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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    GoPro Newb needs help!

    I got my Father's Day present on Saturday - a Hero3 Black ed. I'm a complete newb to video, production, and all of that, but I think this camera is going to be lots of fun to record my family's adventures, my riding, and other stuff. I took a video of my kids riding around the block, and can tell that I'm a long ways from producing the types of videos seen here and elsewhere. But I have a couple questions for the experienced.

    1) any luck using non-Gropro mounts and so forth? On Amazon, they have a couple options, including a generic looking chest mount for $15 and the Gopro brand for $40. I don't want junk to save $25, but don't want to spend just for the name, either.

    2) what do you wish you had known or bought when starting out? Trying to mooch off of your experience and avoid throwing money and time at things that are pointless, or missing the boat and not getting the items that really make this camera useful.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  2. #2
    Airborne Flight Crew
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
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    Haven't used third party mounts, sorry can't help there. I can say the GoPro brand chest mount is fairly durable, I don't think I wasted $40 on it though. It's worked great and held up fine.

    The following page is a great breakdown on resolution settings and what to expect in the output. My trial and error agrees with the info on this page:
    Understanding Your New GoPro

    Also, not sure what card you got, but class 10 is *I think* the fastest/bestest you can get now.

    Cheap extra batteries can be had on Amazon for cheap, they work great and have been well received by users here.

    Hope that helps, I'm sure more will chime in...

    Congrats on the camera!
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I'm ordering at least one pack of Wasabi batteries today, and I will probably just go with the Gopro chest mount.

    I did get a 32g class 10 card, probably will need another of those, too.

    One of the things that helped spur the purchase is an upcoming Varsity/Venture scout trip (think 14-18 yr olds, less "scouting" and more adventure stuff) -- we are taking a trip to Zion national park, and I want to chronicle the trip for them. As they say, if there are no pics, it didn't happen. Our routes will include some bouldering and even limited rappelling, lots of hiking in water, and some deep wading and swimming through slot canyons, so I *needed* something that would be up for shooting in all conditions. I will probably also need a variety of mounts to get as many good shots as possible (thinking chesty and maybe a pole mount would work well for video of the group hiking and doing stuff). I only have about a month to learn to use the camera and get ready to go, so I'll be shooting as much as possible in the next few weeks to see what works and what doesn't work. Any tips on shooting a group trip like this would be appreciated.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  4. #4
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
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    Get a Wasabi charger w/ 2 batteries from Amazon.com - about the same price GoPro charges for one battery alone - the Wasabi charges from an AC outlet which is nice.

    My favorite mount is the chesty mount - It's quite pricey though - I think $39 they want for it but I like that particular view. The sticky mounts are handy and you should definitely get the handlebar and rollbar mount - I use the handlebar mount facing the rear below the seat on the seatpost for a rear POV view - the rollbar I mount to the bottom tube to get a front fork's view.

    The sticky mounts you can slap on the helmet or top tube of the bike (if you want to get a looking up at the sky with you in the pic view). Mount one to the top of the dash of your vehicle if you want to get timelapse driving vids.

    Countless options for mounting - limited only by your imagination.

    For biking videos - I personally try to abide by these guidelines.

    1. 3 - 5 minutes total length.
    2. Change views every 10 - 15 seconds.
    3. Try to make the music match the video - try to time the vid to the music tempo.
    4. Handlebar mounts - for the most part - the least favored shot.
    5. External shots are awesome to mix in as well.

    Obviously with only 1 camera that means several runs down the same trail to get the various footages but will make the final video that much better.

    Just some tips - happy filming and look forward to seeing your vids.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  5. #5
    Airborne Flight Crew
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    Be sure to get lots of "b-roll" footage = people just doing what they're doing, not necessarily focusing directly on "cliimbing" or "riding"... get someone fixing a tube, preparing breakfast, that sort of thing. Makes for great filler or introduction stuff. Don't be afraid to shoot still images and mix them in to the final video. Slow pans of sunset/sunrise, and time-lapse are also pretty easy.

    Download the free software from GoPro, it's not a fully featured editing suite, but it has some helpful applications and is fairly easy to get a handle on.

    Unless you're recording a speech or something, don't recored clips longer than 30 seconds if you can help it. It saves in editing time down the line.

    Have fun!
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips. My 2 incredibly boring videos so far -- riding around the block with my kids and my AM commute (on a bike, at least) -- have taught me that short clips would be better to edit, and probably also easier for my computer to deal with. I'm thinking of mounting the wifi remote to my bars to make it easy to click the camera on and off.

    Right now I have a sticky mount on top of my AM helmet, and I'll probably put another on the side of my DH helmet. I bought the headband mount with the camera, although I'm not sure how useful that will be. Maybe good for hiking and stuff, I guess. I have a chest mount coming from Amazon and I will probably pick up a handlebar/seatpost mount to use both on the bike and on a pole for other activities -- my overall use for the camera will probably be 30% mountain biking and 70% family and scout outdoor adventures, so I'm looking at mounts that I can use for both purposes.

    They didn't tell me that the $400 for the camera was just the starting point -- I'll be $300 deep in mounts, bacpacs, batteries and memory cards before long!
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider View Post
    Obviously with only 1 camera that means several runs down the same trail to get the various footages but will make the final video that much better.
    I've been wondering how people do this and still have fun on a ride. Do you save footage over multiple rides and put it together in one vid? Some of the trails I ride are obviously short enough that I could imagine a run down with the chest mount, and a second run with the camera on the seatpost or something. But what about the longer trails? I've envisioned myself hiking back up and covering the same ground a couple times to get different shots, but on a ride that is, say, 25 miles and 3 hrs already, I don't want to add a lot of time to my ride filming. So I'm wondering if you have had success getting footage on different days, and if it still comes out ok in the video.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  8. #8
    It's a slugfest!
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    Input from someone with no clue....

