Looking for a small, mountable, “ideal for sports and action”, inexpensive, high definition video and still camera with a waterproof housing and image quality that Lucasfilm (the Star Wars people) calls “amazing”? This camera will go anywhere and mount just about anywhere. Prices range from $198 to $399 (which is a lot less than your typical DSLR with HiDef video).
For several years on various “outdoor” TV networks (National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and others) I’ve watched some remarkable video footage taken with GoPro HERO cameras. They can be mounted on helmets, cars, motorcycles, surfboards, and about anything else you can imagine. Imagine mounting it on a pole with some bait to record the bite of a shark from inside the shark’s mouth (it was the “inside the shark’s mouth” video sequence that got my attention and started me on my search for this camera).
I put a GoPro HERO Session on my young grandson’s head (it is waterproof so it doesn’t need a waterproof housing) and turned it on before he dived into the local swimming pool. When he was done swimming he couldn’t wait to get home and see the over and underwater high definition video footage. He loved it.
How good is the video quality? According to producer Rick McCallum of Lucasfilm, Ltd., “When I saw the footage from the GoPro on our big screens at Skywalker Ranch, I was amazed. . .”
This camera will get you to thinking about doing all kinds of photography you may not have thought about before. I attached a GoPro to a pole, put it underwater and photographed brook trout swimming in a small stream. And the best news is you are not risking your expensive DSLR to shoot high def (4K or 1080 depending on the model) video in high risk shooting situations. So go ahead and mount this camera to your car, bike, surfboard, helmet, chest, headstrap, wrist, or wherever. If you love action video, this is video heaven.
In addition to wonderful HD video quality, a GoPRo can also do still and time lapse photography.
The most recent model is the GoPro HERO9 Black. Prior models include the HERO8 Black, GoPro Max (with immersive 360 features), GoPro HERO7 Black, and HERO7 Silver (least features). If you are looking at used GoPro cameras, in the world of GoPro remember that Black, Silver, and White refer to features, not the color of the camera. Black has the most and white has the least. You can find older models at my photography store (link below).
More details are at GoProCamera.com. Be sure and check out the videos.
This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest are here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.