GoPro SD Cards, spare batteries, attachments questions

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So I received my GoPro 3 Silver and need to purchase a card or maybe 2 cards (?) along with extra batteries and extras like a case and mini tripod etc.

I will be using this camera for canoe trips of up to 2 weeks solo and would like to make video's of the trips, along with family and home life, hunting, fishing, canoe shop, old truck restoration...

I look at the Best Buy web site and there are a bunch of options. Rather than buy one 64gb class 10 card should I buy 2 32gb class 10 cards? Will two 32gb cards be enough for all the wasted filming needed on a solo trip? I will be learning and plan to shoot alot to see what works and what doesn't, so I would assume 2 cards are a safe bet.
Are Sandisk cards fine for this application.

I see that Wasabie sells 2 batteries and a charger for $24, would two of these (4 batteries) be reasonable for this much remote filming where there is no charging available?
Will I need a solar panel charger or should 5 batteries cover a trip?

Finally (for now), what options should I look at. I can make some mounts from on line tutorials, but I see some neat little tripods that seem they would fit right into this type of application. Any experience here? Do I need flotation, I see they sell attachments that stick to the back of the waterproof case, I dropped a fishing pole over the side this year, so I am a little concerned.....
Do I need a small case, I like to travel light and anything the size of a Pelican case would be too big. I was thinking a small case I could cut out the foam for camera and attachments or any other ideas.


Thanks for any help you can offer. There is lots of info on YouTube but not from canoeist's.
 
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More is better then bigger in my book, I've had a vaca of lost pics due to an unknown card failure.

As for Batteries you said up to 2 weeks start with a couple on shorter trips film hard and see how they hold up.

It not like you have to buy all these at once, you can add to your camera kit as you figure things out also these items are fairly inexpensive that can be added over time before the 2 week trip.

You could PM Tumblehome and bounce it off him, he looks like he has it all together.
 
G

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I have a GP I use for racing but I'm not sure how many updates have been made, or how much they could improve battery life and file size - mine is a few years old.

At any rate you don't get a lot of time for a battery. I think I might have pushed 2 hrs out of mine. You run out of memory far before you run out of battery IIRC. I usually can get about 1 hour of actual recording on a standard definition, high frame rate with I believe a 32 gig card (I might have a 16...). If you go to a high frame rate, high definition (pointless for slow moving activities) then you get even less... a lot less.

I'd get one 32g card and battery for now and do some tests and play around with the frame rate and resolution so you can get an idea of how much memory you need.

I turn mine on and off frequently and that may decrease battery life. I'm sure you would do the same. I wouldn't plan on more than 2 hrs though and I've never pushed mine because I didn't want it to die while filming.
 
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Nothing to add as I don't have a Go Pro but do wear a Nikon waterproof point and shoot. I would be interested in a camera floatie too. I don't care for shoot through dry bags that you can inflate with air.

I am rather amused that our traditional Robin has a modern twist..
 
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Next thing you know he will be sky diving :eek:

If so, I hope he doesn't pack his chute in a canvas pack...
 
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l'oiseau said:" It not like you have to buy all these at once, you can add to your camera kit as you figure things out also these items are fairly inexpensive that can be added over time before the 2 week trip."

Thanks for the reply, that part about the the high frame rate/definition was a big help, steers me in the right direction and makes perfect sense.


YC said:"
I am rather amused that our traditional Robin has a modern twist.."

