Tuesday, January 15, 2013

GoPro vs Fisher-Price


All I want... is for shit to work!

I don't own a smart phone, I don't want a smart phone, I don't need a smart phone and most of all a smart phone doesn't need me. 
I have a dumb phone and I like it, in fact I love it. 
I can make calls and I can text, I can receive calls and I can receive texts. 
That's it! 
Other than storing names and phone numbers, it doesn't have to do anything else.
I can drop it on the floor and it doesn't send me into an insurance claim tizzy, praying that I won't be playing roundy round with a cell phone service provider that has me locked into an multi-year contract requiring more of a commitment than a sign here, press hard, 3 copies, 30 year fixed rate mortgage. 


My Canon camera has all kinds of menu settings and programmable features that I have no idea how to use, nor do I care to. I has an easy feature and that's how I like it. I don't fuss with shutter speed, I don't know what an f-stop is and as far as I'm concerned aperture is a state of mind.
I like the pictures it takes on easy mode. I'm happy.




My GoPro camera on the other hand, there are no dials so you have to use the electronic menu and program it. I thought it would be good to have it charged and ready for our trip to San Francisco so I downloaded the videos from the card and went to charge both batteries. The videos downloaded fine, but then I discovered that this little, innocent looking, electronic demon spawn has a mind of its own and wouldn't charge or turn on.

What the f-stop?

Fine!

So I turn to Google and search "GoPro won't turn on"

Evidently, this is a common problem with GoPro cameras, so much so that there are pages of tricks and cheats on how to override this glitch, not to mention Andy had this same problem with his GoPro.

Turn off camera
Remove battery
Plug camera into computer
Hold button X and Y simultaneously for 23.49 seconds
Chant ominous demonic chants in Latin
Reinstall battery
Prepare for the arrival of Gozar 

Or there is my much, much simpler method. Fetch original box, find receipt of purchase and return to store for a full refund. Gozar is now trapped in a tiny box in the return pile of the REI store in Eugene, waiting to be released on some poor unsuspecting soul at their next used equipment sale event.

I really appreciate reading stories and watching other blogger's videos and photos and bloopers taken with their GoPro cameras. I certainly wish my life was half as exciting as GoPro portray on the box.




















But I'm not going to triple back flip, hang ten, extreme base jump or half pipe anything anytime soon.


Trust me, I wanted to and I even inquired about kite boarding the other day, but Rogey turned me around and escorted me out of the kite shop before I did something foolish.

Maybe I should stick with something more my speed...



I'm looking into the Hero 3 and hopefully it is more idiot proof user friendly than its predecessor. Otherwise, I may just buy a cheap camera and mount it like I used to... before GoPro was cool.


Kodak Easy Share mounted on my America

Come on Fisher Price you're missing out on a niche market.



40 comments:

  1. This is a great post and points out some of the things that technolgy failures have gotten us used to. It it doesn't work, try rebooting without saving your work. After seeing some of the videos others have posted, I considered getting a GoPro bu then realized that thee would be post processing (editing, encoding, titles, etc.) and figured that my content wouldn't be Xgames worthy so I passed.

    I always wondered what those funny icons were for on my iPhone, calling and texting. I should try them out one of these days.

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    1. Isn't funny how we've become zombies to technology? I agree with you about the editing, it is time consuming and one reason I post raw video. I must admit the marketing team at GoPro really know how to make you buy.

      iPhone, it's almost as if they put the main feature of the product right in the name ;)

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    2. I had one of the early iPhones and making calls was one of its worst features. Something about putting the antenna inside of a metal case...

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  2. Troubadour:

    I didn't know that GoPro's had this problem. My older model works just fine except for not knowing whether it is recording or not . . . so I did buy the New GoPro Hero3 and I like it. I have the remote and it shows what it is doing and you can change modes from the handlebar to record video or still images.

    The only problem that I am reading is short battery life if you keep the WiFi ON but perhaps users have been playing with it too much using their Smartphone apps. You can also turn the Hero3 on and off if the WiFi is ON. The remote has a USB rechargeable battery inside.

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube



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    1. You are a technology wizard when it comes to cameras and electronics. The GoPro has too many buttons and features for me, I can't deal with bluetooth and remotes.

      A friend just put me onto the Contour Roam2 camera, this is more my style, one button operation. I may look into that instead. No fuss, no muss.

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  3. Great post! Thanks for admitting that you are as low tech as I am. I don't like the idea that my phone is smarter than me, and I only have one because it's in the company plan (they want you to be connected whenever whereever...). My little point and shoot camera serves me well enough, and is Sonja-proof. Good for you that you can keep your life simple.

    I enjoy other people's creative little moovies with their GoPros though. But they are tech-smart, and I am not.

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    1. I'm as low tech as they get, I don't know what I'd do with a company phone except install the paperweight app. As far as cameras... point and shoot is the way to go. I'm leaning toward the Contour Roam2 for its simplicity.

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  4. Hooray and good for you Brad!

    After retiring and surrendering my company phone, I've been more than happy with a cheap clamshell mobile which simply allows me to talk to someone and send texts.... and it's prepay and I'd use up about NZ$50 every 6 months!

