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DWJ
04-21-2014, 05:34 PM
Getting ready to take our 17th yearly trip - will spend the month of July on island. Have decided its time to invest in a GoPro. Would appreciate any advice/suggestions on what I need in addition to the camera and case. Thinking the Silver model should be adequate to meet our needs. Thanks in advance for your help, I know some of you have experience with this.

oshendvr
04-21-2014, 06:43 PM
Just returned a week ago, also new with a GoPro. All reviews I read, the HERO 3+ BLACK was the way to go. Also got what they call an extended battery pack which is a second battery that piggy backs the original battery. Saves changing batteries between dives. When you charge your batteries, best and quickest way was to separate the pack and charge them independently. Also got the orange filter (clips on to the lens) or you can order a flip kit from backscatter.com. If you intend on using it for night dives, a small video light works. I use a GOBE 700 lumen light. The GOPRO expert at dive friends across from the new cruise ship pier can help you out and has everything in stock. There is also a free APP for editing available on the GOPRO website.

wwguy
04-21-2014, 07:37 PM
You can read about my GoPro setup, see a couple photos of it, and view some videos in my last trip report (http://www.bonairetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?74858-callling-wwguy)... but I think you've already seen that. The handheld mount I purchased is also available in versions to hold 1 or 2 LED flashlights for auxiliary light source for night diving etc. I never felt I needed it for daytime diving.

I purchased the optional LCD backpack, and only used it once. I also purchased this aftermarket battery pack and charger (http://www.amazon.com/Wasabi-Power-AHDBT-201-AHDBT-301-AHDBT-302/dp/B00AAIPT76) after reading rave reviews. I never ran out of battery power while diving, but I don't have the camera running full time. That's just too much footage to review later. I hold my breath for the good stuff! (Bad scuba pun... sorry.) :rotf:

Slack Tide 12
04-22-2014, 08:21 AM
thank you I use a Sea Life 1400 which I really like, the external flash is experiencing some issues, just be our trip, my wife always wanted the go pro glad she waited and didn't get the first edition, Thank You so much for the advice.

Slack Tide 12
04-22-2014, 08:24 AM
:)Thank You two great replies, I knew some one would have info! Hope your trip was great!!!!

Sparty
04-22-2014, 09:54 AM
I am also interested in possibly purchasing a Go Pro so I recently did some on line research for Go Pro rumors. If you are not in a rush and would like the most current electronics, you might want to hold off a couple months. Rumors are that that a new Go Pro Hero 4 will be out this summer. "Google Go Pro Rumors"






Getting ready to take our 17th yearly trip - will spend the month of July on island. Have decided its time to invest in a GoPro. Would appreciate any advice/suggestions on what I need in addition to the camera and case. Thinking the Silver model should be adequate to meet our needs. Thanks in advance for your help, I know some of you have experience with this.

DWJ
04-22-2014, 01:59 PM
Roger- I reread your trip report, fantastic with a wealth of information. Couple more questions. Did you experience any problems with the Wasabi charger and the Bonaire current, over heating etc. Also let me preface this next question by saying that I have a technical impairment when it comes to computers and software. Is it difficult to down load and edit.
Thanks
Dennis

wwguy
04-23-2014, 10:47 AM
The Wasabi charger is built to operate off of "universal voltage" from 110 to 240 volts AC and at 50 or 60 Hz frequency. So it works great on Bonaire's 127 volt 50 Hz supply.

The GoPro movies are relatively simple to download to your computer. They're stored on an SD memory card, just like most digital cameras. You either connect a USB cable from the camera to your computer or remove the SD card from the GoPro and slip it into a compatible memory card reader on your computer. After that it's just like copying photos or other files from an external drive.

Editing is optional, but usually desirable in order to trim unwanted footage, add music, or otherwise tell your video story. GoPro offers a free editing software and there are other freeware and payware video editing tools available too (GoPro doesn't use a proprietary file format.) All of them will have a learning curve. Personally I found the GoPro software to be intuitive and usable for the task after enjoying a couple of beers while I read the documentation and played around with it beforehand.

gbf
04-23-2014, 12:54 PM
Ah, back to sanity. That crime thread on SB was about to wear me out...

OK, you've got me all fired up to buy a GoPro camera. I've never owned a UW camera of any sort, but your videos have got me going. And we'll have our newly-certified SIL along this time. I'm just sure he'd enjoy some video of his first few dives.

Thanks.

Are there any other ways to spend $ that you might suggest?

wwguy
04-23-2014, 01:04 PM
It's worth mentioning that the GoPro Hero 3+ is capable of incredible resolution, including 720p, 1080p, and the new 4K format. I found 720p to be sufficient for HD TV and YouTube. 1080p didn't yield noticeably higher quality on any of my viewing devices, but the files were considerably larger. Even so, the video editing process was taxing the capabilities of my 6 year old dual-core travel laptop, despite SSD and 8GB of memory.

