enjoy the top spec GoPro HERO 3: Black Edition, then dry bread it is.Otherwise, buying one of the other GoPro camera models is still a great option!
First Aid In The GoPro Clinic. Sometimes It’s Not The GoPro
A visit to the Doctors doesn’t always turn out the way you expected. Sometimes the cause has deeper roots and the Doc just can’t help. Maybe you should be looking elsewhere.
If you didn’t find what you were looking for with the Doctor, here’s some extra notes in the GoPro Clinic.
GoPro Clinic Lecture 1 : Cameras and 64GB cards
GoPro support exFAT formatted 64GB cards, but on the basis of “faff-ability” we prefer 32GB. This is a “not so new technical term” which has become a common reference used by a wide base of GoPro enthusiasts who are sick of “faffing about” with the camera when they would rather be doing their activity of choice. To be fair we don’t even know if we’re spelling it correctly as local dialects often produce a “K” placed centrally in the pronunciation.
Based on a straw poll of the number of people with the back of their cameras open and a 64GB card in one hand, and seconded by the fact that we’ve heard very little about issues with 32GB cards, but a lot of whining from people with 64GB cards, we’d hedge on the side of caution.
It could all be a bit nano-technology voodoo magic, but if you know the A and E is already full why go looking for an accident. Get a 32GB and you have less to lose…especially footage.
GoPro Clinic Lecture 2 : Computers and 64GB cards
GoPro formats 64GB cards in exFAT, and they will be aware of any technical issues that presents. Software updates will deal with it . That said, there are other compatibility issues with computer OS systems that are not GoPro issues, so read on…
If you are still running Windows XP make sure that you have this update: OUCH! Microsoft have now withdrawn support…Do you still have black and white Television, too?
Windows Vista needs Service Pack 1, and Windows 7 and 8 should run without issue.
If you have a mac be aware that OS versions below Mac OS 10.6.5, OS X Snow Leopard won’t recognize an exFAT format.
If you use anything else, you’d have been better spending money on a computer rather than a GoPro. Make a POV video of yourself working out the family budget and post it on YouTube; ask viewers to comment on whether or not there are any other blatantly gaping holes in your strategic family spending!
GoPro Point Of View or Sony Action Cam…There’s no shortage of competition
So what’s the deal with the GoPro? The market has seen a flood of cameras of this style over the past few years, with varying degrees of success. We’ve been kitted out since 2003 with everything from backpacks full of cables and VHS to badly crafted boxes that couldn’t take the impacts. The Contour seemed like a serious option five years ago, with a form and solidity that looked like it was made for business. We had some good and bad results, of which low-light was often a source of frustration. But at least manufacturers were beginning to take this “niche” market a little more seriously. Now with the closure of Contour the ever increasing technology gap between good and exceptional seems to have taken another leap.
But even back then there were others picking up speed, and whilst the Techies were in the lab banging electronics against brick walls the Marketing department was steaming ahead on a mission of it’s own. And the main users of this type of product had their kind of mission; to show life in it’s most exhilarating form. When the HD Hero 3 hit the mainstream market in 2012 the world sat up and took notice, but in another dimension people like us had praying for this kind of revolution for over fifteen years. Luckily for us, people with enough determination and passion to know when something “felt right” were on the case.
In only a few short years GoPro have changed the world of ‘point of view’ (POV) filming. More of a social movement than a humble camera, the marriage of pocket-sized professional power with bullet-proof design and ease of use has won over people from all walks of life.
Whether we realize it or not we’ve maybe all seen some of the amazing footage that has been filmed through the lens of a GoPro; from the sports world to the natural world, from cockpits of formula one to difficult to access animal habitats, these products have revolutionized the way we view the world; close-up, at speed, underwater, and even on the edge of space.
Professionals have adopted them directly in their line of work, and back in suburbia this camera has also been a huge hit for Joe Public. Allowing people to film, photograph and share some amazing events by bolting, taping, and screwing this incredibly versatile equipment in places where most sane people would hesitate to put something that cost this sort of well-earned cash.
Staying ahead of the game
The shape and form of the different products on the market lends a preference to different disciplines, but what it comes down to for us is…when your in the thick of it, the adrenalin’s pumping, the conditions are often tough, (you’ve got helmets, gloves, ropes, etc, you’re underwater…wherever you may be) you just want to be able to see what the camera is telling you, and you want to be able to press the button and go. You’ll always have people that tell you that one camera or another has better sensitivity, less image deformation, or something else. Maybe they are right, but for us the quality of the GoPro images speak for themselves. If you’ve got some issues with yours keep an eye out as we’re adding articles on quick fixes and best practice, as it’s no mystery that even the best technology has it’s bugs.
