But let us leave bureaucratic obstacles for those who, by the nature of their activity, are called upon to overcome them. After all, there is a much more interesting reason for the article:
The reader should be warned: in this article you will not see mesmerizing shots taken in the stratosphere. There will be no broken cars, no broken limbs. Exotic methods of attaching GoPro to something also remain at the discretion of the owners of such cameras. We will focus on studying the technical features of the device: control, shooting modes, methods of processing the received video. All that is not described in the user manual or on the product web page.
Traditionally, the GoPro Hero camcorder comes in several variations, or, if translated “Edition” literally, editions. They differ not only in completeness. Before buying, it is recommended to carefully study the characteristics of each “publication”. this can be done on the official GoPro website.
But everything is much simpler for us: the camera, kindly provided for testing, belongs to the “older” version. GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition.
Included with the camera is a serious set of accessories (looking ahead, we note: even such a collection is probably not enough to implement all the ideas):
- several mounts, including a platform
- waterproof case
- replaceable back cover for the case (not tight, with holes for better sound recording)
- remote control with charging cable
- Mini-USB cable — USB
- paper instruction in Russian
The camera concept remains the same as in the first versions. The design. yes, has slightly changed. The battery has ceased to resemble a telephone, now it has the shape of a brick. Of course, the old batteries will not fit the new camera.
The supplied battery allows you to record continuously for 95 minutes in 1280 × 720 50p mode with Wi-Fi turned off. Wireless communication consumes a lot of energy, the battery is draining literally before our eyes. Unaware of this, the author, about to shoot and charge the camera, did not pay attention to the indicator blinking in blue, and arrived at the shooting site with an almost exhausted battery. It turns out that turning off the camera is not enough. you need to make sure that Wi-Fi is also turned off: the wireless network adapter in the camera turns on and off separately.
The case of the device, as usual, is made of shockproof plastic. On one of the ends there is a Wi-Fi enable / disable button, on which the corresponding icon is applied.
The camera screen still does not have a backlight. this is a serious minus. And, just like in previous versions, the menu navigation is carried out with two buttons. This method of parameter management cannot be called comfortable; however, this is a matter of habit. It is enough to work out tightly with the camera for a week to change, for example, the recording mode, focusing on sound signals and the number of clicks, with your eyes closed. But, we repeat, to a beginner such an unobvious method of control may seem inconvenient and antediluvian.
Service interfaces of the camera are covered by a removable plug: Micro-HDMI, Mini-USB, and a slot for a microSD memory card (up to 64 GB).
The control panel screen also does not have a backlight; in active mode, this screen completely copies the screen of the camera itself, repeating all the set parameters and icons. Device information is exchanged all over the same Wi-Fi. The remote control works stably, the maximum distance at which the camera is able to receive a control signal and transmit information can be 200 meters in direct visibility conditions.
Video: Gopro Hero3 Wi-Fi Adapter Setup
To recharge the remote control, a special cunning-shaped connector is used; charging is carried out from the USB port or from a similar adapter. During charging, pull out the metal eye from the remote control, for which the remote control is designed to be attached, in order to avoid its loss.
The main technical characteristics of the camcorder are given in the table:
- Micro HDMI
- Mini-USB 2.0
- microSD card slot
- shooting a series of photos (3, 5 photos in 1 s; 10 photos in 1, 2 s; 30 photos in 1, 2, 3 s)
- interval photography (0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 s)
- photo during video recording
- continuous shooting when you press and hold the shutter button
- loop recording video (car dvr mode)
- Dynamic Range Protune Mode
- white balance adjustment with three presets
- wireless control, including using mobile devices
- shooting with the click of a button (start recording when the camera is turned on)
- USB charging
Video / Photography
First of all, you need to know with what kind of resolution it makes sense to shoot. It would seem: if you want to save events with maximum detail. use the 4K available here. But the frame rate when shooting with this resolution, alas, is still not high enough. only 12.5 frames per second (hereinafter we will use the PAL standard as the main and most other countries).
But how to measure the resolution of this camera? Our test pattern, printed on a sheet of A3 format, is not suitable for this. The fact is that the lens of the camera in question has a fixed focal length. Simply put, objects located a meter away from the lens to infinity will be in focus; objects that are closer than a meter will come out of the focus area and blur.
What is the way out? Of course, an ogro-oh-ohm test pattern! True, printing (and posting) is quite expensive. In addition, it does not make much sense: after all, the main areas of the table by which you can fairly accurately determine the resolution of the camera fit on just six A4 sheets (the entire table could have a width of 3 meters).
To print the required six sheets, we split the “virtual” table into sheets. After that, only the desired area was printed. in the next figure it is highlighted.
Having glued the resulting sheets and placing them on a vertical surface (wall), we became thoughtful. Dilemma: from what distance should you shoot? After all, it is required not just to remove this object. The main thing here is to maintain the necessary proportions. One could use a simple calculation, but alas. the optical distortions introduced by the camera lens are so strong that ordinary geometry is not good here. There is only one way out. sequential shooting taken from different distances from the table will help us. Armed with a tape measure and choosing a step of five centimeters, we made the necessary shooting, making several tens of takes.
Now it’s enough to combine the freeze frames obtained from each take with the image of the table in the original in a graphical editor and select the frame most suitable in size, where the key table objects of interest to us coincide with the original in location and size. Done!
The shooting was, of course, in 4K 3840 × 2160 mode. This mode was chosen because the aspect ratio in it is standard 16: 9. exactly the same as in the test table. The calculation showed that the actual camera resolution reaches 2800 × 1600. Wow! I remember Carlson with his sincere surprise: “Such a big housekeeper. in such a small box?” What kind of processor is inside our camera that allows you to encode a picture with a similar resolution? Come on, heats up like an internal combustion engine? Let’s measure this parameter too.
This photo was taken half an hour after the start of recording in 720p mode, while the camera was in a room with a temperature of 24 ° C. As practice has shown, it is possible to avoid reaching a critical temperature by abandoning the use of Wi-Fi and providing the device with the maximum possible ventilation. That is, shooting in heat with a camera placed in a sealed box threatens to overheat and then turn off the device. this aspect is covered in detail in the user manual. One thing is good: thanks to the presence of a temperature sensor in the camera, one should not be afraid of a device breakdown due to overheating.
But back to the resolution. So, 2800 × 1600. These numbers are damn reminiscent of the frame resolution obtained when shooting in 2.7K mode. Conclusion: you can get maximum video detail while avoiding wasted disk space by using one of the 2.7K modes: 2.7K (2716 × 1524, 16: 9) or 2.7K Cinema (2716 × 1440, 17: 9). over, the frame rate of such a video is already close to normal: 25 or 24 fps.
You can visualize the difference in the detail of each of the recording modes using the following video:
The huge number of shooting modes available in the camera in question makes them appear in a separate table — all parameters cannot be fit into the main table of technical specifications. Here you can also download still images and original clips shot in the indicated modes.