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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Review: GoPro Hero 8

 Xiaoqin wanted a GoPro Hero 8 for the tour in the hopes of capturing good video. The GoPro Hero 8 had good reviews and was somewhat reasonably priced, and the bike mount for it was also easy to get and use. What was astonishing to me, however, was how easy it is to lose the little pieces associated with the GoPro. For instance, the screw on the bike mount got lost early on during the trip, and we couldn't find a replacement anywhere until I had the idea to buy it from and ship it to a hotel we had reservations for.

Similarly, we lost the battery cover for the GoPro pretty early on, and it's nearly impossible to get a replacement! All the replacements we found on Amazon were not waterproof, leaving a port open for the USB-C charging port. I guess the main reason people lost the cover was because you have to remove it to charge, and hence the standard replacement eliminates the need to remove the cover for charging. Fortunately, if you want to swim or dive with the GoPro, you simply would buy a cheap waterproof case for it.

In practice, the video captured is very good, as are the sounds captured. However, the biggest problem with video is that you have no idea what's going to be good coming up, so the best bet is to just turn it on and keep it running. Here, the GoPro has several issues. The worst of it is that there's no indication as to whether the unit is recording. When you start it, there's a period of time when it would show the video being captured, but after a while the screen turns off and it's very easy to forget whether or not you have it on. It would be nice if there was a blinking LED to indicate on or off. Similarly, the Hero would bounce and get jerked around and I'll discover after we got home lots of footage of the front wheel spinning against the ground.

Finally, to my mind the biggest issue with capturing video is the amount of effort to be spent editing it. Editing video is mind-numbingly boring, and I could not bring myself to do much of it.

All in all, I think that photos are worth the effort, but you'd have to be a more better videographer than I am to produce good video after something like the tour of the alps. The footage when it is good is good, but there's too much of it for me to be happy to spend time editing. I think bike tours just aren't made for this sort of stuff.

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