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Review: GoPro Hero 960 HD


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 03 October 2011

Backpacker's Review: GoPro HD Hero 960.

Price: $179.00.

Price includes camera, waterproof case with extra door for improved sound quality, flat and curved adhesive mounts, helmet front mount, and head strap mount. The camera charges from, and uploads to your computer through provided USB cable. TV playpack cables included. Battery included. No memory card.

GoPro 960 in reference to the Other Products in the GoPro Line:

The 960 is the "stripped down" version of the "Hero" line. The 960 has the lowest resolution and fewest features. Neither the LCD back or battery pack accessories that decorate the top-end of the line work with the 960.

Is this a problem? Naw. It's a POV camera... Read on!

Start: Oct 3, 2011. 
Updated: Oct 6, 2011.

UPDATED: Oct 6, 2011. Field tests.  

UPDATED: November 25   Backpacking field tests, & Dec 9, 2011 rewrite.   

Upcoming: Video and image samples.

This is almost a complete report and review of the GoPro 960. This report will be updated over the short and long term as the GoPro 960 is used in the field, and when I finally edit out the videos I've shot.

Your experiences, comments, and questions about the GoPro 960 will enrich this review. Post your input here or through the link at the bottom of the page.

Review Index

Introduction

Backpacker Review Questions 

UPDATE: ANSWERS

UPDATE: Extremely short battery life

UPDATE: NO SUPPORT

Meet The GoPro 960

Introduction: POV cameras

GoPro

GoPro Features and Functions

Results

Size, Weight, Waterproof Container

Conclusions: Size and Weight

Battery

Battery issues for Backpackers

Weight Analysis

Mounting Options

Backpacker Applications Discussion

Preliminary Testing

UPDATE: FIELD TESTING (soon)- see ANSWERS above...
 

Introduction: GoPro 960

The GoPro 960 is the latest addition to the GoPro line of Point-of-View cameras. If you have a television, you've likely seen their ads if you watch sports. The GoPro ads feature adventurers doing their thing.

Great, I thought the first time I saw one of their ads, GoPro is giving the kids yet another reason to jump off cliffs and do stupid things. Not that they need excuses...

 GoPro HD "Hero 960 in boxes

Above: The purchased GoPro 960.
 

POV cameras can make every "Jackass" a star... GoPro...Be a Zero...er, I mean "hero." Jeeze, I'm cynical. At least when it comes to commercialism.

I don't want to watch you kill yourself...

But I do want to watch you kick your own ass and learn your real name...the GoPro 960 could be my window (and yours too...) into our constructive pain. Er, I mean meaningful experiences on the long trails...

I'm not looking for great adventures. I'm hunting for the great spirits that inhabit the mountains.

My goal with the GoPro, if it's up to the job, is to show you the frkn burning bush as we backpack across a remote mountainside in the High Sierra... (I have no religious affiliation. I blame nature for flaming shrubbery...)

The real question Is, "Is the GoPro 960 up to the job and is this system suited for backpackers? First, let's hook you up with GoPro, the 960's product page, and a major retailer of POV cameras.
 

GoPro website

GoPro 960

POV Cameras

 

Backpacker Review

Our questions about the GoPro 960 here revolve around its application to backpacking activities.

The first question is does the POV camera concept even work for backpackers?

We are not racing, surfing, or jumping off cliffs. But we do experience harrowing river crossings, amazing bear encounters, torrential cloudbursts under searing lightenting strikes, and cross the most amazing terrain imaginable....hummm....

The second question is backpacker practicality. How does it fit in the pack and how heavy is it? Size, weight, battery charging, features, adjustments, and image quality are the first practical questions we answer. The next backpacker question is durability. Will the GoPro stand up to the sustained rigors of the long trails? Stay tuned. I've added the GoPro to my backpacking set up. One more thing to carry...

The real question for backpackers is suitability. How suitable is the GoPro 960 for backpacker use? Is it worth it to carry the GoPro 960 on a long hiking trip? Furthermore, can the GoPro 960 replace your existing digital camera/video camera? Or is the GoPro a valid supplement to your normal camera-based videos that adds a different dimension to your "normal" camera based videos and images?

