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Thread: GoPro Recommendations - budget to best

  1. #1
    Junior Member Reve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Albuquerque, NM

    GoPro Recommendations - budget to best

    I'm thinking about GoPro now since the phone video leaves a lot to be desired when using SoloStorm.

    First - What if I want a budget/used GoPro that will work with my phone? Bluetooth as a minimum needed?

    Second - What is the best GoPro now for our purposes?

    Last question - What do I need to know about mounts? Are there any that I should avoid, particularly in the older mounts?


  2. #2
    Junior Member Tom Reynolds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Rio Rancho, NM
    I've generally been unhappy with the reliability of the GoPros but they were the best game in town for awhile until the Garmin Ultra 30. While it's not clearly superior, I do like that I'm not giving GoPro money and I get a GPS and OBD2 inputs/overlay all in a camera.

    The cameras all use Wifi rather than bluetooth due to bandwidth reasons I believe. It's not only to control the camera, but to transfer videos though I found that doesn't work reliably and eat the heck out of the battery life. So it depends. Two strategies, one is to use the integration for SS to start/stop the camera. The other is to keep the systems separate. I decided after years of having them integrate, to do it separately. I'm not sure I like it better but it is easier in some ways since it generally works every time. If you do integrate this, overlaying using Solostorm is much easier.

    As for mounts, I've found cameras and tablets evolve so I wanted something that didn't care what brand of anything I have or what car I put it in or where. So I invested in the RAM system. RAM suction cup mount with either the short or long arms then to a GoPro style mount adapter, Garmin uses the same type. If a new type come out, I just have to replace the adapter for $10 and I can keep using my system. Same setup for the tablet using a SlipGripMount for it. If my tablet changes, just a new tablet adapter and keep going. It's not the cheapest on initial purchase but I've had this setup for 7 years and despite changing cameras and tablets, I've never had to rebuy the expensive bits.
    2016 Miata Club - STR car
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  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Los Alamos, NM
    I'm currently running solostorm with two GoPro Hero 3 wifi cameras and a QStarz Bluetooth GPS receiver. Overall, the system can be a bit touchy to get everything going sometimes, but I'm happier with that than my previous setup using my phone, a GPS reciever and Harry's Lap Timer.

    A couple of comments on my setup:
    1) I've got two GoPro cameras because I often run the battery dead in one of them before the end of the day. I can swap in the 2nd camera with a fresh battery to keep on recording. If I'm not co-driving and I remember to shut the camera off at lunch and I don't do anything stupid (like forget to give it a full charge), then I can get by with one. As Tom pointed out, they can be a bit touchy to get working. I generally find I have to at least shut it off and back on at least once an event to get it to work...and need to remove the battery every 3-4 events to get it to reset itself. However, I've always gotten them going.

    I use the video post-run to remember where I screwed up. So for me, the video is viewed for a few minutes between runs and then I never look at them again. For that, I use the lowest setting on the camera -- 720P @ 30 fps. It makes transfer to the tablet fast enough that I can view it within 30 seconds of stopping the car. Since I use such low resolution video, the advanced GoPro cameras aren't useful enough to me to justify the expense.

    Honestly, I ran across some cheap GoPro ripoff cameras on Amazon the other day for something like $50 complete with wifi connection. You might check into some of those knockoff brands to see if they'll fit your needs. This is is $60 and seems to be at least as good as my Hero3: I keep meaning to pick one up just to try it out for giggles just to see how well they work. All of that said, I like Tom's videos on the Garmin and am considering going that way if my cameras die.

    Like tom, I've got Ram mounts now. I used some knockoff brands before and they can't be reused if I change tablet size or something like that. I ended up going with Ram and haven't needed to change my mount out now for the last 2 tablets.
    Last edited by Von Whitley; 05-03-2017 at 01:32 PM.

  4. #4
    I have not used it with Solo Storm, but in general I find the Garmin Ultra 30 much more user friendly than GoPro.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    I just started using this suction mount after having several others fail-
    I can't see it failing, it's very stable, and it will stick in somewhat irregular spots.

    I hadn't heard of the RAM system but it looks nice. Might want something like that in the cabin.

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