30Oct

A long ride with a small camera

Last week I went for a long ride, from my home in Danville, CA to my brother’s home in Pittsburg, CA – it’s about 25 miles as the crow flies, but I took the undulating route on the back streets, roads and trails, over a number of hills – a tough long ride.

I had my GoPro Helmet Hero Wide with me- a great little 5 megapixel point-of-view camera with an ultra-wide lens and a mix of attachments – to attach to your helmet, around your chest (their chest mount harness), a suction cup mount for moving vehicles or boats- all kinds of ways to attach it to anything you wish. It’s small (probably half the size of a regular point-and-shoot) takes an SDHC memory card, runs on batteries, and fits into a waterproof housing – all with an affordable price tag of $189.

I rode for about an hour in the late afternoon, up a big hill into open space on the flanks of Mount Diablo, entered the trails and turned my camera on (in the auto mode to take a still photo every two seconds). Over the next hour of so, my camera captured approximately 1400 images as I headed off the trails, onto the roads of Walnut Creek, through the city of Concord, before the memory card filled up cutting off the camera at dusk as I approached Pittsburg. I had another 45 minutes left to ride (over the last grueling hill in the dark), but I figured my GoPro captured enough images to check out later that evening.

When I returned home, I loaded the images into my MacBook Pro using iMovie, found the right timing per slide to make it flow well, added some copyright free classical music, and created this fun little movie.

So here’s my ride October 22nd, 2009 – an hour portion of a 2.5 hour ride from Danville to Pittsburg, California – 1462 still images, broken down into a 3:38 minute segment, edited in iMovie (part of Apple’s iLife ’09). Enjoy- I hope to do more- maybe an all-trail version, or attaching it to a boat, kayak, or vehicle.




My segment on The View From the Bay (ABC KGO-TV 7, San Francisco) featuring the GoPro camera: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/consumer_finance&id=6914730

07Jul

My 2nd segment on The View From the Bay coming this July 14th


Next Tuesday I’ll be back on The View From the Bay, a great afternoon lifestyle show on ABC Channel 7 KGO-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m looking forward to seeing Janelle Wang and Spencer Christian again, the two great hosts, as well as the whole production staff.


Continuing my goal to be the Photoguru, a commercial pro and photo expert with my own tv show, I’ll be going on to promote my book and talk about five cool compact cameras to check out for the summer season. No side-by-side comparison deal- just cameras that are different in the features they have, price points, and functionality.

The five point-and-shoots I’m testing out and reviewing are:

GoPro’s Helmet HERO Wide: I’ve had a blast with this 5 mega-pixel “point of view” camera, attaching it to my bicycle helmet, my bike, strapping it around my waist, and even on my car for great shots you couldn’t otherwise get in a system under $200.

If you looking for top quality and price isn’t an issue, this compact comes with the Leica name and quality (their lenses are known as the best in the biz-nas), full control of functions, and made for the serious amateur interested in creating high-quality shots in an easy-to-carry system.


Nikon’s Coolpix S60: A 10 mega-pixel p&s offers a great touch screen, – I went with Arctic White, the color of my old ’86 VW Golf (see it at the start of this blog)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX 150: A great compact has the highest mega-pixels in the group at 14.7 million, with manual functions and a Leica lens packed into a sleek body. I personally own this model.

FujiFilm Z33WP: A great 10 mega-pixel waterproof compact camera with a flash, LCD screen, and a cool strap that floats. I’ve enjoyed using it in the swimming pool with my daughters as well at in a river in the Sierras. Fuji sent me the bright pink model- that’s right, I’m Mr. Fancy Pants.

I’ll also show off Joby’s line of cool bendable tripods- fun, functional, and they come in cool colors like blue, green, and pink! Use it for self-portaits, attach it to a tree branch or a pole, and pack it anywhere in your suitcase.


Canon never sent me a camera to review and I was a bit disappointed since they own the point-and-shoot market and have a great line of small digital cameras. But the ones I have are top-notch and would rate high in any comparison so I’m good to go.

So tune in Tuesday, July 14th, from 3-4pm for my segment- it will be fun, informative, and entertaining! And if you’re not in the area, the segment will post on the web at KGO’s site (as did my February spot on Great Family Vacation Photos): http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=view_from_the_bay/everything_else&id=6674127