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Old 07-08-2013, 10:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to use a Canon P&S with an external housing so the GoPro is tiny for me. I actually wish it were a tad bit bigger so I could hold it without worrying about blocking the view. I have hte GoPro 2 though and no LCD otherwise I think you'd be fine.

You definitely need to pick up a red filter for diving depending on fresh or salt water. It makes a HUGE difference for how cheap it is. You can buy a tray which I highly recommend.

The Tray by SRP is very popular.
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Pricey though, but it offers a lot of expandability.

Gamewise, that thing is so small. If you mount it in some videos I've seen in the top vents, if it's gonna hit the camera it was gonna hit your forehead anyways. I've never used it ingame though. I just use my GoPro for motorcycling and scuba diving.

edit:
When you have sunlight (<30') everything will look great. It's rare that you're going to be diving in that shallow water though. You're more likely to be floating ~45-60 ft which is where it really changes. The GoPro 2 and 3 made HUGE advances in low light situations which is why they stand out.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The only thing I would add to what SlvrDragon50 said is to look at the Black edition of the GoPro Hero 3. It has some low light enhancements that should make a difference when under water. I mostly dive at 25-40ft and the pics I've seen from them at that level without a red filter are pretty impressive. I would be interested for someone to post pics with and without the red filter at different depths for comparison though.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Personally, I think the Contour Roam is the best "for the money" camera on the market. You can pretty easily get it for $99, and I've even seen the diving kit (the deep water case included) for $99 on Amazon in the past few months.

The battery life it really good, (it is a fixed battery, so you can't replace it) but it is so cheap, you can buy two for the price of 1 go pro! (I have two of them!).

You can check my videos as all my current helmet cam footage (or the "HenryCam") is from the Roam. It films in 170 degree wide angle in 720HD. Or 130 degree (less fish eye) in 1080HD.

I get over 2 hours of footage in 720HD on a 16gb card. They can hold a 32 gb card.

I've been using action cams since they came out, and buttons on a helmet cam are a bad idea. When wearing gloves it is really hard to know if you hit the button or not. But, with the contours you just slide the switch to turn it on, so you can easily touch it and know if it is recording or not! Trust me, the buttons on a go pro will end up jinxing you and you WILL end up not recording something you thought you were recording! I've seen it too many times with my friends that have go pros.

Plus the go pro 3's have lots of memory card issues, I have friends with them, and they have locked up or just plain frozen and they get one game recorded out of a whole day...

While my $99 roam just works like a champ.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FreeEnterprise View Post
Personally, I think the Contour Roam is the best "for the money" camera on the market. You can pretty easily get it for $99, and I've even seen the diving kit (the deep water case included) for $99 on Amazon in the past few months.

The battery life it really good, (it is a fixed battery, so you can't replace it) but it is so cheap, you can buy two for the price of 1 go pro! (I have two of them!).

You can check my videos as all my current helmet cam footage (or the "HenryCam") is from the Roam. It films in 170 degree wide angle in 720HD. Or 130 degree (less fish eye) in 1080HD.

I get over 2 hours of footage in 720HD on a 16gb card. They can hold a 32 gb card.

I've been using action cams since they came out, and buttons on a helmet cam are a bad idea. When wearing gloves it is really hard to know if you hit the button or not. But, with the contours you just slide the switch to turn it on, so you can easily touch it and know if it is recording or not! Trust me, the buttons on a go pro will end up jinxing you and you WILL end up not recording something you thought you were recording! I've seen it too many times with my friends that have go pros.

Plus the go pro 3's have lots of memory card issues, I have friends with them, and they have locked up or just plain frozen and they get one game recorded out of a whole day...

While my $99 roam just works like a champ.
The GoPro is picky about its cards. You have to make sure it's a high quality card. Only problem with it, but SD cards are so cheap nowadays.

Here's a good video about filters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijZBC5Tov_4

An even better video (filter put on about half way through) and this is with the GoPro 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PynRo0vKRFA

Last edited by SlvrDragon50; 07-08-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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My local Walmart has the Hero2 Outdoor Edition (waterproof case and all the various mounts) for $189...so I think this question is answered. Now to just wait for payday to roll around.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have not owned a GoPro, so what I am going to say here is first hand experience on the others, and what I have seen with the GoPro's.

Pretty much, GoPro, Contour, and Sony. Cost is a factor, as well as mounting options. I guess you might as well add in profile as well.

