Topics

Upgrading GoPro cameras

mark@...
 

Hi CML,
After 7 seasons filming for a couple of science based shows I am down to (2) Hero 4 black Gopros. I've had 15 over the years from the fist versions to the 4. Is it worth upgrading to the Hero 6 or should I just buy a couple more Hero 4's? Or should I look at a different camera. The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 looks like it could work though it is larger and probably not as easy to mount. The price is only slightly more than the Hero 6 right now.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1407953-REG/panasonic_dc_ts7k_lumix_dc_ts7_digital_camera.html

Looking for some thoughts and experience on this one. 

Thanks,
Mark Gambol
Philadelphia
Camera
mark@...

Steve Oakley
 

Having owned the H1-5’s, I’d at least move to the H5’s. Vastly better battery life, much better WiFi and in particular previews, basic water proof housing. I still use full cases when the cameras might take impacts like rock hits, salt spray or other nasty stuff, but otherwise for most uses the simpler open frame cases are fine. All the other mounting bits you have still work.  

Better images too, more res / FPS options. The H6 is only the addition of a few more frame rates. Unless high FPS matters to you, probably not worth the extra cost if you can get some H5’s cheap enough. Tons of near new used ones to be had thanks to all the consumer buyers who get them, try them once or twice and realize they are just sitting around a year later unused and off to ebay they go. :)

You’ll need some USB C -> regular USB for power supplies, or USB C/USB C if you are updating your them. A couple 3m cables are easy to have. Micro HDMI will mean a few new cables. Otherwise pretty happy with H5’s in general, and sold off all my older cameras once after I got the first H5.

what I really wish GoPro would do is make an actual Pro version with C mount to allow easy lens changes… ya you can DIY different lenses on the old cameras, but the new ones are much more challenging and probably not worth the effort / risk. So the option of modestly longer lens optiions is something to consider. no reason not to have a couple H5’s and the Lumix just for some more reach.

Steve Oakley
DP / Editor / Colorist / VFX Artist
Madison & Milwaukee WI
920 544 2230


On May 18, 2018, at 10:31 AM, mark@... wrote:

Hi CML,
After 7 seasons filming for a couple of science based shows I am down to (2) Hero 4 black Gopros. I've had 15 over the years from the fist versions to the 4. Is it worth upgrading to the Hero 6 or should I just buy a couple more Hero 4's? Or should I look at a different camera. The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 looks like it could work though it is larger and probably not as easy to mount. The price is only slightly more than the Hero 6 right now.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1407953-REG/panasonic_dc_ts7k_lumix_dc_ts7_digital_camera.html

Looking for some thoughts and experience on this one. 

Thanks,
Mark Gambol
Philadelphia
Camera
mark@...
_._,_._,_

Chris Burton
 

Hi Mark,

I own http://PROtastic.co.uk and also shoot a lot of time-lapse. While DSLR are my preferred choice for time-lapse there are times when GoPro’s are better suited due to location and/or budget. I also use them as ‘crash cameras’ on Discovery documentaries I shoot. 

I’ve currently have 30+ at the last count, all are Hero4 Black with the exception of 2x Hero 3+ Blacks.

The Hero4 Black are my favourite for both time-lapse and conventional shooting. The Hero5 and Hero6 didn’t offer enough improvement to warrant the extra price tag (and therefore risk on a crash cam!).

Coupled with that, I only make and supply ‘battery eliminator cables' the 3 / 3+ and 4 models: http://www.protastic.co.uk/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=eliminator which are vital for some shoots given the very limited life on a GoPro battery.

Regards,



Director Of Photography
Manchester, England

Motion Controlled Time-lapse
Fixed Rig Time-lapse

Stock Photo Library
Digital & Print

http://www.lizard-king.comhttp://www.timelapsey.comhttp://www.kingdoms.co.uk





From: <mark@...>
Reply-To: <cml-general@...>
Date: Friday, 18 May 2018 at 16:31
To: <cml-general@...>
Subject: [cml-general] Upgrading GoPro cameras

Hi CML,
After 7 seasons filming for a couple of science based shows I am down to (2) Hero 4 black Gopros. I've had 15 over the years from the fist versions to the 4. Is it worth upgrading to the Hero 6 or should I just buy a couple more Hero 4's? Or should I look at a different camera. The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 looks like it could work though it is larger and probably not as easy to mount. The price is only slightly more than the Hero 6 right now.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1407953-REG/panasonic_dc_ts7k_lumix_dc_ts7_digital_camera.html

Looking for some thoughts and experience on this one. 