A shiny new expensive laptop will make the video editing process go more smoothly.

townses
04-30-2014, 05:51 PM
I purchased a GoPro Hero 3 silver addition for our trip to Bonaire last February. I posted here for some advice and received some great advice. I purchased a red filter that attached and it was definately needed. I forgot it on the first dive and everything was very green. While on Island I purchased a Goscope. This allowed me to extend the camera out quite aways to allow for some great shots. The quality of the video is increadible. I did a live aboard in The Exeumas in March and borrowed a tray mount for the camera which made getting pictures much easier.One thing I learned was that you have to hold the GoPro very still when getting photos or else they blur.My red filter got broken during this trip, I believe someone dropped a larger camera on it while my camera was in the rinse tank, so you have to watch them as they are glass.The other thing I found with this snap on filter was that it sometimes trapped air bubbles behind it which showed up on the pictures.At times i took it off once at depth, and this cleared it. I'm going to get the backscatter 3.1 flip . This was my first try at underwater video and photography and I was really pleased with my GoPro.I managed to get some awesome shots. Anyway, enjoy your GoPro and diving in Bonaire.........

Kent Gerber
04-30-2014, 07:31 PM
I have a snorkel business in Aruba and we have had every go pro that has come out. We now have the black and silver hero 3 plus. I would bite the bullet and get the black one. Its the way to go. The video and audio are amazing!!!! Aruba Bob

DWJ
05-05-2014, 05:50 PM
Thanks to all for your information. What size card do you use? I know with all the variables it is difficult to say what I might need. I have an underwater camera that I will continue to use, rather large with the Ikelight housing and strobe so I am not sure I want to try and manage that and a GoPro all at the same time. So will probably take the GoPro down on about half my dives. Will be there for the month of July so would guess that would be around 30 dives with the GoPro. Based on your experiece with the GoPro do you think a single 64g card will be sufficient.

ModFreddie
05-05-2014, 05:54 PM
just curious... why would you not download those photos to your computer the same day you take them... I am sure I am not the only person that does this.... that way it frees up the card for the next day...

DWJ
05-06-2014, 11:06 AM
Had not really planned on taking my old laptop, but yes Freddie thats probably the way to go.

Kent Gerber
05-06-2014, 08:57 PM
I have a 36 gig card but I download them every night on my laptop so I can start fresh everyday. My daughter carries the camera and I take the go pro. That way we have the best of both worlds. Its just a lot of pics and videos to go thru but that's half of the fun. DWJ. Where do u stay for the month of July? I will be there from June 28 thru July 6th. Aruba Bob

DWJ
05-07-2014, 04:33 PM
Aruba Bob, we rent a town home at Lighthouse Beach. How about you?

Kent Gerber
05-07-2014, 08:02 PM
I see your place is south of the airport. What dive is it close too?
We stay at the Yacht Club Apts. Its beside the circle by Captain Dons and Buddy dive. They have a 2 bedroom and for my Daughter and I, it really works out well. We are only there for 8 days. Maybe we could hook up. Have u ever dove on the East side? Aruba Bob

DWJ
05-08-2014, 12:18 PM
Close to the first southern dive site which is Punt V. Have done the east side a dozen or so times by boat and from shore. Some great diving on the east side.

DWJ
05-15-2014, 11:10 AM
Am I correct that with the basic camera and under water housing you do not have a viewfinder to use when shooting video? If so I guess you just point and shoot and hope for the best?

wwguy
05-15-2014, 11:58 AM
There is no viewfinder built into the camera. Inclusion of a viewfinder would increase camera size significantly. The lens has a wide field of view that minimizes the need to carefully frame your shots. (The actual FOV (http://gopro.com/support/articles/hero3-field-of-view-fov-information) in your images varies depending on the software settings, which is another reason they don't include an optical viewfinder.)

I purchased the optional LCD Touch BacPac (http://gopro.com/camera-accessories/lcd-touch-bacpac) with mine, and then decided I didn't need it after reviewing footage from a couple of dives. I found that I didn't do anything differently while using it, and that it drained the battery much more quickly. All of my videos in my last trip report thread were shot without it. I just point the camera towards my intended subject, much like I'd use a wide beam flashlight.

craigcap
05-15-2014, 12:32 PM
I have a sealife DC1200 for still shots, and wanted something for better video. Purchased the Gopro Hero 3+ Silver along with the backscatter flip 3.1 20-50 (dive) lens. The quality is absolutely incredible. Like National Geographic. I couldn't imagine needing anything more. Also have the LCD touch BacPac. While it I'm sure negatively affects battery performance (also have the wasabi 2 xtra batteries and charger), it was never a problem for us. We don't roll the video the entire dive though. If you are just shooting vid clips for a few minutes here and there (often, but not non-stop), it probably lasts at least 2 dives for us. We brought a spare battery with us (using the optional LCD) each day (as I do with my sealife), and I don't think we ever needed to change the battery but once or twice in two weeks of diving. We typically did 2-3 dives per day. Hope that helps.

