Thursday, January 1, 2015

GoPro Hero 4 Silver plus GoPro App

Application: iPhone, iPad and Android
Function: HD Video and Photo POV Camera
Rating:*****
Cost: Camera $129 to $499, GoPro app and software free!

Guess what Santa brought me for Christmas?  Yes, a GoPro Silver! I have been looking at these cameras with envy for the last couple of years.  I am a confessed YouTube junky and have enjoyed watching all the great videos that are posted. Now it is my turn to get in on the POV action scene. Look forward to some cool videos in the future. My YouTube site is: https://www.youtube.com/user/MarkMesserli

I want to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2014 was a great year and I look forward to 2015 with anticipation. I always say "Life is Short, attempt to have an interesting one"

 GoPro is the leading maker of Point of View/POV cameras in the world.  It all started by some surfer dude name Nicolas Woodman who wanted to take rad shot of he and his bros riding some gnarly waves. He got some investment money from his Mom and Dad and GoPro was born. His early models were 35MM cameras and in 2006 he released the digital GoPro.

Just when you thought all the great ideas were already thought of, a tiny POV digital camera was made, the company goes public and another American success story is born.

These cameras have started a video revolution never before seen in history. YouTube and every other video site are flooded with GoPro action video.  We are seeing the world from a perspective never before seen in history with these tiny mobile cameras.

Their small size and HD+ quality has allowed all these crazy adrenaline junkies to record themselves boating, sailing, snowboarding, skydiving, mountain climbing, wake boarding, snow skiing, scuba diving, surfing, driving, biking and flying. Its small size and mounting options make it easy to take anywhere the action is.
The Cameras

What is so unique about the GoPro cameras is that they were the first compact very high quality HD cameras. A lot of  less capable copy cats have shown up in the past few years. The GoPro cameras HD+ resolution makes them equal to any professional broadcast quality production camera. Their latest model, the Hero 4 now shoots 4K, 2.7K, 1080, 960p, 720p resolution color video and 12 megapixel pictures.

The present generation of GoPro Cameras include the Hero4 Black for $499, the Hero4 Silver for $399, the Hero3 Silver for $2.99, Hero3 White for $199 and the Hero for $129

Hero4 Silver Features:
  • Touch screen display
  • Waterproof case to 131ft
  • Touch screen backdoor waterproof to 10ft
  • Field of View, Ultra Wide Medium and narrow
  • Ultra sharp all glass lens
  • Low light performance
  • Video, 4K 15 and 12.5fps,
  • 2.7K 30,25,24 fps, 2.7K 4:3,
  • 1440P, 48, 30, 25, 24fps
  • 1080P, 60,50,48,30,25,24fps, superview
  • 960P, 100,60,50fps Ultra Wide FOV
  • 720, 120, 60,50,30,25fps Ultra wide, medium and narrow FOV
  • WVGA 240fps ultra wide FOV
  • Camera - 12 megapixels,
  • Burst rates 30/1, 30/2, 30/3, 10/1 10/2, 10/3, 5/1, 3/1 frames per second
  • Time Lapse .5,1,2,5,10,30 60 seconds
  • Built in WiFi+Bluetooth
  • Protune (photo and video)
  • Superview
  • Nightview
  • Highlight tag
  • Quick Capture - one button auto on
  • Simultaneous Video and photo
  • Looping Video
  • Bit Rate(H.264) up to 45 b/s
  • Audio - Mono 48KHZ 2x dynamic range, 3.5mm stereo microphone
  • Re-chargeable battery 1160 mAh lithium ion
  • Micro SD card class 10 up to 64GB
  • USB mini, composite AV, stereo mic
  • Free GoPro Editing Software
GoPro offers so many options it is hard to decide which model to purchase.  I looked at the Hero4 Black option. It cost another $100 dollars more than the Silver but it does not have the touch screen display that the Hero4 Silver model has.  The advantage of the Hero 4 Black is that it has a few more options in the 4K and 2.7 K video modes.  I don't plan on shooting much in these resolutions so these added features did not seem worth the money. I was more interested in the LCD touch screen display on the back of the Hero4 Silver.  It comes with a special touch screen back door which allows you to view and control your GoPro with a swipe of your finger.

The GoPro App:

The GoPro app allows control of the camera over WiFi from an iPhone using the iOS compatible app from iTunes or from the Android app from the Google Play store.

The app connects via WiFi plus Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection only seems to be used to detect incoming connections so it can keep the WiFi off and save power. This feature is currently only supported in the iOS version.

The new WiFi transfer speeds are 50% faster than previous models. There is still a slight lag in viewing the video or image on the iPhone over WiFi.

To connect to your camera to your mobile device, select the gear icon in the top right corner of the app and follow the instructions to start WiFi and pair the camera with Bluetooth.

The app allows you to watch the GoPro Channel and view all the coolest GoPro videos and photos from around the globe. 

Once connected to your camera the app provides full remote control of all camera functions and settings.


You can play back the videos and photos that are on your camera on your mobile device. This is a handy feature to preview your videos and photos on the larger iPhone or iPad screen.

The app allows copying photos and videos to your mobile device. These files can then be shared via email, text, on Facebook or Twitter or other apps.

Functionality is also provided to browse and delete files on the camera’s microSD card if needed. Updating your cameras software can also be done wirelessly with the app.


Select the red button at the bottom of the display to take a photo or start and stop recording of video.  The image will be show in real time so you can use the mobile device to frame your shot.

All settings including Video, Photo, Multi-shot, Setup, Camera name and passwords can be modified from your mobile device with the app.

The app displays the resolution and frame rate in the upper left. WiFi status and battery state are shown in the upper right.

Options for movie, picture and burst picture mode can be selected easily on the screen of the iPhone app.

Video, Video+Photo and Looping modes can be selected by tapping the Video camera icon at the bottom of the screen. Video+ Photo lets you take a photo while taking video. The looping mode will take continuous video filling up the microSD card and copying over the oldest footage.

Settings can be accessed by selecting the wrench icon in the lower right. All camera settings can be set with the app.

All of the saved movies and photos can be seen by selecting the checkerboard in the lower left of the display.

The camera can be shut off using the power button in the top right of the screen.



Accessories:
GoPro has produced a wide range of accessories to accent their line of camera.  The battery BacPac allows the addition of battery capacity and is easily snapped on the back of the camera.

The camera and batteries are all charged using a standard USB cable connection. It retails for $49.99


The WiFi remote can be used to control your GoPro camera much like the app. Use it to start and stop the video or take pictures remotely. Settings can also be changed from the remote.

The remote can be programmed to control up to 50 different cameras. It has a range up to 600 feet. The WiFi remote retails for $79.99

The LCD BacPac can be easily snapped on the back of the GoPro to provide a view of the action.  Use it to easily frame your shots and follow the action. The LCD BacPac retails for $79.99

There are other small POV cameras out there.  I have even bought a few of them myself.  I prefer the GoPro because of its cutting edge technology and the hundreds of different mounts that are made to support the product. A whole new industry is developing around support of these cameras.

I know there are a lot of boaters and sailors out there that use GoPro camera. What are you using yours for?

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)
Mark




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