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|| News Item: Posted 2011-03-14


By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter Newsletter

The GoPro “wearable HD camera for sports” is a cool product for all kinds of shooting, not just mounting on the hood of sports cars or surfboards. It can be a nice addition to any photographer’s arsenal, it’s tiny, easy to use, shoots multiple video formats and still images.

GoPro last month made this camera even easier to use with the introduction of an add-on LCD screen. Until now, you basically had to guess on framing and aiming the GoPro (or use an external monitor plugged into the video out jack on the side of the camera) because unlike other digital cameras, it lacked a LCD viewer.

No more!

The LCD BackPac in one of those must-have accessories for GoPro users.
For $79.99 you now can see what you’re capturing and can also review any video or photographs you’ve shot. The BackPac also is a great aid in using the cameras menu when changing settings.

This also turns the GoPro into a very cool point & shoot camera…all we need to do now is figure out how to get a strap onto it.

I can’t really think of any drawbacks of the BackPac, other than it does add some weight to the whole unit and it will obviously drain the camera’s battery quicker. (You can set the LCD screen to turn off quickly automatically or just remove it if you are shooting remotely and battery life is an issue.)

Another product for you GoPro-ers out there that are into creating time lapses is the Camalapse. GoPro dealer Camarush has taken a DIY idea and turned it into a very cool product.

Turning a simple windup timer to use for motion time lapses has been a do-it-yourself project for a while. But if you’re like me and rather buy than make a mess in your office or garage trying to build it, this is something you’ll want to get.

Adding simple motion, like panning, makes a time lapse much more interesting and can add impact to what is basically a series of still (and often static) images you want to give the illusion of movement.

Camarush has turned a simple egg timer --- yes it is shaped like an egg --- into a 360-degree rotating camera platform for $24.99.

You can order the Camalapse with the end bell enabled or disabled. (I am not sure why, but mine came painted charcoal rather than the usual white like you see this kitchen timer in the stores. Maybe the bell-disabled models are painted charcoal?)

Set your GoPro (or other VERY SMALL camera) to its intervolmeter setting (shooting a frame at whatever predetermined interval you want). Mount the camera to the ¼-20 mount on the top of the timer. Wind it up and get out of the way. Come back in 60 minutes and your camera has made a 360-degree time lapse.

The Camalapse also has a ¼-20 mounting hole on the bottom so you can secure the whole rig on a small tabletop tripod, camp, Magic Arm or other camera stand.

And speaking of the GoPro, it helped me out of a dilemma a while back. My daughter Emma was performing with her high school marching band at a major competition where they won their ninth straight state championship. The students each received a medal from their band director during the awards ceremony … the predicament: Do I shoot stills or video?

The GoPro gave me a way to shoot both!

I put a helmet mount on the end of my 24-70mm zoom lens hood and attached the GoPro and VOILA! --- I could shoot both!

While I was wandering the lines of students receiving their medals, I was able to capture both great stills with my Nikon D3 AND high-def video with the GoPro. Wherever I aimed the D3, I got video as well.

I just had to keep in mind that the angle on the GoPro was really wide and to “hold the shot” for as long as I could.

When shooting both video and stills simultaneously, you basically have to think video --- keeping the rig pointed at the subject for as long as you can.

This set up also allowed me to capture both photos and videos of the kids celebrating after the medal ceremony.

This is could also be a cheap, quick way to get two angles of the same shot if you mount the GoPro to your video rig.

That’s the great thing about the GoPro. It gives you a camera you can put in different places where a camera ordinarily can’t be mounted.

GoPro + imagination = FUN!


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