The question here is one of of usability.
When you read all the GoPro reviews on the camera websites and the retailers jargon, mostly they’re all talking about the specification; the mega-pixels, the aspherical lens, the 2x something. The spec speaks for itself, most of these people didn’t even take it outside the office. You want to get some interesting information, it’s user forums, and action sports magazines.
We will still discuss the camera spec, but it’s purely so that you can make a comparison between the different models and decide where your money is well spent. In reality the camera is just the start of the whole process, and the end result is a film; that can be more difficult. We’ll discuss that elsewhere, as there are different styles and different methods.
Hero 3 and HD Hero 2 packs
Hero 2: Still floating around
And Look out for cheap Hero 3 Blacks, because it’s already became “OLD” news!
There was a time when you had a choice of several “packs” with different mounting systems to suit your needs. Now the only variation from the standard kit is the “GoPro Hero 3: Black Edition – Surf”. But the distributors still have some of these “old” editions in stock, so hunting for both the Hero 3 and the HD Hero 2 may get you a deal with some extra fittings and fixtures. Whilst you’ll be missing the Wi-Fi with the Hero 2, if that doesn’t bother you and your main use is out in the open air providing well lit environments, then the older packs may provide the bargain you’re looking for.
All the packs come with the slide-in plates in some shape or form, so consider what the options could be to evolve from the base pack depending on your usage.
The now discontinued GoPro HD Hero 2 “Outdoor Pack” had a few elastic straps, but quite frankly these sorts of things are easy to come by and looking around your house and garage you’ll find old rucksacks, deck chairs straps, bum bags or suspender belts that offer a range of options with the only investment needed being a needle and cotton.
The GoPro Hero Surf Editions have wider, more solid looking adhesive bases, and they added a few extra arms to rotate and extend the arrangement. So if you rock in the waves and that’s your only bag, it’s the one for you. However, once you step off your board it could be ‘game over’, in the short-term obviously because you’ll soon find another way of fixing it.
The original GoPro Hero “Motorsports Pack2” offered the most functionality. With both flat and curved bases, several knuckled joints, and a suction cup to bang it on any smooth clean surface, we seem to have been on a winner with this one. Whether it was stuck to the obligatory helmet, suctioned to the inside of the car windscreen to catch the lunacy during a road trip, or simply slapped on the kitchen window to get some evidence of what the neighbors cat has been up to in your flower bed, this kit gave you the most options to cut, carve, screw, rotate, incline and exchange between different carriers.
These items have now moved to the GoPro “Mounting Accessories” section, and the suction cup is a great option to keep in mind. Slap it on any smooth surface, or if it’s not smooth the extra-wide base allows you to tape it down on your skate for example; a good use for this can be as a “dolly” for a gliding shot next to a moving target.
GoPro Hero SD HERO: Battered, but still running
ORIGINAL: Strap it anywhere!
The GoPro Hero range of cameras has been going for a few years now and during that time we’ve experienced a range of POV cameras from various manufacturers. Our original GoPro Hero has stood the test of time, and we’re quite proud to be able to show you some video evidence here. That tells you that it is pretty bullet proof and despite a lot of dirt and many bruises (yes we have smashed several mounting systems), the camera and case itself is still doing the job it was designed to do…and that’s got to be comforting news if your thinking of investing.
The quality still holds up well, as it was always a leader of the era it was created in. The balance of colors and background has always been in line, and often superior to comparable equipment from the competition. Ours have been fixed in places that have left them open to abuse, such as directly behind the front wheel of a mountain bike, as seen here, or being clipped to a snowboard binding, and have survived dust, high and low temperatures, filthy water, rocks, and tree branches among other hazards.
You only set the camera running three times, but my card has an excessive amount of files to download.
Doctors Pep Talk:
This is a common concern for many. They have hit the record button only once, but when they come to the download they can’t understand why they have so many files. Obviously this can raise several questions:
Is the camera stopping and starting to record on its own?
Did you download or delete the previous batch of video?
Don’t sweat; what you’re seeing is normal operation of the camera as it controls it’s filing system.
