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GoPro vs DSLR: A 5 Point Review

By Finserv MARKETS - Sep 3,2019
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Brief history of GoPro

Originally designed by current CEO Nick Woodman as a means to capture photos and videos of him surfing. The history of GoPro is nothing but a story of a camera that is responsible for relaying some of the most exciting stories of the modern age. The California native had a strong interest in the technology industry. Mentally recovering from his first two disappointing entrepreneurial attempts of creating the websites EmpowerAll.com and Funbug.com. It was while surfing the waves, Woodman came up with an idea and wanted to capture a few good quality surfing photos from neat angles and that too without spending huge money on top-of-the-line photography equipment especially reserved for professional athletes. That’s when the idea of the GoPro was born. It is a small camera that can easily strap around a person’s wrist and bestowed with the capacity to capture the best quality point-and-shoots and group them into a rugged frame that is waterproof, small and virtually indestructible.

Here is the timeline depicting the evolution of different GoPro camera models:

  • 2002: GoPro was founded
  • 2004: HERO 35mm camera came into being
  • 2006: Digital HERO came into the market
  • 2011: HERO2 was made available
  • 2012: HERO3 was released
  • 2013: HERO3+ was released
  • 2014: HERO4 was released
  • 2015: HERO+LCD, HERO+ took market up by storm
  • 2016: Karma Drone, HERO5 gained popularity among mass
  • 2017: HERO6, Fusion was another hit
  • 2018: HERO 2018 Edition received same response

Over the years, the company had discontinued. The 2018 lineup of GoPro cameras includes the HERO6, HERO5, HERO 2018 and Fusion. Compared to HERO that could take photos at a maximum depth of 5m of water, the HERO6 is a similar size. If you compare other models too, you will see that the HERO6 model is capable of 4K60 video and incorporates voice activation, compatibility with the Karma drone and a touchscreen display. GoPro’s most recent edition, Fusion allows users to create fully spherical videos and records action footage.

GoPro vs DSLR

  1. Image quality:

If you compare image clarity and talk about the detailing, you must know that the GoPro sensor is half the size of a DSLR’s. Buy a GoPro if you need a video action camera and capturing quality images is secondary for you. Lens can be changed on a DSLR but not on a GoPro, hence difference in lens quality is normal. Both support JPEG and RAW image formats. For high-end GoPros, the sensor size is 12MP (3840 x 2160) and can take bursts of upto 30 photos/second, which is pretty decent compared to DSLRs, which can take up to 6 photos/second. On the contrary, if you decide to buy a GoPro, you must realise that the ISO setting with the DSLRs can be programmed to go a lot higher, enabling superior image capture ability in low-light.​ Buy a GoPro if you are travelling, as it can give travel photography so much energy!

  1. Video formats:

Talking about GoPro vs camera, this is where the games switches leaders, as you can guess that GoPro being an action camera, is all about video. A GoPro has been optimised for taking action-filled videos with as small a camera as possible. Not just that, it has a huge variety of frame rates and video formats, which can be a deciding factor when you capture action. Low frame rates will lack the necessary details and be harder to work with in post-production and hence it is no surprise to see them taking the frame rates up to 120 in some formats.​ On the other hand, DSLRs go as high as 60 fps, which might be a problem for shooting actions. If you want to have a great video, it may cost you a lot of money unless you can manage with 1080p at 60fps frame rate.

  1. Video stabilization:

You will be needing some sort of stabilization if you plan to shoot a video on the move. You have the option of getting a built-in stabilization (software based / electronic image stabilization) with the GoPro which does a pretty reasonable job of smoothing out any form of disturbances due to movements. To get to perfect you really need to either get a gimbal or buy a really expensive camera with built-in stabilization.

  1. Convenience:

Travelling can be rough and at times you want to blend in and wish not to attract too much attention. It will give you a more authentic experience and keep you safe from theft and other troubles. Adding five pounds of a clunky DSLR can be difficult while travelling. Buy a GoPro because it is compact, manageable and light. GoPros are versatile when it comes to placement, they can be placed anywhere – hidden, moving objects, mounted on selfie sticks. Weight of GoPro’s range from 2.5-4.2 oz for a GoPro and 0.9-1.5 lb for our two DSLRs. A GoPro ensures that you’ll be stress free and traveling as light as possible.

  1. Versatility:

GoPro also steals the show in GoPro vs camera debate in this particular category. A GoPro is all about the accessories, especially when it comes to mounts, as that enhances the ability to put it on anything that moves or carry it around while in sports or out for the day traveling. A typical mount kit comes with a chest mount, head mount, a tripod a swivel mount, lots of stickies for mounting on anything you want etc. Next to it is a three part hand grip for giving you as many shooting or selfie options as possible.

In a GoPro vs camera, a DSLR does not find a suitable place in terms of mounting as it only goes well with a traditional tripod; be slung around your neck or being handheld. A GoPro also has filter kits but the flexibility and fitting of them are just not at the same level as that of a DSLR’s.​

As far as external audio goes, there are no options for a GoPro. However, there are lapel mics, mini-boom mics and other options for external mics if you want to get one.

Conclusion

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