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Any thoughts on the efficacy of a Go Pro as a good point and shoot camera? I know it's supposed to take good stills, but what about applications like shooting critters up on cliffs from the boat or shooting people from a distance at attractions like waterfalls, cliffs, etc. Do those kinds of shots require more than a Go Pro can offer? I'm wondering whether I need to get something like an Olympus TG or Nikon AW to keep handy in addition to the Go Pro my daughter will generally be in charge of.
 

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I use my GoPro for filming & a waterproof point & shoot for pictures (Fuji XP200). The GoPro doesn't have any zoom, plus it's always attached to a mount on my raft or kayak so not handy to grab for quick pictures from the boat or in camp/hikes.
 

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Any thoughts on the efficacy of a Go Pro as a good point and shoot camera? I know it's supposed to take good stills, but what about applications like shooting critters up on cliffs from the boat or shooting people from a distance at attractions like waterfalls, cliffs, etc. Do those kinds of shots require more than a Go Pro can offer? I'm wondering whether I need to get something like an Olympus TG or Nikon AW to keep handy in addition to the Go Pro my daughter will generally be in charge of.

Generally speaking the Gopro is not a good all purpose camera. It has a very wide angle fish eye lens and you have to be very close to things for them to appear large in the image. Plus the fish eye distorts the image to give it an unnatural character. I have used mine for stills in certain situations, but it's not very versatile for that purpose. Waterproof point and shoot is probably the way to go, unless you want to be able to print your photos. Then use a DSLR, Micro 2/3rds or one of the new Mirrorless compacts.
 

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I tried using my GoPro to take stills of other rafts going through Rapids as I took pictures from the shore. It sets the subject way back. It is great for wide angle pictures and video. Point and shoot not so much. It might be ok if your subject is really close for a couple of unique shots but another camera for stills is your best bet. The one thing the GoPro does, it does really well. But it is definitely specialized to one particular job.
 

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It does fine as a point and shoot - but definitely not ideal. It's such a wide angle that pictures of "critters up on the cliff" will be specks. It does better at close range.
 

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Ya what he said ^^^. I have a Hero4 Black and found it best for close-up pictures and filming. I've taken stills and movies of animals as close as 300' and they were hard to see while editing.
 

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if you set your Gopro to 4K at 15 FPS, you'll get choppier video, but you will be able to pluck out any frame it caught for a decent still shot, albeit with all the above mentioned constraints.
 
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