I’ve mentioned many times in lots of posts here on My Trike how I’m sick to death of being constantly let down by my cheap Chinese sportscams. These are little video cameras that are supposed to do (almost) what GoPros do and should shoot 4K or thereabouts quality videos of flights in my various aircraft when I’ve set them up either in a mount on the wing or in the cabin.
In fact what they’ve been doing almost every time just lately is just record a minute or so of video before switching themselves off which is incredibly disappointing when you’ve just done a flight and expected to have recordings of both the landing and takeoff, which you can hardly then go off and do all over again.
It became so frustrating actually that I decided some time ago that I would invest in a proper GoPro which hopefully would never let me down and initially I looked to see what was on Le Bon Coin, the French free-ads web site. Unfortunately, having found what I was looking for, I then let my guard down for the very first time and allowed myself to be scammed by a dishonest advertiser who took my money and never delivered the goods. I made it too easy for them so decided that I’d just have to bite the bullet, as it would be a waste of time and effort trying to trace them, and not to let it happen again.
I then ended up returning to the old faithful, Ebay, where buyer protection is much better and in fact found what I wanted on the UK web site where I ended up acquiring a brand new GoPro Hero Black 7 for an incredibly good price. I had to get it sent to my family in the UK who then had to forward it on to me and after nearly a week, it arrived today at about 10.45am. And already as I type this around mid-afternoon I’m blown away by it and a complete GoPro fan!
Here’s a shot of it with the cradle that it comes with mounted on a stick that I got with one of my cheap Chinese imitations.
I’d already heard about the GoPro app so after I’d charged the new arrival up, I logged into it on my phone and switched it on. It connected immediately, no drama, no fuss, and initially I thought that it would be an interesting ‘extra’ just to play with. However, I then discovered that the app can be used to control the Go Pro and here’s a shot that I took with the GoPro aimed out of my window across my front garden and the image that was being transmitted onto my phone and sure enough, by touching the circle on the right of the screen, I could start and stop video recording.
But that wasn’t what made my jaw drop in amazement. You could also turn the GoPro off and on again from the phone. I thought that after it was turned off, the GoPro would lose its connection, but it doesn’t. You can turn it back on again and then restart video recording, and this has amazing implications for how I want to use it.
For any flight, the take off and landing are the most interesting parts and although you want to video bits from time to time during the flight as ‘filler’ material, the beginning and end of the flight are the most important. But a battery only lasts for an hour or so, so even if you do get the take off, if you can’t turn the camera off, it would normally have gone flat long before you get to the landing. But the GoPro app gets around this problem – totally! With it it’ll be possible to record a take off, switch the camera off to save the battery, switch it on again a few times to record the en-route ‘filler’ material and on again finally to record the landing.
I’ve already ordered some extra batteries and a protective case and can’t wait to give it a go, but with this Covid-19 virus thing hanging over us, who knows when that’ll be. The only up-side is that when I do get around to using my new GoPro 7 properly for the first time, I should know it and its features inside-out, so no excuses for any cock-ups!