Go Pro Buying
September 16, 2018 7:17 PM   Subscribe

For those who have a Go Pro, what are your experiences and advice for the Go Pro and essential accessories . Also, software questions.

Contemplating a Go Pro and do not wish to buy too much for my needs. Things I would like to do:
  • Create YouTube videos combining iPhone footage with Go Pro for YouTube.
  • Ability to handout a video device to other people for use on vehicles like a bicycle
Other questions:
  • What accessories would you recommend as essential for having a Go Pro
  • Is Go Pro the way to go? Other brands? Other suggestions?
  • Budget is tight, what should I be looking for if I went the ebay/gumtree/craigslist route?
  • Once you do Go Pro are you locked down for accessories and any further equipment
posted by jadepearl to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have both a GoPro Hero 3+ and an SJCAM SJ4000. The SJCAM did not have an external microphone, and I wanted to use a microphone so I bought the GoPro off craigslist.

For most intents and purposes, the SJCAM did everything I needed for a lower price than the GoPro, and the newer SJCAM models offer external microphone capabilities.

Also, the GoPro mini-USB-to-audio adapter has to be a specific, GoPro-branded adapter which is much more extensive than the generic adapters, which don’t work with the GoPro.

Generally, I find the GoPro overpriced for what it is, and the one special accessory I needed was overpriced and GoPro-specific. I didn’t find the GoPro software to be anything to write home about, either. GoPro’s specific weakness is that it is in a difficult market niche—it’s not sophisticated enough to be a professional video camera, but at the same time the casual user can find a lot of other low-priced alternatives that are basically indistinguishable from a GoPro.

The various mounting accessories are pretty much universal, in my experience, however.
posted by deanc at 8:57 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


The image quality isn't going to be as good as the iPhone, but I have a $20 Chinese knockoff that works pretty good and comes with most of the basic pieces. You'd just need to get better batteries because the ones that come with only last about 20min.
posted by rhizome at 8:58 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I own two Chinese knock-off action cams, and the video is just fine. And when I consider the price, it's amaaaazing.

I watched a boy in my sons' Scout troop beg the others to help him comb through a field of long grass in the dark because his quad, with a GoPro on board, had run out of power in the dark and crashed. Eventually he offered that anyone who found it could keep the camera if he could have the card, but I think he went home empty-handed and heart-broken. Also, many hundreds of dollars poorer.

I agree that the audio input can be a differentiating factor, but when I think of letting my kids use one of these underwater, I am much more comfortable with like $35 being at risk than $350.

And every one of these $40 knock-offs comes with a giant package of straps, mounts, adapters, velcro straps, etc., etc. -- which GoPro sells separately for $30 or so.

ALL THAT SAID, if the GoPro fits your needs then spend the money, but if these only need to be cheap & cheerful, then consider buying several knocks-offs at a fraction of the price.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:10 AM on September 17, 2018


It entirely depends on what you're doing. The must-have accessories for filming your toddler in your backyard are completely different for the accessories you need for filming your surf trip to Bali. That said, I haven't seen any good argument for buying the name-brand GoPro accessories; buy the $30 pack off Amazon and you should be covered.

What you're doing also changes whether a name-brand GoPro is worth it vs. a knock-off. Backyard toddler filming? $20 camera is fine. Bali surf trip film that might put you on your way to sponsorship? Spend the money for the real deal.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:06 AM on September 17, 2018


Links? No surf trip to Bali, so generic is fine.
posted by jadepearl at 3:24 PM on September 17, 2018


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