GoPro stuff

glenwilson

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I know a couple of you have GoPro cameras so thought I would just show a few of things that I found useful.

I had tried a few small action cams but always found the video quality to be really lacking. I'm certainly not an action man but do enjoy creating video. I only got the Hero 3+ just before going on holiday but still got some shots not possible with a "normal" camera. With the Hero 4 just coming out I suspect that there will be quite a few Hero 3s on eBay at bargain prices.

Metal open case. This was on amazon and is basically the same as the official skeleton case but a lot sturdier. The advantages of this mount is that it gives you access to all the ports but still provides protective case. The one I got also allows you mount filters is you wish. Obviously it isn’t water proof. This is ideal for long time-lapse or long in-car video recording as you can plug in a power source for the GoPro and don't have to rely on the internal battery. A 64GB memory card should give plenty of recording time.

Kitchen timer from IKEA. Stick a flat mount on the top and you have a 360 degree 60 minute timelapse mount! You can get some great shots with this. Good for holiday and scenery shots where you have time to just plant it and leave it for up to an hour. I've found setting the camera at 1 frame per second gives pretty good results. When you compile the individual images into a video you can then adjust the length and speed of the time-lapse to what you need.

Touchscreen back. I find this great for aligning shots or for taking shots handheld. I think the GoPro 4 has this built in (or some versions do). Apart from acting as a screen/viewfinder it is also touch screen which makes setting up the camera a lot easier than pressing the two buttons can be.

Headstrap mount. Easier than sticking a mount to your forehead! Good for doing point of view shots when walking or just doing stuff. Using the metal frame case and the LED light block does add a lot of weight but your posture will improve and you neck muscles will probably challenge Heikki's. :)

Bobble mount. Cheaper than the floaty back from GoPro but provides sufficient buoyancy should you drop your camera whilst filming in water. It is also quite a good handheld grip too.

One other bit I got was a light weight aluminium arm. This gives some extra reach without adding too much weight. This is good for static situations as the weight of the camera on the end of it will still result in movement no matter how secure the mount is so I wouldn’t expect to see dogma using this! However, when I have added it to the pole mount for bird feeder pictures/video it is fine. On the car mounts it was too unstable.

Overall I find I use the GoPro as much as my normal video cameras (Sony Handicap and DSLR). On holiday you are able to get shots that wouldn't be practical with the other cameras.
 

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glenwilson

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Re: AW: GoPro stuff

lol i found the Footballstadionlight on your head really fantanstic :D

Not really practical using it like that! Had that for a while now -wasn't that much on Amazon. It uses an old battery pack from an old Sony camcorder so lasts for quite a while. It can also use AA batteries too. I use it for eBay photos as you get a reasonable flat light source with less shadows especially macro shots. It is adjustable too so you can use it as a fill light. It is good for video too, adds light without being too obvious. Doesn't get hot like some other light sources.

Joby have released some suction mounts ( GoPro® Tripods, Mounts, & Accessories: JOBY Action Series ) that look interesting and much better than some of the suction mounts I have. Though they show GoPros being used I suspect other small cameras could be used too. Not sure how the would stick to a dog though!
 
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glenwilson

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I guess action cam is the wrong term for how I use it! When you get to my age a lawn mower is thrilling - trying to control it and not losing any limbs in the process. For me, my aging Mondeo is a sport car! Also, me on a motorbike would mean either going nowhere because of weight or wind resistance or a constant wheelie 'cause all the weight is on the back wheel! :0
 

glenwilson

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Currently speccing a drone for the GoPro. Looking at about £300 for the kit which includes the quadcopter with GPS return to home and the radio controller and the batteries. This one comes as a kit for £142 for the quadcopter but you still need to get a LiPo battery and charger and the radio.

[video=youtube;5Ie4DbUsndg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ie4DbUsndg[/video]

Some racing quadcopters.... [video=youtube;70pusNNunMA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70pusNNunMA[/video]


I'm already building a steadycam for the GoPro... Basic grip can be used for a DSLR camera (middle photo) and is more stable than just hand holding the camera on its own. Adding a brushless gimbal mount and attaching the GoPro to that and you have a steady cam (first and third photos) that will keep facing the direction you point it and react to the movement picked up by the gyroscope. Just waiting for the electronics to arrive and I can get it set-up properly. You could attach this to a dog with some long cable ties and it should act in the same way :) plus you get a handle to lift the dog with! You can buy handheld three axis steady cams but they are about £280 whereas mine will be about £65 (though not as elegant looking).