Thanks,
Mark Gambol
Philadelphia
Camera
mark@...
_._,_._,_

Danny Gagatt - CML
 

Mark Gambon said

"After 7 seasons filming for a couple of science based shows I am down to (2) Hero 4 black Gopros. I've had 15 over the years from the fist versions to the 4. Is it worth upgrading to the Hero 6 or should I just buy a couple more Hero 4's?"

I'd go for the Sony DSC-RX0's. More expensive, but better lens, tonal control and sync options without the need of third party accessories for the latter. 

If you can, do a side by side. 

Danny Gagatt

Mako Koiwai
 

We’ve used LOTS of GoPro’s on commercials. 27 on NISSAN, 14 on FORD, etc.

Love the 4+’s … hate the menus on the 5 and 6.

But of course once when one gets use to Menus, New is Good. Nice not having to use a separate protective housing with the 5/6.

The Session has it’s place also.

Keith Sherins is more up on the latest.


cheers … makofoto, goto gopro guy for a while, Big Bear, CA

Mako Koiwai
 


I'd go for the Sony DSC-RX0's. More expensive, but better lens


************************

That 24mm lens is worthless if it’s not wide enough. Shooting occupants from mounts inside of car windows we typically are using the Wide or Medium Field of View on GoPro’s. Even SuperWide or Linear for two shots. Narrow for inserts.

Lots of folks don’t take advantage of De-Fishing, available with the free GoPro Studio software.



makofoto, Ret. GoPro’er, S. Pasadena, CA




Justin Kuhn
 

You might find the Backbone modified YI 4K camera interesting, you can use C-mount and S-mount lenses. They will ship you their kit if you're a DIY person or sell you the camera already modified. The footage looks pretty good for an action camera. I have no direct experience with it so I can't comment on menus/ease of use. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2p4duD2Mtw

Justin Kuhn
DP/Videographer - Atlanta GA

Billy McCreary
 

I had the Backbone Ribcage for the Hero 3.

It was fairly easy to instal if you have some experience with that type of stuff.

It was really nice being able to swap out lenses and have focal and aperture control.

Ultimately I found I use the GoPro too generally for it to be useful though. Once upgraded the water housing wouldn’t fit around it and the added weight made it too heavy for typical gimbal and drone use.

If you’re not worried that then I would definitely consider it.


bMac
DP | EDIT | VFX | TAMPA

On May 24, 2018, at 11:52 AM, Justin Kuhn <justinkuhn@...> wrote:

You might find the Backbone modified YI 4K camera interesting, you can use C-mount and S-mount lenses. They will ship you their kit if you're a DIY person or sell you the camera already modified. The footage looks pretty good for an action camera. I have no direct experience with it so I can't comment on menus/ease of use. 

Rachel Dunn
 


Hi All,

For those looking to upgrade GoPro Hero 3 or 4 (might work with 5/6 but not sure), I found a great lens solution:


Sunex PN DSL355

$50. All glass rectilinear 11mm equivalent with IR cut-off filter. (Wider angle rectilinear than de-fish with native lens.)

It sticks out a bit from the body, but will fit into the waterproof housing if you use the expanded back meant for the LCD screen.

Very sharp lens and delivers the superb image quality on the go pro sensor.

Very lightweight, so ok for drone use.

The biggest issue is that to replace the go-pro lens, you almost have to rip the camera apart, so I wouldn’t attempt it unless you’re good with that sort of thing.

Tolerances can be very loose, so use plenty of thread-lock so it doesn’t slip out of focus.

Not recommended an an interchangeable solution.

RageCam had a lens solution, but it was priced at over $200 and had a plastic front element.  Great when it was the only solution, but disappointing compared to the Sunex lens quality.

I don’t work for Sunex, but I have bought several lenses from them for my GoPro 3+ / 4+  when I was into drone stuff.

