Budget GoPro Cam?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Airmaster23, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Airmaster23

    Airmaster23 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Airmaster
    Hi,

    Just curious if anyone has a good recommendation on a budget GoPro Cam to film their flights (camera mounted behind pilot's head to show panel and forward view out of cockpit) ?

    Something like the SJ Cam? (https://sjcam.com/shop/).

    What did you need for the setup/mount?

    I rent a C172M, so it would need to be easily removable.

    Thanks!
     
  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,654
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    The SJCam is the "original" GoPro imitation. If you check Amazon and stick with the ones that are both highly rated and popular or Amazon-recommended, you are not likely to go wrong.

    The one I have used for a few years has the Apeman brand. I've been very satisfied with its video quality, but you can judge that for yourself. I have a few others from behind the head with different cameras, but I don't do a lot of publishing. I keep the Apeman for the outside shots because of its long battery life (at least in the model I have)

     
  3. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    I buy my cameras on eBay. A lot of ppl get gopros for holidays or bdays and realize they can be a PITA to use (especially the older ones) so they often will sell only after having a few months. I get them to send up on High altitude balloon flights. Due to the risk of damage or non-recovery, I try to buy them cheap.
     
    Martin Pauly likes this.
  4. dennisc172

    dennisc172 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dennis
    I use the Gopro Hero 4+, it is old now but I bought new and it is still working. Replaced recently the batteries with new ones, and a new memory card. I also have the Wi-Fi remote, but you can use your mobile phone too. You can film 25FPS in 2.7K and mount it on the passenger window to have overview or at the roof (with the stickerthing if you are allowed to) on the plane interior. Battery life is OK. I see them on Ebay used for pretty low prices.
     
    benyflyguy likes this.
  5. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aftCG
    Get actual GoPro cameras on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar, or reconditioned units on eBay.

    The little cube shaped GoPro that has been discontinued are a great deal.

    Mounts, go straight to FlightFlix.

    IMG_20180929_133105.jpg
    IMG_20180929_133122.jpg
    IMG_20180929_133144.jpg
    Most of this footage was taken from a pair of those cubes - under $100 on eBay
     
  6. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    13,854
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    6PC
    Bite the bullet and get a real go pro.
    I started trying to buy knockoffs and in the end I just buy real GoPros now. You can get the GoPro 5 session for under two hundred bucks right now and that is an outstanding GoPro. That's the little Cube one reference to a couple posts above.

    That's the one 310 pilot (@Radar Contact ) uses. If it's good enough for him...
     
  7. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,663
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    That’s what I have and I got a “brunton” battery pack to extend the battery life for hours! Heavy but does the job.
     
  8. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,055
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    I agree used and rehabed gopros are great way to go. But I have picked up one of the sub $100 knockoffs on Amazon. The quality is still decent and I feel a lot better about putting that one in places where its at greater risk of being lost or damaged.
     
  9. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    18,658
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
  10. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
    Add me to the list of buying the real thing.

    I started out with a AKASO Brave 4K ($80 on sale). Decent reviews, awesome price for 4K.

    I do a lot of underwater video so tried it that way first. Always looked washed out, etc. My only reference at the time was my Sony A7rII in 4K. The image quality of the knock-off action camera was so just soft, washed out, etc. So I bought a Hero 5 black. Just one video clip and there was no going back. I thought I would use the knock off for mounting outside the plane but I think I will even skip that.

    Watch for sales on Gopro's, often new ones will be like $50 cheaper. Also, the ones in plain box (not retail boxes) are cheaper. Definitely check used like craigslist. I now have (3) Hero 5 Black's and the last one only cost $125 with 2 batteries...wish I would have started that way.

    I have three gripes about the Hero 5 Black (but I sure do love the built in display)

    1.) Battery life. Don't expect to record a 3hr flight. However I have a few liptstick sized power banks (2800mah) that could probably run it 3hrs between the low power bank and the built in battery. Expect around 1hr give or take at 1920x1080 30p and that's with the display off.
    2.) The audio adapter is expensive ($50). I left my last one at the hotel in Rapid City :( I think if you buy a Go Pro 4 or earlier the audio adapters can be knock offs.
    3.) The Go Pro smart remote is both awesome and frustrating. It took me quite a while to get it to always turn on all cameras, all start at the same time and all turn off together. Now I don't need to record the entire flight and instead end up with maybe just 10 perfectly aligned clips. The downside of not recording it all is that you might miss something interesting on the radio.

    I also agree with the FlightFlix mounts. Nice!!!

    And get the correct audio adapter so you can hear your Intercom and Radios (I think its "Nflighcam Digital Aircraft Audio Recording Cable" on Amazon).

    If you get more into it, you might want to buy a small aluminum housing which allows more options for controlling prop blur, etc.

    I think other decent options include the Garmin Virb's and some of the Sony smaller action cameras.

