GoPro Review - A Portrait Photographer's Two Cents
There was NO WAY I was not taking my top-of-the-line Nikon on my trip to Costa Rica last month!
I'm a photographer and one of my best friends was getting married on the beach in Costa Rica. She had a photographer included in her package, but this was only for the ceremony. I'm so glad I was able to take getting ready pictures, and also get some good snaps of the reception...but the rest of the trip was a different story.
I was a camera snob, and never thought twice about a GoPro, until I wound up missing footage of an awesome excursion because of my lack of camera.
The wedding only took up a few hours of the week-long trip I had planned, and my boyfriend and I had a lot of excursions planned. The first was zip-lining through the rainforest. Now, I went DSLR-less because I was not going to take my fancy camera whilst careening through the jungle, let alone trying to keep it dry during the rainy season.
I took my phone instead, and even that was a mistake. I couldn't hold on to it while zip-lining, which is when we saw Howler Monkeys, sloths, lizards, about a million butterflies, and the list goes on.
Also, they're not too worried about regulations down in good ol' Costa Rica, so they let you go down the lines upside down, tandem (superman style), etc and I couldn't try because my phone was in my pocket and I was too worried about it falling out.
A girl in our group had a GoPro in a waterproof case and was able to attach it to her helmet. The footage was to die for!
So, I went back to my hotel, and started looking at action-type cameras. After a lot of reading and research, I settled on the GoPro Hero 5. It was waterproof, voice activated, and I could attach it to my person in a million ways so I wouldn't ever miss out on another experience again.
Benefits of Having the GoPro Hero 5
- It's tiny! I can throw it in my purse, or stick it in a pocket without looking like a tourist (as opposed to my huge DSLR that I now wear on a waist belt because it's too heavy for my neck...yes, dork alert, right here!).
- It's waterproof! The old GoPro versions need a waterproof accessory, but the Hero 5 is waterproof on it's own! Toss it in the pool, ocean, or lake and get cool underwater shots.
- The colors and editing software! GoPro takes vivid pics and videos (more on this is a sec) so if you're not a photographer that's going to edit your stuff, it's perfect. You can also take your time lapse shots, videos and pics and easily put together a highlight video of your favorites (with music)!
- Accessories! This is my all-time favorite feature...from a selfie-stick to a drone (just bought mine!) there is every way in the world to use your camera. I bought a case with about 80 pieces, ranging from a tripod to a head strap, on Amazon for under $20. It's awesome.
- iCloud! I have mine set up so as soon as I'm on wifi, or connect my phone to my camera, it uploads all my recent footage right to the cloud. Perfect for me, because I want everything right then and there.
Drawbacks of Having the GoPro Hero 5
- Night-time/low-light. The night-time photos/videos aren't as good as I would have hoped, on auto at least. I haven't messed around with manual settings yet, so jury's still out on this.
- Battery situation. You charge the battery through a USB-C cord through the camera and battery life isn't great either. BUT, I always buy a second (and third) battery for all my cameras, and what IS good is that the extra came with a double charger so you can charge 2 at a time AND they're separate from the camera.
- Accessories. I said this was a pro for the camera, and it is, but having a lot of accessories can make them hard to organize as well. I keep all my most-used ones together in an easy-to-access spot, and stored the rest.
- Price. After the camera, accessories, mini SD and extra batteries I was well over $500 (and don't get me started on the drone, which I do love btw). Now, I found a few cameras that were really similar for only $100, but I've learned that you get what you pay for, plus I really liked the software/apps/tech support that came with the GoPro, so I'm happy with my decision.
Anyway, for any person wanting to travel or go on adventures, I'd definitely recommend the GoPro.
Of course I'll still be taking my DSLR and iPhone with me, but I never want to be in another situation where I can't get footage of my trip, or have to worry about my camera getting wet or smashed into a million pieces.
What do you think about GoPro cameras? Do you have an action-camera that's cheaper? Please share your thoughts in the comments; I'd love to hear from you!