Finally, I'm a broke-assed MF. Let's say you are too. But you, like me, want to get the most bang out of your buck, and I want to know if the GoPro 960 is able to shoot the "action videos," it is designed for, as well as produced trail and camp videos, and take quality pictures too. Is the GoPro 960 sufficient to carry as your sole backpacking camera? Will you regret it if you run the long trails with no other camera than the GoPro 960? Let's check the GoPro 960 out on the bench, take it out for some local jogging, and finally bring the little devil out on a four day backpacking trip and check all of these questions out.

November 25 2011: UPDATE & ANSWERS

After testing the 960 in the local hills while jogging I brought it on a 50 mile four night backpacking loop around the Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

The POV camera concept works well for, and applies to backpacker useage. I found myself able to film situations where I would have normally stashed my handheld in its waterproof sack in a protected place for activities such as river crossings and potential hardcore situations when my attention is focused on the task at hand rather than filming it.

Not with the GoPro. It's on your head, it's waterproof, it shoots from preset shooting settings through a quality fisheye lens, and it lives in its own "helmet," well defended against abuse. So I can use a camera when my attention is more properly focused on obstacles, animals, or observation. But is it practical?

The Battery Thing

As I suspected, the Ii-ion battery lasted for less than one hiking day of shooting. I got  13.22 actual minutes of shooting time recording 960p video from one fully charged battery. GoPro claims a 2.5 hour battery life, and my unit fell far short of that mark.

I had drained and fully charged the battery a few times before the trip, which is required to assure full battery capacity. Either I have a defective battery, or this short battery life is a deal-killer for the GoPro. 13 minutes of battery life is insufficient for backpacking use.

I suspect that my problem lays in how I used the GoPro 960. The camera has a setting that allows you to turn on the camera and begin filming simultanously. I had the GoPro 960 camera set up to be turned on first, then hit the shutter button to begin shooting video.

I suspect that leaving the camera "on" caused the battery to drain prematurely.

I am going to contact GoPro and see what they have to say. In the meantime I am going to recharge the battery and see how long it takes to drain them again  

I figured that the GoPro 960 would be hard on batteries. I figured it would mean that it is mandatory to bring an extra battery and solar charger for the GoPro 960 to be a practical field video camera. One battery must be charging while the other powers the camera if you want the GoPro to be available on the trail.

But only getting 13 minutes of filming time per battery is not enough.  My handheld camera worked for almost four days of almost constant shooting of videos and images on two AA batteries.

As I figured in my weight analysis below, keeping a GoPro 960 charged up on the trail will cost you about a pound of weight, but 13 minutes of filming  time between battery change-outs is unacceptable from my point of view. 

Customer Service

I tried to contact GoPro's customer service, but was repelled by their faulty contact form. This is particulairly vexing. Humm, the camera is not performing as specified, and neither is their support contact form.

I will try again later, and update this review then, with an additional report on the quality of GoPro Support. Having a support form that rejects entries because its own "date picker" has failed in not a good sign.

Weight

I found the weight negligable as I carried it on the trail. It did bug me to carry it for four and a half days for 13 minutes of  video shooting time.

But I do find that It is a drag to wear something on my head all the time. I figured a system to switch the GoPro out with my regular still/video handheld camera from my buttpack as the environment and its camera requirements changed from trail/action video suitable for the GoPro to scenic videos and still images more suitable for my regular camera.

My regular camera takes better scenic videos and still images because of the flexibility of its settings and broader application of its lens. But the GoPro shoots stream crossings and makes the video camera uniquely available and accessable at all times, which the hand-held cannot do.

The real question come down to, "is it worth it to you to carry two cameras?" The GoPro 960 shoots excellent close to medium range action shots and stills but no POV camera can replace a quality camera for shooting the broad range of beauties of nature you are going to encounter during your backpacking trips. 

Another way of approaching this question might be, "Which situation makes you less happy: having great shots of mountains and lakes with your normal camera or having great shots of river crossings, rainstorms, and random happenings with the GoPro. These happinesses are mutually exclusive.You only get one or the other unless you carry two cameras.