    For night flight to see inside and out really, really good you will most likely need a DSLR with a good low light lens. The go pro footage at night can get pretty grainy.
     
  11. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Martin Pauly
    Nice video, aftCG - I like how stable the footage is.

    What is the camera you show in the second picture (with the big ND filter)?

    Also, do you know if FloightFlix has a VibEx mount I can use with a GoPro and a suction cup mount?
     
  12. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aftCG
    The camera with the ND filter is a low end basic Hero. I got it local on Craigslist for $80 from a got who used it once in a race track. Honestly it has been the most dependable of my pile of cameras. You can see that sharpness with the ND filter really suffers, but it does eliminate that annoying strobe effect with out it. Without the filter it is very clear.

    Using wireless remote is a waste. My hero 3 (in the blue case) uses as much power on standby as it does just running. So that's what I do, and edit later.

    Speaking of just leaving it running, keep camera operation separate from flying they plane. Either set up the camera and then preflight, or preflight and then screw with the camera. Mixing the two activities is a recipe for missing a step - hopefully with the camera.

    Edit: Flight Flix is modular. The Vibe-X will fit between the camera and what ever base mount you use, including suction cup.
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    22,259
    Location:
    UQACY, WI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iMooniac
    And here, I was going to get you to re-recommend the knockoff you told me about!

    There are a billion different knockoffs now. I bought the one Briany recommended, and then saw one on clearance for 30 bucks at the local big-box home store (which still has them). For that price, I don't care if it falls off the plane! Ironically, even though they're different, they use the same smartphone app, so I think one of them is a knockoff of a knockoff. :rofl:

    Now, the knockoffs are never going to be as good as the real thing, but they're probably at least 3/4 as good for 1/4 of the price. Unfortunately, none of them has given me more storage space for footage, or more free time to edit. :(
     
  14. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    Ok, so how do I get a ride?
     
  15. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    383
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi.

    None of the cameras that I know of, in the GoPro line, 4,5,6 have sufficient latitude, ability to adjust for light conditions, to do the job. You will likely have to use 2 cameras, one for inside, the other outside, and to adjust for some of the side effects, like the swimming / jello effect, you may want to shoot at very high frame rate, in particular if you use the ND filter.
     
  16. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,814
    Location:
    Tupelo, MS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ktup-flyer
    My hero 5 black works fine. I just got a 7 black, but I haven’t had time to try it yet
     
  17. dennisc172

    dennisc172 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dennis
    I had to really get used to it, I am used to the 4. It can be run from a battery pack without the battery inside the cam, works nice and long (26800mah batterypack).
     
  18. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    383
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi.
    Can you please post a pic from your 5 that has both the In/ gauges and the Out, Pilot eypoint view. I have a 5 Black 4, 6 and No setting works well. I have to accept either or, if outside is OK, inside is not and vice versa.
    What setting are you sing that you found to work?
     
  19. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    13,854
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    6PC
    Scroll to 4:25
     
    Radar Contact likes this.
  20. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    383
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi.
    OK, here is what I am talking about, see pic, the inside the Cpit is unacceptable to me.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,746
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RyanShort1
    Unacceptable? You need to get busy telling all the good camera makers how to make a better sensor that can automatically detect stuff and change the exposure based on some sort of formula... LOL. Probably the only way to fix that otherwise would be to intentionally put some creative lighting on the panel so the contrast is not so great, but that might be a bit hazardous for the pilot. Even with high dollar digital cameras, the best way to deal with backlighting and extreme contrasts is HDR (Can't do that with video) or lighting. Another option might be to paint the panel something light colored...
     
    Sinistar likes this.
  22. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    383
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi.
    All I can tell you is that you are wrong, camera that can handle that situation exist, an a lot of the old film camera can handle that also. I am not going to argue with you, I am just telling you, and others, about the limitations, if you like it use it, IT IS NOT acceptable to me.
    That is exactly what the OP was asking about. If you have a solution post don't argue with the people that are trying to help.
     
  23. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SoCalPilot88
    What editing software do you guys use? I have a Hero 3 and I used to use Go Pro Studio but they stopped supporting it. Go Pro Quick lacks the functionality of Studio. I'd use it more if it didn't take hours and hours to edit a video.
     
  24. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    13,854
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    6PC
    So just like the "Get a real GoPro" advice... Go ahead and get Adobe Premier. ****es me off to high heaven that I have to rent it instead of owning it but it does everything.
     
    CC268 and Sinistar like this.
  25. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    13,854
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    6PC

    Do you have examples of cameras that can both expose for low light and bright situations simultaneously?
    I don't like to get into it with people but @RyanShort1 knows his stuff. I don't know your background but I know his.
    I for one would never tell him he is "wrong" when it comes to photo / video matters.
    Tread lightly or provide some examples.
     
