My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

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-Aaron-
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My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by -Aaron- » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:17 pm

I just finished setting up my new GoPro camera, I'm really happy with how it came out :). I'll be up in Hood Canal this weekend so I should get a chance to try it in the water soon. I am really curious to see how it will compare to the ContourHD I have been using. Here are the pictures:

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The case is a standard GoPro water-proof case fitted with a Snake River Prototyping underwater lens (http://www.snakeriverprototyping.com/BlurFix.html). The stock GoPro case has a wide angle dome lens that is setup to focus in air, so when it gets in the water everything becomes blurry. To remedy this several companies have come out with fixes to the problem. I looked around at all of them and ended up going with the one pictured. Basically the guy machines a custom ring for the front of the GoPro out of aluminum with grooves that fit a standard 58mm filter. For me there were a few nice advantages to this setup. First, it comes with a clear UV filter so you get nice quality optical glass, and you have the option to swap out with a variety of different colored filters. I thought it might be handy for a future tropical trip or even a polarizing filter for snowsports. The ring will also accept a standard 52mm lens cap, so that should make keeping it protected in my gear box a lot easier. The glass lens easily screws off and replacements are $7-10 dollars, so it is a quick fix if it ever gets scratched (I ordered a spare with the case). My old case has taken its share of beatings on the rocks and surge. The white pellets at the bottom are desiccant balls, to make sure no fog develops in the lens airspace, I also gave it a wipe down with an anti-fog cloth. Another thing to note, many of the focus fixing lens solutions I looked at were limited to shooting in 1080p 30fps mode, the snake river solution allows you to also record in a wider angle 720p 60fps. In most cases I prefer 1080p30, but it will be nice to have the option to do either depending on the dive. Anyway, I researched all the solutions and came up with this one as the best choice for me. If anyone has any questions of GoPro underwater focus fixes let me know, I spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of each :P.

I mounted the camera on a Light Monkey Goodman Handle from a canister light with a standard GoPro adhesive mount. I debated using a tripod mount, but the holes drilled in the handle weren't big enough to fit the tripod screw and I didn't want the bottom side of it digging in to the back of my hand. Previously I have been using a velcro hand strap that made holding the camera stable very challenging, I am hoping the Goodman will prove to be more secure. I might end up attaching some additional foam around the handle area to make it easier to grip, I'm open to ideas if anyone has suggestions. I haven't decided exactly how I am going to attach the bolt snap yet. I could use the bungie rail or just tie something on the side. I pretty much always have the camera on a wrist strap, so I shouldn't need to clip it off very often.

On the camera itself I added the GoPro Extra Battery "BacPac" and a 32 GB SD card, so that will give me over five hours of 1080p recording time and battery life. I don't record continuously and instead flip recording on and off as I see something I want to capture, so it should give me enough juice and recording space to get through just about any scuba day. I also added in some GoPro reusable anti-fog inserts. I have really only had fogging issues one time, when I was in the humidity in Bonaire, but I figured I might as well have them in there just in case. I think this will be a great setup for me and I am excited to get it in the water and test it out. Hopefully I should have some sample videos up soon, though I am still working through an editing backlog :P.

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squid509
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by squid509 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:01 am

im in the market of one of those cams im leaning towards a Contour+ i really need to pick your brain since you own both
and BTW i live on the kitsap peninsula hit me up if you need an extra buddy

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ktb
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by ktb » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:05 am

Really excited to hear how this works for you!! My hubby wants to get into shooting video, and this is a nice, small set-up. Keep sharing!!
Kelly

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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by -Aaron- » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:37 pm

ktb you or your husband have any questions about these types of cameras feel free to ask, same for you squid. You can post here or drop me a PM. I will put in an update once I get a chance to use the GoPro in the water and get a feel for the video. I have been using the ContourHD for the past year and is a great camera, if you want to check out some videos taken with one I have a few uploaded to my Vimeo page here: http://vimeo.com/user5799345/videos (note some of the Hornby Island footage came from my friend's DLSR cameras in video mode). Both cameras have some interesting features/drawbacks, I will have a better idea of which I prefer after I get a chance to do some filming with the GoPro.

Also, I uploaded a few more pictures. These ones compare the GoPro side by side with the ContourHD I have been filming with. The Contour is is a H2OV housing which is extremely durable, however it does add some bulk and is an additional $325 over what the focus corrected GoPro case cost me. That durability does add some bulk as well, as you see in the pictures the ContourHD solution is substantially larger than the GoPro. Contour does now sell a cheaper and smaller scuba rated case, but I haven't had a chance to try it out.

