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Article by Billy Hudson
It was around two years ago when we started our show, The Game Chasers. It’s a travel show
with the premise of two guys scouring the land for retro video games. One of the major appeals of the
show for our audience is the in the car interaction between us. We never really had a high tech solution
on how to capture footage of both of us in the car, so we did the old put the camcorder on the dash
resting on a blanket trick. Is that a “trick” or did we invent it? No matter. The point is it was not the best
method….by far. We always ran into a host of problems, but it got the job done. Until now. Enter the
GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition. Not only did we get a great new cam for our needs, I got a new realization
on how we had been doing things the hard way for far too long.
The GoPro camera has always been go to camera of choice by extreme sports enthusiasts for
the last few years, and for good reason. It’s a tough, durable, and compact camera that records stunning
wide angle HD video. If you watch any first person extreme sport video recorded in the last few years,
chances are it was recoded on a GoPro. We of course are not skydivers, dirt bike riders, or race car
drivers. We are nerds that look for video games. This little cam has made it so much easier to record
that all important in the car footage that we need for our show.
The GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition is wearable, gear mountable, waterproof, and captures
professional quality video at 1080p-30, 720p-60, 960p-48 and WVGA-120 resolutions and frame rates.
The body is really compact, just 2.25 x 1.6 x 1.2 inches, and weighs just 2.7 ounces. The thin form means
it can be positioned in much tighter corners and has a larger range of motion on top of its mounts. Great
for getting creative. On the front of the Hero3 is its lens, with a small monochrome LCD on the left which
is how you get into the menu settings.
We recently tested our new GoPro Hero 3 on a road trip to Houston a week back. One problem
we ran into with our old method (the old camcorder on the dash method) was that often times the
image wouldn’t be wide enough so either Jay who was driving or I who was in the passenger seat would
often be cut off in the frame. I’m happy to say that with the GoPro, not only was both of us fully in
frame, but the picture as crisp and clean. Colors were accurate and changes in exposure were handled
well. Another problem we always ran into with the old method was the camera sliding around on the
dash. With the GoPro we were able to purchase and accessory called the Suction Cup Mount. This
inexpensive device allowed us to attach the GoPro on to the inside of the front windshield and position
it perfectly. The great thing about it is that its compact size didn’t make it an obstruction for the driver.
This brings us to one of the coolest features of the GoPro cam. In order to keep coat and size
down, the GoPro cam does not have an LCD screen to show what is being captured on video. Obviously
most people want to know what is being recorded so you have two options. First you can buy an LCD
screen attachment. They will run you in the 80 dollar range which is not really that bad if you ask me.
But, if you are like us, the GOPro Iphone app will be the option of choice. This FREE app is amazing. With
it not only can you can see what your camera sees but you can even control the GoPro right from your
phone utilizing the camera’s wifi function. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to just turn on the app
hit a button and just start recording with an mounted GoPro as opposed to putting a camcorder on a
dash, adjusting it for five minutes, and then get mad when slides around during a turn.
I do have to bring up one issue we had. The GoPro cam’s main functionality is built on capturing
the best possible visuals, so audio comes secondary. Luckily you can get an attachment that allows you
to connect a mic that has a mini jack in to the GoPro’s Mini USB connection. I really can’t fault them for
the audio because the camera already does so much so well, and to be honest it still records halfway
decent audio. Just not on the quality standard we need for our show, which is why we will need to use a
mic with it.
I’m very excited moving forward with our new camera. Whether you are an extreme sports
enthusiast, video maker, hobbiest, or a nerd like me, the GoPro might be exactly what you need. I’m just
angry it took me two years to figure that out.