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Which GoPro?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Toying with the idea of getting a gopro but have a couple of questions...

1. Worth buying an older model 2nd hand? Or the latest new? Is there a sweet spot where the tech reached maturity?

2. What are the best mounting positions, especially for snowboarding?

I last had a helmet cam in the mid 2000s and the footage was so jerky it made for unpleasant viewing. I've seen a massive improvement in others footage but what sort of set up do you need?

Ultimately I like the idea of video souvenirs but don't want to limit my riding for the sake of it
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Get a stabilised camera. The non stabilised ones make videos which nobody watches more than once and most people won't watch past the first few seconds Smile

Probably a chest mount is best. The teletubby mounts are popular but again produce poor videos because one cannot stabilise-out the large head movement (well not with any Go-Pro; a DJI Osmo or similar would do it).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The GoPro Karma stabiliser makes a massive difference. The boys did a video of them free-running & jumping & going across trampolines & hard features & it looked almost as if it had been filmed by a drone rather than one of them hand-holding it. I was seriously impressed.
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The electronic stabilisation on the GoPro 7 Black is very impressive, a big step up from earlier models, although the quality diminishes in low light.

An alternative might be the DJI Osmo Pocket, which has a 3-axis mechanical gimbal in a very small device. It's not as robust as the GoPro type camera, so the might be a limiting factor for using it when you snowboard.

The current generation of 360 degree cameras are producing good results, which at first glance genuinely do look like you are being followed by a nearby drone. Works particularly well for snowboarders, who can mount the 360 camera on a short selfie stick, which the camera's software removes from the recorded footage. Although these cameras record in 360 degree video, they seem mostly to be used to "re-frame" the footage in to a normal video format, allowing you to "film first, point later". Very clever. The Insta 360 One X is getting lots of positive reviews.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
(1) It depends how much cash you have, and what currency it's in.
The sweet spot, in my opinion, for GoPro branded stuff, is any model with 4k at 30fps or more with Protune. I think that's the 4 Black but you'll have to google it. The early models don't deal with mixed light or have 4K at reasonable frame rates. Protune delivers a much higher bit rate so greatly improved the footage. Since then the changes have been mostly irrelevant in my experience, although the current version has built-in stabilisation (but see below).

(2) Most snowboarders stand sideways, which is why the suggested helmet and chest mounts may not be optimum. In any case the "point of view" perspective is very limited and quite hard to watch for more than a few seconds. I'd look at some snowboarding footage which you like and think about how it was shot. That's the mount you should use.

Personally I like the perspective you get from using a pole, but it has to be long enough not to arbitrarily crop off my head or board. And light enough to hold. It does not improve riding, but if your technique is reasonable then it's not a big issue to use.


If you've a 4k camera and you're producing 1080p output then you can stabilize the stuff in post production, if you use a pole mount. Some cameras from the last couple of years have built-in stabilisation. In my opinion a better solution is a 360 degree camera, because then stabilisation is silky smooth at snowboarding speeds, and you can pick your camera angles in post production. This is a major step forward. There's discussion on the Rylo, which I'm using, here: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3341253
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@Adam123, I’ve got a hardly used 3+ black which is a great camera and I’ve got many mounts, GoPro chesty and Dakine shoulder strap thingy, loads of memory cards, battery pack etc etc, complete 4k package. Not been used last 2 seasons, happy to do you a deal I don’t need it. I suggest it’ll get you going and you can weigh up what you need from there. PM me with you email address if you’re interested and I’ll forward photos. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a better GoPro 7 or 8 along soon with all the bells and whistles but my bundle does a great job, I just never watched the footage so couldn’t be bothered, it’s there if you interested 10/10 condition.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Have a look at the SJCam models as well, not quite as cool as a GoPro but as a measure of quality my kids who would happily have a screaming match with each other over the colour of the sky aren't bothered which of them gets our SJ5000x and which gets our Hero4 Black. The SJCam has gyro stabilisation built in and it works pretty well. The big advantage of the SJCams though is the latest model is about £100. Though be careful there are counterfeit SJCams on Amazon and Ebay!


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Sun 17-02-19 19:13; edited 1 time in total
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I borrowed a mates GoPro Silver 5 when I went to Siberia last Autumn and was impressed with it over my ancient Hero, so much so that I bought a GoPro Silver 7 and use it just with a head strap as I don't often wear a helmet especially when ski touring.