DWJ
05-15-2014, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the info guys. Roger I am assuming you have the Black model. Now I find out my 8 year dell D-620 laptop with 1 GB Ram needs at least 4GB to process the video. Hoping maybe I can upgrade the Ram to 4GB. Seems to be a lot of controversy about SD cards. Which cards to you guys use. I will have the Silver 3+ and I get the impression it doesn't require the same level card as the Black model?

wwguy
05-15-2014, 05:57 PM
I'm not sure where you're reading about controversy over SD cards, as GoPro is pretty clear on their website. Both Black and Silver Hero 3+ cameras require a Class 10 MicroSD card up to 64 GB. More info here (http://gopro.com/support/articles/software-update-release). Personally I use the same Sandisk Extreme cards shown on GoPro's website. I have 1 each 32 GB and 64 GB.

My Bonaire travel laptop is a 7 year old 64 bit D-830 with SSD and 8 GB memory, and it barely gets the editing job done. As it is the process is slow and often leads to consumption of several Polars while waiting.

DWJ
05-15-2014, 06:10 PM
Was referencing some discussion on Scuba Board. Yes I looked at GoPro recommendations and it appears I can use the Sandisk ultra card in the Silver 3+. You must have the Black model hence the Sandisk Extreme. What is the processing speed on your laptop?

wwguy
05-15-2014, 06:33 PM
You must have the Black model hence the Sandisk Extreme. What is the processing speed on your laptop?

Yes, I have the Black 3+. My old laptop is running on a 2.00 GHz Intel Core-2 Duo.

DWJ
05-15-2014, 07:13 PM
Roger,
I'll bet your problem is processing speed you have plenty of Ram. GoPro recommends a mimimum of 240GHz and 4GB Ram.
Think I'm just going to buy a couple extra cards and edit on my desk top when I get home, will still be able to hookup to the T.V. in Bonaire and see what I got. Don't want to buy a new laptop just because I feel rushed, that usually doesn't work out well for me.

wwguy
05-15-2014, 07:43 PM
Yep, I agree. I've got an embarrassingly sporty i7 laptop with multiple SSDs, 32 GB of RAM and high-end GPU that makes editing video a breeze. But I'm not brave enough to take it on vacation nor patient enough to wait until I return to tease my friends back home with some good video. The old D-830 is great for internet, email, and storing video off of the SD card. This chart (http://gopro.com/support/articles/hero3plus-recording-time-in-each-video-setting) gives you an idea of how much video you'll be able to store on an SD memory card.

BrookeW
05-17-2014, 10:09 AM
Do you use the anti fog inserts?

wwguy
05-18-2014, 12:02 PM
Do you use the anti fog inserts?

No. I purchased some with my initial setup, but haven't needed to use them. But then again I've never had the housing open in a high humidity environment yet.

Kent Gerber
06-04-2014, 08:53 AM
That is correct. You just have to point and shoot. The wide lense really helps out. I have mine on a pole so u just have to make sure its not tilting up or down to much.

antennariidae
06-04-2014, 10:33 AM
I just got back from my first trip with the GoPro (HERO 3 Black Edition). Bought a two-handle tray and the Flip 3.1 with the top flip and 3-filters. Really liked how it worked. Weighs nothing compared to my DSLR rig. The Flip 3.1 worked great. If you are using two filters, make sure you fold the one you aren't using back far enough so it clicks -- otherwise it will float into your video. Learned that one the hard way. I also found that using the LCD back was helpful, at least for me starting out, to frame the shots.

Mike

gbf
07-23-2014, 10:16 AM
It's worth mentioning that the GoPro Hero 3+ is capable of incredible resolution, including 720p, 1080p, and the new 4K format. I found 720p to be sufficient for HD TV and YouTube. 1080p didn't yield noticeably higher quality on any of my viewing devices, but the files were considerably larger. Even so, the video editing process was taxing the capabilities of my 6 year old dual-core travel laptop, despite SSD and 8GB of memory.

A shiny new expensive laptop will make the video editing process go more smoothly.

Ok, You sucked me in.

My brand-new Gopro Hero 3+ is being delivered today.

You up for a bunch a inane questions as I try to figure out how to use this thing before the first dive with it?

thanks