You may have seen the commercials for the small, durable, mount anywhere, go anywhere “GoPro” camera. They always feature some extreme athlete performing some amazing task, often in slow motion. The image quality is flawless, the colors are bright and crisp. As someone who uses GoPro’s for my work on a regular basis I can attest that the ads are true. This camera never fails to impress.
In my work as a news cameraman I have strapped a GoPro to the roof of a police car, the inside of a lobster trap that we dropped into the ocean, and to my reporters head on countless occasions. Every single time the footage I got out of it was amazing. High Def, clear video, that really brings the wow factor. When my story aired with the footage from the top of a police car in it, my news director sent me an e-mail telling me how impressed he was. He watches 50 news stories a day, thousands a year, but mine was the one that stood out.
Now some of you might be saying, “Sure, that’s great, but I am not a news camera guy or an extreme athlete”. That’s the best part about this camera, you don’t have to be. Do you ski? Do you have a pool? Do you play a sport? The GoPro has gotten so cheap that a consumer or hobbyist can pick one up and make some amazing videos.
As early as a few years ago, cameras like this would cost over 1000 dollars and to be honest most of them weren’t very good. You can buy the latest version of the GoPro, the Hero 3 for $199.00. You can find older models for even less on Ebay. As your interest grows you can add whatever accessories you like, underwater housing, car mounts, bike mounts, head mounts, customize to your hearts content. Professional grade HD action video has never been so accessible and affordable for the general public.
The next time you go for a drive in the mountains, or your child has a soccer practice, bring the “GoPro” and create some amazing video to share with your friends and family.