GoPro ?'s - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-26-2011   #1
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
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GoPro ?'s

I was looking for a little help from those of you who aren't "sick of Gopro's", yet....

I just bought one, and used it this last weekend recording several hours of video from 2 kayak runs and 2 mtn bike questions concern the uploading and editing of said files.

Do most users have to use external hard drives to store your footage prior to editing? 8 files, totalling around 30-40 GB has filled the available memory on my desktop. I have done a disc cleanup and defrag, but I don't have enough memory left to work with the footage.

Also, the footage plays really well on my HDTV, but not so much so on my computer. I read somewhere that the HD MP4's don't work very well with Windows Media Player and that you have to transfer them over to AVI to work with them in WMM....anyone else running into this problem?

And lastly, what editing software do you guys prefer to work with? I have heard lot's of people say they like Sony Vega....but I would like some opinions from other kayakers working with the GoPro.

Thanks for your input and responses.

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Old 07-26-2011   #2
Westminster, Colorado
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The files from the gopro are huge. I am in the process of transfering all my files to external hard drive. As my desktop filled up. What I have found is that you need to convert from mp4 to something else to use wmp. None of the converters worked for me, so I have been using the editing software to convert my files for editing then convert them back to MP4 to upload to vimeo. The software I have been using is Magix movie maker pro I think. Seems to work okay. Wish I knew a little more about editing though.
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Old 07-26-2011   #3
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Copper Mountain, Colorado
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Files are very big, if you start saving them all to the computer especially. I think there is a 1tb external you can get for like $100.

As for viewing and editing, you'll need a newer OS and/or computer to be able to harness the HD quality and high frames. A Mac and Final Cut are the 2 things you want if you're looking to do it the best.
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Old 07-26-2011   #4
Parker, Colorado
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Windows Live Movie Maker on windows 7 seems to edit HD files just fine and is free for windows 7 users. I do like the fact that it will upload to YouTube and/or Facebook automagically once it's edited the videos. I use this program to select the 15 minutes of video I want uploaded. The "Cut/split" function works very well.

I would recommend having enough physical RAM in the machine to edit the entire file in memory. Opening up a 2.4g file on a pc with only 512 of RAM isn't going to work well at all. Doing the same thing on a box with 4 or 8 gig or ram isn't an issue.

I'd also suggest getting the latest firmware onto the GoPro so you can use the "boot and shoot" functionality. Once you turn it on, it simply starts shooting video which can be handy in the water to not have to be messing around with buttons.

Get another two or three GoPro batteries, they are like $19 bux at REI and running out of power in the field when you still have content to shoot sux. Also, get the largest internal card you can find. I have a 32G card and it's very nice to not have to be emptying it out so you can shoot more.

Whatever attached storage method you come up with, make sure it is fast. Getting a USB attached hard drive will cause frustration. A nice large internal or external SATA drive will let you edit large videos without growing old while waiting. This may be more hassle to install than simply using a USB flash drive or other USB attached storage, but you will make up for the time spent on the 1st video you edit.
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Old 07-26-2011   #5
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Rifle, Colorado
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I upload my footage and then periodically move it to an external drive so my space stays clear. I use iMovie for editing, doesn't have alot the features as some video editing software but it's really really easy to use. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2011   #6
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We use both iMovie and Sony Vegas. HD in iMovie is slow on our MacBook Pro and disk space is limited. We built a custom system for HD video editing with Intel i7 950, 12 GB RAM, 1TB SATA6. Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 is awesome!!
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Old 07-26-2011   #7
Beaverton, Oregon
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Speaking from my vantage point of working in the PC industry here: the files you are looking at are huge; probably an order of magnitude larger than anything else on your PC. Working with them demands correspondingly large amounts of processor power, memory (RAM), HD space and graphics cards.

Remember that a video file is a series of either 30 or 60 pictures per second of film, plus the soundtrack. When you are editing the video, each one of those pictures must be manipulated in some way. There is a lot of math going on with those, which is why wide (multiple core and thread count) and fast processors matter.

