GoPro, Again…

Wheel full 70pxSeveral months into using a GoPro I’m still on the fence as to its utility as a device used for general purpose photography during bike rides. I really like the ability to shoot “on the move,” but that is almost outweighed by the fisheye character of the shots you wind up with, plus the fairly work intensive nature of getting them off the GoPro and onto a computer or handheld in a form that they can be used. It annoys me that you have to hand add geolocation to each photo.

Wheel full 70pxAnyway, the thing I had in mind when I took these shots was to note another drawback and my fix for it. The internal battery in a GoPro- at least a Hero 4 Silver GoPro- literally lasts for minutes- not hours, minutes- of constantly connected use. Then they die without warning. The best accessory purchase I have made so far is two of these “re-fuel” six hour battery backs [link]. They snap right on and are ready to go. Six hours is a stretch- I get about four, tops. But two will carry me through most days. I don’t know what folks who have the newer model GoPro can do- I understand that they are caseless, so these won’t fit. But there must be something like them.

GoPro or No?

Wheel full 70pxIt’s been suggested that I buy a GoPro camera to take on the trip.

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Wheel full 70pxThey look like a pretty nifty device. The idea of automatically documenting the ride as you go along is appealing. But…

1.  It looks high maintenance. Memory cards? Power? Weather resistance?
2. Bike riding is inherently not really smooth. Video quality?
3. Comfort. What is it like to have one of these hanging off your helmet all day?
4. Utility. Does anyone really want to look at 500 or so hours of YouTube video of a quirky route across the US shot at around 10 miles an hour? Doesn’t Google Maps pretty much offer that without all the pedalling?

Wheel full 70pxSo I know nothing about having and using a GoPro. Is it really the best use of around $400 out of the ride budget? I welcome discussion of this, and particularly by folks who have used one of these gadgets.

David Edgren