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Archive for the ‘Cameras’ Category

GoPro has some big shoes. Competitors are trying diligently to fill those big shoes, but GoPro remains the standard by which all action cameras are measured.  “The HERO3+ illustrates GoPro’s commitment to innovation,” says GoPro Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. “We took the world’s best-selling ultra compact camera and made it better because we’re relentless in our pursuit of delivering the best possible user experience to our customers.” When the Hero 3 debuted, the biggest upgrade was Wi-Fi capabilities. That was a game changer for action cameras. This year, many of us were expecting GoPro to make as much of a leap as they made last year’s upgrade. This year’s new GoPro is not as monumental as the previous upgrade from Hero2 to Hero3, but still a very nice upgrade.

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Is the new GoPro Hero3+ really even worth the hype? It’s nicer eh? But should I even consider the Hero3+?

I’ll Break it down below and let you make the decision. Fact is, yes, it IS a better camera. It’s just that we (at least I was) were expecting more from GoPro because of the huge jump they made last year from Hero2 to Hero3. The brand is untouchable. GoPro is the standard by which all mountable actions camera are measured. Everything is compared to the GoPro. This year, GoPro has made the small problems that the Hero3 had, much better and faster. The Hero3+ is simply a better camera with better capabilities.

Hardware

The processor inside has been dramataically improved. You can now see 4x as fast live feed of your camera via the Wi-Fi display. The Regular Hero3 had a five second delay on the “Live” view feed. Aggravating. Not a deal breaker, but for a $400 dollar camera, aggravating. With the new Hero3+, that 5 second delay is a 1 second delay. Much more tolerable.  This “beefed-up” processor also allows for your media transfer and viewing to be much faster. GoPro updated their Smartphone/Tablet App at the end of July which allowed you to share footage from Camera –> Device –> Social Media. Only down side to this was that you couldn’t upload it very fast because the Regular Hero3 doesn’t handle that large capacity of data very quickly. The Hero3+ is here to demolish slow upload speeds. Awesome. I’m down.

The most significant change the GoPro Hero3+ has is it’s exterior. The Camera is actually the same size. Your Regular GoPro Hero3 can fit into the new slim housing. 20% Smaller and lighter is misleading. The new GoPro Hero3+ is 20% lighter because reduced weight of the waterproof dive housing. The actual camera is the same size, but the housing has been reduced. The camera fits much more snugly in the housing. Common complaints of rattling were because the Regular GoPro had some room to jiggle around inside the housing. Inside the GoPro 3+ housing there is much less room for the GoPro to create that chatter noise.

Lastly with hardware, the microphone has been improved. The Regular Hero3 sounds very muffled when in the housing. The improved microphone on the Hero3+ is significantly better than the Regular Hero3 and picks up audio much better.

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Software

There is another new thing! It’s called Superview. Previously, we had narrow, medium and wide viewing settings. Superview grasps the full view of the lens and captures even more of your surroundings without much lens distortion. It makes the ultimate fisheye lens capture abilities even wider. This translates to more being captured from a closer range. Say you are mounting your camera inside your car. You can see the entire cabin of your car with Hero3+, whereas the wide setting wouldn’t get as much width with the Regular Hero3.

The Hero3 + also has an Automatic Low Light Mode. It will slow down frame rates to capture more light in low light situations. Personally, I have had issues with clarity in low low situations. I was a little disappointed with my Regular Hero3 on the 4th of July trying to capture the firework show. The new Hero3+ will capture low light situations much better.

Battery Life

Battery life was such an issue for GoPro that they made a Battery BacPac. Batteries are separately because if you are filming more than an hour of content without charging, you will need another battery.  Battery issues have been addressed and your GoPro Hero3+ now has 30% more battery life. 1050mAh (3.885Wh) battery in the Regular Hero 3 has been switched out for an 1180mAh (4.37Wh) battery in the Hero3+ which translates to about another 45 mins more of continuous usage. The Regular Hero3 Black will run for an hour and a half (With Wi-Fi, Protune, and 4K on 100%); The new Hero3+ Black will run for 2 hours and fifteen of constant 100% usage.