Example: [video=youtube;0yKzYn0A6ro]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yKzYn0A6ro[/video]
 

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glenwilson

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Flying big stuff is OK. Flown in the cockpit of a British Airways 757 to Oslo and back and that was boring (interesting but boring apart from TO and Landing) . Also, done time in a 757 simulator too at British Airways. Cessna 172 was fun flying out of Edinburgh and over the Forth bridges and back. At least with a quadcopter I will be able to terrorise next doors screaming kids (and video it too).

Got the batteries for it now. Charging LiPo batteries is like powering up CERNE! Plus they explode!

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...&mid=198F3CCAC0E61303AC7A198F3CCAC0E61303AC7A
 
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glenwilson

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So finally got all the bits for the gimbal and assembled it. The most interesting bit was got a battery for it from a place that should know about these things and plugged it in. LEDS illuminated and there was some movement from the motors and then there was some impressive smoke coming from the controller board! Thought I had fried the board at this point! Checked everything and the guy had sold me a 2S LiPo battery when it should have been a 3S. If you want to know about LiPo batteries do a search for it as it seems to be the most complicated subject you could imagine. Not to mention charging the things. You need a special charger which has loads of settings - far from plug and charge. You also need a fire proof bag to charge and store these things in as they are rather prone to exploding or catching fire!

Initial impressions of using the gimbal are pretty good. The video shows firstly the GoPro hand-held (you can see the mount used for the second clip), then in the gimbal mount on the video camera bracket and then on a home made pole mount. Hope the video doesn't make you too sea sick! The pole mount (see the photo) works OK but was a little bit flexible. I need to try and fix a mount for the phone to operate the camera via WiFi and also a proper mount for the battery as the velcro straps slip about a bit in the mark one version. Also the battery I got is probably a bit over the top and I should have got something with a smaller capacity!

[video=youtube;qn4Pk0G-s_w]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn4Pk0G-s_w[/video]

There is a bit of work to do to make it a more permanent mount (currently waiting on some battery connectors to be delivered and also looking at how to control the tilt angle. Setting these things up seems to be a bit of a dark art to be honest as there are so many different calibration tools and so on.

Definitely thinking of building a quadcopter to also mount the gimbal onto which should be fun!
 

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glenwilson

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So after a bit of soldering (house still standing) here is the final(ish) device. Anybody thinking why? Well if you see shots of cities taken from a helicopter you will notice how smooth they are despite the fact that a helicopter vibrates like crazy and isn't the smoothest platform to film from. They use a gimbal mount that keeps the camera steady and pointing in the direction they want. When you hand hold a camera there will always be micro movements as your muscles adjust to the weight which is why you should always use a tripod or some sort of support for your camera to get the sharpest image you can. You do the same for video but if you want to move the camera you start getting all those jerky movements that you can reduce with practice so you get smooth pans but it still won't be perfectly smooth so when you move the camera with this it stays steady and level and any movement you do get should be quite smooth. This is more suited to situations where you want a smooth and steady camera movement. Whilst you could mount it to dog cam for example, it wouldn't smooth everything out and part of the fun of the dog cam videos is to get a dogs eye view. I doubt it would handle the drying off shake a dog could give it. Mounted on a quadcopter it keeps things smooth and removes the constant adjustment of angles that a quad does to keep flying straight and level.

What this has is a gyroscope mounted under the camera so it knows what angle it is pointing at all times. This feeds the signal to the electronics and they then control the two motors (in this case) to keep the camera pointing at the same angle all the time. A three axis version would also keep the camera pointing in the same direction all the time. Total cost was about £75 for the mount, controller, gimbal, battery. You can get the gimbal ready to go for about £90 but I wanted to learn how it works. A "hand-held gimbal on a stick" for the GoPro is about £250 and better made but...

There are two clips in the video with the first showing the basic stabilisation. The second clip show that if you press the button the gimbal goes limp and you can change the angle the camera is pointing and after a few seconds it will lock into that position. There are a few things I will do in the future: add an on/off switch, and a dial to change the camera angle, tidy up wiring and so on. Once I get some better weather I'll shoot some video and let you see it.

[video=youtube_share;fxA0F5UCoHQ]http://youtu.be/fxA0F5UCoHQ[/video]
 

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glenwilson

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Would probably require a suction mount and have it underneath that. On a car it isn't really required as a sticky mount is steady enough. I've used sticky mount on inside of windscreen, top of car and front under light and they have been very secure. Even at 70mph/120kph they are stable.
 

lakaelo

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Re: AW: Re: AW: GoPro stuff

wow Coool .....
I found a video on YouTube where one was used in a cockpit of a small plane (cannot find it now) and that looked pretty good as the camera stayed level whilst the aircraft banked.
saw similiar video, but i have no idea where i can atach them ??
you can stick your girl on top of the plain with gaffa tape. so shecan doing the camera stuff. :D