Carrying two cameras, extra batteries and the charger is not a problem for me. The GoPro can be carried even in my small buttpack or easily stuffed into the sidepocket of my backpack. Both the GoPro 960 and my regular handheld camera are small, fairly ligtweight,and easy to stash. 

As to durability, the GoPro's "helmut," its plastic protective case has apparently kept the camera unit in good shape, dust free, and protected from the "normal" shocks and impacts backpacking entails. 50 miles backpacking and another 50 miles of jogging does not constitute a long-term durability test, but the unit is looking good and working well after these applications.

Conclusion: The GoPro cannot replace my normal camera to capture the wide range of scenes I want to record in Sierra Nevada Mountains. I demand a lot from my standard camera, and the GoPro 960 does not have the sufficient range to do what I want my camera to do. If you are less concerned with capturing the scenic shots and are looking to shoot a record of your trip from the perspective of your own eyeballs, then you may find the GoPro suitable as your only camera.

The GoPro is a valid supplement to my regular camera. But the real question is, "Is it worth the extra weight to carry two cameras?"

(will be continued)

Read on for my answers to all of these questions. Because I'm asking and answering all of these questions, you've gotta make sure you know the difference between my standards and your standards, so my review (and therefore my whole frkn trailguide) gives you good information. If you can measure the distance between our perspectives all of this will make complete sense. In the final analysis, it's a judgement call.

First, let's start with a look at the development of POV cameras.

Introduction: POV Cameras

Point of View (POV) cameras  are designed to record the view from the participant's perspective. Achieving this goal requires a camera that can be carried or mounted in a location that records from the center of action, be it mounted on your head, ski, surfboard, motorcycle, or car.. Recent advances in camera design and technology has made this goal more achievable than ever before.

The parts required to build an operating digital camera have radically shrunken over the years. The shape of a digital camera has long been determined by what people expect a camera should look like, rather than reflect the actual size and shape required by the parts themselves.

This means that digital cameras have had the capacity to be very tiny for quite some time, and have only maintained their current size and shape due to customer expectations.

GoPro

GoPro's customers have quite different expectations than the average digital camera user, which has allowed GoPro to capatalize on technology to build a very small, very light camera.

GoPro 960 and ruler-Tape Measure

GoPro has capatalized on this miniturazation trend, and applied it fruitfully to the POV camera field to give us a small, lightweight camera well suited for POV camera users. The POV application has certain drawbacks.

The GoPro 960, like the rest of the GoPro line, is not a very adjustable camera. The GoPro is set up to capture the best average view by relying on a pre-set balance of photographic adjustments. 
 

GoPro's Balance of  Feature and Function

Photographic Adjustments

A POV camera is balance of factors by definition. The main factors are size and weight vs. quality and price.

In pursuit of small size and light weight the multiplicity of settings and presets available on the average digital camera are absent from the GoPro. Changing the focal length, magnification, light adjustments, ISO, shutter speed for the camera, are all beyond user adjustment.

The GoPro's responce to changing factors is excellent for a totally automatic POV camera.

The GoPros are factory-preset  to achieve a balance between light sensitivity, depth of field, and focus to allow the GoPro to successfully capture video and images across the widest range of conditions possible.

The only actual adjustments you can make to the video and image shooting settings are to change the resolution of the video and changing the light metering between center-weighted or averaged. 
 

Preset features, options, and optics

Presets

The GoPro 960's default button settings and the factory-set photographic settings were both pre-set up to make it as easy as possible for you to quickly capture quality HD videos or images in a wide variety of conditions. They've done a pretty darn good job. 

The factory presets are set up so you essentially just turn the GoPro on, click the shutter-button, and you are shooting video. You can set the GoPro to power-up in video or still-image mode.

The GoPro can also be set-up so it begins shooting videos or images when you turn it on, negating the need to even click the shutter-button. This is the "one-button" shooting feature.

The GoPro can also be quickly set to record a series of images every 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds after you trigger the shutter, rather than shoot videos. Hit the shutter button and the GoPro 960 will start shooting images every "X" seconds until you again press the shutter button. 