GoPro - They have more mounting options than anyone else. Actually, you could probably combine the mounting options of any two of the competitors, and they would still have more of them. Plus, I am not sure if this is the case, but I believe that they started the action cam/POV market. So they have been doing it longer than anyone else. They have a swappable battery, so when you record and run out, you can swap your battery with another one, and get back to it. I believe that all three generations use the same battery. They come with a waterproof case right off the bat. But they are a plastic body that requires the case to mount them. So without the case, you have a camera that just sits there, no screw holes to use with a tripod or the like, just in case. This can make for a bulkier body. When mounting, you have to mount it up on top of your mask, or (In the case of paintball) on top or bottom of the barrel. Fairly easy to work with as well.

Contour - They have a number of options, most of which are very easy to work with, but limiting. Most of them use swappable batteries, which are interchangeable, as well as compatible with all generations. Profile is longer in length, but smaller in front. Of the cameras, they are the only ones that have built in mounting points, so you can use them without a case. Which they don't come with, extra cost there. Of the cameras, they are also the only one that has a lens that can turn. Want to mount it sideways? You turn your lens 90*, and it records everything just like it was in a normal mode of recording (Look at FreeEnterprise and how he mounts his ROAM). Bodies are also made of aluminum, and pretty robust as is. They can be a bit pricey though, with the older ROAM (A three year old design) being, as FreeEnterprise mentioned, in the $100 range. Pretty darn good support and customer service from Contour.

Sony - One of the newest entries into the market, less than a year now, they offer two models with only one difference; the higher end camera has wi-fi, the lower end does not. Plastic body, like the GoPro, they need to the case to mount to whatever to be used. Unlike the GoPro, the body (A smaller shape than a Contour) is rounded, so you would not be able to just place it on a table top and start recording you and your buddies BSing around or the like. Like the GoPro, and most of the Contours, they have a swappable battery, and can actually take two different batteries from the Sony line. Plus, from the gate, they offer 1080 in 30 framer per second, and with a firmware update (Although newer ones may come with this), 60 frames per second, plus they film 720 in 30, 60, and even 120 frames per second (No audio on that last setting). They have a LCD screen that not only tells you everything at a glance for what your settings are, but is very easy to read when you are adjusting your settings.

Video has typically been better with the Sony over the GoPro, and even the Contour. Especially low light. But, when going underwater, there is a kit out there that is two new front doors for the waterproof case. One door is specific for underwater, and is a wider flat lens. I believe that unless you get this, your video will have a very curved, fisheye look to it.

Two honorable mentions to add here: Replay and Midland.

Replay came into the market around two years or so ago, at least the paintball market. They partnered up with Greg Hastings, offering their camera with a special feedneck mount, for $30 over what the camera sold for. The feedneck mount has been hit and miss. Video is pretty darn good, a video from Hot Rod magazine on YouTube (I think that it was Hot Rod) showed like four different cameras mounted in a car, that drove around day and night, plus audio for each camera. In the end, the Replay handled the lighting better than the others, and had good audio, all without a case. But it is a tube (Great small profile) and mounting was a bit interesting. And it did not have a swappable battery, but the company has come out with two battery packs, both the same diameter, one around the same size of the camera, the other around half the size.

Midland makes a very Contour like camera, and they include, for a pretty low price, a waterproof case, and alot of mounts, right out of the box. Video is pretty standard, nothing special here, easy to use (One switch to turn it on and start recording, or stop recording and turn it off), and uses the same batteries as the Contours. Unlike the rest, they have a small 1/4 x 20 hole, so they can be mounted to a tripod or anything else that uses the standard screw. With the most expensive being $250, and I know that you can find them cheaper, they are a great option. Also, they come with two lenses for the waterproof case, one for normal, fisheye, and one for underwater. I used to have a pair of these, they aren't a bad camera at all.

Sorry that this is so long.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'd do the Contour in a heartbeat if I was only doing stuff on land. But underwater use is a major factor since I dive so much.
I would say that is probably the deciding factor. I use a Contour and love it for all my on dry land stuff, but from what I've heard, GoPro's are far better for underwater.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My local Walmart has the Hero2 Outdoor Edition (waterproof case and all the various mounts) for $189...so I think this question is answered. Now to just wait for payday to roll around.
189 is kinda steep. You should be able to get it for a lot cheaper. I got mine for about 180-200 before the 3 came out. Keep in mind, you need to buy a new lens for diving. The domed lens causes aberration and focusing problems underwater. You need a flat lens.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:03 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Really? Everywhere online is $230+. This is the only one I've seen listed under $200 anywhere. I'm only looking at new, though. I'll buy things i know how to fix (like paintball guns) used, but things I know jack about I want to be sure no one has previously screwed it up.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wow, after looking at prices you're right. I'm really surprsied the prices havent dropped considering the GoPro 3 white starts at 200.

Hmm. I'm really not sure. Guess 180 isn't so bad.

Shortly after the 3 was released, they were selling for 140-150 new.
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