Go(Semi)Pro: Where the GoPro camera has room to improve

Andrew Hechtman, Staff Writer

The idea of a GoPro is very simple; a mounted camera that gives a POV of action sports. In theory this is a great idea, it gives a unique view of events that most do not get to experience. In practice however, this device is impractical due to its size and battery life. While the GoPro was a revolutionary idea, it needs to be replaced with a smaller more efficient model.

I used the GoPro Hero 3 while on my trip.

I took a GoPro on my spring break ski trip to try and capture some videos and failed miserably. The first day, I set out to head-mount the camera and videotape my day. However with flat light on the mountain and the mediocre resolution that the camera provided, the camera failed to capture most details of the run. Even the steepest runs and largest moguls appeared flat, making double black diamonds look like CAT tracks.

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The GoPro’s battery was a constant issue throughout my trip. For the first few days I used bluetooth to connect my phone to the camera, and within an hour or two the camera would die and my phone would be very low on battery. On the days where I did not use the bluetooth, the camera was able to survive all the way until noon. This was debilitating as I could not film half the day.

In all fairness to the company, GoPro’s are hailed for their incredible resolution, especially in the newest models. I was working with a model one generation behind, which likely affected the quality of my videos.

In addition to taking poor videos, there are several other problems with the camera. Having a weight several inches above your head is surprisingly uncomfortable and difficult to maneuver with. On multiple occasions I would hit the camera on the chairlift or tree branches as I tried to duck under them.

A lot of blame for the poor videos can be placed on the user, me. I left the camera on in between runs which drained the battery. I also was unable to master aspects of the camera that could have improved the quality of videos. With the limited amount of time and mounts, I was unable to experiment with alternate mounts that would possibly be more comfortable. I also did not have a second battery.

In all my efforts I was unable to produce any of the same great videos that are commonly seen on GoPros. Some may say this is due to user error, I believe however that there are several key flaws with the camera

Through experimentation, I was able to create one video that I am truly proud of.

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