GoPro Hero4 Black and Silver

Once again, the promo video for the new GoPro Hero4 is amazing, just like all the previous launch videos.

The range has changed slightly from what it was before, with 3 main models available now. The top of the line, Hero4 Black, then the quite similar Hero4 Silver and the GoPro Hero on the more affordable end.

new gopro models

As a quick run down (i’ll go into detail on the specifics in another post), the black can film at 4k @ 30fps, the silver can record 1080 @ 60fps but also has a touchscreen, and the standard Hero can record 1080 @ 30fps.

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Quick Tip – stable GoPro pole footage upside down

While having your GoPro mounted on a pole normally produces much nicer (smoother) footage, there is a little tip to help smooth it out even more.

If you have a simple mount like this one, a couple of tiny changes can make a good improvement to your footage. If you turn the pole around, so that the camera is mounted under the pole, you eliminate some of the left to right rotation that you get from a top mounted GoPro on a pole.

This is because the weight of the GoPro under the pole helps slow its own movement, in a much simpler way than a proper stabilizer works.

Of course, this will mean that your footage will be upside down, but there are some simple options to fix that in the GoPro settings.

Go to the settings, and cycle through the options until you get to the Up settings. In there you can change it to upside down, which will mean that your video will be up the right way around, as soon as you import it onto your computer.

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What type of SD Card should I buy for the GoPro

Depending on which model GoPro you have, you will need a different type of SD card.

GoPro 960

The GoPro 960 version uses SD cards.

GoPro HD Hero

The original HD Hero uses SD cards, and I have had no problems with using as low as a Class 6 SD Card.

GoPro HD Hero 2

With the HD Hero 2, and the new larger photos that can be shot in burst modes, it needs a faster SD Card. Stick with at least a Class 10 SD Card.

GoPro HD Hero 3

For all the GoPro Hero 3 models, you will need a MicroSD card that is at least Class 10.

I have a couple of cards that are 32gb each, but even that size is a bit of overkill. You will be draining the battery on the camera way before you come close to filling up a 32gb card.

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new GoPro Hero 3

GoPro Hero 3

new GoPro Hero 3

With the recent price drops for the Hero 2, it is no surprise that the new GoPro Hero 3 is coming out.

Apparently is is going to be a much smaller, lighter and will come in 3 different models, with the top end having some crazy video features. Officially being announced tonight, it looks like I might be will get to start a whole new set of experiments when I get my hands on one.

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GoPro pole mount

Simple and strong GoPro pole mount

GoPro pole mount

One of the best things about a pole mounted GoPro is the quality of the footage it produces. Rather than the standard POV helmet mounted view, a pole mounted GoPro lets you film smooth footage, and get close to your subject so you can really take advantage of the wide angle lens.

There are a few options for mounting your GoPro on a pole, after making lots of different versions for people I have found the easiest and strongest way.

Grab an old ski pole, if you don’t have one try asking around at a ski hill, rental and repair shops normally have lots of odd ones lying around that they can give you.

The length is up to you, the longer the pole, the smoother the footage and the closer you can get to the person you are filming without risking being hit by them. The shorter the pole, the more convenient it is to carry around and is a little bit less annoying.

I like to keep the weight of the camera as close to the end of the pole as I can, so if you buy the Tripod Mount, it is the simplest way to connect the mount to the pole.

You need to find a screw that will fit the thread size of the tripod mount, which is a little thicker than most screws, but should not be hard to find. If you wanted to get professional looking, you could buy something like this – D Shaft D-ring Screw 1/4-Inch Camera Tripod Qr Stainless Steel -2 pack.

Tripod mount on the end of a ski pole

Depending on the length of your screw, you might have to squash the end of the pole a little. If you have an aluminium pole, you can use a rubber hammer to slowly flatten the end. Be careful, if you hammer it too hard/fast, it can crack, so take your time.

Drill a hole through the end of the pole, and then put the screw through the pole to the mount and tighten it. Easy pole cam.

Bottom of tripod pole mount

One of the reasons that I like this setup is that as long as you put the tripod mount right near the end, it will allow you to jam the pole in the snow, and flip the camera so you can use it like a simple monopod. Can be handy for filming features in the park.

 

 

 

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GoPro mounted on ski pole handle

GoPro ski pole handle mount

GoPro mounted on ski pole handle

Another one of the mounts that I have made, that has been quite useful is my ski pole handle mount.

I took a handle off an old ski pole, by letting it soak in hot water for a few minutes to let the handle soften up, then pulled it off the pole.

The top of the handle is round, which isn’t ideal for mounting any of the standard GoPro mounts on, so I used a hacksaw to chop a layer off and make it flat as I could. To give it a little bit of grip, I used a coarse grit sandpaper to make roughen the top of the handle up.

After sticking on one of the normal mounts, I mixed up a 2 part epoxy (This would be fine) and also added a bit of black ink to the mixture. I put lots of this on around the bottom on the mount, and used some masking tape to seal it in while the epoxy dried.

After that had set (12 hours) I also put in a large wood screw in a countersunk hole in the mount. As it turned out, that was complete overkill, as the epoxy was more than strong enough to hold the weight of a GoPro easily.

Mount screwed into handle

After taking off the tape, I used a file to get rid of the excess glue, and although it is not a particularly pretty join, it is very strong.

With J Mount you can easily mount the handle in the snow

Why I like this mount so much

Although filming using this handle is not as smooth as using a pole, it does a better job than just holding the camera. If you use the J mount on the GoPro to connect it to the handle, it gives you lots of options for filming. Also I can fit the whole lot into my jacket pocket.

GoPro Handle mount

Adjusted like this, the handle gives you a good grip for filming other people, or using it as a follow cam.

With J Mount you can easily mount the handle in the snow

Folding the camera up, it lets you mount the camera forwards, which I found most useful if I jam the handle in the snow, using it as a little monopod.

If you fold the camera around a little more, it is set up for filming yourself.

 

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