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Author Topic: GoPro or Clone?  (Read 7378 times)

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Online teslahed

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GoPro or Clone?
« on: January 02, 2013, 16:21:36 »
I'm looking to buy myself a decent HD video camera for shooting video and stills from my quadcopter - something a bit better than the 808#16 mini 'spycam' I've been using up to now.

I have a budget of around £180 but if i can spend less I would like to - the difference will go towards an APM2.5. Has anyone got any experience with any of the various GoPro clones? Are any of them worth considering or is it a go-pro or nothing?

The RCtimer clone looks interesting;

http://www.rctimer.com/index.php?gOo=goods_details.dwt&goodsid=810&productname=



but I'm finding it tricky to get any more information on the camera than the RCtimer website, which is just an advert.

Has anyone got any experience with the rctimer clone or any other similar cameras? I don't need the very best quality money can buy but i would quite like to be able to shoot in 1080p and 720p - higher frame rates are an attractive feature too. If i can shoot reasonable quality stills that's definitely a bonus. I don't want to get something that has a good specification on paper but a cheap and nasty lense that can't produce pretty videos and stills when i get the chance to fly around some nice scenery. I'm not looking to start a professional aerial photography business but i don't want to waste my money on more cheap rubbish.

If anyone has one of these cameras i would love to hear their impressions of it.


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Offline homersainty

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 16:31:38 »
i think chipko has one of these but he don't seem to get on much latley maybe worth throwing him a pm
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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 16:52:32 »




A couple of chipkos video's taken with the RCtimer camera I'm considering.

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Offline Biffa

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 17:02:34 »
I'm considering one of these:

Liquid Image Ego 1080p Wi-Fi Sports Camera - Water Ski Racing


Or this one:

Crocolis HD Extreme Cam - A review
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 17:15:45 by Biffa »
Steve

Offline eyeflying

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 17:22:27 »
You may be interested in one of these... I've bought a small quantity of GoPro 3 (Silver Edition) from China - I'm expecting them early next week. I'm not sure what the final price will be yet as it all depends whether I caught caught for import duty/taxes but I'm hoping to be able to sell them for well under £200 - ideally I aiming for around 175 each (if I escape the taxes!).

The cameras are genuine Gopro 3's - Silver - I hope :crossfingers: but they are being supplied without any packaging, waterproof housing, leads or battery - basically its the camera and that's it! - I'm just trying to source batteries for them at the moment.

I wasn't going to mention these until I actually had them in my hands and checked them out but your post prompted me to say something as you may want to hold on a few days and maybe get the 'real thing'?

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 17:33:38 »
Thanks eyeflying - i think i will be waiting to see how that pans out for you :crossfingers:

Definitely seems worth considering at that price.
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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 18:50:39 »
If the go-pro 3 falls through (or I decide i can't afford one) the extremecam HD is looking like a good option;

http://www.chinavasion.com/china/wholesale/Digital_Cameras-Camcorders/Sports_Action_Camcorders/Sports_Action_Camera_Full_HD

£76.42
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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 19:07:52 »
That looks really good value - it seems like it a similar spec to a Hero 2. Personally, I'd much rather have  80 quid's worth of camera strapped to my quad than a £200 Gopro!

I know the Hero 3 Silver is higer res at 11 Mega Pixels but by the time the footage is converted for YouTube all that extra quality gets lost anyway.

Online teslahed

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 20:17:26 »
Thanks for your honest opinion - I'm in two minds about whether i should spend the money on the top of the line go-pro 3 (at the possibly reduced price you think you may be able to get them at) or just go for the cheaper extremecam HD camera.

I don't have to make a decision immediately so i will probably still wait to see how things pan out with your possibly cheap(ish) go-pros and then look at my bank balance.

Features like the high FPS full HD video that the Go-Pro 3 can shoot make it stand out from the slightly cheaper HD cameras - but as you say, for youtube it's not exactly critical.



 

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 21:24:31 »
Here's my pennies worth... I've been using a £40 Sony Bloggie for filming from a glider. It's a superb little camera, it's cheap, it's light and the angle of the camera can be adjusted easily. It does superb 5 Mega Pixel at 60 Frames Per Second (FPS) at 720P or 30FPS at 1080P. The only downside is the angle of the lens which is around 120 degrees view i think.

Here is an example of one on ebay... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sony-bloggie-MHS-PM5-PM5K-Camcorder-WHITE-BOXED-/221172984527?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_Video_Camcorders&hash=item337eefeacf.

I have found that it's not just the Mega Pixel but also the size of the Image Sensor, the FPS and the viewing angle. All are needed for best quality and the higher the figures the better.

Another superb little alternative is http://www.aee.com/en/index.asp

Some on ebay for £150. I think they are copies of the GoPro, but with larger image sensor, but lower megapixel. Not quite as good as the GoPro.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AEE-SD19-DVR-1080P-HD-Camera-Remote-Control-with-LCD-Screen-GoPro-Hero-2-/261127943373?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_Video_Camcorders&hash=item3ccc7034cd

There is a formula for working out the proper megapixel of the image relative to the image sensor, but i'm not sure what it is. For example my Canon EOS 10 Megapixel with a large image sensor provides a far better picture with less noise than my Nikon P500 bridge camera 16MP which has a smaller image sensor.