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Overall

The bottom line is that this camera is a significant upgrade. It is the refined, fit, sleek, improved version of the Regular Hero3. Truth is that it is still a good deal to get a Regular Hero3 too. It’s priced down to $330. Presumably that will remain, until they run out of Regular Hero3s. By the way, info on how many Regular Hero3s they have left is unknown, and how many more they are going to be making. As soon as i know, I will make a comment in the comments below. Even though it may not have been the monumental upgrade we were hoping for, this camera is still an exceptional piece to add. If you want to get your hands on the newest upgrade from GoPro, jump on it! It is a sweet camera that you will not regret buying. Go here to get the GoPro Hero3+ to begin documenting your adventures (or daily oddities too). Stop telling people about your thrills or even trombone skills and show them! Upload to Youtube! Upload to Vimeo! Even Upload to your Facebook. Get creative with it! Start out with some of these ideas and run with it. I’ll share your video on our Facebook if it is relative to our store. I mean who knows, this could be you if you want it to be!

But! You can’t do it without a GoPro!

 

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This Top Ten List of mine is half wish list, half currently owned but 100 percent awesome-ness. Out of all the cool stuff we have in our store at Good Sports Outfitters, I have managed to narrow it down to only ten items. That is a feat.

 Ben’s Top Ten List.

1. Helinox Big Agnes Chair

This collapsible chair is a very lightweight, and very easy to set up. It is a bucket seat camping chair that will sink you into “comfort zone”. I have a blog that I wrote about this chair already so I will not bore you. If you want more on the Helinox, go here.  I simply love this chair.

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2. Arc’teryx Alpha SV Jacket

Not only does it look good, the Alpha SV Jacket is THE highest in performance gear. It is like buying a Yeti. A large cost upfront, but a product that will outlast the competition and out perform.

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3. Nixon Big Player Black

First Impressions: This watch isn’t my style. I don’t really like watches that don’t have exact times on them. They are too modern. They are too artsy. They just aren’t practical. Once I put this watch on my wrist, all of those first impressions went through the window, to the wall and I can’t stop thinking about this watch. All of Nixon’s watches are landing more in time pieces and less watch functional practicality. These watches are the pieces you wear to look good in and it is easy to do so in the Big Player.

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4. Eagle Nest Outfitters Hammocks Sunshine

I have two ENO Hammocks. One in the car for… well, who knows what, and the second in the backyard for everyday usage. I typically use it most when I take the dogs outside. They run and bring me the stick/ball/toys as I lay relaxing occasionally throwing for their entertainment.  There is absolutely no reason for me to have another Hammock other that the fact that I don’t have the Sunshine color. It’s my favorite new color that we have gotten in the store. Couldn’t hurt to have another one of my favorite things right?

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5. La Sportiva Helios

The Helios is my current trail shoe. I have read and received plenty of great reviews form Ultra marathoners and other hardcore runners that come through the store about how the Helios is their favorite trail running shoe. I am a pretty low mileage runner (10- 20 miles per week). All I know is that I have found a trail shoe that is very responsive to the loose gravel and rocks here in south/central Texas hills. My low mileage may not have as much pull as an ultra runner, but I do know I am very happy with this shoe and would recommend it to any of my friends.

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6. Burton Beercuda

So I play disc golf. It is somewhat mandatory to bring a beverage to play. Really that goes for any golfing sport. The Beercuda is a bandolier cooler for beers/sodas/sparkling water/whateverbeverageyouwishtokeepcold. Some of the staff already has the beercuda and they use them for the slopes in winter. I am taking their advice and stocking up on one or two. Only 20 bucks too!

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7. Black Diamond Magnetron

So I’m honestly also not an avid climber. I DO boulder and climb when I get the chance but it isn’t exactly my THING. I simply enjoy it, I’m not all geared out with harnesses and rope bags. What I do like is the high quality outdoor equipment Black Diamond creates.  Their latest little toy is a carabiner with magnets to create easy one handed use of a two-point locking carabiner.  A video that will demonstrate the awesome-ness is here.

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8. Swany Legend Mitt

I didn’t know how awesome this glove is until recently. I was just opening pockets looking through the gloves we have and then realized the hand-warmer pocket is actually meant for your hand to slip through.. Woah. Wait. Now I can get access to the little things while still wearing my large cozy mittens. Sweet! I am also a mitten snowboarder. You won’t catch me wearing gloves. I just don’t think they are warm (plus they are more snowboarder that regular gloves).

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9. GoPro Hero 3 Black

I have previously had the Hero 2 (until the mountain ate it. Pro Tip: Don’t trust sticky mounts in very cold weather) and I currently have the Hero 3. The biggest upgrade from the Hero 2 to the Hero 3 is Wi-fi capabilities. I use this camera as a part of documenting all the fun I have, where ever that may be. In the mountains, the beach, the lake, playin’ with the dogs. Anywhere. I take this camera with me and I don’t have to worry about most issues that come along with a regular point-and-shoot. The waterproof housing allows me to be carefree in any situation. I don’t have to show people the fun things I do, I simply show them.

