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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

GoPro Firmware Try Out


Reviews at the speed of the net !

GoPro HD Camera case broken smashed busted
So I got the new firmware loaded up. It was simple enough IF you follow the directions to the letter. I missed something the first time around but got it the second time. 
1080 out of the camera looks great ! Super sharp. There is some moire and aliasing, but nothing a little diffusion filter wouldn't kill. Maybe even the case lens will just take a little edge off of it. I was running the camera bare. Either way, skin tones look great, camera looks way better then it has a right to for the price.
720 BLEHCK ! soft and very alaised. Looks like really poor scaling. Skip this mode for live video out. I shoot 1280X960 all the time as it looks better in low light, and the extra vertical pixels are good. Also this mode is wider then 1080 mode.
R1 / SD mode. Don't waste your time. There is very heavy scaling artifacts, and heavy black lines along contrasting objects from peaking. This is the BVW400 over cranked peaking look. Color also seems to loose saturation. Ok, maybe you are doing a low end webcast and the image works… or its a witness camera and you want to run some coax a few hundred feet.
Also note, the camera can't record HD and output HD at the same time. It will reduce output to SD. This will cause some screens to blink as they adapt resolution. Clearly there just isn't enough CPU power in there, but I'm ok with this. I can feed the 1080 into my MXO2 if I want. You can send composite out and record HD. Thats fine if you walk around with a LCD monitor to check angles.

Don't Judge Video Quality for Recording vs Live Feed Based on Live Feed

If you are new to the camera, I've found the 720 modes record cleaner video. 1080 can get really noisy in low light in particular, where as the 720 will be more usable, within reason. The camera likes light, no question about it either way.

Odd PAL  Video Out !

I tried 2 monitors and only one of them liked the HD component PAL / 25fps coming out. email to tech support and we'll see what comes back. Newer Samsung LCD didn't like it, older Westinghouse did. So don't go out on a shoot without testing your monitor or capture device first, but you knew that already !
That said, using 25fps for 24fps productions is great as long as you don't need sync sound. You can just interpet it at 24fps and live with a 4% slow down.

On Screen Display

Turn it on, turn it off, it works. Now if Canon could get this thru their thick heads we need clean video out.

New Case

Ever since the camera came out, people were drilling holes in the side of the case to get at the USB port, and maybe the video out ports. You can now buy a case with a hole which lets you get at all the ports, only downside is its $40 and not shipping yet…where's that 3/8" drill bit ? Hopefully powering the camera on USB is better now as I know some folks who have tried this and found the camera flaky. I'd also venture to say, its also possible they were feeding less then clean power into the camera, and it may want cleaner power then the vehicle's power system put out.>
The upside down flip mode is also great for those odd mounting situations, but since most NLE's can flip in real time, not too big a deal. It took them a while to get this out, but its finally here and I'm happy that video out works.