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    Action camera advice

    I'm guessing there are people here with 'action camera' / GoPro experience. I think I want one but really don't know what to look for. I don't need 4kHFR direct to cloud sort of features. I really don't have that many specific needs at this time just from time to time think I could use something better than my phone. Maybe fun to stick one on the bike bars or helmet but more often would likely be a lot more boring like monitoring projects with a time lapse or watching something on a car I can't see while driving or some other one man testing where I can't be looking at something while operating it.

    One 'feature' I hear mention of is some having to have some sort of online account to make them work at all. That seems like something I really don't want. Does that mean I need to look at older models? Cost isn't a huge factor from what I can tell. Cheap would be better but if cheap is a complete waste of money I could send more. If I'm looking at older ones are there gotchas like really expensive or hard to find batteries? Other accessorys that are expensive or hard to find? I have looked at a few 'sets' of older gopros but don't want to get one and find out that something dumb like a missing cable or charger will cost me more to replace than buying a new unit.

    Open to hear anything and everything on the subject.

    #2
    I have an Akaso Brave 6 Plus and an Akaso Brave 7 LE.
    Both work excellent and come with a charger and 2 batteries. 2 spare batteries with a charger are under $20. They use different batteries so I bought spares for each. The Brave 6 plus is not natively waterproof but comes with a waterproof case. It has a built in mic and can only use a specific external mic from Akaso. Image stabilization is good.
    I fear the Brave 6 Plus is discontinued.

    The Brave 7 LE is natively waterproof/resistant ut comes with a waterproof case as well. It has a built in mic but does NOT support an external mic. It also has a forward facing screen. And the image stabilization is good.
    Dshue
    Giga Member
    Last edited by Dshue; 03-17-2021, 06:20 PM.

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      #3
      I use the Go Pro hero 8. $299 at Costco. I want 4k, Time Warp and most important, image stabilization. You do not want jittery video. I upload to YouTube and I want the best quality possible without artifacts. I also mount on the handlebar.


      https://youtu.be/UttTROZCA-U

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        #4
        I like them both so far. The biggest issue is having a computer that can edit. Both take a 64gb card which is plenty for 720 and 1080.
        Both come with accessories.
        Plenty of reviews on the tube.
        For the price I'm more than happy. And both do 4k. Time lapse, slow motion etc.
        Dshue
        Giga Member
        Last edited by Dshue; 03-17-2021, 06:19 PM.

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          #5
          I bought a previous generation of the Akaso EK7000 being sold on Amazon. I ended up not using it much, but it's a great little unit. The case is truly water tight, and it worked just fine with a "standard" triple suction foot I bought for attaching to flat surfaces. Unless you are a film maker, I think the Akaso is a winner for a hobbyist.

          Jose
          DaHose
          Giga Member
          Last edited by DaHose; 03-18-2021, 09:15 AM.

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            #6
            How about the deal I have heard about with needing some sort of online account to be able to use them? I don't recall what brand or models that was related to. I would really like to avoid that aspect of these things.

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              #7
              I've got a couple of gopros - an older high performance one (don't remember which) and an inexpensive "Session" that I won as a door prize at a conference

              I have mount on my handlebars which is very convenient but it's a more "boring" perspective than a head or chest mount, but they are more a pain so get used almost never. The handlebar is so easy - I just snap the camera in and if I want to record, push the button. It's always there and not in the way of anything so that's the position where it will actually get used instead of having to don a chest mount or head mount which just sit on a shelf for the most part.

              The session is a super small cube, about 3.5cm and so is easy to just pop into a pocket when I park the bike - the other one is quite a bit larger but easy enough to fit in a pocket, but it's harder to use on the handlebars and much harder to aim etc. The session pairs up over wifi to android IOS devices (I use an iPod touch that plays music to a bluetooth speaker also on the handlebars) and so you can view real time which makes it a snap to aim. The session has an internal battery and is only good for maybe 45min, but that's enough for most anything if you aren't running it 100%. The larger one has much better image stabilization and overall quality, a removable battery that last a lot longer in the first place but you can carry a spare or even charge one while using the other... But it's much more a pain to get all setup and to start and stop (uses a dedicated wireless) so again convenience wins out and 99% I'm using the session.

              The session is my EDC for the most part and just lives on the handlebars and is pretty much always there. The larger one is better for the head mounted or chest but in the end I almost never do any of that, maybe once every year or two.

              I used to run the session on the handlebars all the time but frankly it's all pretty boring and then you need to clean up all the videos so I stopped doing that. I guess it would catch something cool every now and then that would happen to fast for me to have time to press the button and turn it on but cleaning the videos up is too time consuming so now I just turn it on when I want it. It's just always there but even then the reality is that it seldom gets used.

