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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:36 AM
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Gopro run timelapse (2 min 26 sec)


A sports camera is something never used by attainable women. There's no documentation for it, since it's only been around for 2 months. Some nuggets of information learned:

It works as a USB mass storage device, but it's a low speed USB device. You need to remove the SD card & plug it into a card reader to transfer any normal size files. If you got a 64GB card, it's going to wear out from swapping long before you ever transfer 64GB from it.

It's a miracle of bad software, since the Ambarella chips have high speed USB.

To mount the SD card in Linux, you need a kernel compiled for user space filesystems, scons, fuse, & fuse-exfat. They actually all compiled on an ancient 3 year old Fedora.

To get wifi to work, you need to download an update from gopro.com, but more importantly, you need to create an essid & password. The default essid & password don't work. You can't change the essid & password without downloading & reinstalling the update.

It can actually update from a VFat formatted card, but can't store anything on it until reformatting it as exfat.

Maximum video is 3840x2160 50 megabits. Maximum still photos are 4000x3000.

The wifi app doesn't do much. It has a delayed, low quality viewfinder mode, allows some settings to be changed, but can't download files from the card. Being able to download & play files from the camera is a no brainer. The viewfinder doesn't work when it's recording.

Was actually interviewed for their software team & told to get lost. Their software is so limited, it's obviously another piece of capable hardware behind crippled software.

There is a live composite signal on its USB connector, but no practical viewfinder attachments. There is no swivel viewfinder.

Despite having many holes, there is but 1 microphone on the right side. The sound quality is much better than the gopro 2.

The stock 1000mAh battery showed empty after 55 minutes of recording, but was still managing to record. Without a viewfinder & stabilization, things were definitely shakier. The wide angle managed to keep everything somewhere in view.

The most useful mode has been 1920x1440, 29.97fps, 30 megabit. It's very slow for a computer with only 4 gig of RAM to edit, but provides the most cropping room, the widest field of view. In 1920x1440 mode, composite video downlinked, it would be the ultimate FPV camera.

In traditional Ambarella fashion, the encoding is super sharp, no matter how much motion. They must have worked closely with Ambarella to optimize it for fast motion & resolutions beyond HD. Similar to the Aiptek HD, the color is quantized & shadows are a bit washed out, but unlike any previous camera, there's no perceptible rolling shutter.

Overall, the sharpness, lack of rolling shutter, plethora of video modes beyond HD, put it ahead of the last portable cameras. As long as it doesn't break, 4 years of the limitations of the Aiptek & Sanyo have finally ended.
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