GoPro camera for herp pictures?

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Mourits
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GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by Mourits » March 3rd, 2015, 11:06 am

Hey guys

I'm currently planning a very long trip that I will be going on next year. I'm expecting to travel Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand and maybe going for a roadtrip in the US. I'm considering to sell my Canon 1Ds and buy one of the more expensive GoPro cameras instead for the trip, in order to save cash, luggage space and just have something more comfortable. I just don't want to do that, if it prevents me from taking good close-up pictures of the varieties of wildlife I'm going to encounter on the numerous herping trips that I will be going on. So my question to you guys is; can a GoPro camera make up for a ''real camera'' in a way that it will be good enough to take good close-up macro pictures? Does anyone of you have experience with it? Thanks in advance!

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LouB747
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by LouB747 » March 3rd, 2015, 1:03 pm

I use a GoPro Hero3 Black for videos. You can see the results if you search "loub747" on YouTube. Just about every video I have on there is shot on the GoPro and at 2.7k 30fps.

Pros: 1: with the waterproof housing, you can shoot in the rain.
2: 2.7k (4k on the latest 4 Black) looks amazing in full res
3: various mounts including a pole to get close
4: small and convenient.

Cons: 1: you have to get close. Wide angle makes everything look distant.
2: no anti shake. You have to keep it rock steady.
3: low light
4: no LCD display to see what you're shooting (1 model has this now)
5: pictures. Wide angle view not good for herps. You can opt to shoot narrow,
but it just crops the full res pic down to get narrow.
6: Battery life isn't great.

So, while I use it for videos, I wouldn't really use it for pictures. It does take the occasional cool shot when a wide view looks nice. I wouldn't say it's the greatest for herp videos either, but I try and make it work. Check out my channel and judge for yourself.

www.youtube.com/loub747

I hope this helps some. I'll see if I have any herp pics shot with it to share.

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LouB747
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by LouB747 » March 3rd, 2015, 1:11 pm

Probably my best gopro herp shot. Used a pole to get high enough to shoot down. Used wifi gopro app and iphone to snap the shot.

Image

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chrish
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by chrish » March 4th, 2015, 5:43 am

I would be much more inclined to buy a waterproof point & shoot camera that shoots video over a GoPro.

Many of the better waterproof P&S cameras take good video and are as small as the GoPro if not smaller. But they have zoom lenses that will allow you to take real photographs (not just capture video frames), come with a flash, have an LCD screen, etc. And most of the waterproof point and shoots are submersible to 10 feet or so.

I don't see any advantage that a go pro has over these unless your plan is to walk around with a go pro on a stick filming yourself walking around. Sadly, I saw many tourists doing this in Australia last year. Those must be REALLY interesting videos to watch! :lol:

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PrimitiveTim
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by PrimitiveTim » March 4th, 2015, 8:30 am

In my opinion a GoPro would be terrible for what you're talking about. I have one and pretty much only use it for scenery time lapses and underwater footage. It doesn't have auto focus and it just keeps a really deep depth of field. You cannot get good macro shots. If I were you I'd use a high end point and shoot. Sony makes some really nice ones that are around the same price range. They do pretty good with video too.

The following are a variety of shots taken with my Sony. A close up shot, a long shot, and a medium range shot. None of the photos have been edited at all.
Image
Image
Image

Here's a video shot with my Gopro 3 black edition. Just pause it at any point and ask yourself if that's a picture you want to take... probably not but it's awesome for action and underwater video. The wide angle helps a lot with getting stuff in frame too.

Mourits
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by Mourits » March 8th, 2015, 8:47 am

Thanks a lot for the replies guys!

NACairns
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by NACairns » March 8th, 2015, 11:29 am

I agree with the other posters. I use a gopro a lot for research and personal herping and although I love the camera it is not a replacement for a solid point and shoot. Much better as a back up or for under water and video. With the hero2 You can only get about 20-30cm before you get some blurring so it is hard to get a good shot of small critters but nice for wide angle in habitat shots. Also before you buy a "GoPro" look into some of the other adventure cameras as they can be very cheap and are gaining in terms of quality.
Best,
Nick
Here is one taken with the hero2 w/underwater focus fix
ImageChrysemys picta marginata, QUBS, ON, by nacairn, on Flickr

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chrish
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Re: GoPro camera for herp pictures?

Post by chrish » March 8th, 2015, 9:01 pm

NACairns wrote:Also before you buy a "GoPro" look into some of the other adventure cameras as they can be very cheap and are gaining in terms of quality.
Agreed. This one that was just announced seems pretty interesting....especially starting at US$64! Tne higher end model is going to sell for $80.

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/694752 ... ion-camera
http://www.mi.com/yicamera/

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