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October 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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GoPro vs. a Standard Camera

which one fits your photo/video skills and needs?

from the October, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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It was way back in 1968 when Andy Warhol predicted there would come a time when everyone would get 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to YouTube and Facebook, that time is now. Judging by the quality of some of the offerings, thank goodness it's only 15 minutes. Everyone now shoots video, whether it be on their phone, their GoPro, their compact camera, a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera or an Epic camera with 4k resolution (the latest must-have), and the Internet is jammed solid with the results of their labors.

It's no different with those who go underwater. The aft decks of dive boats are crowded with expensive photographic equipment, ranging from the inexpensive to the obscene. The big question revolves around whether those who invest heavily in gear can justify it when they come to the results. Nobody is denying that a HD 4k video setup produces better quality results, but do you actually need to spend vast sums of money for that?

The little GoPro Hero, now in its third incarnation, has been incredibly successful product, because it is available at an attainable price (list prices range from $200 to $400; ), and it neatly dovetails into whatever else you might be doing without turning it into a film shoot. I've seen people with these little cameras, around the size of a packet of cigarettes, attached to bike helmets as they hurtle in and out of city traffic. Rather like the little camera that sits at the front of my car and records the scene in a continuous loop, I don't expect to get a movie from it, just evidence in case of a road traffic accident....

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