Optics and Resolutions

The GoPro 960 is equipped with a 170 degree fixed-focus F/2.8 wide angle glass lens.

Shooting in the 960p resolution delivers1280x960 pixels at 30 fps for a 4:3 aspect ratio. This delivers a real nice wide-angle video.

Shooting in the 720p resolution delivers1280x720 pixels at 30 fps for a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Results

Video

So far I have had good results using the GoPro in full daylight down to twilight conditions. So far, the GoPro 960 is capturing some good video.

The fisheye lens delivers reasonable performance recording distant background terrain as well as nearby subjects without too much distortion of the image, and without too much shaking while jogging. 

The light sensitivity of the GoPro 960 allows for decent shooting in a wide range of good-light conditions. But as you would expect with a preset camera, the images rapidly degrade as you approach very high and very low light conditions.

Images

The 5 megapixel images looked OK. I was shooting them while jogging, and they are acceptable, though not great. The jogging apparently blurred the images a bit. I'm going to experiment more with shooting images.

Sound

I found the sound significantly muffeled and odd noises amplified by the waterproof case.

 The GoPro 960 is not great at recording sound, and bad at recording conversations while shooting videos in the waterproof case. GoPro was ready for this problem.

GoPro Waterproof case with optional open sound backing plate.

I switched out the waterproof case's solid door-backing plate with the door-backing plate that has two openings to allow better sound capture. This extra door is included with the GoPro 960.

Open backing plat for GoPro Waterproof case to allow better sound recording

The axle at the bottom of the backing plate snaps onto the back of the waterproof container, as soon as you "snap off" the solid backing plate.

To change the backing plates you must carefully examine where the axle on the backing plate "snaps in" to the back of the waterproof container. When you locate the seam in the collar that holds the axle, you can snap the solid door away from the waterproof container so that the axle pops out of the collar.

Then you can snap in the preferated backing plate. When moisture threatens you can restore the solid backing plate.

My concern is that to achieve better sound quality I have to sacrifice the water and dust proof capacity provided by the solid door.

Purpose: Hands Free quality video

These few presets serve the GoPro 960 well. The GoPro 960 was designed to be mounted, turned on, and used. Bam! Instant Action Videos.

You don't have a lot of adjustments to mess with to shoot decent-quality videos and images with the GoPro 960.

GoPro Measured Statistics

Camera Unit Alone

Size in Inches: Camera Unit Alone.

L: 2.25

W: 1.1875

H: 1.6250

GoPro 960 view from above. Cameraback is battery cover.

Weight

Camera Unit Alone, including battery and memory card.  Fully loaded, but NAKED.

96 grams = 3.42 ounces. Nice.

My Canon A2000 IS (hand-held) pegs the scale, and cannot even be weighed on the same delicate food scale as the GoPro 960. Whoa! The weight of the Canon is listed as 6.53 ounces without batteries. 
 

 The NAKED GoPro 960

Waterproof Container

This tiny rectangular camera is naked and fragile without it's bullet-proof waterproof mounting case. The case also provides shock protection and is the means by which the  camera is attached to its various mounts.  

The GoPro 960 waterproof case.

The waterproof case that comes standard with the GoPro 960, pictured above, is rated to 180 feet underwater.

The waterproof case is not warranted, due to the high probability of operator error during sealing the case and maintaining the integrity of the waterproof gasket.

Are we Idiots? Well....Yeah, 99 percent of our urban dwellers are idiots....

If you drown your GoPro within its waterproof case, you are SOL. This means that you should have used extra-care when sealing the GoPro in the waterproof case.

Make sure that the seal has no debris on it, it is not damaged, and that the gasket has properly closed and sealed within its designed channels before subjecting it to drowning...

Size in Inches: Waterproof Container

L: 2.8125.

W: 1.6875. (lens protrusion) 1.75 (on/off switch protrusion)

H: 3.0. (The measured height is from the bottom of the mounting bracket to the top of the clasp that secures the Waterproof door.)

Waterproof Latch on top of GoPro 960 case.

