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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Read before buying GoPro Camera!

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers
In past few months I’ve seen lots of interest in GoPro, with many friends contemplating buying one. Earlier it was available only on Amazon.in or on GoPro.com global website with international courier charges [My Experience and Comparison here]. But of late, GoPro models can be seen listed on Snapdeal and Flipkart as well. If you are also thinking of buying one, you should be aware of below aspects

1 No service centres or sales office for GoPro in India: GoPro has no support centres in India. Should the camera stop working, there aren’t any shops who can fix it. Some elements like lens kit etc can be bought online and you can replace them watching DIY videos on youtube, but beyond that, if it fails it fails. Go get a new one. (Technically you can claim warranty, but with GoPro not having any presence in India, the cost and effort involved in coordinating the warranty replacement with their US office over email might make it unviable. There is a company called Steriovision, who seem to be running a facebookpage called GoPro India, I don't know if they are authorized franchise or how credible they are. Their MRP is similar to what it cost me to get from US- Price in USD+ shipment expense+Customs duty, apparently their distributors take care of shipping it back to US in case of warranty- haven't tried or verified this.)

Below: GoPro India MRP list, taken from a facebook page, GoPro India

2.  Default battery is not enough. You should budget another 6000 Rs to buy a second battery and charger. Else it won’t last even half a day and you’ll be disappointed. With 2 batteries and heavily rationed usage, I manage to use it from morning to evening.

3. You will shoot GBs and GBs of videos, but you will not have time to process all of that. Soon you will run out of space in hard disc to store and run out of patience to process all the videos. Before investing 40k, ensure that you have a decent configuration computer that can handle heavy duty video processing, as well as time and patience to work on video editing.

4 Gopro is NOT a replacement for DSLR. GoPro’s colour compensation is poor, there is a small lag in video capture, doesn’t have any settings that come in a DSLR. Only when there’s enough sunlight, GoPro photo quality is at par with DSLR. In the evening, early morning, indoors, under clouds or in night, the quality of GoPro photo/video is not at its best. So most of the times you will need regular DSLR to take decent pictures. GoPro is useful when your hands are not free for clicking, or when you want to insert camera in water or to get some wide angle photos and videos in addition to what you've shot using DSLR. Check the photo of Mysore palace at night- first one clicked in Nikon 5100, second one with GoPro Hero3 Black edition.


5. Default set of mounts are almost useless. Accessories are equally expensive: I had bought a 3 way mount along with the camera- one of its hinges has broken now, within 3 months of usage. If one more hinge breaks, this mount will be rendered useless. The fate of USD70+shipping+customs 3 way mount now depends on INR 5 FeviKwik. Other accessories like Suction Mount etc are not easily available in India. I've written a mail to GoPro support on this, waiting for a response.

6. One GoPro camera may not be enough: Most of the awesome photos that we see online are often shot with multiple goPros. Shooting everything from just one perspective will be boring, so many use two or more action cameras to get multiple views, which are mixed to create videos from different perspective. At times additional devices like drones are used for aerial shots (drones cost 50k onwards on their own) or a support vehicle/team helps getting additional shots. We ordinary travelers may not be able to afford all of these, so our output will be limited to what we can shoot in one GoPro.

The GoPro craze will die out soon. As of now only few people own it, hence there’s some curiosity and excitement around this. Another year down the line, expect every other person to own an action camera. Then you won’t get any status hike for having a GoPro. Don’t buy it because you feel it is cool. Buy it if you have enough usage for it. You can rent it from agencies like Tapprs for a day and check if it works out for you.
SJ4000 (left) vs GoPro Hero3
As the idea of small action cameras is gaining popularity, you might also wish to wait and watch few more months for more options. Already there’re some cheap rivals like SJ4000 (read comparison here), HTC has tried its version of action camera called RE and as demand increases, expect more manufacturers to try their hands on these kind of cameras.[Read more on Techpp.com]

Deepak Majipatil has suggested another option: Shimano

I am not saying Don't buy a GoPro. I am just advising that you factor the above before making final decision.

Update: Read GoPro warranty claim experience in India

8 comments :

Puru@ShadowsGalore said...

I was actually planning to buy goPro. But looking at these problems, no man am happy with my DSLR. Will rather buy another lens.

Prasad Np said...

Good informative post... glad i read it.... as i was too impressed with all those videos and ultra wide shots...

Mridula said...

Thank you Shrinidhi. I feel in the end a DSLR is a DSLR for some shots there is just no substitute of a well, DSLR :D

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Mridula: Yes, there's no substitude..


Prasad: Many of the videos are shot with multiple cameras, using drones etc. Not everyone can afford it

@Puru: Yes, I think if we wait for another few months, there will be many more options.

Anonymous said...

A gopro is a sports camera,comparing it with a dslr is funny

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Agree, but I get question asking if it is better than DSLR, so I said that it is NOT a replacement.

Ankit said...

Insightful information. After reading i looking for an alternative and found on Indian Brand ClickPro. Most of raised concerns are covered by this Brand.Happy to have one.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Clickpro doesn't look anywhere close to GoPro... it might compete with SJ4000 may be