              Neither needs or IMO benefits from an online account although they do have tools you can use with an account - I've got everything I need on my PC

              The first one was a trade and the other free... knowing what I know about them and myself I wouldn't bother buying one...

              YMMV

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                #8
                I will have to dig and see if I can find who was taking about being required to have an account to do anything. It was a youtuber I watch a lot that broke or lost a camera so they went and got the latest version of it and were pissed that it would not work at all without an account. I'm pretty sure it was the same person that also maybe complained about things like mics being kinda Apple like where you could only use their stuff that was expensive and never in stock. That only narrows down which channel it was to all of them since most youtubers use cameras and occasionally talk about them.

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                  #9
                  Do any or all have a feature like a dash cam where they will just loop and overwrite after a certain period? So if something cool happens you have to press a button to save that chunk?

                  I assume they all can be set to lower res of I really wasn't looking for 4k?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by 73Eldo View Post
                    Do any or all have a feature like a dash cam where they will just loop and overwrite after a certain period? So if something cool happens you have to press a button to save that chunk?

                    I assume they all can be set to lower res of I really wasn't looking for 4k?
                    The gopros have a whole bunch of different resolutions and frame rates... you can also set them to just take a picture every "X" amount of time from 0.5sec to 1min on the one in front of me

                    I don't remember whether they have a setting to run the memory as a circular file (writing over the earliest once it's full) but I pretty much will always run out of battery before I run out of memory so it's sort of a moot point

                    The gopros don't do well about taking external power so you are stuck with the limitations of the battery... I've run one off the USB port power but I wouldn't recommend that on a bike since sooner or later that would break the port and you also clearly lose the waterproof nature of the camera if the port is exposed

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                      #11
                      The Akaso doesn't need any account to use. They both have a wifi feature that works with an app but its optional.

                      And both have a driving setting that turns on automatically if the usb charge cable is connected to a key on charge port in the car. They have different loop time settings from 1 to 5 minutes. And they have an upside down mode if you need to mount the camera upside down.

                      They also work with external power, though probably not well in hot temps. And unlike gopro they don't require resetting date, time etc when swapping batteries.

                      They are full featured cameras.
                      at 1080p I get over an hour of recording from a battery. Considering each camera was $130 with 2 batteries and another $17 each for 2 spare batteries and charger I really don't have a power problem.

                      The biggest complaint I have is you can't set it so the screen stays on. The Brave 6 Plus times out at a nax of 1 minute and the Brave 7 LE at 5 minutes. I may try to get a video up tomorrow, in the evening at the earliest. That's if I'm feeling better and this rain ever slows up.

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                      • Dshue
                        Dshue
                        Giga Member
                        Dshue commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I think most cameras will do 720 and 1080 on the low side. Maybe not the 360° cameras, I've never used any of them.

                      #12
                      Still working on getting a sample video for you. I've just started feeling better today and actually shot some video but I left the handle bar mount loose so all the footage was as shaky. I'll try again tomorrow hopefully.

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                      • 73Eldo
                        73Eldo
                        Giga Member
                        73Eldo commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Picture looks good. Will have to look closer at those. Do you hear that noise on the bike or is that all just through the frame?

                      • Dshue
                        Dshue
                        Giga Member
                        Dshue commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Its much quieter on the bike. I think it's because there's no rubber between the clamp it's on and the seat post. Kinda like listening through a stethoscope.

                      • AZguy
                        AZguy
                        Giga Member
                        AZguy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        My handlebar mounted unit picks up a lot of motor noise through the frame... If head or chest mounted not so much... but these things do tend to do some audio compression so if there's no other sounds it will increase how much it's picking up other ambient sounds making them a lot louder than they really are... It's funny how much you can hear us converse over the motor noise when we start talking...

                      #13
                      Here is another video of the Akaso Brave 6 Plus with the Akaso external mic.
                      https://youtu.be/a6TeIOmyVqs
                      Dshue
                      Giga Member
                      Last edited by Dshue; 03-23-2021, 03:45 PM.

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                      • Dshue
                        Dshue
                        Giga Member
                        Dshue commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The forward facing Akaso Brave 7 LE video from the same ride will be up later.

                      #14
                      And this is the forward facing video of the same ride from the Akaso Brave 7 LE. It doesn't have the option of an external mic but does have a setting for wind noise reduction that I used for this.
                      https://youtu.be/qpwNX6YP8l8
                      ​​​​​​​

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                        #15
                        On both cameras I have them set to narrow field and distortion calibration is turned on. I notice that signs and such are hard to read and I believe it's these two setting that do that. At some point I will see how narrow field looks without distortion calibration.
                        But for me any slight issue with image quality is better than fish eye.
                        Dshue
                        Giga Member
                        Last edited by Dshue; 03-23-2021, 03:45 PM.

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