Size Analysis

The GoPro 960 is a small unit even housed in its tough-assed Waterproof container. There will be no problems storing or carrying the weight of this unit in my backpack. It's frkn tiny...

Weight:

Waterproof case with mounting bolt: 87.6 grams = 3.12 ounces.

 

Overall Weight: Camera-Case-Headband

Camera/Waterproof case combination: 183.6 grams = 6.56 ounces.

Headband: 78.2 grams = 2.79 ounces

Camera, Case, and Headband: 261.8 grams = 9.35 ounces.  

Backpacker-Ready Weight:

The camera, case, and headband weight is not the final weight for backpackers who are far away from electricity.

This weight will be increased by the necissity to carry an extra battery as well as by the weight of the Solar Charger that will be required to maintain a charge on the long trails.

Extra Battery Weight: 26.7 grams.

Solar Charger Weight: Unknown.

With an extra battery this brings the weight of the GoPro trail setup up to 288.5 grams, or 10.3 ounces. And, we will still need to pack a solar charger. But, the charger will also allow us to recharge our digital camera and headlamp batteries as well, which will likely cut way down on your battery usage (cost), as well as the weight of carrying extra batteries for these devices down the trail.

The weight of the GoPro Camera, Case, Headband, with an Extra Battery is 288.5 g = 10.3 oz.

Battery

3.7V 1100 mAh Lithium Ion. These are "cell phone" style batteries.

Weight: 26.7 grams, which is slightly less (1.3g) than one ounce.

The GoPro 960 charges up at home by connecting it via the included USB cable to a powered USB port on your computer. This will not work on the trail.

Battery Issues for Long Distance Backpackers

Long distance backpackers must plan battery resupply. Because the GoPro 960 operates on a Li-ion battery you cannot just buy and "switch-out" new batteries at each resupply point as you could do with devices powered by AA batteries. This is becaue the Li-ion batteries cost 20 bucks each, as well as being designed for recharging.

For this reason (cost, battery availability, battery type, and battery weight) you will have-to bring an extra Li-ion battery with you and use a solar charger setup to recharge your GoPro batteries along the long trails if you are planning on bringing the GoPro 960 down the long trail.

This set-up will keep your GoPro ready with a charged battery in it at all times, while the extra battery is charging up in your solar charger. This set up will also allow you to charge your other batteries as well, reducing the number of extra batteries you will have to carry between resupply points for your camera and headlamp.

Solar Charger: Xsories Universal Solar Charger

Weight: Unknown. (Does anyone own the Xsories charger linked to above, or encountered another good solar charger? Weigh it, and send me the information! Better yet, inform us about how it works and how you like it.

If you are knowledgable about solar chargers  direct me towards some good information about constructing my own charger...)

Xsories Charger Dimensions
5.5 x 3.25 x 1"
 

Working: Solar Charger Page

Weight Analysis

We have 10.3 ounces of weight for a GoPro 960 including an extra battery and the headband mounting setup. I figure that the solar charger will finally weigh-in at around 6 to 8 ounces, putting the self-contained GoPro's trail weight at around a pound.

I'm not dissatisfied with this weight at all. This is completely reasonable for the quality of videos and images the GoPro captures, as well as the unique perspective they are shot from.

Other GoPro 960 Features/Differences

The GoPro 960 is the "stripped down" version of GoPro's "standard" line of 1080p "Hero" POV cameras.

The GoPro 960 ($179.00) has a few differences from its more expensive relatives (259.00 to 299.00). The 960 does not have the bus that allows attachment of a video viewing screen or the extra battery pack.

Is this a problem? Not really. This is a POV camera that mounts on your head. You are, by definition, the viewfinder. With a little experience you will understand the scope of the video and image capture, and line-up the camera accordingly.

If you are carrying the tripod mount and a tripod to better capture images with the GoPro 960, you will set the camera on the tripod as you set it on your head, by eye. As the GoPro's fixed lens is a very wide fisheye angle, your chances of getting the shot you were pointing at is high. But the fisheye's built in distortion will affect your scenic shots.