I personally run a Core i7-870 (4C, 8T, 3.6Ghz), 4 Gb of RAM, 1 TB HDD and a pair of graphics cards. If you need to get a new PC, go with Intel's newest core series because of the transcoding engine (Core ix-2xxx). Going to four cores and eight threads is best, but a 2C/4T will be fine.

As for the editing software, I run MS' Windows Live Mover Maker. It is properly threaded (it uses all eight threads, meaning that compute cycle it does eight calculations instead of one), handles HD files well and is easy to operate buzzed. The only little glitch with it is that if you wish to export your files in 720p or 1080p, you can't upload them to YouTube directly. You'll need to render the film into a file on your computer, then upload, to keep your resolution.

I tried Adobe's software and didn't love it. I haven't worked with iMovie before other than playing with it in the store, but it looks simple. I know that it is also multi-threaded.
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Old 07-26-2011   #8
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Boulder, Colorado
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Not worked with GoPro, but have used other HD footage. For playing back files on your PC, try the free program Media Player Classic. The world of codecs gets confusing, but this program seems to do well for most everything.

Huge hard drives are so cheap I would get an 2nd drive if I were you for all your footage. Then you don't have to worry about fragmentation of your main drive either. My thought for GoPro stuff is you shoot tons of throw away footage, so you probably don't want to archive all the raw footage.

I'll throw out another vote for Sony Vegas. Fairly easy to learn and the Movie Studio version is pretty good bang for your buck - there's only a couple features I wish I had from the pro version.
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Old 07-26-2011   #9
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It takes a very powerful computer to play high def files that are highly compressed without stalling. I have a decent computer (custom built for HD editing) and it can't do it. But if you transcode to a less compressed form, even an average computer should be able to play them fine. Same goes for editing. If you edit the source material your preview window will likely stutter - especially when doing transitions and such. If you edit your transcoded files, the whole process is much smoother.

The downside is the transcoded files are much larger than your source files. So you do indeed need very large hard drives (internal or external).

I use Cineform NeoScene to transcode to AVI, but there are free transcoders out there as well.

I use Sony Vegas Movie Studio. I just upgraded to version 11. For the most part I am happy with it, although it does crash occassionally.

I used to use Pinnacle Studio, which had more bells and whistles, but it lacked one capability (at least last year) that was critical to me. I record all of camcorder and helmet camera source at 60 fps progressive. When I upload to the Internet it gets reduced to 30 fps. When I burn a BluRay disk it gets reduced to 60 fps interlaced. But I like editing with 60p so I can do pan/zoom or slow motion without nasty interlace artifacts. Pinnacle Studio would drop my source to 30p - which was unacceptable to me.

Final Cut Express will also not support 60p source. I think the latest verison of iMovie does, and Final Cut Pro does.

Having a lot of computer RAM also helps, but most (if not all) of the lower priced editing packages are 32-bit applications. So even if you have 64-bit Windows the application can only use 2 GB of RAM. That is the main cause of Sony Vegas crashing on me. There are some patches that trick the software into using up to 3 GB or RAM, which reduces the number of crashes I get.

Another good free software player is VLC. It also lets you see what kind of codec your files used. But it won't play my Cineform AVI files.
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Old 07-26-2011   #10
Ogden, Utah
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Just sharing my experience with sharing my boating vids...
I don't own a GoPro, however- I believe 99% of You-Tube and Vimeo videos open automatically in 360p as a default, with the option to open in 480/720/1080p or "HD". When selecting a higher resolution than 480, the load time can sometimes test some people's patience(me included and I've got broadband) which negates any need for uploading in anything higher; especially when merely wanting to do a quick play to check out someone's trip. Anyways, I don't record in HD anymore more for this reason(Fujifilm XP10), which subsequently results in easier film editing and uploading anyways, with the smaller file sizes.
Can GoPros adjust their filming mode to less than HD? May help.
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