Wednesday, July 09, 2014

GoPro purchase experience from vs Amazon

I am using a standard 18-55mm lens and another 55-300mm lens for my Nikon. I was contemplating on buying a wide angle lens in addition. But wide angle lens alone were costing Rs 40000 onwards. Plus I hate the headache of having to keep changing the lens. Then I was exposed to the world of GoPro cameras. My skydiving pics were taken in a GoPro, we used it a bit to shoot on the go during December 2013 Thailand Bike trip and later, during March 2014 Scuba diving expedition, Nishant took lots of snaps in GoPro and made this beautiful video summary of our trip.
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My Skydiving photos clicked using GoPro [More]

Scuba diving video made using GoPro

Gopro cameras take pretty good wide angle photos, can be used under water, can be mounted almost everywhere and hence are much more practical than regular point and shoot cameras or bulky DSLRs. Camera costs in the range of 30-40k, it is very small in size to fit into our existing camera bag and made lots of sense to buy one. (There will be no need to change lens)

Thus the idea struck me that I should consider buying a GoPro camera instead of a wide angle lens. Of course I will miss out on custom functions a DSLR  could offer- including preview, flash, various settings and so on, but the versatility of a GoPro made it a strong contender.

Having made my mind to buy one, next task was to decide “from where to buy”.

My options were as below
No additional customs duty
Shipment included
Faster Delivery
MRP high compared to go pro website
No good mount choices
Purchase on
Cheaper rates
More mount options
Customs extra
Shipment Extra
More delivery time than Amazon
Get via someone who is returning from US
Save considerable amount of money
May have to wait
Extra work for people
Risk of procuring wrong product

While many fancy the idea of procuring one from someone who'd be returning from US, I am not very big fan of that approach because of following reason.
  • People who travel on work will usually have very hectic schedule. Asking us to go out and buy something for us would cause some inconvenience to them
  • If they pick up a wrong product/version in a hurry, we will have to live with it
  • Wait time will be very high depending on when someone travel
Hence I decided to buy online. I had to decide between ordering it in India vs ordering it directly on GoPro's official website (

Not many websites in India sell GoPro cameras. Only Amazon does (may be few others, not sure). I checked their price- Amazon India website listed a price tag of Rs 33500+ for Hero 3 black. Free shipping. I went to GoPro website directly to decide, it showed a price tag of USD 399 and USD 85 shipping charge. I also picked up a Headstrap + Quick clip, 3 way mount grip Arm tripod, an additional battery, total came to 510 USD. With 85$ shipping charge for FedEx Economy, total amount was just little less than 600 USD, which is about Rs 36000.

Because price difference was significant and because Amazon didn't have some of the good mounts that had, I decided to proceed with placing an order at

However, while placing international order, shipping cost and customs fee can make all the difference. At the time of placing the order, couldn't state exact amount we might end up paying for customs. Even email sent to GoPro support also didn't result in an answer. Some friends scared me that customs duty could be as high as 40-50%. This website put it at around 30%.

I  decided to take a chance. As long as I don't end up paying drastically more than, it would be a decent deal. I placed order on 29th June and the wait began. took about 3 days to ship the consignment and FedEx economy took another week to deliver from US to India. Finally got it delivered on July 8th.

Fedex called me and told me that I will have to pay a customs duty of Rs 8630. I did the math and found that overall it worked out just a little cheaper than
Hero 3+ Black Edition
Rs 33580
USD 399
Rs 24000
Additional Spare battery
Rs 3120
USD 20
Rs 1200
Headstrap + QuickClipRs 1980
 USD 20
Rs 1200
3 Way Mount Grip Arm TripodNot Available (Rs 7000, proportionate value)
 USD 70
Rs 4200
ShipmentRs 0
 USD 85
Rs 5100
CustomsRs 0
 Rs 8630
Bank charges/Currency conversion for international trxnRs 0
 Not known yet
TotalRs 45680
 Rs 44330

Above equation could tilt in favor of Amazon if they had the 3 way mount cheaper or if bank charges lots of money for international transaction. Amazon also would have incurred customs and shipment expenses which it would include in the price of the product.

