GoPro's: The Downsides

Usually I am one of the biggest people when it comes to talking about how awesome GoPro's are, today I want to talk about the downsides of GoPro's. GoPro's are my go to camera, but they do have their flaws. These flaws can be make or break for some people, although all of them are pretty easy to overcome. Some simple modifications or an accessory can lead to a great camera experience. So now lets talk about the downsides to the GoPro cameras...

Learning Curve

Something that I have found with people who are new to the GoPro world is the "learning curve" of getting used to the GoPro. Until the Hero 6 the GoPro didn't have zoom, and it is only in recent models that you can shoot in linear. That means that you dont have the fisheye effect GoPro was famous for having. You also have to get used to the different settings. What're the differences between Superview and Wide? These are things that you need to learn about, so that you can be the most effective when shooting with your GoPro.

Controls

It wasn't really until the Hero 5 that the GoPros became easy to control with the new LCD back screen. The Hero 4 did have a screen on it, but I never really heard great things about it. The Hero 5 and Hero 6 both offer a LCD screen that is easy to use and shows all the information that you need super easily. You can also control more recent GoPro's on your phone, tablet, and with the remote. So learning what is best for you can be a bit of a hassle until you get it down.

Battery Life

While this probably isnt a big deal for most people, the battery life on the GoPro is just under two hours. All of this depends on settings, and there are ways to maximize the battery life, but it can still be a big bummer when you see that low battery flashing. This means carrying around extra batteries and needing a way to charge all of the batteries. Personally when I travel I have three GoPro's (and a GoPro Fusion on the way) and have a combined eight GoPro batteries and will have one spare for the Fusion camera. That is a lot of charging that needs to be done if you are filming a lot. I also tend to carry two small GoPro portable battery packs to charge on the go.

Sound Quality

This is one that a lot of people don't really get concerned about. Most people are using GoPros for action sports and dont really need to have good sound, or they just don't care. But the GoPro sound quality is pretty bad. The other downside is that when you want to get better quality you need to buy an adapter from GoPro for $50 and the adapter is huge. Then you still need an external mic, the one I have is here, and then you need a way to mount the mic so you need a new case for your already waterproof GoPro (if you have a Hero 5 or Hero 6, click here to see the one I have). This can be a downside, but for most people it is a non-issue.

Mounts

While mounts have a huge variance in price, I tend to stick with GoPole and GoPro manufactured mounts. Both of which have held up in some nasty conditions. The downside is the price of these mounts. Some of the pole mounts go for $40+ although you can get them in package deals at a good savings. My biggest wish is that GoPro would include a basic hand grip with the purchase of your new GoPro Hero 5, 6, or Session camera. Just like the do with the GoPro Fusion camera.

 

These are my big downfalls for the GoPro camera lineup. I still stand by the GoPro cameras as my favorite cameras for when I am traveling, or just enjoying life. They are durable and withstand almost every adventure (there was even a video recently of one being engulfed in lava!). These cameras are super portable on their own, and even with a grip they are easy to bring with you on your adventures. A few minor adjustments, a new mount, and you are ready to go conquer the world.

 

Joseph Hallgren

Boston, MA

Full time student, adrenaline junkie, and traveller.