scodavis

Recording With a GoPro

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Hello everyone,

I have been considering buying a GoPro Hero5 Black for filming my Christmas light show, as I'm not quite happy with the performance of my DSLR in how it records.  I know the GoPro camera series' are well-revered for their uses in action photography, but I was curious if any of you on here have experience with the cameras, particularly the one mentioned above, and particularly with recording their Christmas light display.

Any thoughts and samples?

Thank you!

-Scott

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If you go to:  http://newburghlights.org/Videos.html  and select the first video, there are five camera angles used.  Two were a GoPro, and the other three were a Canon DSLR.  The two that were the GoPro were the "closeup" of the pixel tree and star that looks like the camera was sitting on the grass (it wasn't), and the view that looks along the row of arches with the pixel tree in the background - that also looks like the camera was very low.  The views farther back were the DSLR (yes, I know one of them was out of focus a bit).  This was shot in January 2016 so obviously not the same new camera you are looking into.  I will ask the guy who shot and edited it what the camera was.

 

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25 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

If you go to:  http://newburghlights.org/Videos.html  and select the first video, there are five camera angles used.  Two were a GoPro, and the other three were a Canon DSLR.  The two that were the GoPro were the "closeup" of the pixel tree and star that looks like the camera was sitting on the grass (it wasn't), and the view that looks along the row of arches with the pixel tree in the background - that also looks like the camera was very low.  The views farther back were the DSLR (yes, I know one of them was out of focus a bit).  This was shot in January 2016 so obviously not the same new camera you are looking into.  I will ask the guy who shot and edited it what the camera was.

 

Thanks Jim, I appreciate the information.  I do like using my DSLR for shooting videos, but I find that I'm always fighting aperture as my lenses have a max aperture of f/3.5 or f/4.5 depending on which one I use.  Raising the ISO helps, but noise quickly becomes a factor, so I'm curious about finding a solution that handles low-light noise better or have a faster focal ratio.  I'm not sure what the GoPro has as a f-ratio but I figure it's either 2 or 2.8.  I haven't been able to find that spec anywhere.

-Scott

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Worth noting to anyone else reading this - I am completely open to other device suggestions as well!

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I used GoPro Hero 4 silver to film my lights. It was tricky to get the right setting but I found a website that gave me some settings to try. I bet the hero 5 would have more options. 

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I also used a GoPro Hero 4 Silver for videos of both the 2015 and 2016 display.  2015 videos sucked.  I blame that on myself and my unfamiliarity with camera.  During 2016, GoPro added some ISO options that made a Yuuge difference.  The vids are much better, but not yet optimal IMO.  This year I'll definitely be experimenting during the summer to find the exact setting I like best.  Still, it's the best video I've shot since 2008.

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10 minutes ago, George Simmons said:

I also used a GoPro Hero 4 Silver for videos of both the 2015 and 2016 display.  2015 videos sucked.  I blame that on myself and my unfamiliarity with camera.  During 2016, GoPro added some ISO options that made a Yuuge difference.  The vids are much better, but not yet optimal IMO.  This year I'll definitely be experimenting during the summer to find the exact setting I like best.  Still, it's the best video I've shot since 2008.

I think I saw some of your 2015 videos and I didn't think they were that bad.

Your videos certainly look good enough for somebody doing it themselves and not hiring a professional. I still have to sit down and mix some of mine so I can post them. The iso settings are what I played with to make my videos look better but I bought my Go Pro in 2016 so I didn't know they were missing those options earlier.

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The focus and clarity totally amazed me in 2015.  But everything was too dark.  2016 was much better, but the light/dark varied quite a bit not just with the ISO settings but also the wide angle options.  Still looking for the sweet spot.

If you would post a link to the page you referenced for settings I'd very much appreciate it.  Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, George Simmons said:

The focus and clarity totally amazed me in 2015.  But everything was too dark.  2016 was much better, but the light/dark varied quite a bit not just with the ISO settings but also the wide angle options.  Still looking for the sweet spot.

If you would post a link to the page you referenced for settings I'd very much appreciate it.  Thanks.

Not sure if I can find that site again. It was a Google search in frustration after I was having bad results one night. I think the Google search led me to a thread in a GoPro forum. If I recall they talked about the wide angle and the frame rate, I think the framerate had to be lower and you couldn't be in wide angle. All of the settings were done through pro tune.

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I used a GoPro for recording all of our 2016 videos. . . And I HATED how they turned out. The only plus was the wide view. Unless I can find a better setting, I'll be buying a DSLR camera for the 2017 show.

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@DisneyMatt10 What model/edition of GoPro did you use?  What about the way they turned out did you hate?  I'm wondering if you used an older model that didn't have features that were as good as current equipment.

I'm also going to look at experimenting with different settings on my DSLR - one of the hardest parts is that I have discovered that the Shimmer effect doesn't look very good when recorded at 30fps, but it looks great when recorded at 60fps.  Of course, this also means that I lose a stop of light just from the max shutter speed being 1/60 sec instead of 1/30 sec.

I would be very interested to know what settings those with DSLRs used (ISO, shutter speed, focal ratio, video fps, etc.).

This year my show is going to be a bit larger and more work to put up, so I plan to start the first weekend of October.  That will give me plenty of testing time.

-Scott

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6 hours ago, scodavis said:

@DisneyMatt10 What model/edition of GoPro did you use?  What about the way they turned out did you hate?  I'm wondering if you used an older model that didn't have features that were as good as current equipment.

I'm also going to look at experimenting with different settings on my DSLR - one of the hardest parts is that I have discovered that the Shimmer effect doesn't look very good when recorded at 30fps, but it looks great when recorded at 60fps.  Of course, this also means that I lose a stop of light just from the max shutter speed being 1/60 sec instead of 1/30 sec.

I would be very interested to know what settings those with DSLRs used (ISO, shutter speed, focal ratio, video fps, etc.).

This year my show is going to be a bit larger and more work to put up, so I plan to start the first weekend of October.  That will give me plenty of testing time.

-Scott

I use a Hero3. I'm not overly familiar with GoPro models, but I am betting mine is one of the older ones.

I didn't like how grainy the videos turned out. They were just not nearly as clear as what I was hoping for.

Speaking of DSLR after the gym tonight, I'm heading to Best Buy to look at cameras. . . Who knew that a light show would be a 365 day a year job?!

In regards to putting up, we start labor day weekend. (Not with props in the yard) but trying to get all of the pixels on the house, and usually lining the roof with the traditional lights so that if the weather takes a turn for the worse, the hardest part is already over. As soon as Halloween ends, the Christmas starts coming out!! 

Good luck!! Let me know if you have any DSLR tips!! 

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GoPro has GREAT marketing...

Look at http://contour.com/

I have been using them for too many years.

Lack of marketing killed them once, but they are back.

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2 minutes ago, MikeERWNC said:

GoPro has GREAT marketing...

Look at http://contour.com/

I have been using them for too many years.

Lack of marketing killed them once, but they are back.

@MikeERWNC That certainly looks like another option, but all the videos I found were shot during the daytime with plenty of light.  What about low-light performance at night with Christmas light shows?  Do you have any sample videos shot using one of those cameras?

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