I'm not an expert so perhaps someone who knows about such things can provide some info.  :smiley:
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Offline Jumpy07

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 22:27:24 »

First camera I tried on my quad was the keychain 720p camera.. which was pretty good considering the price.. but terrible in low light...

I have tried a Fuji non HD digital camera on my Quad which gave good results..  it had stabilisation built in..

Tried a Panasonic HD Lumix that was crap.. really bad jellow..

My Kodak Zx3i action camera was good but odd hardware size / format..    but did 60fps at 720p

720p at high FPS does seem the sweet spot for Multis...  slow mo is very good...

I allways thought GoPro's were overpriced until the GoPro 3 Black came out... I know its expensive but nothing touches it for the weight / size and price at the moment.

The other thing that made me go for the GoPro is the accessories  / gimbals that you get for them.. even more so for fixed wing planes..

PS: No way I would out any of my Canon EOS SLR's on a multi.... def not the way I fly anyway :-)
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Offline eyeflying

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 22:51:48 »
Hmmm - We could get really technical here about pixel density vs image quality but at the end of the day (and in my previous life in Film and TV) we always used to say "Content is King" - basically, its more important to capture good subject matter and frame it well rather than get too wrapped up in the technical merits of the video or photograph.

I've seen some brilliant photographs taken with a disposable camera and conversely, a friend of mine (with more money than sense) takes rubbish pictures with a Canon 5D Mk3!

So, why choose a GoPro?

I've got a Hero3 Black Edition - all singing and dancing - Hi-Res 4K images etc., etc. but the reality is... I'll probably never ever use that mode, nor will I probably ever use it to shoot 1080p at 60fps (incidentally - I've said this before, but in the UK and Europe we should be shooting 50fps and NOT 60fps - thats for NTSC - we're PAL).

What we need to ask ourselves is why? - what do we want the camera for? - I think 95% of people on this forum want their cameras to fix to their quads, take some great aerial footage and then share it on YouTube - and for this purpose, the best settings you'll ever need is 25fps 1920x1080 - even then, 1280x720 is still good enough. OK, if you want super sharp slo-mo, then a higher frame rate will achieve that.

The big problem you hit with shooting mega high quality video is editing it - once you start using the higher resolutions you're going to need a powerful computer and some really fast AV drives to handle the data rate (unless of course you compress the video and then you're dropping the quality!).

OK - I'll witter on for ever on this and get very boring - so why do I like GoPro Hero 3's (I don't like the Hero 2 too much though)

1. yes, the quality is really good for is relatively low cost
2. Spares are readily available (if you crash and break the lens you can find a replacement)
3. You can change the field of view (Ultra wide, Medium, Narrow)
4. Built-in Wi-fi - absolutely brilliant! - you can change all the setting and frame your shots - from your phone! - what other comparable camera does that?!
5. Its small - its light - perfect for strapping to a small quad
6. Finally, its got good 2nd hand value if you decide to change it for a newer model (Hero 2's are still selling well) so the actual cost of owning a GoPro is the difference between what you buy it for and what you sell it for (if you ever do!).

But am I happy strapping a GoPro to my Quad? Still a difficult one to answer! - I know I'll get better images from a GoPro but its still not an 80 quid camera.... Oh. all right... yes, I'll do it - shove the GoPro on the quad and pray!

Wow - I really could go on for ever about this (can't you tell its a subject close to my heart?) - but I won't.

Buy a GoPro!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 23:07:59 by eyeflying »

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 23:17:11 »
Here's my pennies worth... I've been using a £40 Sony Bloggie for filming from a glider. It's a superb little camera, it's cheap, it's light and the angle of the camera can be adjusted easily. It does superb 5 Mega Pixel at 60 Frames Per Second (FPS) at 720P or 30FPS at 1080P. The only downside is the angle of the lens which is around 120 degrees view i think.

Here is an example of one on ebay... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sony-bloggie-MHS-PM5-PM5K-Camcorder-WHITE-BOXED-/221172984527?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_Video_Camcorders&hash=item337eefeacf.

Very helpful, thanks. Do you have any examples of the video quality uploaded to youtube or similar anywhere i can have a look?

Quote from: eyeflying
Hmmm - We could get really technical here about pixel density vs image quality but at the end of the day (and in my previous life in Film and TV) we always used to say "Content is King"

Definitely true, but i still wish I'd had a gopro on this day;



(and a more stable aircraft as a camera platform...)
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 23:29:42 by teslahed »
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Offline eyeflying

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 23:39:52 »
Definitely true, but i still wish I'd had a gopro on this day;
(and a more stable aircraft as a camera platform...)

I know what you mean - days like that are rare. But I think in this case, a more stable platform would have been more beneficial than a GoPro - but ideally, it would have been great to have both!

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Re: GoPro or Clone?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 16:23:03 »
My initial batch of 'cheap' GoPro 3's (Silver) arrived today. I was initially a little suspicious as they don't have any serial number sticker inside them so I thought they may be copies but apparently not. I've thoroughly tested one of them and it worked perfectly - I even updated the software via GoPro's site - it connected OK and the camera was verified by GoPro. I configured the wireless App and that worked perfectly too - so far, so good  :crossfingers: Still haven't got the batteries though - they arrive on Monday - very happy with this little purchase - they'll be on eBay on Moday!