GoPro Cameras: Introducing the GoPro - dummies

GoPro Cameras: Introducing the GoPro

By John Carucci

The GoPro is a pint-size, consumer-priced camcorder that yields professional results and does lots of cool stuff thanks to its Wi-Fi capability, superior performance, and extreme portability.

The GoPro doesn’t take up much space, so it’s easy to pack, carry, and mount in interesting places. It’s a shade under 3 inches long (with the waterproof housing), so it would take a bagful of these cameras to occupy the same amount of space as a conventional camcorder.

Its diminutive stature becomes even more important when you mount several GoPro cameras in a confined area — and that’s a good thing, because these little guys are often used in bunches.

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall” doesn’t apply to the GoPro because it weighs ounces, not pounds. Because the camera is small and lightweight, you can place it almost anywhere with little concern that it will fall because it’s too heavy.

Earlier GoPro models captured movie files on an SD card, but because the camera gets smaller and lighter with each upgrade, it now uses a very petite microSD card (see this figure).

SD (left) and microSD (right) cards.
SD (left) and microSD (right) cards.

Wishing for the existence of such a camera just a mere generation ago was quite a stretch, like wanting a Pegasus in your barn. Fret no more — when it comes to the existence of a durable, inexpensive camera that goes anywhere while capturing high definition video and even 3D video. All it takes to accurately capture whatever situation you have in mind is an optional, inexpensive mount.

Just a few years ago, ambitious users who attempted to put an expensive camcorder in a place where it didn’t belong usually didn’t get a compelling piece of work; rather, they often had to pick up the pieces of their smashed cameras. That’s less a worry these days, thanks to the design and durability of the GoPro.

Beyond being small and well designed, a GoPro can go anyplace you go and mount almost anywhere. Moviemaking has always had the dubious distinction of being a cumbersome endeavor, usually because of the size and weight of the equipment. It’s quite refreshing to have a high-quality camera with ultra-wide optics that fits in the palm of your hand and that has a mount for almost every situation.

Going in nonconventional places is the GoPro’s job description. The tougher the location, the better. The GoPro is shock-resistant and waterproof, which are pretty good qualities for a camera that can mount on almost anything, moving or otherwise. The next time you’re inspired to mount the camera on Fido for a dog’s-eye view, feel free.

Shock your friends and neighbors when you decide to take the camera into the pool to shoot an underwater sequence. You don’t even have to worry about a waterproof housing, because it comes standard with the camera (see this figure).