    Tystevens, ya sucked me in with all yer 'high adventure' talk....

    I've enjoyed working with the Scouts, Ventures, and Explorers over the years. Loved the high adventure and super activity stuff the most.

    You are a lucky dude to start off with the Hero3 Black. I got in with the initial non-HD Gopro, then upgraded to the HD, and now have the Hero3 Black...so I have seen the changes in video quality over time.

    I think you will be pleased with the versatility of your camera.

    So here are a few things that I've learned.

    1. You will want to film every bike trip. And at first, you will want to show us every inch of that trail. During editing, you will want to keep EVERY section of that boring climb, because you have emotional ties to it. Fight that urge. As others have pointed out, keep your clips short and interesting.

    2. For documentary purposes however, like your Varsity Scout Outing, film everything. Keep one edit with lots of stuff in it. This is the version you will share with the boys and their families. Then maybe make another edit that is much shorter to share with the rest of us. Same goes for filming new trails. You can always edit the footage down at some later point in time.

    3. The chesty was my preferred mount for many years. (The first time I used the helmet mount on top, I got called "Toaster Head".) I took one look at my shadow and ran out and bought the chesty the next day. Over time, I have more or less turned it into another place to hold my camera. This is personal opinion here, and you will find that all through this forum. I believe that there is a place for POV footage, but in small doses. It does not adequately give the viewer a good idea of "depth of field" or even if the rider leaves the ground. Watch any POV video from Whistler where they hit any kind of jump or gap, and you'll see what I mean. You can't even tell if they're in the air. I like to shoot 3rd person. It gives you a better visual of the actual feature, but also requires that you stop to film it. Easier said than done. We have a group of 7 riders, with 5 Gopros and 1 Contour. We take turns peeling off and filming the rest, then jump to the back of the pack. The Chesty is still a great mount and I take it on every trip.

    4. Experiment around with all kinds of other mounts. There are some great ideas in the links in the stickies at the top of this forum. The pole mount will be awesome on your canyoneering trip. But it takes a few minutes to get set up at each feature you want to film....and to make those YM slow down so you can get setup to film them, is easier said than done. Be creative with your mounts and filming angles. Prepare as much in advance as you can so that setup time is minimal.

    Here's a video I edited last night. Clips are short, several different Gopro cameras used. You will be able to spot the clarity difference in camera. I also used several different mounts (...including my latest Gopro accessory )

    Randomness from Steve Connolly on Vimeo.



    5. Watch a lot of videos. Determine what you like and what you don't like in others videos, then use similar techniques in your own. Others have already mentioned 'tell a story'. Film little things that aren't related, but actually are...because you make them. Here's a good example. My son-in-law put this one up a while back about a guys trip that they took to Sedona. I enjoyed the way he documented his ride and at the same time, told us a story.

    Sedona Highline 5/11/13 from Bryce Gurr on Vimeo.



    6. Enjoy the edit. Take the time to select a good song. See if you can find a song that fits the theme (trail name, flow, etc.), but somehow relate it to the ride or feeling of the ride. You won't be able to please everyone with your music selection, but make sure YOU like it. Try and keep your video the length of the song. (Trips and other special occasions are an exception here.) Sync your clips with music beat, or do a good, simple transition.

    7. Lastly, just use the heck out of that camera. Enjoy it. Get it sweaty. Dip it in the river. Film all family vacations and document each one. Document your rides as well as everything high adventure. It's fun to go back years later and watch them again. You will be glad that you took the time to do all this stuff. Now git out there! We'll be keeping an eye out for your sweet vids....

    Regards,

    -SS
    "I've got nothing to hoard...."

  9. #9
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    SS --

    Thanks for your input. Lots of good things to think about. I agree with keeping the POV limited, and that's what I'm planning for the hikes (when I ride, it's pretty much just me, so all I get is POV). Plenty of 3rd person, and I'll probably give each of them (we'll probably have 10 boys) a chance to wear the camera a bit each day when doing something cool -- jumping into water, climbing down boulders, etc. You're right about getting plenty of "context" footage to make videos interesting. I'm thinking some video of loading the trucks, some time lapse of our 4 hr drive, setting up camp, etc. will enhance the video quite a bit.

    I'm going to drive my wife crazy, I know, but I'm using the camera a lot to see what works and what doesn't seem to translate to video. So far I have a chesty, headband, handlebar/seatpost (to attach to the bike and to a trekking pole) and helmet mount. Going to pick up a little hiking tripod for some remote time lapse, maybe to just set by the trail as we walk by, etc. Some of the kids are pretty into film and production, so I think they will cooperate as far as letting me set up the shots and all of that.

    SS -- what do you use as editing software? You're edits look great compared to mine. I'm using the Live Movie Maker so far -- seems straightforward, but doesn't add much to the production as far as enhancements. I might be looking at spending a little $$ on a decent software package if it will help.

    I'll try to post up a couple of the videos I've made so far, although they are nothing special.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  10. #10
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    I haven't splurged for the GoPro yet but I've used Sony Vegas for other video projects ( about $100). It takes a bit of effort to learn, but once you do you can do a lot of cool professional looking stuff. Using Vegas, you might as well record your whole ride or as much as the memory allows (in case anything unexpected & cool happens). While watching it you can make easily sub-clips of the best parts, lay them out on a timeline in any order you want, then play around with transitions, slow motion, adding titles & credits.

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