Thu - November 22, 2007

GoPro Digital Hero 3 Camera in Outrigger Canoe Paddling and Racing

go pro hero digital waterproof wrist camera

see it at GoPro Digital Hero 3

GoPro Digital Hero 3 looks cool with a wrist mount, but that mount is not necessary practical for paddling. The camera is waterproof, but it is slugish and shoots poor quality still pictures. It is simple, just two buttons control, but you cannot review what did you shoot without uploading your pictures to a computer. No zoom. It is not so cheap at $140 since you can buy Pentax Optio W30 for less than $200.

So, why to pay any attention to this little gadget? Because, it shoots pretty good video!

Check the Rambos Locker for great movies from outrigger canoe paddling and racing in Australia shot with GoPro Hero, e.g., The Moffat Run, Big Ocean on Mooloolaba Bay, Rigging - Rambo Style.

It looks like Rambo is using two cameras: one on a tripod behind the paddler and another one mounted directly on the front iako.

The movies uploaded for on-line viewing are usually compressed, so it may be difficult to judge the original video quality. However, here is a short clip directly from the Rambos camera without any compression:

GoPro Digital Hero 3
sample video clip

Rambo commenting on the camera choice for video shooting:

The choice is easy between the Pentax W10, W20 or W30 and the Olympus 770 for video. The Pentax is 30 frames per second and the Olympus only 15 fps. That means twice as many frames on playback and better video. The GoPro Hero 3 beats them both hands down for video, I only use the Pentax for stills.
and on his camera tripod
The new tripod mount is completely adjustable from 1 - 1.5 metres high, the head rotates 360 degrees and tilts up and down, I can lay it back or lay it over to the ama so it shoots the paddler side on or from the rear or face it rearwards to capture the paddlers behind me. I'm also attaching a mouth operated record on/off switch, so i can control it by biting on it.

The whole thing stays permanently attached to a spare iako and only needs the seat track screw removed to dismantle it.

I have also put a hood on the waterproof housing to shade the lens and this has improved the picture quality out of sight. I can now shoot video at a closer angle to the sun without exposure problems.

GoPro Digital Hero 3 will be soon available in three versions with different mounts:

  • Digital Hero 3. This is the current version - sports wrists camera.
  • Helmet Hero. Quick release helmet camera for vented and non-vented helmets, includes head-lamp style strap. Also mounts to bikes, boards, etc.
  • Motorsports Hero. Quick release vehicle camera. Shockproof design for street and track cars and motorcycles. It also mounts to motor sports helmets. It includes suction cup mount.
I am not sure if any of new versions includes a standard 1/4" tripod socket.

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