Caused by the formatting of the SD card, this is no cause for concern. Cards are formatted in FAT32 (exFAT for 64GB) and have a maximum file size of 4GB. At this point the data file will be terminated and new file will begin. If it bugs you and you’re worried that you might miss some of the action, try to be more proactive whilst filming. Consciously switch the camera off and back on again if you’re just hanging around to ensure that when something worthwhile is happening the GoPro is unlikely the being swapping to a new file. Be aware that each setting has different data amounts so the time-span to reach the 4GB max will be different on each setting and the Protune will reduce this time if it’s ON.
We recommend firstly formatting the card in the camera and take a quick photo to ensure that it worked. It’s not a big issue and takes only a few seconds. Download your files after every outing especially if you use a 64GB (which we don’t always recommend – see After Hours Clinic); you don’t wait for the drought before you start trying to collect water. At some point every form of data storage will fail, so get into good habits.
Symptoms Related to GoPro SD Card Problems No.2
Camera keeps switching off.
Sometimes it’s after 10 or 20 secs, sometimes it’s a matter of minutes.
Doctors Pep Talk:
Not unknown on previous versions, and can be as random as the Paris Metro.
Most Successful Actions.
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If your Protune is ON, switch it OFF.
If you using one of the higher HD formats bring it down a notch onto a lower resolution setting.
WHY: You need to reduce the data rate. If the card can’t write as quick as the camera is capturing it will flag “Game Over” and recording will stop. Protune can be the main offender here, but if you reduce the capture area of the camera that often does the trick. It’s up to you to decide as you experiment with the editing; what’s working better for you less HD and Protune, or higher HD without Protune. It’s most likely that your choice of editing software will help you decide, as there’s no using recording with Protune if your editing suite isn’t capable of processing the extra information
GoPro seem to be addressing this issue, with newer updates placing more control over the data rate functions.
Symptoms Related to GoPro SD Card Problems No.3
GoPro doesn’t recognize my SD card.
“no sd” when I switch the camera on.
Most Successful Actions.
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Remove the battery, count to ten and put it back in.
If the Sd Card still doesn’t show check the software level. This should now flash up when you switch on.
If it’s up to date, read on.
WHY: If the card was originally formatted in another piece of hardware before you’ve decided to drop it in your GoPro, or it arrived pre-formatted from the seller, that could be the root of your problems. If you haven’t already ran the card in your computer, do so. Right-click in explorer and then format in FAT. Choose the FAT option that corresponds to your card. If your computer doesn’t see the card, the possibilities are the following:
You do have a problem card.
The card is formatted in FAT, FAT32 or exFAT and the camera has an issue.
You may want to read the After Hours TAB if your computer is getting “old”
Symptoms Related to GoPro SD Card Problems No.4
Computer doesn’t recognize my SD card.
Most Successful Actions.
[icon size=”tiny” icon=”icon-ambulance” /]Check out the After-Hours Clinic for Computer Surgery.
If you have a 64GB card, it will be exFAT formatted in the GoPro. If your computer does not see it you may have a compatibility issue on the computer side which will give you later editing problems; both PC and mac users should be aware that older OS versions won’t recognize an exFAT format on a 64GB.
Alsace Freeride Academy Offer Training At All Levels
Gaining momentum and boosting the capacity of all the riders who join their ranks, there’s a whole new dynamic coursing through the veins of eastern France. With some thoroughbred world-class MTB names having be born or trained in this corner of the hexagon, the temptation is always high to refine skills daily with access the Academy on the doorstep. With the mountains in plain site of the Academy’s jump park, skinnies, and wall-ride it only encourages you to take your new found techniques to the hills and then come back to get some more…
AFA: Learn to Flow
The inauguration of an outdoor Bike-park in May 2013 marked the official start of the A. F. A.. Situated close to Mulhouse in the stunningly beautiful Upper Rhine region of France, the area is pivotal and multicultural, highlighted by the intersection of the French, German, and Swiss borders. This site will offer a vast pump-track, several freeride/slopestyle lines, a jump park, a skill center, several areas for working maneuverability and coordination, as well as a big airbag. According to the different time slots, the management will propose secure access to this evolutionary area, individual and group training courses for skills and control, and numerous events (contests, competitions, demonstrations, themed evenings … )
The project, that was created at the end of 2011, consists of a vision progressing in several steps:
The opening of an Indoor Bike-park based in Alsace during 2014.
The creation of several indoor/outdoor sites throughout France, as well as the development and production of MTB/BMX specialist bike parts in 2015.
During the progression of these three stage The Alsace Freeride Academy has the following main objectives:
The development of MOUNTAIN BIKING and BMX disciplines,
The creation of employment as the project evolves,
The creation of a strong regional dynamism around the AFA spots.