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10. Benchmade AFO 9051BLK

This Knife is sick. Simply said. I use my pocket knife as a tool everyday and this Benchmade is the highest quality of American made knives. Easy one handed operation. The AFO II is an sweet knife. I have always been a serrated blade kind of person, but I am beginning to lean towards straight blade because it is much easier to sharpen it yourself.  Benchmade has always been on my wish list and hopefully Santa will make his way form the Benchmade factory and grab one for me this year. The AFO II is my favorite from Benchmade because well designed mechanics. They stand behind their product. You can send it in any time and they will restore it to factory sharp, as long as you pay the shipping. I respect a company that is publicly proud and prideful of their work.

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Well, I must say, this is definitely one of the coolest “toys” we have carried in recent history.

Although the impulsive man in me said “just open the box, plug the Bluetooth chip and start shooting,” Pump the breaks  and don’t do it.  There are a few more steps than the vague “instructions” that are contained in the box. Soooo… let’s get to it.

The Contour GPS uses the latest technology,First Fix, to gain rapid access to satellites for accurate positioning. When you use your Contour GPS for the first time, make sure you are under open skies and the premier acquisition should only take about 5-7 min.

When the green light, under the lens, stops blinking, you will know that the satellites have locked on to your position and you are ready to shoot video. 

HOWEVER, if you are wanting to use the Mobile Connect chip you will need to follow these simple, but necessary, instructions to use your iPhone 3G or newer, iTouch (3rd or 4th gen.), or Android (coming soon),  as a viewfinder.

To unlock the Bluetooth feature in your camera, you will need to install the Contour app on your phone (it’s free) and the new firmware into your Contour GPS and connect to Storyteller to get a Bluetooth i.d.  For Upgrade Instructions go to the below website or just read the following:  http://contour.com/software/firmwaregps

Connect your camera to your computer.  Run Storyteller 3.06 (or later). When you plug in the camera for the first time to your computer, do NOT turn it on. It should automatically start the Storyteller program.

When prompted to upgrade the Firmware, select ‘Ok’ to copy it to your camera.  When the copy is completed, properly disconnect (eject) the camera from your computer. THEN, once disconnected, unplug the camera from your computer.

You will need to locate the “hidden button” on the camera. The hidden button is located just in front of the record slider when the record slider is in the “stop” position. (When the record slider is in the “record” position, the hidden button is covered by the slider). If you press down just in front of the record slider, you will feel the plastic underneath the record slider give as the button depresses.

Found it? Now read carefully, its a bit monotonous, I KNOW.

First press and hold down the hidden button.  Keep the hidden button held down while you press and release the power button. Patience grasshopper, keep holding.

You will hear a beep, the Memory and Battery LEDs on the rear of the camera will flash twice then alternately flash red. Now you can let go. The camera I was working with took about 10 seconds but can take from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or more, highly doubt it but it’s worth it.

When the Memory and Battery LEDs stop flashing, the Firmware update is complete.  Warning “Will Robinson”: interrupting the update process by removing the battery while the lights are still flashing can permanently damage your camera! No bueno.

Connect the camera to your computer with the USB cable and delete the contour_GPS.bin file from the camera’s SD card to free up storage space.

Once you follow these steps and have unplugged the camera from the computer, turn on the camera, wait 7-10 sec then push the Bluetooth button once.  The green light under the camera lens will turn blue.

Turn on your Bluetooth on the phone. When you open the Contour app on your phone it will automatically start searching for the Bluetooth on your camera.

Smile for the camera cos honey, you’re a star!  Assuming you’re still with me here and A.D.D. hasn’t kicked in, thanks for hanging in there.

Still confused? You can ring my bell.

-Jordan

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GoPro LCD Backpack

In the words of Beyonce, “Partner let me upgrade u.” Or at least the sickness that is known as GoPro HD Hero. The LCD BacPac is out and providing a serious upgrade to the camera us outdoor folk know and love.

For $80, the BacPac comes with multiple waterproof housing kits to fit a variety of mounts (helmet, chesty, roll bar, etc.) And just as simple as the camera itself is to use, the BacPac is too. A single button allows you to turn the screen on and off, play back, fast-forward, reverse, pop and lock, do the robot, get down! For real though… I don’t think think there’s anything these cats haven’t thought to do to make our mini-adventures memorable. A tiny built-in speaker records all of your screams, hootin’ and a hollerin’.

Only downfall, it is LCD so viewing the screen in direct sunlight can be a bit sketchy. Eh… no biggie.  Check them out here.

-AM3

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