My daily check of google news revealed that GoPRO released a new camera recently, the HERO3 and they are fastest growing camera company in the world. Cool.
The promo video for the camera is stunning. I highly recommend watching it all the way through. Of course all the Promo videos for all the GoPro cameras have looked great, even way back when it recorded 320×240 video.
I’ve owned 3 GoPro cameras, the first two were standard Definition bought used from ebay, every bit of video I tried to shot from these looked awful and I sold them back.
A while back I bought a Hero 960 which is almost HD quality, but I always shoot on 720 wide screen for the wider view. After recording some video while I removed the camera from the housing it opened unexpectedly the camera fell on the floor and the real glass lens was scratched. The camera had a 30 day back guarantee but when I talked to GoPro all they would do is give me 10% off a new camera if I sent the old one back. I got 15% off when I bought it from The Bike Surgeon. I had owned it for 2 days.
Now don’t get me wrong it was my fault it broke, I wasn’t asking for a free camera, I just thought I could send it back and get a new camera at cost, or maybe they could fix that one. Instead I got nothing.
But thats not why you shouldn’t buy a GoPro. The cameras are hard to use, the menus are hard to follow, the buttons are hard to push, the camera has no view screen, the menus are on the front of the camera, granted its not meant to be used as a hand held camera. To me it just looks clunky, looks like they made the new Hero3 smaller, but thats about it.
That’s not why you shouldn’t buy a GoPro. No matter how cool their videos look nothing you shot will ever look as cool. Check out youtube for countless videos made on gopro that look like crap, like every one of my videos. GoPro’s videos feature the world’s most extreme athletes doing crazy stunts, often times recorded with several cameras and shown in slow motion. Hours of footage are edited down to a 10 second segment in a 3 minute video.
So lets see, Professional athletes, professional camera men, professional editors, professional results.
Here’s one of my not so professional videos.
Now I’m sure the Hero3 will look much better then the Hero2, or my Hero 960, but it wouldn’t matter how awesome the camera looked, my videos would still be boring because I go ride my bike, I don’t go to film a video. If you’re going to get any decent video out of GoPro you need to focus on shooting a video.
OK, I’m being kind of harsh here, buy a GoPro if you want, just dont’ expect what you film to look like the GoPro promos. I also think the GoPro would be perfect for some people. Who should buy a GoPro camera? Anyone who enjoys doing crazy stuff, with groups of people. Racing, jumping off things, stuff like that. The GoPro does much better when it has other people close to look at, the closer the better. You also need to be patient enough to sort through lots of material for the interesting parts and be willful enough to edit out the boring stuff.