Is a GoPro worth it?

GoPro Gear

Do I find a GoPro camera worth it for my intermittent adventures? Can’t I just use my phone or generic digital camera?

What is “the best” camera is something that highly depends on the use and user. For me, I wanted something cheap that I could be a little rough with and something that was not my important-for-other-uses phone.

My first action-cam:

September 2014 Polaroid came out with something called the “Cube.” It is a small, compact action camera aimed at the average consumer with a slick cost of $99 (found on Amazon for $89).

The Polaroid Cube (source: CNET)

I pre-ordered and purchased one on Amazon, thinking that while I always wanted a cool GoPro, this economical cam could do the trick…and for a while it did!

The camera features a wide-angle lens, just like the famed GoPro product line, and even has 1080P recording! There’s a cool magnet on the bottom for you to mount it on random metal objects.

Wide-angle Recording in 720P or 1080P (source: CNET)

I enjoyed using it, and found it fun and useful for capturing action scenes without a big camera. It’s even more compact than a GoPro (GoPro has since come out with the compact GoPro Hero4 Session for $199 to compete in size).

Here’s a sample:

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It does decent for video too:

Cubes are not waterproof:

So the Cube lived up to my uses. It was portable, recorded a lot, and had decent media quality. Yet when I brought it to a beach in Barcelona, even a ziploc bag adding to its water protection could not save it from the salt in the Mediterranean.

Upon returning to America, I felt like I needed to replace my action-cam–the thing I could be a bit more reckless with. For about $30 more I got the GoPro Hero. It’s the starting model, with no bells and whistles like a screen or wireless connectivity.

It’s safe to say that I am pleased with my purchase. There are more accessories, the importing software is better (no more worrying about file-type conversion for the Cube), and it is WATERPROOF!

The pictures come out well too:

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It is also fun to use the GoPro editing software to create movies:

I think my purchase is worth it. I have peace of mind with the ruggedness of the device, and the media output capabilities are strong.

Bonus: Keeping Accessories Together

With several mounts, a floating back-plate, and several other accessories, I opted to buy a nice cheap case from Amazon for less than $15 bucks.

I did not like how the volume was fully utilized, so I made a few minor adjustments:

GoPro Case Mod


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