Ha, Well, me and herself ended up with high speed internet a couple of weeks ago (Dishnet, works great), so it opened up a whole new world for me and my retirement, lap tops, wi fi, YouTube, a new photo printer, but alas still no cell service. Haven't talked to the wife in weeks, we surf in different rooms...;)

Anyway, after having the free time to watch all the great canoe tripping video's out there, I got the bug. Unfortunately, there are very few by folks who use wood canvas canoes or traditional packs. I was thinking about getting a GoPro for a while, when Glenn mentioned Greentoe.com, and the savings, I went ahead and got one thru them.
When I did a trip report over at Canadian Canoe Routes on my Woodland Caribou PP solo trip, it was well received if "views" is an indication, and I think pictures of the wood canvas canoe/gear had alot to do with it. So I would think a video would be fun, something that would be interesting and also something to help keep me busy during the retirement years, the editing should prove to be interesting and time consuming.
I have also found that while I still like extended trips, I'm really slowing down, so distance is not all that important. Setting up the shots, hanging around camp, days off all sound good. Long portages, long days, not so much anymore.
 
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Make sure you read the directions well. It is not easy to set up. Because there are only two buttons you have to use Morse code to get the thing on the right setting.

Once you get it set I doubt you'll ever change it. I couldn't set mine again without re-reading the instructions but I've never had to.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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First of all, you don't have to buy everything at once, especially in January. The answers to many of your capacity questions will come with a little experience.

You will need an extra battery. The Wasabi's have a good reputation. If you can get a package deal on two, that's more than enough to begin with. You can then experiment with how long they last you with photos and videos. With a digital camera you can take thousands of pictures and just run endless video just for testing, and then erase it all.

The quality of the video you shoot--1080, 720, 480, etc.--will affect your battery life and, even more so, your memory card capacity. Higher resolution video takes up more space on cards. My videocam tells much how much time remains on my card at each different resolution.

I've videoed basketball games and river trips for five years now and have gotten by with 16gb built-in memory and one 16gb card. I have four different levels of HD resolution. I can get from 1.5 hours to 6.5 hours of video on a 16gb card, depending on which resolution I choose. For both basketball and canoeing I use a resolution that gives me about 3.5 hours of video per 16gb. When I near 16gb of video, I load directly from my camera into a small portable hard drive, which has 1tb of capacity. Or I load directly into my laptop. Not all cameras have the same direct transfer abilities.

You can start with one card and see how much time you get with actual videos. I don't think you need more than a 16gb card size. Then, get one or two more for backup. Yes, class 10. I'm just going with one 8gb card on my new Nikon camera. I'm confident I wouldn't fill that up with photos and videos on a two week canoe trip, unless I went absolutely crazy with the video.

After a while, you won't video that much on a canoe trip because you will realize that too much of the footage is repetitive and boring, especially on open lakes. With experience, I shoot shorter videos. Plus, I hate editing on a computer, which you may need to do with long footage.

I use two methods to affix my video camera in front of me in a canoe. The first method is to lash a standard tripod to the thwart in front of my solo seat. I tie it in with line through D-rings on the floor and around the thwart. I extend one leg of the tripod way up into the bow at a high angle, and secure that leg with line through my bow D-rings. If the boat tips over, that tripod isn't moving. In this way I can have the camera stable in front of me, which I can control (turn on/off, swivel, zoom) while I paddle. There are small and light weight tripods that would fit well in a canoe.

The second method I use for fixation in a canoe is to clamp a jury-rig monopod to the thwart in front of me. I use a Manfrotto Super Clamp on the thwart, into which I screw a Sticky Pod extension shaft to get some elevation, on top of which I screw my tripod head (removed from the tripod legs), on top of which I affix my camera. This gives me similar functionality as the tripod at lighter weight, but at the loss of some stability and the loss of the ability to raise the camera up and down on the full tripod.

The Super Clamp is also useful for grabbing onto a table, branch, fence, small tree trunk, or gunwale. You can get articulating arms that screw into the Super Clamp so you can twist a camera into various positions. There's also a mini Super Clamp available for really small cameras and lightweight rigs. Go Pro has its own array of attachments, which I know nothing about.

I've never gone out for two weeks or portaged my tripod or monopod gear, but it shouldn't be difficult to estimate the battery and card capacities you need, and the carry weight of the gear, with a little practice and experience.