Mounting Options

The GoPro 960 comes well set up for backpackers with its headband. The 960 kit comes stocked with a headband mount, just like your headlamp. The GoPro 960 also has sticker-based mounting plates and an adjustable arm that attaches to the mounting plate.

I have not checked out the adhesive mounts for suitability for mounting on pack frames, but a C-clamp setup that looks perfect for pack attachment is available.

In fact, a huge range of mounting accessories are available from GoPro.

I'm going to order the tripod mount to experiment with shooting stills and videos. This will show me the exact limits of the GoPro 960 as an all around trail camera.

 

Backpacker Applications

As we've seen from the weight and size stats above, the GoPro 960 is not heavy, by any standards. How heavy it really is depends on the jobs it can do for you on the trail. As you can tell, I've been looking at how the GoPro would work as your sole trail camera, as well as your "action shot" camera.

If the GoPro 960 can replace your standard compact digital camera, it is light indeed. If the GoPro 960 is going to supplement your standard camera, it becomes much heavier. Now we are entering into the realm of the subjective, of expectations and of differing quality standards.

What are your standards for images and videos you shoot on the trail? Do you want Ansel Adams quality, or just some digital reminders to stir up those living memories? What role does your wilderness images and videos play in your life? These questions will determine if the GoPro should be your only trail camera.

If you are not concerned with recording top quality images and videos across the incredibly wide range of light conditions that exist in the Sierra, the GoPro 960 could be your sole camera on a long distance backpacking trip. The limits of the GoPro 960 are significant.

Low light conditions are out. You will not capture good videos or images in low light conditions. Grand vistas are out. You will quickly get tired of the "fisheye effect" imparted by the fixed wide-angle lens. But you can take good pictures, within the limits of the GoPro.

Close-up subjects and medium-depth backgrounds in good light look killer on video and image. The GoPro 960's setup will define the camera's "sweet spot," where the range of conditions are optimal for the camera's setup. If you want to shoot more than "action" videos with the GoPro you will need to maximize this sweet spot and provide the stability necessary for sharp images from the camera.

The key to shooting quality images with the GoPro is going to be the tripod mount adapter. I suspect that the GoPro 960 will shoot good images from the stable base of a tripod. Likewise, high quality social videos of your campsites and companions, and scenic videos of trail-side vistas can be shot from a tripod mount. But all of these scenes will be shot from within the factory presets of the GoPro. This will degrade image quality as light conditions depart from the GoPro preset's "sweet spot."

GoPro provides the mounting hardware to get the very most out of their camera system. With the tripod mount and a tripod you could use the GoPro to capture basic images of daytime terrain, and shoot videos of social life on the trail and in camp.

But you will still be working within the limits of the fixed lens and the preset photographic settings. All of your images and videos will be captured through these "averaged" settings. If this is going to work for you depends on what you want out of your backpacking images and videos. These setting are perfectly acceptable for "action" shots and videos, but are below par if you want to capture the nuances of natural beauty.

The GoPro 960 will not be sufficient if you want to capture high quality images and videos of wilderness scenes. But if you want to record all aspects of backpacking, you can't hit the trail without the GoPro 960.

When I ford a river my Canon A2000 IS goes into a thick ziplock freezer bag, and is carefully stored above the waterline. When great downpours occure, the camera is stashed and protected. When a bear runs for my food, I run for the rocks. In all of these situations, and more than I can name here, my digital camera is either intentionally protected from the dangers of the situation, or capturing images is completely secondary to completeing the task at hand.

Conclusion

Wearing the GoPro 960 while hiking the trail potentially puts all the normally unfilmed action on the trail onto video. I'm going to carry the GoPro as a supplement to my Canon compact digital camera.

Add yet another pound to my already overburdened pack...and another $179 bucks! Added to the cost of the $199 Canon, I now am carrying $278 bucks worth of cameras.

This puts a new twist on evaluating the GoPro 960 for those of us who are constantly facing the "one or the other" constraints of a tight budget. The question comes down to, "Do I spend $179 on the GoPro 960, or $199 on the Canon compact camera?"
 
