There are many great things about the GoPro camera, hence why it was one of the biggest disruptors in recent tech history. However, despite it’s accolades, there are still some common misconceptions about GoPro cameras. We thought we’d tackle a few here.
What has been considered as the trademark look of many GoPro videos, the fisheye distortion is what allows the GoPro to excel as an action camera. This is because the lens can capture up to 170 degrees (HERO4 and HERO5) field of view. In some situations it would be more appropriate to remove the fisheye distortion so you can get a more professional look (such as in construction time lapse). The HERO4 (v05.00) and HERO5 cameras now offer built-in linear FOV filters so you can capture footage without having to remove the distortion in post-production.
As stated above, the GoPro is designed to be an action camera. Don’t discount the camera’s diminutive size and price! We’ve been successfully using it in construction time lapse for many years now, among other use cases. It’s versatility beyond sports action videos is amazing, as we mentioned in a previous blog post “From controlling cameras on the international space station, to motion detectors in National Parks in Australia, to time lapse in the ice fields of Norway, or to the deep of the Atlantic, and even time slice in Hollywood and skyscrapers in Dubai, it seems your ideas and our products can go anywhere. Thanks to the big guys like Google, NASA, US Army, thanks to the professionals and the prosumers, and thanks to the enthusiasts.”
GoPro HERO4 and HERO5 cameras tout some very impressive specifications such as filming in 4K as well as taking up to 12MP images. This rivals some of the better quality DSLRs on the market. Whilst DSLR’s have more settings, the GoPro camera has a lot more settings than most people realize. We’ve also blogged about the best settings on a GoPro camera for time lapse here. Either way, 4K is more than what most time lapse videos are viewed at anyway, so while a DSLR’s settings may produce a slightly better version of 4K, the GoPro is on par in many respects.
The HERO4 and HERO5 cameras were not designed to be disassembled. In doing so, the warranty is all but void. Some users have found the stock lens on these cameras to be lacking, and are willing to risk the warranty to ensure they get their footage. Either they need telephoto capability for long range applications, or a macro lens to capture extreme close ups. Some industrious companies offer this as a service so you don’t have to risk breaking your camera.
The HERO5 Black internal battery yields 1220mAh of power (1160mAh for HERO4). This will give you roughly 2 hours of video recording time before you need to recharge. If you need to extend the life of your camera, you can opt to add an external battery pack or solar system. If your application is even more power restrictive, you can check out our Blink Time Lapse Controller (HERO4) which will shut off the camera in between shots to ensure the battery life is conserved as much as possible.
GoPro offers several ways for the cameras to be updated. The easiest of these is to download and install the Quik/Desktop app and plug your camera into the computer. The software will automatically detect the camera and prompt to update. Alternatively you could download the Capture app on your smartphone, pair your camera, and update.
However, if you don’t want to update through those methods, the cameras can also be updated manually by going here, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking on the following:
Then follow the instructions provided. This is also an easy way to update multiple cameras quickly because all you need to do is transfer a folder to all of the SD cards.
We’ll go against the grain here and say that it’s true, creating a time lapse video is easier on a smartphone than on a GoPro camera… but only marginally. Especially with recent improvements in the GoPro Software that we blogged about it’s gotten a whole lot easier. If you’re not convinced, talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re having trouble talk to us at email@example.com.