We’ll be with these guys during the construction and testing of the site, coordinated by a world class shaper. Look out for it coming online during spring 2013.
Man Behind The Goggles:
Hugo DE LA LOSA
Disciplines: BMX and motocross and for the last several years mountain biking.
Previous Finest Moments:
Manager of the UCPA “Espace Glisse” in Paris (3300m2 covered skatepark – 30K visitors/year)
Mountain biking Freeride/DH instructor in Val d’Isère
BMX Coach for several clubs in Normandy
European Winter X Games in Tignes
International Festival of the Extreme Sports in Montpelier and Paris
World of Mountain Biking- (now part of Crankworx)
Working meetings with the Ministry of Sports on the establishment of the new vocational training in the field of the cycle and on the development of alternative sports practices.
Paperwork In The Back Pocket:
STAPS DEUG and License “Education and Motor Functions” – University of Caen
MASTER STAPS “Professional Sports Management and Sports Organisations” – University of Caen
Professional Cycling Sports Trainer (BEESAC)
Certified by the French cycling Federation: 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree, option BMX and MOUNTAIN BIKING
Trained in First Aid
Member of the union of French Cycling Instructors (MCF)
This article looks at two different sets of syptoms related to GoPro picture quality problems, and discusses the measures you should take to resolve them rapidly. It covers the common observations that you may see on the images, and then gives possible causes and solutions.
GoPro Picture Quality Syptoms Part 1
Grainy finish to the film.
Colors appear to have little contrast (washed-out).
Think simple first; Light will always have the biggest effect on the GoPro picture quality. The more of it you’ve got, the happier the camera will be. As a general rule you’ll rarely see any of the professional GoPro video on a rainy day, and even when underwater you’re always aware that there is brilliant sunlight just above the surface.
But, you can work around this…
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On the camera itself slow things down a little. Reduce the frame rate if you are using a fast one, so that the images are processed effectively. If required, your GoPro will cut corners when processing to keep up with the demands you put on it. This has an effect on the GoPro picture quality when the video files prepared for storage.
Off the camera, think ahead and wear bright clothing that will reflect light or add contrast. Creating an illusion of light can be an effective way of fooling the eye, and giving the impression that the GoPro picture quality is actually better than it is.
Become a master in post-production. Play with atmosphere to produce an end result that suits the video you captured, rather than having a preconceived idea of what it should be like.
Nothing is different for professionals, they just invested more time and effort, and so can you.
Protune is a professional ‘tool’ that has to be understood to be used. If it’s unclear to you when it should and shouldn’t be switched on, and how it can be used to your advantage, then it may appear to do more harm than good. It seems unlikely that something that should enhance the GoPro picture quality may appear to do the opposite, but in reality sometimes it gives that illusion, and sometimes it does actual reduce the the quality.
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Understand first. Protune actually captures more information than you are seeing, and that’s where the benefits lie. If you download the video to your computer and take a quick look in the Explorer window, chances are that you’ll feel disappointed. Often the video appears to have little contrast between colors (hence the expression flat), and can occasionly look grainy. Where the magic happens with Protune is when it goes into post-production, so understand it first, which brings us to Solution 2.
Find out how to maximize the benefits using your editing suit. All the ‘extra’ information that has been stored in the supporting files can be used to dramatically enhance your finished videos. If you have the software and the know-how then you’ll hit the bulls-eye. Don’t give upon footage until you’ve checked it out fully in your editing software and began to examine the dynamic range that has been captured.
Especially at dusk or in extremely poor light, turn the Protune OFF. It can do more harm than good, and artifacts or ‘noise’ will start to appear that you just won’t be able to repair. If in doubt, leave it off until you know how to fully utilize it’s full potential.
Jagged lines where there should be straight edges.
This is distortion sometimes caused by the processing and storage rate of the camera.
With large amounts of data being the transfered certain parts of that information may start to be ignored. This is to keep up with the speed at which information is being captured and stored. The best place to start ‘forgeting’ information is around the outside and this will have an effect on the GoPro picture quality. Straight and regular lines appear slightly jagged, and moving images may appear to have a rolig area at the side. [icon size=”tiny” icon=”icon-medkit” /]
Make sure that you have two or three settings that you fully understand. Nail these, have them as “GoTo” settings, and know that before trying everything else one of these suits the task forte day.
Either read our GoPro Settings article to find out more or just use one of the follow.