The customs duty of Rs 8630 involves Rs 300 fedex service charge and various component as shown below. It is based on a declared value of Rs 31303 and comprises of 10% basic customs duty, 10% Counter veiling Duty, 3% Education Cess on these 2 duties, 4% Special Additional Duty, totaling to some 27%

These are made in China, shipped to US and then shipped back to India. If GoPro can arrange direct shipment to Asian countries from China, they could save some money.

Initial impression: No micro SD card is included in the pack- need to buy it separately. Also no stand alone charger is supplied- only way to charge the battery is to put the battery inside camera, connect the camera  to USB port or charging plug. Standalone charger costs Rs 3200, a 32 GB Micro SD card costs about Rs 1000. Factor these in your budget. It was very easy to learn operating it. Lots of videos are also available on youtube to help. Took some trial photos and videos and it came nice. More detailed review little later.

A Sample video and a sample photo are below (shot at 6AM)

Now that I have a new gadget, future trips are going to be a lot more interesting.


magiceye said...

Good on you!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepak

Mahesh Divya said...

informative post !

Vatsala Dorai Rajan said...

Gadget-o-mania!! But thats a good thing as long as you can manage all of them! :)


amasc said...

That's an interesting purchase, I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

Athenas Take said...

Passions need investment sometimes cash and most of the time, efforts and time. Congrats on the purchase, use it well and hope to see lots of good pics and more additions to your gadget mania.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Mahesh Divya: Thanks

Vatsala: Let me see how much value it adds in future

Amasc: Thanks. Hopefully I can get more interesting pics and videos.

AT: Time is something many of us don't have. Let us see.

shahrul nizam said...

hi..i saw n read your review..
and i wonder..what is includedin your gopro package 399usd when u bought it?
i saw u add ons some accessories.
according to the website they give this

HERO3+ Black Edition Camera

131’/40m Waterproof Housing

Wi-Fi Remote

Wi-Fi Remote Charging Cable

Higher Capacity Li-ion Battery

Quick Release Buckle

Vertical Quick Release Buckle

1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount

3-Way Pivot Arm (Mounting Hardware)

USB Cable

u get everything???
and about the customs duty of Rs they ask u to pay these?bank in or Cash on delivery?

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Customs duty was paid cash on delivery.

Standard product had all the items you listed. I bought a second battery, separate charger, 2 mounts extra

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Dear Amasc

Please check my youtube channel to see the videos I made using the GoPro

Rajaram BS said...

I didnt do all that. I went to fotocircle in Orion mall in bangalore and took a demo piece to,shoot around for sometime. Saw the footage on their computer and bought it for a little less than the online prices. This was on 2 oct 2013. Almost a month later, there was 3+ in tha market! A year later now it is hero4 in the market! These little cameras are awesome. Best if you have an LCD backpack, battery backpack and many many batteries and a 3axis brushless gimbal! I have almost spent a lakh so far! No regrets yet!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Good to know that Rajaram..

Cameras as such are very demanding investments

Rahul Sukh said...

If someone gets it to India from US, would custom duty still be payable?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Same way how people bring laptops or ipads

Anonymous said...

Hi... Where did you pay the Custom Fees?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Anon FedEx paid to the customs and I paid in cash to FedEx delivery guy

Shanky Jain said...

Now that rupee has become weaker in comparison to USD, the balance has shifted a little...

I was calculating for GoPro Hero 5 which costs $399 and 3 way which costs $69... Including FedeX international priority shipping which is $80, the total computes to approx Rs.37800 and customs and import duty amount to approx 10k... Which takes the total to 48k... Amazon had hero 5 at ₹36900 and 3way at ₹6700.. total ₹43600

Anyways, I want to thank you for the article... Otherwise it would be unlikely for me to take out time to update it with my comment :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Thanks for your comment. Note that some amazon sellers might be procuring it from US illegally (like with friends who are returning) and avoid customs and sell it to you.

Comparison should be done against GoPro's authorized dealers and their price in India