Friday, 13 January 2012

Go Pro Hero 2

It seems an age since I last blogged. I suppose that's mostly because I had little to talk about and precious little time to write about it. The fact that I am now working on a new blog post doesn't really mean I have more time than I had yesterday or the day before. It means in fact that I have finally ordered and recieved a Go Pro Hero 2 action cam. I've even filmed part of a ride with it.

The Go Pro isn't the first camera I've ever bought. The first was a cheep and nasty helmet cam which wasn't at all easy to fit to the helmet and thanks to the shape of my lit, never pointed forward. Add to that the exceptionally jumpy quality of the video and it comes as no surprise that it has been taking up draw space for some time. I've also used the Flip Cam (my all time favourite home video camcorder) and tried to somehow lash it to the handle bars with a flexible legged mini tripod. The mount let it down and the sound wasn't great.

Clearly, something else was needed and the one Kev mentioned was the Go Pro camera. I'd never noticed them before but now I've been spying them in use on Top Gear, Country File and about every other scene of Charlie Boorman's various programs. If it's good enough for them and still comparatively low cost, it must be the one for me. I finally decided to get one ordered using some of a tax rebate I had received just before Christmas.

Getting it out of the box was exciting. My first impression was that it was smaller than I was expecting. The mounting kit seems pretty good with a few sticky mounts and one suction cup mount. It's going to be hard placing £250 worth of faith in anything that doesn't involve bolts or clamps but I suppose it needs to be done. As it happens, the mounts aren't ideally suited too sticking on my windscreen but it can just about be done. At lunch time I had a play about and found that the suction cup mount attached well to the slightly curved perspex. Unfortunately this will mean more shaking than I would like, a situation I'll just have to live with.

As with anything, I really wanted to use the camera as soon as possible. Thanks to the staff meeting overrunning, the first I got to use it was after dark. I figured I may as well give it a go anyway. The result is this video. It proves that the 35w headlight on the Yamaha can not be detected by the Go Pro. To be fair, it can hardly be detected by me on rainy nights like this. I'm reasonably pleased with the sound quality. There is a squeaking noise that will need to be tracked down though.
When I got it home I discovered that the video format, mp4, is not supported in Windows Moviemaker. I had to transcode to .avi before I could import it into the only video editing program I have. As I've no intention of investing in a professional video editing suite, it will have to stay that way.

To sum up, I have high hopes for the Go Pro. I see a future in which I can post videos I've made with it on my blog. That future will not be after sunset any time. Now I just need the opportunity to get somewhere worth filming a ride out. I can't see that happening any time soon but live in hope.

PS I did think I might write about the Actifry, also bought on the back of a tax refund. It does make superb chips and roast potatos are a breeze but it's not really what I see myself writing about.

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