Friday, March 4, 2011

Favorite Gear

Getting a late start on this. Outdoor Blogger Network (OBN) is soliciting articles calling out its communities favorite gear. As a new member, I'll put in my two cents.

I've always been a primitive photographer. Early on, I found out that by carrying the camera, I stayed out of a lot of pictures. Anything that simplifies photography is appreciated.

My favorite gear for troublefree = handsfree. Here's my new little sidekick for all things outdoors. Its a GoPro HD Hero. It has its faults, like me, but sure fits well into my idea of what a versatile camera is about. It's marketed for the extreme sports crowd, but for me, its softer applications are its high points.

Of course, I've taken it fishing many times, to the Amusement park, strapped to grandkid Eli's helmet for a skateboarding video, and once we even rigged up a diaper cam, to record my 6 month old grandson Landon's point of view (thats POV) as he crawled and learned to walk around the house. What a hoot!  That little feller was already pushing the envelope on extreme sports and the camera's tolerance for absorbing shock!

First, the benefits I've recognized. I have other camera's video and digital stills, but this one stands out. Its a handsfree and has head mounts, chest mounts (my favorite), handlebar mounts, hood mounts, board mounts, and lets just say it has a mountain of mounts, ok?

 Its comes with a waterproof and bombproof case. Tiny and tough, simple and rugged. I dont have to prepare or pose shots, just put it on and change batteries every few hours. Love it. Love it. Love it. (do need the extra batteries)

Its sound quality suffered in the waterproof case, but it has an open back for uses where you dont expect to fall in. With that open back on the case, it's sound pickup is much better.

It doesn't have a  view finder or digital screen. I've missed some sweet closeups (like the beauty of a fish held in my hands), because the lens is not readily visible and is fix positioned in the mounts.  Like everything, practice makes perfect and I'm learning.

For me, the rugged carefree part overcomes its shortcomings. Learning to leave 95% of its content on the cut floor is tough, but once you get some editing skills, its pretty quick and I just add a soundtrack and text when needed.

Here's that amusement park video.

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