On edit: I also use this Sunpak Clamp Pod for some applications for basketball games and interviews. It's got a flexible arm and swiveling ball head. I've never used it in a canoe, but it should work well for that and around camp. It wouldn't give the elevation of a tripod in a canoe, but you may not need that for your applications.
 
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Yes, I have been watching YouTube tutorials and it does seem complicated, but they do a good job of walking you thru, so I'm optimistic.
 
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Thanks Glenn, a great amount of information that I will investigate. You are correct about a ton of video can get really boring, I'm hoping to learn to make the story interesting by using different camera set ups etc. editing will be a long process, but I look forward to it.
You information on clamps and tripods is very helpful, Thanks, lots of homework to do.
 
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Here are some specs that may help:

http://gopro.com/support/articles/hero3-battery-life

Here are the specs for a 32gb card:

1080p (30 fps): 4h 21m
960p (30 fps): 5h 26m
720p (60 fps): 4h 21
720p (30 fps): 8h 09m
WVGA (60 fps): 8h 09m

720p @ 30 fps should be adequate for what you are doing. Looks as though you would need 4 or 5 batteries just to fill up one 32gb card at that rate. 8 hrs is a lot of footage too!

I seem to recall my actual times being much less (I use 60 fps) and now I'm pretty sure I must have a 16gb card for mine. A few years back the high memory cards were astronomical. Wait a few years before you buy a 64gb if you do. They will probably be dirt cheap when the HERO 4 comes out.
 
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Here's what Tumblehome said about card and battery usage over on CCR for the 6 days he was out.



For the 5D I had 3 cards... 32g / 16g / 8g
and 3 batteries
For the GoPro I had 2... 32g and 16g
and 5 batteries
It worked out reasonably well, I used up my last 5D battery on day 6 and the Go Pro shut down on the morning paddle out.... all cards pretty well full.
I shot at 1080 / 60 frames on the GoPro thinking I may want slo mo but never ended up using any. Even at that, it does a good job of compression and you get lots of mins per gig. Less so on the 5d.
The Tascam is a cool little unit and yes I did sync in post... bit of a pain and I didn't always do a clap or marker on cam... some hunting for the right takes during the edit. I also used the Tascam to record the VO.
I completed the entire thing in Avid with exception to the Map graphic which was done by a friend in After Effects.


and yes the pole is just a telescoping window washing jobber... made of aluminum so fairly light. I use an Ultra-pod to hold the cam on the pole... Cant recommend it enough. Its basically a mini tri-pod but with legs folded you can easily attacht to poles, branches etc, or even push it into the ground like a stake.


Robin check your in box, its full.
 
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Thanks again, l'oiseau, I went to Best Buy and picked up a Wi-Fi remote, a Joby "Groillapod" (a small tri pod with flexible legs so it serves as a clamp also), a tri pod mount and a 16GB card. The wi-fi was $70, but it's a must have for solo work, and I will want to learn how to use it before the fun begins. The card is a work in progress. I'll get another, just not sure what size yet.
You help is very much appreciated, Thanks.

Glenn, also Thanks for that informative reply, I went with the 16GB card per your advice, and I'm ordering a pair of Wasabi batteries with charger to figure out my needs. We have a tri pod for my wife's camera, I'll give it a try come spring and see how it works, the different camera angles help to make a video interesting from what I have read, so the weight might be worth it on a trip.

Thanks Sweeper for that link, interesting stuff, although I had to Google most of what he said...I was thinking what the heck does this mean?

"The Tascam is a cool little unit and yes I did sync in post... bit of a pain and I didn't always do a clap or marker on cam... some hunting for the right takes during the edit. I also used the Tascam to record the VO."


Ha, the Tascam records sounds, voice, campfire crackling, wolves...maybe it's on the list.
VO means Voice Over, I didn't even know that, the rest I need to look up, even retired guys don't always have that much time.:rolleyes:

Sorry about the full mailbox, I cleaned it out.
 
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