March 4, 2016

New Camera in Death Valley

A short time ago I acquired a GitUp Git 2 camera, yet another inexpensive action camera ($160 at Amazon). It has a few features that GoPro still does not offer: image stabilization, user control of color saturation, white balance, and ISO.

So I headed up to the flower bloom that's going on in Death Valley, taking along a few of my collection of action cameras. I was really surprised at how very much better the video from the GitUp was than from other cameras. I did have the color saturation set to vivid, which I don't usually do. And it was shooting at 1080p 60fps, which I simply don't have available on another camera. Upon seeing the video I thought it was good enough to post it with no color editing at all. I just removed the wind noise and added music (you can listen to your own, if you don't like my choices) and I edited out the bits where I pulled to the side of the road a few times. The route is northbound on Badwater Road, then east on 190.

The flowers were mostly yellow, but there's a lot of purple too, and some white. Occasionally the roadside may appear to have a reddish-brown cast that could make you think the landscapers had put down some colored rock there, until you realized Death Valley is not landscaped — well, at least not by humans. The color comes from very tiny flowers on plants that are that color.


Set it to 1080p, please, and full screen.

permalink | March 4, 2016 at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2016

Great Los Angeles Walk Photos

I winnowed my photos from the Great LA Walk (November 21, 2015) down to the 1,930 best ones that you can see here. Blut I think the easiest way to see them is via this video slideshow which is only a little more than half an hour long, if you watch all of it. Most of the photos are from my GoPro, but I shot some with my pocket camera.

permalink | February 20, 2016 at 09:32 PM | Comments (2)

February 16, 2016

Naked Festival Via GoPro

A couple of guys take a GoPro camera into the Hadaka Matsuri.

permalink | February 16, 2016 at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2016

A Low-Priced Worthy Competitor For GoPro

The Gitup Git2. On Amazon for only $160. Or at B&H for the same price.

Can do 1080p at 60fps or 1440p at 30fps. Rear display. 16MP still photos; can even shoot raw. Digital image stabilization. Even allows control of shutter speed (1/30 up to 1 minute), ISO and white balance. GoPro mount on the waterproof case. Can be used as a dashcam. It has a configurable button that can be set for exposure lock, white balance lock, exposure lock and white balance lock, microphone mute/unmute, or stabilization on/off. Includes a wide dynamic range option.

permalink | January 29, 2016 at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2016

The World's First 360° 4K Action Cam Is Coming From...

[drumroll please] Kodak. You can buy it from Kodak for as little as $500. But, if you want 360° video you'll need two of them, which Kodak will sell to you for only $900. See, you're already saving money!

In this video you will be able to see a stitching glitch - when your view is flat in relation to the horizon, the glitch appears to run vertically. It's not always visible, but really jumped out at me as they came closer to the lighthouse.

permalink | January 13, 2016 at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2016

Finally, Real Competition For GoPro

The Nikon KeyMission 360 may do what none of those other supposed competitors ever did: make a camera better than a GoPro. The Nikon KeyMission, to be released this spring at a "reasonable" price has two lenses, front and back. Both are wider than 180°, so the camera is capable of 360° video. One hopes that the 360° stitching happens either in camera or in some very nice to use software to be provided by Nikon.

The camera also has "vibration reduction" which they obviously are not calling "image stabilization." This makes me think it's such a little bit of vibration reduction, they can't honestly call it stabilized.

Nikon offers a video shot with the camera here. Unfortunately, they have not made it interactive, so you can't really experience the 360°. It also suffers from some serious low-res or compression problems. Yet I'm sure Nikon would put up only the best video it could show. Also, it seems to indicate that Nikon did not find a way to reduce the wide-angle weirdness that comes with these lenses, which are wider than anything GoPro offers.

Nikon KeyMission 360

The reporter in this video agrees on the image quality, but thinks the 360° feature offsets that.

permalink | January 6, 2016 at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2015

GoPro Drone Will Be "Karma"

In a departure from their usual style, GoPro uses a soft, quiet video with no extreme sports to announce the name for their upcoming drone: Karma. No whales, no skiers, no parachutes, no rock climbers, no motorcycles or bicycles, no race cars.

permalink | December 10, 2015 at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2015

Tired Of Seeing The Interiors Of The Mouths Of Wild Animals?

Then here’s something more domestic.

permalink | November 15, 2015 at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2015

Coming Next?

Here’s an Indiegogo for a company that dreams of being the next GoPro, like so many have, but this one is interesting. A 3D stereoscopic action camera and accessories. Think of a GoPro with a full 180° lens and then double it. The LucidCam.

A sample, sort of. I'm able to form a crosseye-ed 3D image in the middle of these.

permalink | November 13, 2015 at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2015

GoPro & Speeding Motorcyclists

Just because you're smart enough NOT to put your GoPro video of yourself going WAY over the speed limit on social media, it still might be used as evidence against you. Two guys doing 118 MPH right in front of God, a state trooper and everybody. GoPro was seized at the scene...and then the police had to get a warrant before looking at the contents.

permalink | October 16, 2015 at 02:35 PM | Comments (1)

September 23, 2015

Make Your GoPro Better

Think of all the advances in digital photographic engineering over just the last decade or so that have made powerful but tiny cameras, like the GoPro, possible. There seems to be just one last step to make your tiny GoPro perfect: make it bigger. The Exo GP-1 is a box about the size of an old classic 35mm camera that you put your GoPro (3 or 4) into. Besides looking cool to the hipsters, this improves its ergonomics and provides some new features not found on the tiny GoPro, including: a plain optical viewfinder (glass that you look through - what will they think of next?), a cold shoe mount (which is like a hot shoe mount, but without electricity), the ability to mount filters over the lens (the biggest advantage, IMO), and a leather strap.

