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Which GoPro should I buy - will only use 2-3 times a year

Discussion in 'Underwater Videography' started by button, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. button

    button Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Denton, Maryland, United States
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    Hey guys!
    I'll be doing a few dives in the keys next month and I've finally decided to purchase a camera. I'd been using my old iPhone5 with a watershot case. It did okay, but I've missed too many awesome shots because I forgot to turn off the autolock feature :facepalm:... the last time this happened I missed documenting mantas. :banghead:

    Anyway, I'm primarily a vacation diver and probably only dive two or three times a year. I would like to take still shots as well as videos, but I don't see myself doing much more than editing using an app on my iPhone. I might occasionally edit a video on the computer, but I would see that as being the exception rather than the rule.

    I'm half-tempted to get the GoPro 3 because it already has the waterproof housing and I'm lazy and don't feel like messing around with a housing. Amazon has them pretty cheap.

    Or should I go with a 7? And there are so many versions! Black or Silver??? Pros/cons other than price?

    Since I don't anticipate using it very often, I'm leaning towards the 3 just because the 7 will be outdated after a year anyway.

    Thanks everyone!!
     
  2. guruboy

    guruboy Divemaster ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Buy a cheap Chinese knockoff one.
     
    button likes this.
  3. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,413
    1,482
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    A Hero 4 Silver has almost the quality of the latest versions - especially if you shoot 1080 or 1440 - but without the stabilization. You could pick up a used one for $100 I bet.
     
    KWS, button and Snoweman like this.
  4. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
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    I agree with @ReefHound . Don't just use it for vacation. Get the suction cup mount and document your drives. You might get some real good footage. If it's a boring drive, delete the files and get the next one.
     
    button likes this.
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
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    Apeman (yep, that’s the brand!) 4K one for about $60-70 on Amazon. Works pretty well. Housing rated down to 130ft/40m. Nice little camera for the cost.
     
    button likes this.
  6. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,883
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    GoPro Hero 7 White...or a used GoPro 3-6.
     
    button likes this.
  7. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Virginia
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    Keep an eye out for used ones in the classifieds sections. I picked up a package (GoPro 3+) that includes the memory card, extra batteries, charger, housings, filters, tray with arms (need to get lights at some point), wrist strap, extra base mounts, etc. Even came in its own Pelican case.

    It was $150 shipped for all of that stuff (I'm leaving some stuff out). There were plenty of used GoPro's (just camera and basic housing) for x < $100. For what I've got in it...if I break it, lose it, or flood the housing, I won't lose any sleep over it.

    I haven't used it underwater yet. I tested it out by attaching it to my dog and letting him run around the backyard with it, lol.
     
    button likes this.
  8. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,413
    1,482
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    With older Gopros you will have to decide if the video color and quality is sufficient to meet your expectations. How often you use it isn't really the issue. In fact, if the quality doesn't satisy you then you might end up not using it at all. Some people just want something to remind them of their vacation and they don't care if the colors are all bluish or the videos are low-res or shaky. Others want as close to NatGeo quality as they can get.
     
    button likes this.
  9. hilljo88

    hilljo88 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: nyc
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    Another option: rent a better camera from a dive shop. Call around and see what they have. If you are really only going to use it a couple of times a year, this might be a good bet.
     
    Brimstone and button like this.
  10. Seaweed Doc

    Seaweed Doc Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA
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    If you want a GoPro, I'd go with the 4 at least. The display allows you to quickly see your image quality, and the 3 doesn't have a screen so you don't know if, e.g., your exposure was way off, until you get to a computer.

    (I inadvertently altered my exposure by 2 F-stops once, and all video was overexposed for a bit. Having the screen allowed me to quickly troubleshoot and figure out what was wrong.)

    I'm thinking of going for a 7 to replace my 4, though.
     
    button likes this.

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