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How much experience before using a GoPro?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Orestis82, Aug 25, 2019.


    BLACKCRUSADER Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taiwan
    Yup your hands are like uncontrollable pendulums that swing wildly lol. Two things, the platform allows me to use one hand or both, my dive computer is on my right arm and faces me even when I am taking a video or photo ( too many nut jobs claiming I lose track of my depth, time to deco etc ) when they see the photos of me using it lol I use a shoelace tied to the platform hooked thru my BCD strap. Can unstrap the BCD if I want to release the shoe lace and set the platform down. OR you can use a carabena type clip

    In fact to use the platform well you actually need to have better control of your buoyancy and you can easily maintain situational awareness as you do not need to look at the Go Pro screen. The Go Pro can even take good photos, video lights help a lot as does red filter.

    Attached Files:

    purbeast likes this.
  2. Neilwood

    Neilwood Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    My thoughts are similar to a few others on the thread - it depends. I would suggest only taking one when you are comfortable in maintaining depth and trim even when task loaded.

    As Storker says, having photography/video skills from topside helps a great deal as it minimises additional task loading underwater. I had been using a DSLR for a number of years before I got into diving so thinking about supporting it and holding a heavy object steady was ingrained (I did quite a bit of shooting with a long telephoto which makes balancing it harder) however mastering that made using smaller cameras easy.

    I personally started using a fauxpro (gopro copy) after about 8 dives in total. I wasn't crashing into anything and felt comfortable enough in maintaining my level and trim within a foot or so. Even when videoing, you need to maintain situational awareness (don't fixate on that 1" LCD screen) and still do your normal checks (gas, depth, NDL, buddy etc)

    I took the same camera to the Red Sea for a liveaboard when I had 20 dives total (including PADI AOW). Did quite a bit of video on that trip including a number of wrecks (Thistlegorm, Carnatic, Chrisoula K) and didn't have any issues with bashing into anything and my buddy was happy with the amount of attention I was paying to both the dive and his situation.

    I would not advocate a wrist/mask mount - the footage will be near unviewable (ask me how I know). It takes a bit of practise to get your hand steady enough to record video that doesn't make people feel sick. Get a pole or tray and lights and make sure they are attached to you via a leash (at the very least to your wrist/bcd) - that way should you have any issues, you can simply let the camera drop and get on with sorting the issue.

    BLACKCRUSADER Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taiwan
    You can see my camera platform just hangs at hand level when I am in vertical or horizontal trim. Same for my dive torch.
    So pretty much unless I want to film something my hands are not otherwise occupied.

    Attached Files:

  4. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    FYI, anything, no matter how soft you think it is, can and does damage coral polips. The attitude that I can do anything as long as I think it does no harm is supremely arrogant. ==> Ignore
    eleniel, jlcnuke, WinfieldNC and 2 others like this.
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    They are much too dangly. I hope you stay a good 2m above the coral, but the earlier pictures suggest not.
    maj2 and eleniel like this.

    BLACKCRUSADER Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taiwan
    If you took note I am nowhere near any polyps. I do not need your condescending remarks claiming I am destroying the corals when I am always at least 3 feet away from them. How about you stop trying to assume people are doing things they are not and not trying to police other divers.

    BLACKCRUSADER Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Taiwan
    If you see where I am in that picture I am away from any reef or corals that's a dive with another friend.

    If I get closer I actually have my torch and camera platform in hand. Torch so I can look for things under the reefs or on fans. I've been diving for 33 plus years. I know where I am to my surroundings. :) In fact these photos near the corals were taken by an instructor who was on a dive with me and he wanted to snoop and see if I actually touched anything. He found I didn't. I wasn't aware he was taking photo's of me.

    Attached Files:

  8. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    I would suggest first option would be to get an extendable float pole. That way you can extend to get closer to subject (about 2-3 feet) without having to get too close to any coral. They are also relatively steady and you are less likely to freak out any fauna. Also easy to pass up to boat and clip to ring so you don’t need to worry about it on entry.

    Remember to record your name and address as the first thing on every dive with blank memory card. I’ve found 6 GoPros over the last few years and only managed to get 2 back to their owners...
  9. BlueTrin

    BlueTrin DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: London
    I am a new diver and use a GoPro (badly). I would say that you want to first be able to be neutrally buoyant without effort.

    Then start taking your GoPro on a floaty stick (link) and a waterproof case.

    Attach a single ended bolt snap onto it and clip this inside the pocket of your drysuit (ideally). When you want to take a shot get it out of your pocket.

    This will allow you to only use the GoPro when you feel comfortable and you can stash it away when you don’t need it once you get used to clip things back in your pocket.

    I think that actually using a GoPro, during an easy dive, will improve your buoyancy: it will force you to taskload.
  10. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    I recall a story--may even be posted on SB somewhere--in which a Fundies student was having difficulty mastering the back kick. The student was handed a GoPro and, guess what, began unconsciously improving the back kick. The caveat is, as you said, "during an easy dive." I would still recommending mastering buoyancy, control, etc., before task loading oneself during anything but the easiest dives.
    eleniel and BlueTrin like this.

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