1080p / Wide / 60fps or 30fps
720p / Narrow / 120fps
1440p / Wide / 30fps
GoPro Picture Quality Syptoms Part 3
Black screen in Playback in Explorer or Finder
1. Nothing Wrong With Your GoPro
Usually due to the fact that your computer doesn’t have the legs, and a very common problem for many people. This discovery is normally followed by panic at losing a days worth of video, then annoyance when you realise that you can hear the sound so you must have captured something. [icon size=”tiny” icon=”icon-medkit” /]
Import it correctly into video editing software.
Try viewing it through the GoPro Studio Software.
Check driver updates for Graphics/Sound cards if all else fails.
If your video editing software is not recent verify that is can direct import and handle MP4 files.
2. Something Wrong With Your GoPro
Worst case scenario, it is black. Maybe it’s not GoPro picture quality that is the problem; there’s actually no picture.
Verify that the SD card is really empty.
Reformat the card in your GoPro.
Check the GoPro software is up to date in case of any known bugs.
Don’t forget that Knowledge is Power. Read up on your GoPro, your editing software, and any other techniques that may come in handy. Small things can make the different between “good” and “great”, and that can mean a good day and great day, not just the video.
We’ll soon be bring you news of all the competitions and rankings of the Fulford Cycles Team. Once up and running you’ll be able to get regular news on all the events, calendars, and profiles of the riders. We send news out as soon as this becomes active, so be sure to “Like” us on Facebook to get a heads up!
For now here’s a focus on the shop, the service…and the poor guys back at base who finely tune the machinery whilst the others are out having all the fun. You can browse the Fulford site directly in the window feed to the right, so go take a look.
UK: Fulford Cycles – Rippin’ Up Dalby
Every year you can catch up with the Fulford Cycles Team at their Demo Day in Dalby. Dalby forest now features over 40 miles of man-made, all weather mountain biking trails. The red route offers a long, technical hill ride around the forests and valleys of Dalby Forest. Mostly gravel and rock covered single-track, with a few small sections of forestry tracks. Most of the single-track is well drained, and even in the wet, only a few sections are muddy. There are some obstacles, but the harder ones are avoidable.
UK: Every Day At The Shop
You just don’t know when you’re gonna bend something…and you don’t always know if it’s gonna get straightened. Fulford Cycles in the UK are specialist bike straighteners; with two sponsored MTB riders, it’s kind of an obligation. But they don’t stop there, and regular road races are also on the agenda, so these guys really get out and put their equipment through it paces. Back in the shop it means they’re not just talking sense, they’re also talking from experience. Visit their online shop or just look them up and give them a call…advice is free; wheel straightening is obviously more costly!
In The Store
At Fulford Cycles Shop and Service Centre we pride ourselves on offering not just amazingly high quality cycles, parts and accessories, but cycle service, repairs and genuine advice to match. Need some advice? Come into the shop or give us a ring to chat about anything from choosing a bike to finding a route or trail to cycle on. Not sure which mountain bike to choose? Talk to us about arranging a demo ride on an Orange mountain bike or any of our other huge range of cycles. (*subject to availability)
Our products are cutting-edge and we are proud that our service values are distinctly traditional. As the customer, you’ll always come first – whether you are seeking advice about which £4.99 inner tube suits you best or which of our cycles to take home with you, we will always take the time to make sure we’re getting it right for you.
We sell road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes, electric bikes and commuting bikes made by Giant Bicycles UK. We also sell Orange Mountain Bikes and indeed hold PLATINUM DEALER status – high performance, world-championship winning mountain bikes. We also carry a number of Ex-demo bikes and our pre-owned range of bikes changes daily. We sell children’s cycles, built to the same high specification as the Giant Bicycles adult range.
Fulford Cylces offers a large selection of Fox Racing clothing and general accessories in the shop, for both men and women. We similarly supply all of the leading brands such as SRAM, Hope, Shimano, RaceFace, DT Swiss, Rock Shox, MET and Crank Brothers. Anything we do not have, we can easily source for you – no problem.
Our Service Centre:
Our fully certified and qualified CyTech mechanics can carry out any service or repair that you require. We can help you maintain and repair your bike whilst offering key advice as and when required to do so.
Commitment To a Greener Environment:
We fully support the cycle scheme ethos of encouraging more cycle users on the road instead of car and are “Cycle scheme” accredited, so we can offer you tax-free bikes if you pay income tax via PAYE and your employer is affiliated with the scheme. See the Cyclescheme website for more details.