- Rachel 


  www.racheldunn.com
        310-562-5779
rachel@...
    







On May 19, 2018, at 19:58, F. Mako Koiwai <mako1foto@...> wrote:

I'd go for the Sony DSC-RX0's. More expensive, but better lens


************************

That 24mm lens is worthless if it’s not wide enough. Shooting occupants from mounts inside of car windows we typically are using the Wide or Medium Field of View on GoPro’s. Even SuperWide or Linear for two shots. Narrow for inserts.

Lots of folks don’t take advantage of De-Fishing, available with the free GoPro Studio software.

Mako Koiwai
 


Sunex PN DSL355

********************

How does this compare to just using the Linear Setting on GoPro’s?




We were pretty satisfied with the five Field of View options built into the GoPros, besides the De-Fish option, free using GoPro’s Studio software.

We do have a number of GoPro’s with after market lenses, but when you need dozens of cameras one has to know how to use what one has.

This one was with an after market 7 mm:

cheers … makofoto, s. pasadena, ca 

Rachel Dunn
 


I don't know, since the latest GoPro I have is a Hero 4+. 

I don't plan on buying any more.

On the hero 4+ it was the sharpest, widest non-fisheye solution I could find.

The post de-fish was not as wide as this lens. 

 I also preferred an all glass optical solution, and found the lens to be sharper than the native fisheye lens.  (I always suspected that the de-fish also did a post sharpen, and I like to control this myself when possible.

Maybe the lenses have improved on the hero 5/6 but on the 3/4 the native lens had several plastic internal elements. (Ripped one apart after lens change)

- Rachel D

      310-562-5779


On May 31, 2018, at 3:58 PM, F. Mako Koiwai <mako1foto@...> wrote:

On May 28, 2018, at 14:31, Rachel Dunn <rachel@...> wrote:

Sunex PN DSL355

********************

How does this compare to just using the Linear Setting on GoPro’s?




We were pretty satisfied with the five Field of View options built into the GoPros, besides the De-Fish option, free using GoPro’s Studio software.

We do have a number of GoPro’s with after market lenses, but when you need dozens of cameras one has to know how to use what one has.

This one was with an after market 7 mm:

cheers … makofoto, s. pasadena, ca 

Rachel Dunn
 

Also the focal length for the lens is 4.2mm so the field of view would be almost twice as wide as the 7mm lens you.

Roughly equivalent to an 11mm on a s35 sensor



- Rachel D

310-562-5779
www.racheldunn.com


On May 31, 2018, at 3:58 PM, Mako Koiwai <mako1foto@...> wrote:

This one was with an after market 7 mm:

Mako Koiwai
 

Rachel:

We have a number of converted GoPro’s with different focal lengths. That one just happened to be the one with a 7 mm, since it’s not that common to see longer focal lengths with these cameras.

Here, for a recent Jay Leno shoot … you can see a longer zoom on one of the GoPro’s on the left.

What I was trying to say was that in our case we often need a lot of GoPro’s so we often have to make due with the OEM lens. I have tested pretty much every Action camera, and the GoPro’s have consistently been sharp … across the frame. Can’t say that about all of them.

Btw. we’ve found THE Place to rent extra GoPro’s is lensrentals.com

Great prices and superb service.

We find that the main problem is getting the editors to Deal with the footage. Admitingly, that can be a daunting task! On one NISSAN shoot we had three full time DITS/Downloaders working for both days of the shoot and then they got brought back in the next day to get caught up. 27 GoPro’s, 5 Alexas, 5 Sony A7S’s, plus a few Canons and … missing something.

But we’ve actually had notes from Editors asking us to please not use ProTune, so that they wouldn’t have to time the GoPro footage. Yeah, while shooting in cars with sun and hot windows! Not Going To Happen!

Cheers … Mako, s. pasadena, ca

Backbone housings, Anker batteries when extended run times are required.


Billy McCreary
 

And most everything else.

And yes, their service is top notch. These guys are legit. 

bMac

DP | EDIT | VFX | TAMPA

http://bmac.me

Sent from MiPhone

On Jun 1, 2018, at 2:34 PM, Mako Koiwai <mako1foto@...> wrote:

Btw. we’ve found THE Place to rent extra GoPro’s is lensrentals.com