    Now comes the controversial bit!!! I don't like watching on-board bike videos unless there's a particular point being made in one. Sorry to say that many of them, whether professionally done or not are boring in parts to non-participants in the ride and I simply can't be bothered to wait for the interesting bits.

    For me, plain old photographs capture the moment far more effectively and leave a stronger memory. Riders who love videos certainly shouldn't be offended, it's simply a personal preference.

    Great post though!

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    1. I do agree that some on-board riding videos are pretty boring and I find myself fast forwarding through most of it. I don't bother watching anything over 4 or 5 minutes unless I know the artist and the content is worth it. I enjoy videos that are comprised of many short clips of highlights. I watch mikeworld's videos because he keeps them short, with some great scenery and I'm always entertained with his colorful language.
      I like to shoot video of twisties and on the training courses to review later and learn from them. Otherwise I'm looking for unique angles and point of views. I want to try stop action still shots though, those can be entertaining.

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  5. Do you know where I can find the Key Master?
    - The Gate Keeper

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  6. I love low tech. I want sh*t to just work. Curiously I work in high tech, giving people smart phone features ... maybe that's why I like low tech?

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    1. The problem I have with high tech is I don't know how to fix it when it fails. Heck, even low tech stumps me, if I can't fix it with a hammer....

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  7. Way too funny. OIlburner and I have been thinking along the same lines. Don't want to go through the effort of editing...though we like the "thought" of it. I have an aversion to getting another GoPro after the case on the second one broke and it has been lost to highway sidelines. We've considered just strapping old cameras on front and back to be able to click and just take a photo whenever we want.

    BTW...our iPhones are synced to our iPads, and can receive messages on both. So text messages are synced up and we don't have to miss a beat in a conversation.... :) :) :)

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    1. The problem I had with mounting the old camera to the bike is it couldn't handle the vibration and crapped out. I have considered carrying one around my neck on a lanyard but that poses a whole new set of safety issues.

      Don't get me started on syncing, bluetooth and all the hocus pocus stuff.

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  8. Well Troubadour ... if I can't work it without instructions and continuing research - I don't want it.

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    1. Give me mechanical over electronical anytime.

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  9. Heaven knows it takes me forever to write a short blog entry. I can't imagine having anytime to ride if I tried to edit video. Oh well.

    This blog made me smile. I really like the structure of it and the playing off of the Fisher-Price toys. Wonderful.
    ~k

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    1. Thanks Keith, I had both those toys as a kid. Editing video does take a long time and I have to hand it to those people that do it well. I appreciate their effort for our entertainment.

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  10. Brad you have written a peice of literal brilliance....I hate technical shit as well......I am still trying to get the bloody microwave to work.......

    On the other hand, I found this great website that sells Sake, and will deliver to Oregon, you interested?

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    1. Thanks Rogey but I find it hard to believe you hate technology. Mate, you were texting on your smart phone like a 12 year old girl and I'm sure Lori has the messages to prove it ;)

      Sake? Too soon man, too soon. I still can't walk past a Sake bar without thinking of you. XOXO

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  11. I have to admit your post are me snicker. I so feel your technology pain. I get frustrated very easily when I can't get the electronic crap to work. Kite boarding sounds pretty interesting, but then again motorcycling is more fun. I think getting a cheap waterproof camera properly mounted would do the trick & less cash than the GoPro. I got my hub the GoPro 2 to Christmases ago & it has been out of the box 3 times & used twice, the 3rd time it malfunctioned. He gave up, neither of us are techno savvy, so if it isn't easy to use then it sits on the shelf. Technology ugh.

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    1. Glad I could make you laugh. That's about how often I used my GoPro, I'll bet I didn't use it four times. I wanted to but it just wasn't worth the bother. I agree with Geoff, still photos tell more of a story but I thought I'd try it one more time and couldn't get it to work. The sad part is how quickly the electronical cutting edge collects dust.

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  12. F-stop.....Isn't that when approaching a Stop Sign.. the foot attached to my average length legs ends up in a low spot on the road creating an angular misalignment between the unusually tall Tiger and my point of contact on the road and thus the Tiger crashing to the ground and multiple "F" Bombs being dropped....

    I present... The F-Stop...

    Anybody with a tall bike and a short inseam knows exactly what this is..

    Its okay to admit it.

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    1. I'll admit it as I have experienced such on many an occasion. Especially bump starting said tall bike.

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  13. Nice rant! So, ya gonna trade that Tiger in on a Royal Enfield, then? A single cylinder is the way to go. That said, I agree 100% about ride videos which nearly always lack interesting content, are too long, have crappy sound tracks, and are too long. Did I mention most are too long?

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    1. No, I can't trade Lucy, we've been through a lot together and although she's technical she's built like a Timex. Adding a Royal Enfield however may be something to consider.

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  14. I can't stand phones - but work has seen fit to give me a gooseberry. I do like my cameras although like you my favourite setting is "Auto". I just bought a nice camera with a bazillion features and I actually want to learn how to use it properly (sick puppy eh?)

    Stick with the GoPro - I love playing around with mine!