If I had no digital camera for backpacking and was faced with choosing between the GoPro and the Canon I would first purchase the camera that gave me the greatest power to capture the very best images and videos possible across the widest range of shooting conditions.

 After securing my basic camera equipment, I would look to add the GoPro to complete my ability to shoot videos and images in all conditions.

 

 Testing Issues and Notes 

I have unpacked it, instructed myself in its operation, and brought this device out on my personal hell, my own "training" trail.

First I had to figure out how to set it up. How to adjust it...

GoPro 960 camera and mounting instructions

First impressions: Virtually no photographic adjustments on the GoPro 960 camera. Nada. Nothing. The GoPro is the ultimate "point and shoot."

We have some "button" options, resolution choices, and a few formats along with an option to "flip" the images. The GoPro 960 only offers the most fundamental settings.

It charges easily, if slowly, plugged into the same USB cable that you upload images through. The GoPro shows up as a device on your computer, and you can easily upload your images and videos to your computer.

GoPro 960 has ample cables for uploading, charging, and TV viewing.

It is also very easy to play the videos on your TV. Both RCA and RGB cables are included to hook your camera up to HD and HDTV sets. Time to take this bad boy out to the trails.

Okay, my fitness sucks. I admit it. I'm trashed. These videos are of me crashing and burning, resting (hard walk) then doing it again and again... At least I can beat myself hard, over and over again for miles. But, the good thing is that this jogging route brings me through a variety of natural terrains, vistas, and lighting conditions. It is a good place to do my preliminary tests of the GoPro 960.

So I'm bringing the GoPro 960 out jogging on the ridge for my 7 mile training sections. If the little bastard (me and the camera) survives this, (So far, so good) we will both be heading to the High Sierra... Foot health and funds-dependent, of course...

I'm doing my preliminary GoPro tests during ridge-line jogs (up to, and back from) employing the head-band mounting kit that comes stock with the 960 purchase. Nice. I like it, even though I'm a pin-head.
 

 Backpacker's headband for the GoPro 960

Above: Headband. has an extra-thick band width with "friction" (tractiion) applications on the inside of the head-straps, so the headband adheres to your pin-head. Like my pinhead..Thus I had to keep tightening the headband.

Thank god for the head-band mounting system depicted above, or I would not have been able to afford the equipment (a race bke, a race car, a surfboard, or even the ego required ... ) to strap my GoPro onto.

Jeeze. I feel privilegded to even mount this amazing device upon my head to entertain you....am I exciting enough? I'm boring. What's this all about, anyway? My goal is to get you out into nature, specifically the wonders of the Sierra Nevada.

I'm not here to entertain you. I'm here to get you to entertain yourself.

My real question concerning the GoPro is, "Will this camera get you out?" Honestly, I'm going backpacking anyway, if I take pictures or videos or not.

But I can wear the GoPro when I am tippy-toeing across long trees spanning raging rivers. I can wear the GoPro when I ford that river on the wet side. I can wear the GoPro when I scramble to the crest of Peak 12960.

These are places I do not normally use cameras. When I'm freaking out my camera is not the priority. My full attention is properly applied to the pressing problem, and is completely directed towards my safety and survival. My camera is not even a passing thought.

Now I can wear my GoPro in every situation where I've protected my standard trail camera. The GoPro can fill-in all the missing blanks in my image and video offerings.

So I'm going to carry the GoPro 960 along with my Canon Powershot A2000 IS. The Canon will take all the "art" shots, the GoPro will take the "action" shots. The GoPro will remain deployed in adverse weather, while crossing rivers, and in situations where the Canon is stashed.

This could be a fruitful relationship. Stay tuned as I continue to explore the GoPro 960.

 

(Videos and images of and from the GoPro 960 are on the way for your review...this GoPro 960 review is under active and current assessment....but belive me, the vidos and images shot on the GoPro look good: but we'll see how they edit-in with other formats to create excellent produced videos.) 
 
 

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Get the Latest from Tahoe to Whitney

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Art Shapiro's Butterfly Site

The Trails between Tahoe and Whitney

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Three Amigos