I'm a keen amateur photographer/videotographer. While still at school I was shooting on, developing, and printing black and white film. I got my first Digital camera in 1997, and after getting my first D-SLR, I've been upgrading every 18-24 months since then.


For stills photography I use Canon D-SLRs, I find their range of lenses much better suited to what I do, and now that I've invested I won't be changing for a while. For video it's another story. The Canon 5D-II (and the 7D) do take amazing video, but the handling need a lot of control, and there are a number of limitations (4GByte files=about 12 minutes). For video I tend to use the Panasonic TM700 (Although I have the Japanese version which has 96G of flash and does 1080p60). In terms of point an shoot video it's handling is way better than a D-SLR, and you only really lose the depth of field "Film effect". The low light from the 3 sensor system is actually very good, comparible to using the 5D-II with a F5.6 lens, so with a faster lens the D-SLR is better, but the TM700 is actually pretty good.
For skiing I've use a Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA9 for a few years, but you have to hand hold it, as there isn't really any simple mounting options. I wanted something I could leave running and hopefully capture the best (and worst) moments.


There are a number of small portable "Sports" cameras around. I read various reviews, and asked a few people that have used a few solutions, and the GoPro camera range seems to be the clear winner. So with a bit of hunting I found someone that had the HD Hero2 - outdoor edition in stock (and grabbed a spare battery, and a big SD card while I was out).

GoPro spec summary

Video resolutions: It also offers three fields of view (by cropping different areas of the sensor):

GoPro's file numbering system

It took me a while to workout the sequence for a set of files. By default I sort by filename, most cameras save the file numbers sequentially. But the GoPro (at least the "HD Hero2") saves overflow files with a different naming convention. If you sort by date/time then it does work it out.
Here is the sequence:
GOPRvvvv.MP4 - Where vvvv is the video number, starting from 0001
GOssvvvv.MP4 - Where ss is the sequence number for overflow files, starting from 01

So if the initial video is less that 4Gbytes, then there is only a GOPRvvvv.MP4 file, if it overflows, then the GOPRvvvv.MP4 is the first section, the GOssvvvv.MP4 files will be the later sections.
Assuming that you reset the GoPro, and formatted the card, if you record two long videos, you might get:
Sorted by date/time:
GOPR0001.MP4 - Video #1 - part 0
GO010001.MP4 - Video #1 - part 1
GO020001.MP4 - Video #1 - part 2
GOPR0002.MP4 - Video #2 - part 0
GO010002.MP4 - Video #2 - part 1
But when sorted by filename:
GO010001.MP4 - Video #1 - part 1
GO010002.MP4 - Video #2 - part 1
GO020001.MP4 - Video #1 - part 2
GOPR0001.MP4 - Video #1 - part 0
GOPR0002.MP4 - Video #2 - part 0

I'm not the only one who loves the GoPro products, there were at least 9 on this car (at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012).

This page was lasted updated on Monday, 02-Jul-2012 09:58:52 BST

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