Here are the size comparison shots:
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ktb
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by ktb » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:59 pm

Yes, I love the idea of the tiny, tiny set-up as this is something we would mainly be using in the tropics and our luggage is already out of hand . . . :)
Kelly

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squid509
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by squid509 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:05 am

I'm interested to see if they can be easily, safely and comfortably head mounded on the mask strap
The gopro mounting system prevents that. That is why I'm leaning torts the contour
I'm not planning to primary use these cameras for underwater use but if all it takes a $40 case why not use it

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H20doctor
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by H20doctor » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:31 pm

sweet , lets see some Video footage with that new lens.... id like to see how it does..
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mancub
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My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by mancub » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:32 am

I am also very much interested in the video results. I concluded the same thing when I researched gopro hds and decided the snakeriver blurry fix was a step above.

Cool setup with the goodman!

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Matt S.
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by Matt S. » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:00 pm

I pre-ordered a GoPro HD Hero and quickly found that the underwater performance sucked. After one dive I shelved it. Since then I have been keeping an eye on the aftermarket focus fixers and also thought the Snake River product looked good. Too bad it is so expensive compared to the other flat port solutions, but it IS a better product. If it continues to get good reviews I will probably get one, and I'll finally start using the darn camera.

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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by BlurFix » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:49 am

I received an email with a link to a nice little video showing the difference between the standard GoPro and three Flat lens fixes. The Video was done by an Australian guy named Marty. He told me that he has almost every flat lens fix on the market. He did a really nice job with the animations, and has several other videos on his Vimeo channel. check it out.
http://vimeo.com/27078742

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-Aaron-
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by -Aaron- » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:37 am

BlurFix,

Thanks for linking the video and for making a great product :). I've seen quite a few videos comparing a particular focus fix to the stock case, but never seem a comparison between the various fixes.

On my side I had a great first trip out with the unit. The Goodman handle mount worked great. I am finishing up editing the video now, so I should have an updated trip report soon.

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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by Beefcake » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:44 pm

I'm just getting started on this project. My goal is to set up a hands-free video system to document my dives. I am going with the GoPro HD Hero with the flat lens and filter from Pursuit Freediving. I dedided I wanted a mask-mount so that I would film exactly what I see, so I started digging through my collection of masks for a suitable starting point. My thought was to try to do a top-mount like I've seen freedivers do (see here for ideas: http://www.spearfishingplanet.com/f80/s ... unt-23163/ ), but I didn't have a split-lens mask to butcher. Luckily, one of my favorite masks, a Tusa Visualator, has a cutout in the side-frame that is just about perfect to mount a GoPro tripod mount (3/4" X 1/4 -20 stainless bolt and washers with a nut on the outside). I used the extension bar from the GoPro "grab bag" between the tripod mount and the camera, and here is what I came up with: Image
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The camera and flat lens package are a decent deal from Pursuit. I'll test them as soon as the UPS guy comes with my new toys!

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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by -Aaron- » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:46 pm

Cool mount. A couple quick notes. The GoPro is very wide angle. My guess is that where you have the camera mounted like that you will get the side of your head in the footage you take. You will probably need to try and move it forward.

The second thing is just expanding on the post I made in the Oregon forums. The real challenge with underwater video is the large amount or work that needs to be done in editing to get something fun to watch. This work only gets more challenging if you come up from a dive with every minute of footage recorded and no idea where the "good stuff" happened. Personally I much prefer, the lots of small files each with something interesting, approach. For that to work though you need to have the camera somewhere there you can easily turn it on and off like your hand. Anyway something to think about going forward.

Have fun with the video :)

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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by Beefcake » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:05 am

Thanks for the input. I'll let you know how it goes. :pirate:

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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:21 am

-Aaron- wrote:The real challenge with underwater video is the large amount or work that needs to be done in editing to get something fun to watch. This work only gets more challenging if you come up from a dive with every minute of footage recorded and no idea where the "good stuff" happened. Personally I much prefer, the lots of small files each with something interesting, approach. For that to work though you need to have the camera somewhere there you can easily turn it on and off like your hand. Anyway something to think about going forward.


+1 turn it on and off when you want. One HUGE file is a pita to edit.
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by Norris » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:24 am

CaptnJack wrote:
-Aaron- wrote:The real challenge with underwater video is the large amount or work that needs to be done in editing to get something fun to watch. This work only gets more challenging if you come up from a dive with every minute of footage recorded and no idea where the "good stuff" happened. Personally I much prefer, the lots of small files each with something interesting, approach. For that to work though you need to have the camera somewhere there you can easily turn it on and off like your hand. Anyway something to think about going forward.


+1 turn it on and off when you want. One HUGE file is a pita to edit.


Totally agreed! I've tried it both ways.
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Re: My new GoPro setup (with pictures)

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:45 am

Multiple files are also good because you can pan "into" a shot and then pan "out" of a shot (to and from green water) so you will then have one clip you and insert into a logical and interesting place when you edit the whole thing up. You can still do this with one file, but you will have to "refind" the panning in and out in order to clip the section out of the huge file. Why not just have a discreet clip as its own file in the first place :)
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