GoPro… for the Average Joe

My calendar doesn’t have any upcoming skydiving, scuba or surfing adventures, but I’m the proud new owner of a GoPro Hero III camera, and well… I’ve got to do something with it.

Their small & easily portable form, rugged accessories, and reputation for being nearly indestructible make GoPro cameras the device of choice for adventure sport athletes, whether they’re trekking up Mt. Everest or scaling skyscrapers in Shanghai.

The rest of us can still find ways to be creative with the GoPro. I’ve been using the camera’s time lapse feature to record activities that a typical video wouldn’t capture very well – running, cooking, feeding the cat. Anything that takes thirty minutes, but looks very much cooler when it’s played back in three is fair game.

Out of the box, the Hero III comes with a waterproof case, several pieces of mounting hardware, and wireless functionality. Accessories available for purchase include systems for mounting the GoPro on just about anything – a bicycle, a vehicle, a human head.

The image quality is amazing for such a tiny device, with settings to shoot up to 12MP stills, and 4K video.

GoPro still image

One of the most amazing things is the storage medium – the GoPro uses MicroSD cards, a memory format that is smaller than a fingernail and capable of holding 64 gigabytes of data. When I think of my first digital camera and its 32 megabyte memory card, my head spins at how far along the technology has come.

I haven’t shot much actual video with the camera yet, because frankly, I don’t often do anything exciting that would warrant such documentation. But I enjoy experimenting with the time lapse feature, either to capture the changes of an environment from a stationary perspective (like a sunrise) or to show a subject that’s moving around within a small space (like me in the kitchen.)

The GoPro Cineform Studio, the device’s software, is capable of changing the frame-rate of video to either slow it down or speed it up – an exciting feature that I hope I’ll find a reason to use soon. Additionally, editing features like white balance, contrast, and style filters are available to add artistic flavor to any project. The Studio is a robust application and its inclusion with a camera purchase is a great bargain.

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