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    1. I don't do well with phones, I was never one to talk for hours and tie up the line. With the camera, I could probably get into the features if it could hold my interest long enough to learn. An operating manual doesn't do it for me, I need hands on instruction and have someone patient enough to show me or youtube videos. Unfortunately, I don't have the patience for another GoPro until they make it more user friendly and work out the bugs, it looks like the Contour is more me.

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  15. Brad
    This is a quite amusing post. I both like and hate techology at the same time in equal proportions. I hate to have to learn how something new works because it should be simple but to get such good pics & vids as gopros do I need to put a little effort in. I said a little effort which is slightly more than nothing and a little less than reading the manual and learning how it really works. I should know better now that I work at a techology company(funny that I only have an 8 year old nokia phone and no smart phone or internet connection when out of office when I work for a company thats slogan is Innovative techology)

    On the video front, sometimes I watch them sometimes not. There is a dual problem here, where a photo doesn't capture the beauty of the twisty road where the video can, but the video can get boring where as the photo leaves you wondering what other twists and turns are there?

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    1. Steve/Brad:

      I like technology and doing things others find difficult. It is not as hard as you say, someone just has to show you how simple it is. The computer does all the work, all the number crunching, rendering and coding. You just press "enter" and come back an hour later.

      There is a safety issue with taking still photos, one handed whilst riding. Especially when a corner is coming up and the best photos are "in the corners", everyone knows that. So I limit still photos to straight stretches. I know people don't look at long, boring videos. Last year I started to take shorter clips to make them more interesting.

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast
      My Flickr // My YouTube

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    2. Thanks Steve. I love technology and electronical stuff BUT it must be simple, easy to use and it has to work. If it doesn't do what it is supposed to do, it's not for me. I thought the GoPro would be easy but there are too many features and buttons on it. One time I tried taking videos but it was on the wrong setting so everytime I thought I was turning it off and on it was taking a photo. Somehow it was set on one touch but I had to hold the button down for 4 seconds to turn it off and on, then do I push the top button or the button on the front? Why is it beeping? What does one beep mean opposed to 4 beeps? Is it on? Why is the battery dead? Memory card full? What?!? GAAAA!

      I'll stick to pulling over, stopping the bike, safe, still photos.



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    3. I'm with anybody who thinks you need two hands on the(handle)bars... (not to mention little things like eyes and attention on the road) Stop to take the picture! Yikes Bob.

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  16. This is what I love about moto bloggers - we are as diverse as the winds and our bikes that carry us. I envy those who have the techno savvy and commiserate with the others who are like me. If I can't figure it out in 5 seconds and there is a no grief fractor with it, then it is good, if there is a grief factor and it takes finagling to get it to work, back into the box it goes. It should be easy peasy squeezy no frustration, no pain and no F-bombs....I like PolarBear's explanation of the F-stop and have experienced a few of those.

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  17. You sound like me when you rant about phones and cameras. I have a $10 phone and it's just perfect. And I disabled the text feature. Cameras? I still miss my 35mm. And while some people can actually fly like birds now, I am thrilled with kites.

    By the time we are old and nearly blind, "they" will "discover" what real simplicity is.

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  18. That is a great post and judging by the large number of comments, it hit a sweet spot with a lot of people.

    I am 50:50 with a lot of technology. I do like it, but like you Brad, if I can simplify it, I will. The auto setting is what my cameras normally stay set on.

    I used to be like you and stayed well away from smart phones until the day came along that I had to re-enter everybody’s phone number again when I once again lost my simple call-and-text phone. That was a real pain in the backside. Now, my phone and iPad are synchronised with my laptop. All my contact details are held centrally and so appear on each device. So is my music and so are my emails. If I lose something, or it breaks, it is simple to get everything back again. I no longer need to carry a camera around, as I can use the one in my phone. What seemed like a real chore is now an invaluable piece of everyday equipment. I was like you, but no I am a convert. I really like my smart phone. I think that is because I did eventually get beyond the novelty stage and am now well into the making it work hard for me stage.

    I also use my GoPro camera quite a lot and enjoy the results. Sometimes a video does capture more than a photo can. However, I do accept two things that you say or are said in the comments. The editing time is very long, but like most things, gets quicker with practice. I am lucky to be retired and have the time to edit those clips in to videos, but I couldn’t possibly do that if I was still working. GoPro are certainly very good at marketing and the results I seem to be able to achieve are nothing like theirs. The controls on the early GoPro cameras were mind-bendingly difficult to understand and use.

    The other thing that struck a note with me was just how many people don’t watch videos. There are many like Geoff, who ignore them or FF through them and it is up to those of us that make them, to try to stop them being boring. I am a million miles away from doing that, but it is fun trying. Short videos with lots of varied content is the way to go. I totally accept I have made some dreadfully dull videos in the past.

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  19. Heh Brad you are a man after my own heart!!

    Seriously I dont have too much trouble with technology, I can usually work it out eventually, but I dont want it shoved down my throat .. and when a 15yo looks at me like I have two heads when I say I don't have an Ipod, well I just remember when walkmen were cool and I had one of those .. I have been tech savvy at some stage of my life really ;-D

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  20. Going back to basics! Loved this post! So true! LOL

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