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4/23/2019 5:04 pm  #1


Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

Guys,

With my son growing up and us doing so nice, more remote trips, thought it might be time to get an action camera. Lots of options, I don’t need top end but don’t want to get something I will regret either. Anyone have an ideas/opinions? GoPro 7 has three versions, for sure don’t need the Black version, but maybe the white might fit me best as s first time buyer.

All feedback welcome!

Thanks,

Moonman.

 

4/24/2019 8:12 am  #2


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

There is enough price difference between the 3 GoPro levels that for a first time purchase it could be worth going with the cheaper White version. The image stabilization for 4K 60 video on the Black is worth the price. Hands down I would go with the GoPro. The cheap alternatives do not have anywhere near the same picture quality. 

 

4/24/2019 9:42 am  #3


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

I had a GoPro once upon a time (Hero3 black I think). I don't know if it's still the case with new GoPros, but the reason I eventually got rid of it is because it was a camera wrapped in a waterproof housing, not an actual waterproof camera. The result was terrible sound quality. 

If you're not planning on taking video (or if you won't care about the audio), or if they've since fixed that problem, then disregard. 

I take two waterproof cameras on my trips. For the last few years it's been two Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 cameras, and I've been reasonably happy with them. While they're 'waterproof', I wouldn't recommend using them underwater as it results in the lens fogging up until you let it bake in the sun for a few hours. 

This year I've replaced one of them with an Olympus Tough TG-Tracker, which is a wide angle waterproof ... camera? I hesitate to say camera, as it's mostly designed for wide-angle video. As I haven't used it on a camping trip yet, I can't yet give an opinion. Olympus also has the Olympus Tough TG-5, which is their true 'camera' waterproof option. It reviews very well, but I've never used one. 

 

4/24/2019 10:30 am  #4


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

If you start at Go Pro Hero 5 everything should be waterproof without the plastic casing, and you can usually find some really good deals on EBAY for 5's 6's etc.  And naturally, from the older models (3 , 4) to the 5,6, etc Go Pro has changed the battery style and they are not compatible.


- Evan
​_______________________________________________________
http://www.youtube.com/c/SingleMaltAndMaps
______________________________________________________
 

4/24/2019 11:07 am  #5


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

Evan Briden wrote:

If you start at Go Pro Hero 5 everything should be waterproof without the plastic casing, and you can usually find some really good deals on EBAY for 5's 6's etc.  And naturally, from the older models (3 , 4) to the 5,6, etc Go Pro has changed the battery style and they are not compatible.

This is interesting. I have an older GoPro and have the same problem with audio that Uppa mentioned. I've been looking at getting a new camera as well and hadn't been considering a second GoPro for that reason. How would you say the sound quality is now that they don't have the casing?

 

4/24/2019 11:44 am  #6


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

I recently bought the Hero 7 Black. I decided the White and Silver were a definite no-go because i) non-removable battery, ii) no hypersmooth stabilization, iii) no linear mode (only wide).

Those 3 things were complete deal breakers for me. There are workarounds for each, but I don't want to wait to charge through a power bank while on a canoe trip, or buy a gimbal, or apply an after effect to normalize the wide fisheye, etc.

I've only used it on one trip so far (travelling, not a canoe trip), but I was extremely happy with the purchase. I put together a video with some of the footage... most of the video is footage from the GoPro, with some clips being shot with iPhone. Most GoPro footage was shot in 2.7k. Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlY9oFXF6gc&lc

It really depends on your needs, but I will say that the hypersmooth stabilization in the Black model is a huge benefit, as well as having replaceable batteries. Of course it's an expensive purchase, especially considering the extra accessories you'll need to buy... but so far I think it's worth it and I can't wait to test it out for my canoe trip vids.

For what it's worth, I bought mine 'open box' from Henry's, and with the cost savings that I got, I bought their 4 year warranty. GoPro only offers 1 year warranty and I've heard they're a complete pain to deal with.

I spent a ton of time researching the different options and all of the accessories (memory cards, selfie stick/tripods, etc.) so if you do go with a GoPro and have any questions, feel free to ask.

edit: forgot to mention, the app is awesome. You have full control over the camera and all settings, which is extremely useful for setting up shots. If you look closely at the video I shared, you'll notice I'm looking down in some clips... checking the app to make sure the shot is set up right lol (1:20 - 1:30 for example)

Last edited by trippythings (4/24/2019 11:48 am)


Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures
www.algonquinbeyond.com
 

4/24/2019 12:57 pm  #7


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

As Evan mentioned, Hero 5 and up don't require the case which makes a big improvement in sound quality. That said, if you really care about sound quality start with a camera that provides a jack for an external mic. A Rode Video mic starts around $120 and then you can decide how many more $100's you want to spend from there. 

This playlist on my Youtube channel is mostly Hero 5 footage from last summer. It's not from Algonquin but it will give you a good idea of the quality of the GoPro.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXiWYzj7B0i4hZNRvKdxpaDW8eEDw0XWr

The stabilization makes a big difference. The Hero 5 provided stabilization up to 1080p/60fps so clips at those resolutions are a lot smoother than the 4k/30 clips. The stabilization on the Hero 7 Black works on the 4k content at a higher frame rate and is really impressive. I just don't have any paddling footage with the Hero 7 yet. 

