GoPro Hero 7 Black Frame Mount FAIL

The frame that holds my GoPro Hero 7 Black recently broke when I was trying to put the camera in it. I would have thought these things would be way more durable. I haven’t even had the camera for a year and already I’ve had to buy a replacement part. I bought a cheap one on Amazon that is compatible. It doesn’t provide as much protection all the way around but it does let me charge the thing without having to take the mount off which is a huge plus in my book.

So I lose the cool Black 7 on the side of the mount. The camera has had some other problems that I think are software related. It won’t accept all my voice commands and sometimes the camera freezes while recording. It might be due to my taking the camera to cold climates all the time to record skiing or other stuff. I would have thought the camera would be more durable and be able to resist the cold. I think it would be awesome if they would upgrade the Hero Session. I still have my Hero Session 4 and the only thing that I really want for it is image stabilization similar to the Hero 7 Black and the voice controls. I know there is a Hero Session 5 but the camera is old and could use an update. That thing was really versatile and would be perfect for my daughter to use on vacation.

Oh well, I need to accumulate more points to get my next GoPro. This one was free with all my Amex points so it breaking or freezing isn’t a big deal since I technically didn’t even pay for it.

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GoPro Hero 7 Black!

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Due to my numerous travels all over the US for work, I accumulate quite a number of American Express points as I spend money on meals, lodging, and transportation.  Over the last year I saved enough points to finally get a GoPro Hero 7 Black for free!!  I have the GoPro Hero 4 Session that I also got on points about 2-3 years ago and I’ve been using it on trips.  I was just about to get the Hero 6 Black when all of a sudden the Hero 7 was announced to be released soon so I just had to wait for it.

I haven’t really had an opportunity to use it much.  The reason that I wanted a new action camera was because of the image stabilization that was one of the top selling features of the new GoPro.  The Hero Session doesn’t have any type of image stabilization so a lot of my videos were jittery and not very usable.  I tried the Hero 7 recently while riding my bicycle and it was really smooth even with all the bumps in the road.  In addition to the Hero 7 Black, I got a screen protector for the front and back of the camera and a battery charger with 2 extra batteries so that I can use it for approximately 6 hours before I need to juice everything up.  I had just enough points left over for a 200GB microSD card to use for videos.

There are more steps involved with using the Hero 7 compared to the Hero Session.  The Hero Session was just 1 button whereas the Hero 7 has 2 (power and shutter).  Although the voice command stuff is awesome, you have to leave the camera on which drains the battery.  I’ll have to be more careful with my action shots during my vacation to Whistler so I don’t drain the battery just waiting to take a video.  I did try out some of the voice commands and they work wonderfully.  I can see those being very useful so I don’t have to reach up and hit a button if the camera is already on.

I haven’t discussed the video quality yet but I think that’s because I’m not one of those people that shoots everything in 4K. I’m just fine with 1080p.  I shoot that resolution with my iPhone 7 and I don’t have any problems with the quality.  It’s also easier to upload to YouTube and doesn’t eat up hard drive space on my NAS.  I can’t wait to find a good excuse to use this camera in the winter while on vacation.

GoPro Hero Session – Using it in water

I’ve had my GoPro Hero Session 4 for a couple of years now and the main use for it was to use it while I’m doing activities like skiing, swimming, or anything else where I can’t really use my iPhone.  I recently had a family trip in Hawaii and I used it a lot there but I found out that a lot of the video that I had wasn’t all that good because of water spots on the lens.  It’s kind of annoying but you can see enough of the video that it comes out alright but before the vacation I didn’t research a way to get the water off.

I looked the other day on YouTube and someone recommended using RainX on the lens.  That in itself is freaking genius!  I use it all the time on my car and all the water just comes off my windshield as long as I’m going a certain speed or there is a decent amount of water.  There were times you could see me blowing at my GoPro so the video was a bit funny in that regard.  The pictures that did come out of the GoPro were really good and clear and the sound wasn’t bad too since I wasn’t that far away from the subject material.

Overall the GoPro is fine when it gets wet except when you come out of the water, there will be water streaks and drops everywhere unless you treat the lens with RainX or an equivalent.  Under water the pictures and video are pretty good, of course the sound is going to stink since it is under water but I was able to get some nice video of some turtles on the Big Island in the lagoon at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.  Here is an example from when I used the camera during my vacation.  Love the turtle, hate the water spot at the end when I bring the camera out of the water.

 

I got a GoPro Hero 4 Session

  
I recently got a GoPro for myself by burning some of my Amex points.  I had quite a few points that I’ve built up so I decided why not, it might be fun having this thing.  I really bought it for my snowboarding trip that I’m going to take in March.  It will be the first time for my entire family to go snowboarding and capturing it on video seemed appealing.  I looked into some different solutions with my iPhone but most of them were a little risky and iPhones and snow don’t mix well if you wipe out.

I bought the Hero 4 Session because it’s really small and it’s already water proof!  It can last about 2 hours per charge but I don’t intend to take that much video in a single shot.  That would require lots of cutting and editing on my part.  I might take a laptop with me so I can dump the footage to a memory stick and then edit it when I get home.

So far I’ve used the GoPro only a handful of times.  Mostly to take video of my daughter playing soccer or doing Kung fu.  I bought this plastic thing that you can hold that also converts into a stand.  The stand part is awesome, it allows the camera to be stationary and take video while I do other stuff.  I hooked the camera up to my iPhone and that took a while to get just right but I think I got it to work now.  I haven’t tried dumping video to my iPhone from the camera but maybe I should do that before my trip which might save me from bringing the laptop.

I recently got some new accessories that I’m waiting to be delivered.  The centerpiece is the chest mount which is what I’ll probably end up using the most. I have a head mount but that seems cheesy and it wouldn’t fit on my motorcycle helmet anyway.  I think the chest mount will be more stable and it won’t hurt my head if I fall or something.  I’m really excited to get the chest mount so I can use it on motorcycle rides.  There are plenty of times that I’ve ridden my bike and wanted to take a photo or video but you just can’t while on the go, this should solve the problem without having to stick a mounting point directly on my bike.

Once I get a decent video of me riding on a motorcycle, I’ll post that bad boy up on YouTube.  So awesome can’t wait to do this!