I would like to see an A/B comparison test done at Burning Man. There is a significantly vocal but tiny minority of Burners who regard cameras on the playa as evil, and the GoPro is the most evil of them all. It's as though they believe it's the camera itself that is offending their sense of privacy or their sense of immediacy or their offended sense that someone is enjoying the Burn in a way different from theirs!

So have a Burner hand-carrying a naked GoPro walk into an encampment or large art piece or Center Camp and start taking photos or videos. Observe the reactions of other Burners. Then have another Burner come in with his GoPro wrapped up to look like a cousin to a Leica, shoot photos and videos and observe the reactions.

My hypothesis is that you will discover plain ol' anti-GoPro bigotry.

BTW, on Kickstarter you can donate US$155 to get one of these with a strap. They expect the retail price to be US$185.

permalink | September 23, 2015 at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2015

GoPro on Lake Powell

This becomes quite surreal.

permalink | August 16, 2015 at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2015

Tour de France GoPro Highlights

Rain, shine and crashes.

permalink | July 29, 2015 at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2015

Final Stage Of The Tour de France Seen Through GoPro Lenses

permalink | July 27, 2015 at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2015

Video Editing

So, there's this new app called Shred. Throw a video and some music at it and it will edit them down to something short and effective. So I threw about 1½ hours of video from Burning Man at it, plus The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" and this is what I got back:

Not great, but clearly more entertaining than my own edits.

permalink | July 21, 2015 at 01:48 PM | Comments (1)

July 20, 2015

Best GoPro Video Ever: "It's A Boy!"

GoPro justifies its existence. Nothing is going to top this for a long time.

This was her third child.

permalink | July 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2015

Interesting Road Rage Video

Oh, I hear what you're saying, "Aren't they all interesting?" But in this one we get to see the 51-year old, drunk perpetrator (in flip-flops!) attack the 24-year old motorcycle operator (who is wearing a GoPro, of course) and his girlfriend passenger. Pretty quickly we get to see the perps face go through some changes after he gets pinned to the pavement while the cops are called.

A few more details here.

permalink | July 19, 2015 at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2015

New GoPro Mount

The Toyota Tacoma mount seems expensive at first glance, but when you consider it includes an entire Toyota Tacoma, it's not so bad. I do wonder how in the world the designers settled on one spot to put a GoPro attachment. Maybe there are a few attachment points and you can move it around.

One hopes it will be better than this Nissan demonstration where they had to put the camera on top of the driver's head, despite the fact that his neck is all wiggly and flexible. And that car! What good is it when you can't even see over a Jersey barrier (excuse me, K barrier). Get a truck!

permalink | July 16, 2015 at 12:04 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2015

Tour de France GoPro Highlights, Stages 1-7

A little bit of everything, a couple of crashes, time trial, pavé, rain, lunch; all too fast to appreciate the rhythms of the Tour itself, but this is all about the GoPro.

permalink | July 12, 2015 at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 6, 2015

Another New GoPro Camera

After their recent announcement of a new, less expensive GoPro, we're pretty surprised at today's announcement of an entirely new GoPro called "Session."
It's a little cube (Wired says it's 1.5" x 1.5" x 1.5"). Some specs:

  • $400
  • 74 grams; waterproof as is without additional housing. (The Hero4 Black weighs 89 grams, or 152 grams with housing).
  • 1440p, 30 fps; 1080p, 60 fps; 720p, 100 fps; WVGA, 120 fps.
  • Looping, for use as a dashcam.
  • 8 MP still photos, 3264 x 2448.
  • Burst 10/second.
  • Timelapse from 0.5 to 60 second intervals.
  • ISO Limit defaults to 1600 but can be set to 400.
  • Built-in battery.
  • No display. Settings are made from the remote or an app on your smartphone. One button powers on/starts recording, and vice versa.
  • Two microphones, and the camera is supposed to be able to automatically select the one with better sound.
  • Shipping July 12.

Here's the ad.

As you can see, like all previous GoPros, the Hero4 Session comes with beautiful people, great sports equipment, and a travel voucher allowing you to go anywhere in the world at no additional expense.

The pattern seems well established now. GoPro brings out a great new camera. Then every electronics company with or without a recognizable name, comes out with something similar, but cheaper and with lesser abilities. The press will publish reviews about them with headlines asking "Is This The GoPro Killer?" The review will show you that the new camera is about as good as GoPros of one or two generations earlier, but it will have one or two new interesting features (like Polaroid's Cube, for example). Then GoPro announces a great new camera that is clearly superior to all the current GoPro "killers." The cycle repeats.

permalink | July 6, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)