Using GoPro as a Travel Camera – Tips & Review

One day down the road in your life, you start reminiscing about your past adventures.  You start thinking about your first trip out of the country to Mexico. You think and think but you can’t fully remember what exactly happened except for some few moments here and there, it’s only a distance memory now. You try looking for any pictures or videos to bring back this experience but realized you don’t have any.

This incident happened a few times in my life, my first trip to Mexico, my family trip to Disneyland, and the many times I spent the weekend in Vegas.

Talking to coworkers, I can’t but get a little jealous of them. Every week, I get to see their past adventures either on video or pictures, mostly pictures though. Whenever they show me pictures, each picture had a story behind it. They had pictures of past trips dated back from 1990s! It got me thinking “how cool would it be to look back 20 years from the future and reminisce about past trips”.

I wanted that. I wanted to be able to look back at each picture and see who I was back in the days. All that exciting stories that came with each picture.

The old cliché popped in my head “better start late than never.”

 

I decided I needed to invest in a camera and bring it along with me around Vietnam! I search online and after watching plenty of GoPro travel videos, I wanted a GoPro!

What I didn’t know was the cons and pros about the GoPro, heck I knew zero information about cameras in general! I’m still learning as it is a bit of a learning curve but a very interesting topic I’d love to learn.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a GoPro hero, I hope to give you a better understanding of what you’re getting into with the GoPro. Here are some of the pros and cons I experienced with this camera.

1. Image Stabilizer – The Shakiness!

Let’s start with one that really got my attention right away. While watching my videos after a full day of filming, I noticed that my videos were beyond shaky. You couldn’t watch it without getting some sort of migraine. In addition to no stabilizer, my hands tend to shake quite a bit which made it worst.

 

However, I do believe the GoPro Hero 5 does have image stabilizer but anything lower than the 5, be aware of this problem while recording.

You can see the shakiness of the video provided at the bottom of this page.

2. Microphone – Vlogging

If you’re planning to talk while filming, make sure you take the GoPro out of the case or purchase a case that doesn’t block the microphone slot! I made the mistake of leaving the GoPro in this case the whole time and in some instances where I did talk, none of them were usable. You couldn’t hear a thing!

3. Pictures & Videos – Beautiful Wide Len Photos, Fog, Lens, and Video Settings

 

Taking pictures on the GoPro was awesome! I love how it captures the background with its wide lens; especially when around beautiful scenic places.

The videos itself does take up to 4k videos. However, 4k can and does take a lot of memory so I keep mine at 1080p. You can also change the settings to a wide, medium, or narrow view. I like to set mine at 720p medium view when doing selfie shots and switch back to 1080p wide while doing fun activities.

The other thing is that if you’re headed to humidity countries; make sure the lenses aren’t foggy. My daytrip to Vinpearl in Nha Trang was an exceptionally hot day and whenever we walk outside, the lens would fog up. I didn’t realize this until I got back to the hotel and watched the videos. By then it was too late!

Also with recording at night, the factory lens that they give is horrible. A recommendation was given to me to fix this problem and it was to get a 3.8mm low distortion lens. However, those lens does cost about $100 CAD.

 

4. Accessories – Extra Batteries, Memory Cards, and Portable Hard Drive

Battery, memory card, and portable hard drives are a must if you plan to record a lot and I think you should. Just make sure you bring these essential items along.

Also have a way to transfer the files from your GoPro to your portable hard drive. I use my laptop but I know some people don’t like carrying that heavy thing around. You’ll just have to find a different way to transfer those files.

Other items such as a selfie stick, cases (there’s so many different types of cases!), and lens can add up but if you want the best shots, you may need to rack up some dollars. Be aware of that!

 

5. Cost – Medium Price Range but Accessories Adds Up

I purchase mine used for $400 CAD and it came with a selfie stick ($60 CAD)! If you’re not in a rush, check online for deals. Lots of people sell it because they need the money right away and that’s when the deals come.

I don’t recommend buying it brand new. I noticed people are always selling their GoPro in mint condition for a reasonable price.

 

Conclusion – Lots of Work

Recording and taking pictures can be a lot of work. By the end of my trip back in 2016, I didn’t take any pictures or videos because I was exhausted and just wanted to enjoy my trip which was a big mistake. I wish I did pulled out my camera and taken a whole bunch of pictures and videos till the end of the trip.

Every time I looked back into my Vietnam 2016 folder, I do not have any memories at the end of my trip and it sure does suck.

My advice is to keep recording right until you get back home.

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