How Not To Buy An Action Camera

See that  camera over there. Or up there, if you’re on a phone. That’s a GoPro Hero4 Black Edition. A 500$ camera that I do not own. I almost bought one last year, but the name I chose for the website is a pretty accurate one. I needed to scale back and find something more affordable. And I did, in the GeekPro 2. And it was a horrible, horrible mistake.

There are things you simply should not go cheap on. Affordable, yes. Cheap, no. Now, I read reviews, and at the time, they were great reviews. I went and watched sample video on YouTube, and I thought it was good enough. So I bought it. I shot a couple short videos with it to get an idea of what I was working with. At first, it seemed like it would be okay. You know, until I could afford to buy something better.

I would link tot he Amazon page for the GeekPro2, but it doesn’t exist anymore. They have the GeekPro 4, which cost less and comes with a bunch of stuff. Okay, fine, it comes with junk. It looks like the same stuff you buy from GoPro’s online shop, but only from a distance. I bought that same junk last year. And I have used none of it. I made many mistakes with that camera, let me sum them up for you.

I read Amazon Reviews. From people who owned the product for apparently 9 hours. They loved it, it was the best camera ever, and they felt it truly compared to their GoPro. None of those people own a GoPro. They are all filthy liars who were justifying their purchase. When I had issues with my camera, I went back and lookit that, tons of followup reviews where they are angry. Oddly, the GoPro had no such reviews or feedback. Funny how the 500$ camera seemed to fare much better.

I watched YouTube reviews and video samples. Now, to find them, I had to search for the camera itself. None of the big camera geek channels had them. That should have been a sign. It was a sign, but it was written in camera geek and I don’t speak that very well. But the reviews I did find were from people who had never reviewed another camera before. So, why did I believe their opinions? Because I did not want to spend the 500$ on the GoPro. Which, by the way has millions of stellar reviews on YouTube. They’re easy to find.

And the sample video. I watched that crap on an 11 inch netbook and thought it was good enough. I had a perfectly good HDMI cord that could have gone to my TV or a much larger monitor to see it in a proper size, but again… I was trying to justify being a cheap bastard, instead of a frugal consumer.

At proper screen sizes, the video it records is on par with a 15$ webcam you buy at Walgreens.  And I found out why. And that is what I’m going to share with you.

The cameras are advertised as being 1080p, HD, blah, blah… and they are not. They are using old sensors and internal camera stuff that may as well be from a cereal box. But they have managed to find a way to make the image look and act, and report as greater than it is. The GeekPro2 people, who are apparently not the same people as the GeekPro4 people… according to the GeekPro4 people.. who are also not the GeekPro cable and peripheral people… Anyway, they proclaimed their camera to be on par with the GoPro Hero4 Black.

 Funny, this isn’t what GoPro footage looks like.

That video? That’s on the maxed out 1080p, 30fps… claimed… Looking at the raw footage, it looks like the camera did 15fps and doubled the frames. Yes, my finger moved. Get over it.

Now, let’s talk power. Juice. Electricity. Battery life. There isn’t any. It came with two batteries. One of which is good, the other is bad. The camera cannot function without a battery installed. The bad battery allows it to pretend to charge, while the screen and controls are locked out. The good battery lasts roughly twenty minutes. On stand by. Recording time is more like five minutes. And to take snapshots, it’ll do about twenty.

So I spent 75$ on a camera that is in nearly every way inferior to my phone.  It does have one thing going for it. The waterproof case seems to be waterproof.

The lesson here folks is simple. Don’t try to take the cheaper route on important things. You don’t always have to buy the most popular, most expensive product. But when you do try to save money, learn all that you can first. And if the people who do reviews of that kind of product have never touched it, neither should you.

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