If you collect Air Miles, check whether you can get one with your Air Miles. I got both my Hero 5 and Hero 7 with Air Miles. 

 

4/24/2019 7:49 pm  #8


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

And the really nice part, all of the accessories are basically interchangeable. I had an Activeon years ago, and when moving to GoPro all of the same mounts, clips etc all still work. You can also buy on Ebay some kits that have around 50-100 pieces for next to nothing, as long as you don't mind waiting 1/4 of a year for the boat to arrive from overseas. Toss in some spare knockoff  batteries and a universal charger and away you go! I also agree with Rob, the sound is 100X better between the 5 vs. older models... but it is still not the same as an external mic.


- Evan
​_______________________________________________________
http://www.youtube.com/c/SingleMaltAndMaps
______________________________________________________
 

4/24/2019 9:04 pm  #9


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

Hey guys thanks for all the responses. It looks like I will get a GoPro, just have to decide on which one. And Uppa, I do actually have the Olympus TG4. Great camera. I haven’t really used much video with it but maybe I should!

Still leaning towards the GoPro as dedicated video cam. It seems the white model has most of what I need at half the price of the black model, but wish I could swap batteries. What Micro SD card are most people using with these? Also how much video are you guys getting on a card? Obviously depends on resolution but just wondering if anyone can let me know averages to expect.

Thanks again for all your input.

Moonman.

     Thread Starter
 

4/25/2019 9:25 am  #10


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

Not being able to swap batteries is a draw back, but if you carry a battery pack like an Anker Powercore, which you would need to anyway for a trip longer than a day, then you can still recharge at lunch/breaks and at night. I was going through 2 batteries a day on that trip last summer and across all my cameras was just into my 2nd 20,000 mAh PowerCore by the end of the trip. (Although a little more downtime would have had me taking more pictures). 

Any UHS-1 card will be fast enough. I tend to go with higher performing cards like a Samsung EVO but I would say any UHS-1 card with decent reviews will be perfectly fine for 1080p video. Shooting 1080p/30 video I could get a 4 day trip, including photos on a 32GB SD card. 

 

4/25/2019 9:47 am  #11


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

A point about charging through a power bank... you can’t have any casing on the GoPro and one of the latches will be open which means it won’t be waterproof. So just generally not the most conducive for canoe trip traveling. Overnight makes it easier since you’re not traveling overnight, but I think it would be really limiting if during mid day travels your battery dies. A quick battery swap is a lot better than needing to leave your GoPro exposed for an hour to charge.

For the memory cards, Ive read lots of issues about incompatibility with certain cards and GoPro has their own “approved” list. I would recommend buying something from this list to be safe: https://gopro.com/help/articles/block/microSD-Card-Considerations

It’s so dependent on your settings the amount of footage you can record, but if you plan on using 2.7k or 4K I would definitely go with 64gb or 128gb. Especially if you want to do a lot of filming and won’t have access to a computer every day to upload to your computer/wipe the content from the card.


Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures
www.algonquinbeyond.com
 

4/25/2019 1:20 pm  #12


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

The White doesn't do 4K. It does do 1440 but that's a bit of strange size, so I would expect most of the material would be 1080/60. 

Of course a larger card doesn't hurt, but if a goal is to keep initial costs down then a 32GB is a reasonable starting point. 64GB would be better and I wouldn't go smaller than 32GB. Picking a card 'approved' by GoPro is a good idea. 

 

4/25/2019 5:07 pm  #13


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

Not being able to change batteries would be a total deal breaker for me. Seems like a massive d**k move by GoPro that you have to buy the Black just to be able to put in a fresh battery. 

 

4/25/2019 5:10 pm  #14


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

Also, memory cards are dirt cheap even at larger sizes. If you're going to do a lot of filming, especially in higher resolutions, don't get too stingy on what you buy. I've maxxed out a 128 gb card on a camping trip before. Two of my cameras have 128 gb cards, the other has a 256 gb card, and I bring a spare 64 gb card as an emergency backup. 

Edit: 256 GB Samsung EVO UHS-1 - $67: https://www.amazon.ca/Samsung-MC256GA-APC-microSDXC-Adapter/dp/B0752LHMXM/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_147_tr_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JDB8YF9GNKS9JV4WPAE4

Last edited by Uppa (4/25/2019 5:13 pm)

 

4/25/2019 5:13 pm  #15


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

The white has so many problems. It is intentionally handicapped in every area. Buy a knock off or buy a Hero 5 Black before a Hero 7 white.

That said, the stabilization on the Hero 7 Black is so much better than anything else on the market. There isn't anything quite like it.

 

4/25/2019 6:03 pm  #16


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

MartinG wrote:

...That said, the stabilization on the Hero 7 Black is so much better than anything else on the market. There isn't anything quite like it.

My first time testing it I had it mounted on my windshield in my car. It was rattling like crazy the whole time I was driving, and you can hear me saying stuff in the video like "oh wow look at how much the camera is shaking, this is crazy, I'm really curious how it will turn out with the stabilization".

Perfectly smooth. I didn't believe it was the same footage at first because of how perfect it came out.


Trip Reports & Campsite Pictures
www.algonquinbeyond.com
 

5/28/2019 10:20 am  #17


Re: Help me decide...which Action Camera to buy?

This thread is making me want a Hero 7. For those who have them, where did you find the best deal?

 

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