In praise of action cams

As some of you might know I recently acquired a GoPro Session video camera with the vague idea of complementing my blog posts periodically with some behind the scenes video or time-lapse footage as I go about capturing images on my camera.

Well, I now have three of them. Two “Sessions” and a GoPro Hero 3+.  But lets not go there except to say that the third camera was a secondhand bargain from a local thrift shop so comes with virtuous feelings.

I took Zac to the park yesterday and wisely or otherwise allowed him to ride his scooter there. I fully expected to spend most of the time carrying it but in the end he exceeded expectations and the only time I was lumbered with it was when he was on the climbing frames and swings.  Before we left the house however I attached one of the  GoPro Sessions to the front of said scooter and popped the other into my pocket along with a mini tripod.

The footage here is unedited, all I have done is trim the two clips to length. I have left the film as it came out of the camera and have not tweaked the audio at all. It isn’t bad really especially when you consider the relative cost of a Hero Session compared to a DSLR or a dedicated video camera.

In the second clip I am running to catch Zac with the GoPro Session on a small tripod held in my hand at waist level with my arm straight. Remember there are no viewfinders on these little action cameras so it is also necessary to pay close attention to how you are holding the camera and where it is pointing.

But it isn’t the quality that prompted this post. It’s the fact that their size and versatility was what prompted me to pick them up. I wasn’t going to lug a big DSLR with me, far too heavy on a sunny day and indeed even the Fuji seemed a bit much to carry, but a small cube around 1.5 inches on all three sides and around 3 ounces in weight was less cumbersome than my house keys.

I have around thirty minutes footage from the two cameras on my computer at the moment. When we got to the park I took the second Session off the scooter and handheld that too. When I get a chance next week I shall edit and cut it into short sequences and edit them together to create a two minute movie to show the family and share our afternoon out with them. Zac’s parents need to work but doing this gives them a small insight to what their son has been up to in their absence – they feel less excluded. Theres a fifty-one second  clip of Zac on the swings being pushed by myself. His Dad has just sat and watched the raw footage with a big grin on his face. That is priceless and makes the effort, however big or small, of capturing these moments really well worth it.

So let’s here it for the tiny GoPro – truly a hero.  As for Zac – he’s priceless.