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Author Topic: Using a GoPro  (Read 2178 times)
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zippy8
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« on: October 06, 2011, 05:12 AM »

A short while ago I treated myself to a GoPro® HD Hero camera on the finely argued basis of I wanted one. I have been churning out lots of footage of all sorts of activity and, fates willing, might one day make some public in some fashion. I have spent some time trying to make it work for making kite videos and here's what I've learnt.

  • Unless you flying predominantly in the lower half of the wind window you'll be wanting to use the video resolution r4 (960p = 1280×960 pixels (4:3)). you will get more vertical coverage and less curvature at the edges.
  • You need to feed the little bugger enough light. If you do, you'll get excellent quality. If you don't, it will suck and suck hard.
  • Mediocre flying shot with the camera fixed to the ground is more watchable than the finest flying with the camera attached to the flyer.

Now obviously this last one might raise an eyebrow or two. It's sold as a wearable camera and I'm arguing against wearing it ? Well, yes. I've tried any number of mounting positions and methods (actually this is one of the great attractions of the device - there are a multitude of OEM and second party fixtures available and you can have hours of fun dreaming up your own) and I'd not describe the footage as worth anything more than a brief insert edit into a longer piece. Even a VF length shoot I find very difficult to watch due to the movement of the camera. This isn't to say that you can't get worthwhile footage - you certainly can - but it's not something I'd enjoy watching.

Here are some of the mounts I've used. The chest mounts give you a view of your arm movements so for teaching videos they should be a godsend. The one with the extension arm means they are a bit less intrusive.

Helmet cam - yes, you look like an idiot.
Chest cam -  lots of arm movement visible.
Chest cam II - adequate arm movement visible.
Tripod - where it should be, sorry to say.

It's a dinky little camera, capable of great things under certain circumstances, I'm just not sure it's well suited to capturing what we do.

Mike.
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DWayne
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 05:44 AM »

I made one kite video with mine.
Its sat in a drawer ever since.
They're great for some things, but kite videos isn't one of them.

Denny
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JimB
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 10:38 AM »

Well, that's a shame.

I'd been thinking of getting one, but if it is going to end up on Mister Tripod™ anyway.. what's the point?

Thanks for the lookie loo though.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 08:46 PM by JimB » Logged
zippy8
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 10:52 AM »

I'd been thinking getting one, but if it is going to end up on Mister Tripod™ anyway.. what's the point?
Well the point is that it is a very high quality camera, nigh on indestructible and very compact. With the mini-tripod pictured it can be set up close to the flier and yet still capture a wide wind window. The battery will last over two hours and you'll probably need a 16GB card to handle that. For the lonesome flier I reckon it's a fine choice for self filming.

You can also use it for other things Wink

Mike.
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JimB
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 11:45 AM »

Looking forward to seeing some of your footage.
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zippy8
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 12:04 PM »

Looking forward to seeing some of your footage.
I think what I may do is compile a video to try to show what I mean vis a vis watchability. There's a world of difference between "the kite's in frame" and well shot footage.

Mike.
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tpatter
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 12:35 PM »

Similar experience here.  I think that if you strap a full-sized, full featured (image stabl., decent lens, etc) cam onto your helmet, the results are somewhat passable.   The super-small sized ones that I've seen so far, not so much - mainly due to poor video quality including the 'Blair Witch' effect.

I really really wanted this to work out for shooting my flying video, but I've gone back to the tripod - in the end, the results are just far far better.

-Tom
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6 kite tom
Sherman Myers
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 04:28 PM »

Brooks Leffler makes a device that attaches this camera to the line of a single line kite. I saw one last week and it looks good. Check it out.
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Sherman Myers
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 06:46 PM »

I bought one of those just for doing some KAV / KAP. I succesfully attached it to a dualie and to a Rev, shot some interesting pics, you can watch some of them here: https://picasaweb.google.com/109499384873263704128/KAP110723

and a couple of videos you can watch here:

KAV 24-jul-2011


Revolution - 4-sep-2011


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zippy8
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2011, 10:44 PM »

A GoPro in its protective case but without any other mounting hardware weighs 170g (6oz or 896 carats if you prefer) so you're likely to be near doubling the mass of any duallie you attach it too. Considering we have debated to pros and cons of +/- 5g (do it yourself) tail weight on the performance of a kite then I don't think you can consider it as an especially useful on-the-kite camera for a dual line kite, beyond the occasional "hey, this is cool" clip.

Of course for SLK KAP it's just a matter of can the kite lift the extra and for a Rev..... hell, who knows.

Mike.
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ghfisanotti
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 07:19 AM »

A GoPro in its protective case but without any other mounting hardware weighs 170g (6oz or 896 carats if you prefer) so you're likely to be near doubling the mass of any duallie you attach it too. Considering we have debated to pros and cons of +/- 5g (do it yourself) tail weight on the performance of a kite then I don't think you can consider it as an especially useful on-the-kite camera for a dual line kite, beyond the occasional "hey, this is cool" clip.

Of course for SLK KAP it's just a matter of can the kite lift the extra and for a Rev..... hell, who knows.

Mike.

That's is true, but the camera alone, without the protective case weighs approximately 100g (according to the manual). I improvised a very light support made of cardboard, a couple of clamps and a Velcro strip. Although it is still a lot of extra weight in the case of a duallie, if the wind is strong enough, it is possible to fly it in a relatively controllable manner although doings tricks is completely out of the question.
On the Rev, it is a different matter, it is a much more interesting platform for KAV or KAP, you can definitely feel the extra weight but you can still do most of the normal maneuvers, provided the wind is strong enough.
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zippy8
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 06:27 AM »

Looking forward to seeing some of your footage.

You really should be more careful about what you wish for  Cheesy

OK, this is just to show what the footage looks like with different mounts. I'm in my back garden, right up against 4m high trees and slowly sinking into my swamp-like lawn.

A video !


With a bit of work I reckon the helmet-cam could be OK if the shame and humiliation don't kill you first. The chest mounts might come in handy for the highly disciplined teacher too. All need careful attention with positioning to make use of the field of view (which the tripod definitely didn't get).

Mike.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 06:32 AM by zippy8 » Logged

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madhabitz
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2011, 01:06 PM »

Sounds like what you need is a Gyro Mount:
http://code.google.com/p/ardupirates/wiki/StabilizedCameraMount
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2011, 08:43 PM »

Mike, PLEASE set up a camera on a tripod filming you flying with the helmet cam thanx in advance ko
« Last Edit: October 08, 2011, 08:45 PM by ko » Logged

have fun kurt
zippy8
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 02:30 AM »

Well I did just shoot some footage as requested and, after reviewing it, two thoughts come to mind:-

  • that footage is never seeing the light of day again
  • I will never use a helmet cam again either

That is so not a good look. Embarrassed

Mike.
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