    NHWannabe and RyanShort1 like this.
  26. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
    I don't even think an Arri Alexa camera has the dynamic range to pull off that shot. Sure, a completely static scene and you could use a still camera (Sony A7rIII) but you'd have to shoot it raw and crank the shadows almost to the maximum. Or you could use just about any camera in HDR mode...but once again that is a single picture and possible motion blur between the 2 exposures unless the plane is parked and nothing is moving out in front.

    The only really solution to the exact shot you gave and with video is a graduated ND filter with the dark part at the top. It might be a bit easier with a square graduated filter and holder (ie Cokin) but then its too big and you know you'll slice your head open on the corners.

    Well there is a cheat as well..you could have a small/diffused LED light panel shining on the dash.

    Like @SixPapaCharlie I also use Adobe Premier.

    For scenes just like you've attached, I often use the Lumetri Color Effect which has the same settings as Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw (for Photoshop). For GoPro footage you can crank up the shadows a fair amount if the ISO was relatively low.
     
  27. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
    Oh yeah, you mentioned film. Even if you gave us the same kodak video film stock used for recent motion pictures (eg. the last 2 James Bond Movies, anything by Christopher Nolan, etc) and the best lab in the world....the cinematographer we hire would still use a ND filter AND use hidden diffuse lighting on the panel. That shot is just too harsh.

    Modern backlit sensors (like the Sony's) will capture 15 stops of that 16 stop challenge. But you would have to shoot it raw and lowest ISO possible and then bring it out later...once again just not practical for video.

    Please point me to a camera that can handle this scene natively on the fly without post processing - I would love to read more about it.
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  28. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Martin Pauly
    Thanks, aftCG. That's what I was hoping. Though I'm not sure I'm looking at the right product:

    https://flightflix.net/wp-content/u...P-i-VibeX-GoPro-no-vibration-camera-mount.jpg

    I see how the GoPro camera housing will fit on it. I don't yet see how this will mount to a GoPro-style mount - it looks more like it goes on a thread of some sort.

    Am I looking at the right product?
     
  29. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
  30. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
  31. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    383
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    bluesideup
    Hi.

    If you are satisfied with the pic that I posted, go for it, I posted my opinion to the question that OP asked.
    If you want some examples read on the next post, and find your own information and or create a new post. You seem to have this propensity to side track any post to satisfy yourself.
     
  32. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aftCG
    That is a solid base mount like the ones I mount the cubes and the one by my landing light .Cheapest and very solid. You just remove a non-critical fastener (#6-10) and replace it with a slightly longer one and the small silver piece.

    Good point about the GoPro vs RAM suction mount. Camera mounts are like pistol holsters - you end up with an entire drawer full of stuff you thought would work. I have one on each side on cup and don't use either. But the RAM would adapt to 1/4-20 ("STD tripod") easier.

    The problem with suction mounts is physics. A mount that works at sea level isn't very solid at higher altitudes. I sure as hell wouldn't use one on the outside.
     
    RyanShort1 likes this.
  33. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
    You do realize @SixPapaCharlie is one of the few (here) out there generating aviation videos. I am pretty sure if he could find another cost effective, aviation friendly camera to improve on videos with those lighting conditions...he would!

    What video camera are you suggesting a person should use for this shot?
     
  34. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aftCG
    Cleavage or gas money go a long ways.

    Seriously, my back seat is empty at least 60% of the time. This past year I pointed one camera at the back seat and used the Nflightcam cable to pick up audio. That lets me take my brother, sons, hangar neighbors flying and edit a video they can share with their friends.
     
    Radar Contact and Sinistar like this.
  35. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,832
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad
    Cleavage AND gas money :) ... dreamin'
     
    Eric Stoltz and aftCG like this.
  36. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,055
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Don't forget Premier Elements. You can get usually get it and Photoshop Elements together for about $120 and you own it. I ain't no highfalutin youtube star but elements gives me everything I need in video editing and works great. If I were doing tons of video I'd probably spring for the full version of Premier but I can't justify the cost for what little I do.
     
    Sinistar likes this.
  37. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,524
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    Dude the Hero 7 black is awesome. I upgraded my 6 to the 7 just because of the stabilization. So good. I still kept my Karma Grip tho
     
  38. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,524
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    I love Premiere Pro..I can understand not wanting to pay for it on a monthly basis, especially if you don't use it often...but for $21 a month its worth it for me.
     
  39. Flocker

    Flocker Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Flocker
    How's the battery life on the 7?
     
  40. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,524
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    It's similar to what my 6 was. It's hard for me to give you a good assessment as I've never had issues with battery life for two reasons:

    1. I rarely record continuously for hours at a time. Most my vacation type videos I record for very short periods of time. Battery lasts all day no problem - regardless, I have 3 spare batteries.
    2. If I do plan to record continuously for hours then I simply use an external battery.