The electronic stability seems to work to a degree and I just love the ability of the voice command, it does not work all the time, and I tell people I'm filming to "go" when they hear the beep.

This was today, off-piste, just me and the OH and the spring corn to ourselves.


http://youtube.com/v/xyMMVCxZ92M
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
rob@rar wrote:

The current generation of 360 degree cameras are producing good results, which at first glance genuinely do look like you are being followed by a nearby drone. Works particularly well for snowboarders, who can mount the 360 camera on a short selfie stick, which the camera's software removes from the recorded footage. Although these cameras record in 360 degree video, they seem mostly to be used to "re-frame" the footage in to a normal video format, allowing you to "film first, point later". Very clever. The Insta 360 One X is getting lots of positive reviews.


I had a look on youtube at some Insta 360 One X videos and was a little bit gobsmacked at how good the footage looks - not sure if it would be quite as good for skiiers but impressive all the same.
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In terms of mounting options, for snowboarding you can really only do handheld. With a long enough pole you can do selfie shots, and the pole helps direct the camera and stabilise (a bit) when filming others.

Chest mounts are practically useless facing sideways, and a head mount has a lot more movement than you'd think Very Happy
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Handy Turnip wrote:
... I had a look on youtube at some Insta 360 One X videos and was a little bit gobsmacked at how good the footage looks - not sure if it would be quite as good for skiiers but impressive all the same.
The OP was interested in boarding. You're right it's a bit stunning, although as stated the absolute quality is less because your 5.8k is spread over the whole sphere.

However I've also used the Rylo with skiers. You're right that it doesn't work quite as well, but it's still in my view a significant improvement on more traditional approaches, mostly because you can easily get the same angles the traditional people get, but you can smoothly pan between them, plus you have lots more perspectives too. You still need a fairly long pole for skiers. One angle I've not tried but which they use successfully in the Rylo promotional material for skiers is on a vertical pole stick in a backpack.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Robin Agogo wrote:
In terms of mounting options, for snowboarding you can really only do handheld. With a long enough pole you can do selfie shots, and the pole helps direct the camera and stabilise (a bit) when filming others.

Chest mounts are practically useless facing sideways, and a head mount has a lot more movement than you'd think Very Happy


The helmet mount is perfectly stable when you have achieved an intermediate stand on a snowboard. You should always be looking a long way down the piste, regardless of toe/heel edge. If you are looking just in front, or at some angle away from your direction of travel, you need some more lessons..

A boot mount (big crocodile clip) is also good, facing forwards and especially facing backwards when off piste.

In answer to the camera question, buy the best image and image stabilising camera you can afford. I have a Garmin Virb Ultra 30. It has a big advantage over the GoPros in that you turn it to record and off with a big toggle switch on the top. Between recording, it uses no battery at all. Good 4K, or good 1080 and image stabilisation. Beware of 4K file sizes!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So I run a TomTom Bandit. I regret buying it now a couple of years ago but at the time it was getting great reviews and was more affordable price than a GoPro. Unfortunately, TomTom has pretty much binned it and discontinued almost all support. The editing software has been in beta with loads of missing features since the camera came out.

I'll be in the market for GoPro probably during the summer and will be going for the one with the best image stablisation. As you can see from my videos, any footage from the helmet mount is pretty shaky! Whilst you could argue that any footage from a helmet mounted camera will be more shaky due to more head movements there is certainly a huge difference (IMO) in footage quality between my footage and a decent GoPro.
I find that using my selfie stick helps a lot (and I think actually gives better footage anyway)!

Unfortunately with the shape of the Bandit, you can't chest mount it!

Interested in recommendations!


http://youtube.com/v/qgQ9h33r0iA

http://youtube.com/v/t67AjJZ0eZM

http://youtube.com/v/-L0D3o8mo2c&t=4s
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
bar shaker wrote:
... The helmet mount is perfectly stable when you have achieved an intermediate stand on a snowboard. You should always be looking a long way down the piste, regardless of toe/heel edge. If you are looking just in front, or at some angle away from your direction of travel, you need some more lessons..

A boot mount (big crocodile clip) is also good, facing forwards and especially facing backwards when off piste....

I'd love to see some "perfectly stable" footage shot that way by someone at that intermediate stand level. Can you post some here? Especially the boot mount, that sounds incredible.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@bar shaker, that doesn't really tie back to what I've seen. Any head mounted footage has very small but jarring movement.

