Monday, March 11, 2013

Tinker Tools: GoPro HD Hero2

When I was a kid, the best thing about missionaries was slides and stories.  Although the technology has changed, the concept hasn't.  If anything, today's missionary has an even greater responsibility to keep his/her friends and supporters up to date!

I started eyeing the GoPro products a couple years ago and have been impressed with the videos I've seen from other amateurs.  I must say that the main reason I wanted one was to make driving videos, but I also realized that the durability and water resistance would be great assets in the wilds of Bolivia. I started saving up gift money and was able to purchase an HD Hero2 about a month ago. 

After a couple days of goofing off with it, I got a chance to really try it out when my brother invited me to go on a driving adventure with him and his brother-in-law, who was visiting from the States.  Our dad is here, too, so we invited him to ride along with me.  It was also the first opportunity I've had to really break-in (literally) our Nissan Patrol.

We went to a place called Misicuni, where a new dam is being built.  It took us about 6 hours to go 85 miles, up to an elevation of 14,788 feet above sea level.  I shot video of 4.5 hours of the trip with the GoPro, which I cut and condensed into 23.5 minutes of excitement and unbelievable scenery:


For those of you that just want the excitement and don't care about the scenery, I also made a 5-minute highlight film.  It's mostly the river crossings and getting myself stuck:


(I took quite a few photos as well, which are available in my Picasa albums)

Although there is some trial and error to go through to get good footage, I'm pretty happy with what I've gotten so far.  I bought the Motorsports Edition, so the main mounting option I have is a big suction cup that sticks to the body or glass.

When I first got it, I thought it would be cool to have a POV (point-of-view) camera, like some people do with helmets, so I made my own with a sticky mount and the guts of a welding helmet:

What better way to capture the experience of driving in Bolivia, right?  Turns out, it's no good for driving, though.  I sit too high in the vehicle and most of the picture is headliner:

Of course, it's not just for driving with!  I tested its waterproofness in the pool at Villa Tunari:

And its durability with some of the youth from church:

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