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Griff

Olympus GoPro killer?

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Olympus finally offer 4K and addresses GoPro failings such as terrible battery life, no stabilization, tiny screen, no WB, etc etc. Also waterproof to 30m. Should be worth a look.

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Automatically switches to underwater mode below 50cm and has a flat lens cover which could take filters. I have the OMD EM1 and its underwater WB mode is pretty good even in video mode.

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Picture quality looks really terrible on those clips. Not sure whether its the cam or the operators. The concept as such looks interesting. Lets see whether someone manages to shot decent clips with it.

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It only supports NTSC frame rates (ie multiples of 30p), there's no info on the amount of compression or expected but rate, and there's only a handful of white balance options.

 

I didn't get as far as reading about the automatic underwater function, but if that automatically flicks on the underwater white balance when you get underwater then it'll really ruin your day when you switch on your lights.

Edited by Stuart Keasley

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I got this camera in the mail today (bought it for my wife); it's a pretty cool little camera. I just read the manual, and the weird thing is the super wide angle option is not really available underwater. According to the diagrams, the WA is reduced considerably underwater. The weird thing about this is above water, the default wide angle is beyond ridiculous and is horrendous to look at. It's so ridiculous that it appears to can capture stuff behind the lens, so the distortion in this default mode is all the charts...

 

We are going to use this in conjunction with a GoPro. The cool things about this camera is the data logging, it should capture the temperature of the water, the direction you are facing, your depth, everything in the video or image file. Also, I'm hoping the stereo microphones work well, as if we are lucky we will encounter some dolphins and it would be fun to hear them clearly on the video. As for size; it's just slightly bigger than my GoPro when housed but feels less bulky. The screen is really low quality; and doesn't swivel; but it's better than nothing.

 

One silly, but really nice feature of this camera is the pistol grip it comes with. It's compatible with a GoPro, and is better than any other pistol grip I've seen or used. It's the perfect size, and was included in the price vs paying for one after market.

 

You can shoot 30fps in 4k which I don't think we will ever use as overall the video the quality sucks, so I doubt making it 4k will improve anything.

You can shoot up to 240fps in HD 720P but anything over 60fps and it won't adjust to changes in light which makes it unusable underwater at anything above 60fps.

I am guessing we will shoot everything in Full HD 1080p at 60fps as I think that will be the sweet spot for this camera.

 

The light on the front will probably never be used; these batteries don't last long enough as it is. Plus it's not as bright as an iPhone light on the default setting and it's just slightly brighter on "boost" mode. Also, it's kind of a pain to access; as you have to go deep into a setting to turn it on (and only while recording video). There's no button to control it manually (although I hope they come up with something better in a firmware update or something).

 

Overall, for the price I think it will be a fun little toy that we can abuse and hopefully get some fun out of...

 

I should have some sample video to share starting in early July.

Edited by insomniac

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GoPro 5 reportedly will feature 4K 60p and should come out around October.

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Here's some pics of my rig when I will be shooting WA only (and if my wife let's me borrow the TG-Tracker, otherwise a GoPro will be mounted in it's place)....

 

 

 

 

 

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Had this in the pool today; the mic on the TG-Tracker works really well. Overall I was much happier with the quality of the video underwater than I am above water. I will say that in one video it got really choppy; not sure if it is a memory card issue or a camera issue. Time will tell....

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Here's a little video my wife put together, 95% of this is from the TG-Tracker. As you can see the video quality could be a lot better; but the camera works and is easy to use. Also, the puffer fish really like the little mirror on the front (we had three different puffers swim towards the camera)..

 

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So.. A red filter is needed?

 

 

We don't use a red filter... It does ok color correction underwater when you get close to an object, no so great in the blue. The color is obviously best in the shallows or when a light is close enough to make a difference. Overall, it's a good camera for capturing memories, but obviously falls short if you are looking for pro-grade quality. For the price, we like it a lot more than the GoPro.

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