I’ve been receiving a series of questions related to my new acquisition- the GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition. In this post, I am making an attempt to answer all such frequently asked questions, to the benefit of my readers and others who might be curious about GoPro. Do check this post for my initial impression of the GoPro camera.
1. What is unique about this GoPro Hero 3+ camera?
A: Compared to a regular DSLR, GoPro has following uniqueness
-Takes great wide angle shots, giving curvature/fish eye effect for closeup objects- the unusual perspective it offers catches people by surprise and almost always manages to delight the viewer
-Very light, compact design- easy to carry and fits in shirt pocket, compared to DSLRs that weight about a kilo
-Can be mounted almost everywhere- on your bike’s handlebar, on your helmet, windshield and so on- this keeps your hands free to do something else. (Different kinds of mounts will have to be bought separately)
-Easy to use Mobile app lets camera control from mobile phone and facilitates instant download and uploading
- Can be used all weather, under water as well
2. Is it a replacement for a DSLR? Can it do everything a DSLR can do?
A: No. Compared to a DSLR, GoPro has following limitations
-No flash, no shutter speed control- almost useless for night/indoor photography
-No Zoom, hence can’t focus on far away objects
-No other controls that DSLR can offer- such as white balance, aperture, sunset and so on are largely missing in GoPro…
-No provision to change lens
3. How much does GoPro cost?
A: The model I bought, best available one, costs USD 399 (INR 24000) for the camera itself. But buying the camera alone would not be enough. If you intend to use it a lot, you will need couple of mounts, a spare battery, micro SD memory cards, charger etc. Plus there will be shipping cost and customs duty, which could about 20-25%. Together, keep a budget of about INR 40000.
Note that ther’re a few cheaper variants, which cost less- they have slightly reduced capabilities
4. Where to buy a GoPro in India?
A: I ordered directly on GoPro’s official website, paid for shipping and customs extra. Alternatively, you can place an order on Amazon as well- here camera cost is inflated to factor customs duty, shipment etc, but you won’t be charged separately for customs/shipping etc. You can read this post for price comparison- the difference between the two wasn’t very drastic.
Alternatively, you can get it from someone returning from US- you will save some money
5. I saw you putting the goPro underwater- won’t it get damaged?
A: No. It comes with a waterproof casing, because of which camera is secured against water, dust etc.
6. When you say wide angle, how wide is it? What is the mm equivalent?
A: I couldn't get a definitive answer to this. This website puts it at 5mm, while it looks like replacement lens of various specifications can be bought aftermarket, giving the camera a POV of upto 170 degrees.
|trying toget some good photo of peacocks using gopro|
A: No. I bought my goPro with my hard earned money and during past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with it and to be honest, fairly fascinated by its photo style and satisfied with my purchase. Since GoPro is capable of giving shots from various perspectives not otherwise possible in regular cameras, I have been posting some of my clicks online and those who see it are equally amused by its abilities. I am not paid to do this. GoPro is already popular with adventure seekers, only regular tourists and travelers aren’t exposed to it much. I think it is only a matter of time before more and more Indian travelers and photographers buy their own GoPro. Few years from now, don’t be surprised if GoPro becomes as common as DSLRs today.
8 Anything else we should be aware of, before buying GoPro?
A: Battery can’t sustain even half day if used extensively. So you will need second battery or will have to ration its usage. Be ready to spend several thousand more on accessories, basic kit and mounts are just not enough.
While GoPro can help you capture good video, you will need lots of time and patience to sit and work on them to come up with a presentable video. (You may easily capture 10 hours worth video in a 1 week trip, but none of your friends will be interested in viewing it all- you will have to spend time picking up best of the clips and make a short movie worth watching.
Be sure that you will have enough time, energy and enthusiasm to make the best use of it.
9. Can I rent a goPro hero 3 camera in India?
Yes, camera rental companies like Tapprs let you rent it. You can rent one for a trip, try it out and decide if it is really worth. They charge Rs 450 per day as of now for Hero 3 Black, lots of accessories are also available for rent. [details]
10. Are there any alternatives to GoPro? Is it not possible to get similar pics through other cameras?
There is a Chinese duplicate of GoPro, called SJ4000. This costs one fourth what GoPro costs (About INR 7000). A cousin of mine has got it- I am yet to explore it but I am told the output is not as good as goPro, but might just serve the purpose.
Alternatively you can buy a wide angle lens for your DSLR, which will cost close to 40k
11 Where do you see preview of what you’re going to click?
GoPro camera as such as no preview option (viewfinder) or a screen to display the click. But you can install GoPro iOS or Android App on your smartphone and using the app, you can have live view of what you’re camera is capturing and also control the camera from your phone (works for wifi models of GoPro only). Otherwise, you will have to click with guess work- since it is wide angle and no zooming in/focus is involved, will work just fine in most of the cases.
App also lets you download a low/high res version of the pic and quickly upload online to your social media profiles.
12. Can you shoot RAW in GoPro?
A: Yes, it has a protune mode. I haven’t explored this option much though
13. Will GoPro come with good video editing software?
A: Box has no software, one can download goPro studio from gopro website. It has basic editing functions.
14: Will it always click in wide angle or can we also take normal pictures?
A: We can take normal pictures. There’re settings to shoot at lower resolutions…
15: Are there any service centres for GoPro in India?
A: None. If it fails, there’s no way to repair it in India. GoPro doesn’t even have an helpline or office in India. So don’t expect much support
16: Show me some of the good photos you’ve clicked using GoPro
A: Here’re a few of them. Regular 18-55 lens can't give these perspectives.
17: Which brand is this? Never heard of GoPro as a camera brand
A: GoPro is a brand on its own, a US based company which is about 10 years old, but has gained immense popularity in past few years. Check www.goPro.com
Any other questions, feel free to ask. Will try my best to answer.