GoPro or not GoPro

My Life as a Runner > gadget > GoPro or not GoPro
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Billed as World’s Most Versatile Cameraâ„¢, GoPro seems to be hitting all sorts of verticals. Surfing, biking, auto racing, skydiving, rock climbing, skateboarding, music, aviation, etc. This may be one of the symptoms of post-IPO revenue-maximizing, and their stock pricing is reflecting the versatility of their brand and products in the market very well. But I am a bit surprised that the brand is not marketing towards running community. On their homepage, it is even marketing the product to be mounted on dogs but not on runners. Are us runners so boring? Or, we are just not a good market segment to target, because astonishing images tend to come from more technical activities, such as ones I mentioned earlier?

I am a photographer, so I am interested in beautiful images, especially beautiful action images. But when I am running myself, it is rather difficult to carry a good camera and try to capture good images. So, I have been thinking about getting one of those GoPro cameras and see what kind of images I can actually capture while running. My images would not be as spectacular as those on GoPro’s website, skiing down steep slope or tube riding, but I think I will be able to capture some interesting shots of runners, spectators, volunteers, etc. In a GoPro camera, I am not expecting the same set of photography functionalities that my Nikon has. At GoPro’s current price point, its image quality looks pretty impressive. So, GoPro or not GoPro?

One characteristic of mine is that I don’t like accessaries. I don’t wear accessaries when I am not running, and I wear a watch when I am running only because that’s how I track pacing and document my runs. When Runkeeper first came out, I used to run with my iPhone, but I got tired of carrying it real fast and bought a Garmin to replace the iPhone and Runkeeper. So, is this going to be a problem? I am sure much design and technical consideration went into this gadget, so people would not find it impossible to wear. But how uncomfortable will it be? Granted that I won’t be wearing this camera every time I run, will it slow me down? I am not sure how camera works when I want to take a picture. Is there a remote control so I don’t have to bother with camera controls? When I run a marathon, will battery last?

Say I want to wear it and document next year’s Boston Marathon. Let’s also say that I succeed in taking some good images or video without compromising my running or time. What would I do with the images or video? Sure I can use them in my blog, but anywhere else? I watched someone’s video that was taken with a GoPro during this year’s Boston. While familiar spots were there, it did not look or feel as exciting as I used to feel when I was running. Will I feel the same about my own images or video?

As you can tell, I am not decided. From what I wrote so far, you might even think that I know I won’t buy one. But I am a photographer and always want to know how to take a good shot. Needless to say, I need to do a lot of research before I make up my mind. If you have run with a GoPro, let me know what you thought.

[schema type=”product” url=”http://shop.gopro.com/hero4/hero4-black/CHDHX-401.html” name=”Pro-quality video camera” brand=”GoPro” model=”Hero4 Black” prod_id=”CHDHX-401″ price=”$499.99″ ]
    3 Comments
    • Obelie
      September 27, 2014

      it’s actually a question I was considering as well for the Venice Marathon. Taking pictures isn’t an option as it would slow us down too much and would just be unpractical.
      Videos are cool for “faster” sports. I did several motorbikes one like in the Costwold village and was quite happy with the result (for example at the bottom of this post: http://surlessentiersbattus.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/postcard-english-countryside-bath-oxford-and-the-costwolds-villages/)
      I was thinking: what about time lapse for running? I wonder what the set up should be? 1 photo every minute? more / less?

      • Koji Kawano
        September 27, 2014

        Thanks for your comment. Nice video you got there. Time lapse makes sense, though I’ve never made one. Let me know if you do and I might try myself, if I decide to buy one of these!

        • Obelie
          September 27, 2014

          I’ll try on training on the London thames then and tell you how it goes!!

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