Dan surprised me with a GoPro for Christmas, complete with a cool car mount and fancy Pelican Case to store my new toy.
We finally had a free day to play with our latest camera. I'm not sure how I envisioned using the GoPro, as neither of us currently do any crazy adventure sports and it's definitely tailor-made for those crazy folks. When we went Hot Air Ballooning in the summer a skydiver jumped off of our balloon with a GoPro mounted to his helmet. So cool, but I'm not skydiving! It's waterproof, so I can't wait to take it into the ocean this summer, hopefully to Hawaii. We ended up breaking it in on a sunny winter day on the Angeles Crest Highway.
The entry point to the Angeles Crest Highway is a ten minute drive from our house and we decided to stick the camera mount on the Smart Car, prior to heading up into the hills. The plan was to place the camera on the mount during a gas station stop a few blocks from the entry point.
Disaster struck as we were approaching the gas station. The mount popped off of the car and landed in the middle of a busy street. I ran out and recovered it, minimal damage done, but it was missing a part and we had to head back home to replace it.
On our second try, we made it to the gas station and mounted the camera, triple checking that the mount was secure. Dan even gave it a lick to make it stick.
Driving with the camera mounted was nerve wracking at first, especially as we hit the tight curves and picked up speed. If the mount popped off this time, the camera would surely be a goner, probably off the side of the mountain. However, in the spirt of adventure, we just went for it, hoping that it wouldn't be both a costly mistake and the shortest lived Christmas present ever.
On the way up the hill ( We drove approximately thirty minutes to Newcombs Ranch) we recorded at sixty frames per second. Here is our video.
By the time we hit our pitstop at Newcombs Ranch, we were no longer worried about the GoPro mount falling off of the car. It was stable. We had no clue if what we had recorded would turn out or be utter rubbish, but that is part of the fun.
Newcombs Ranch is a hidden gem. Unfortunately, we had a huge breakfast prior to the drive, so we only stopped for coffee and a piece of the best pecan pie ever made. Seriously, make the drive for the pie. Although sunny in Glendale, it was chilly up in the mountains, so we cozied up next to the fireplace. I look forward to coming back for their BBQ Lunch that was heavily advertised. Check them out.
There were a ton of bikes in the parking lot ( Newcombs Ranch also has a bike shop), but we also saw some pretty cars keeping our Smart company.
We changed the frame rate to thirty frames per second for the ride down to get a comparison.
I'm happy to report that the GoPro and mount made it back home in one piece. We think that the first video, 60 frames per second, looks sharper. I was surprised at how great the mount worked to keep the camera steady, even on the very twisty roads and high speeds on the freeway. It's not jarring to watch at all and the image looks great. I couldn't be more pleased with my new camera and can't wait to play with it more.
Next time, I am going to try controlling it with my Iphone, there is an app that Dan found, that allows the camera controlled remotely. This is great for when it is mounted on the car, but we didn't want to fuss with it on the first time out. Speaking of which, we let is run and the battery lasted the entire trip, both ways. This is an impressive gadget.