The only time I've had a usable head mounted shot is when standing still, and deliberately holding my head still, or doing the same on a gentle slope of untouched deep powder
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Here's a bit of boot mounted. This is jarry but a good angle on a board.


http://youtube.com/v/VCUOmgfRGTs

Here's some head mounted. OK, it is a bit jarry, especially when I am looking around, but some sections are really smooth. I guess more should be on the cutting room floor. My mate filming me with my helmet cam (from about 7:00) is on skis and he is smoother than I am filming on a board. The camera has built in stabilisation.


http://youtube.com/v/XfhvzwdP644&t=5s
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Robin Agogo wrote:
In terms of mounting options, for snowboarding you can really only do handheld. With a long enough pole you can do selfie shots, and the pole helps direct the camera and stabilise (a bit) when filming others.

Chest mounts are practically useless facing sideways, and a head mount has a lot more movement than you'd think Very Happy


Could you do a shoulder mount and get better 'forward facing' stuff?

I've recently started trying to mix up the variety of shots that I get, but sometimes you're still limited by ability and what you're skiing. For instance any 'selfie stick' stuff on anything beyond a gentle red is quite limiting. My 'go to' is really the chest mount because it's so easy, or a grill mount on cold days as I can keep it inside my jacket which prolongs battery life. I've also got a 'cheap' gimbal now but haven't actually edited any video from it yet, definitely worth having if you're keen on making lots of videos but probably not worth it if you're just filming the family and the trip.

I wouldn't advise owning one yourself but borrowing someone's hyperactive 8 year old can also give some interesting different angles and approaches. I suspect that the one I used was defective because he didn't really get much smooth footage and was prone to be a bit unpredictable.


http://youtube.com/v/wQmxHWyw-4o

To answer the OP, if I had the cash then I'd be looking at the Hero 7 because of the stabilisation. For snowboarding I think that the narcissism wand is the best option, and gives most flexibility, but it's worth mixing in some other stuff for variety. As others have said though, the head mount can be bumpy (and a bit too high) and the chest doesn't really face full downhill on most setups.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:


To answer the OP, if I had the cash then I'd be looking at the Hero 7 because of the stabilisation.


Get the Firefly 8SE in that case.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, @bar shaker, @Fridge03, guy's I now try to keep a final edit to <17mb i.e you can upload to WhatsApp.

For sure if the footage is good might be worth extending file size and time, but really have a look back at some of your vids and think is this at least a little interesting for other viewers, or is it more like watching paint dry Toofy Grin

Exhibit A

Yesterday short 39sec vid featuring untracked powder and dogs Laughing


http://youtube.com/v/NYJzTlXzzfk

Exhibit B

More interesting skiing footage, ski Touring Siberia with over a 1k views and some funky shots with GoPro facing backwards, and TO using it on their website as a promo vid.


http://youtube.com/v/oz8Nbz7jw8s


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 21-02-19 8:51; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Weathercam, I don’t make videos for other people, I make them for me and the people I ski with. I couldn’t give a flying **** about number of views, if I did then I’d put more effort into click bait titles, tags and posting them all over the place. Although If people want to watch them then that’s cool.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, but what I don't understand why talk about filming quality and how to film when the end product is a tad......

Sorry I'm only winding you up and you did bite very quickly Laughing

My best ever vid has nothing to do with "action sports" and features Jack Russel puppies, has no funky camera angles and no real production quality, it's all about the subject matter.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@SnoodlesMcFlude, narcissism wand Laughing

@Weathercam, nearly everyone here is filming for themselves, friends and family. It's not about view counts Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Robin Agogo, friends can turn out to be the most critical especially when you've just wasted 5 mins of their time by filming someone skiing on a piste Laughing
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@Weathercam, I don’t make videos for other people, I make them for me and the people I ski with. I couldn’t give a flying **** about number of views, if I did then I’d put more effort into click bait titles, tags and posting them all over the place. Although If people want to watch them then that’s cool.


This.

And to actually prove to my family that I don't spend the majority of the time on my back bottom.....just some of the time.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
You can get the gopro hero 2018 grey model for 179 at cotswold (they've been as low as 140).
Then go on hukd for a tutorial on how to run the software update to activate the 'switched off functions' and hey presto 4k, water proof and voice activated gopro 5 black with a saving of about a hundred pounds. Happy days!
I'm holding out for the next lot of sales in the hopes it drops to 140 again. Smile
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