We’ve been the happy owners of a GoPro Hero 3+ Black for a couple of months now. We’ve shared our summer adventures in a highlights video, throwing ourselves off things, getting good and wet, dicing with death on the ocean waves, climbing up things and generally having a jolly good time thank you very much.
But, what did we thing of the GoPro as a piece of equipment? If you’re looking for a techy review you’ve come to the wrong place; my review will explain why I think every family should have this piece of kit, how I found it to use as a very untechy person and why you don’t need to do completely insane things to get the most out of it – although doing completely insane things is a LOT of fun and I can thoroughly recommend it!
What Can A GoPro Do That My Video Camera Can’t?
It comes with a waterproof case, a really good waterproof case. This is obviously BRILLIANT for sailing where things tend to be quite wet and I take my life in my hands hanging over the edge of a 41 foot surfboard as she careers through the waves and I try to film the lunacy – you can’t do that if you’re afraid of a few splashes. We were also given several mounts which meant I could bolt the GoPro to various bits of boat and then retreat to a safe distance and Mr TS could concentrate on steering rather than on making sure I hadn’t fallen over board at the crest of a particularly large breaker!
I downloaded the free app to my phone which meant not only could I retreat to safety but I could also turn the camera on and off from a distance and see what I was filming from the relative comfort of the cockpit.
The kids dived off the boat with the camera strapped to their chests (we had adult and child chesties and they were really useful, more on them in a bit), they leaped about in the sea, we whizzed about in the dinghy and we really captured the energy of our holiday.
Then we realised that we could do something with this camera that we have always wanted to do! With kids who love the underwater world and are always keen to catch things with nets and buckets to investigate what is under our boat and in our pond the GoPro is crying out for a bit of underwater exploration! This gives pond dipping a whole new lease of life! See if you can spot the fish having a poo 🙂
Why Should Every Family Have a Go Pro?
The thing which surprised me so much about the GoPro Hero 3+, and which made me wish we had had one when the children were younger, was its ability to put the viewer right in the middle of the action. I loved seeing the world from Bonus Boy’s point of view and I loved that it captured moments I never see for myself! Wearing the chesty harness and the GoPro strapped to his front a pint-sized world was revealed, brilliant! Putting it on the back of his best friend’s dog and seeing the world from his flappy eared point of view was hugely popular with all his chums in the park and Sandwich Cam has been a hit with everyone who’s seen it!
Imagine seeing the world as your toddler takes those first tentative steps and begins to explore everything around him/her or peeping in at the world of your child playing.
How Easy is the GoPro to Use?
The GoPro Hero3+ is really easy to use. There are three buttons on it. One to turn it on and choose your mode (video, still, burst mode or time-lapse), one to turn the WiFi on and off for remote control and the third is your shutter button. Simple. Not rocket science.
Why Would You Use the GoPro for Stills?
I have a selection of lovely cameras so I couldn’t see why I would need the GoPro to take stills but, again, it brings a new perspective to family photography. I’ve become very fond of the fish eye lens, it really shows how we sail at the edges of the world – look at that curve!
It is fabulous at capturing very wide angles and it is of course very useful when it’s in its waterproof case, capturing the moment as we plough through the waves!
GoPro Studio Editing Software
GoPro also offers free editing software to download and use. It’s one of the simplest editing suites I’ve used (I have used quite a lot), it’s pretty basic but it has everything you need to put together a nice little video package. I edited all my videos for this review and the highlights video using it, I added audio easily, titles were a breeze and moving clips around, chopping them up and generally faffing about with them was simple. My only beef with the software would be that you really do need an up to date computer with a fair amount of memory to use it or it will freeze and it will not tell you why it has done so. I couldn’t use it on my not very old laptop but it worked easily on Mr TS’s newer one and was speedy as a speedy thing on Teen 1’s over muscled machinery. If you look at the GoPro website it tells you exactly what computer requirements you will need so you needn’t be faced with the screen of doom or be bothering your family members for a loan of their gadgetry!
Which Accessories Do I Need for My GoPro Hero 3+?
We were sent a selection of mounts and harnesses with our GoPro. I thoroughly recommend both an adult and a child’s chesty harness as it’s these which throw the viewer into the middle of the action and add a whole new perspective to family filming. We used the fearsome Jaws Flex Clamp a lot, it grabbed bits of our boat and refused to let go, it is very sturdy and solid. The bendy gooseneck which came with it made it very flexible – ideal for our sailing shots. We also used the suction cup on the bonnet of our car as we whizzed across the Severn Bridge and drove through leafy tree tunnels along the Wye Valley.
What Is The Best Thing About The GoPro Hero 3+?
We have so many plans in our heads, so many adventures to go on and so many films to make. The time-lapse function is crying out for family animations, there will be more underwater adventures and plenty more on the surface. It is small, robust, waterproof, we can take it places we can’t take any of our other cameras and it produces surprisingly high quality results.
But the best thing about the GoPro is that it is fun. Lots and lots of fun.
We were sent the GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition and a selection of mounts and cases for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are mine. We, along with a group of lovely bloggers, were set a series of challenges to expolore our GoPro’s potential. You can see how the others got along here: Little Stuff, A Mother’s Ramblings, My Two Mums, and Geek Mummy.