GoPro or ActionCam? Is either an alternative to a camcorder?


One of the lessons learned from returning to Anime North was I was carrying far too much weight over the three days. I was carrying pounds of equipment when I should have been carrying ounces. But when it comes down to grams to kilograms what is better?


GoPro Hero or Sony ActionCam as a replacement for camcorder and heavy Velbon tripod?  The answer was a lot easier to solve. Simply GoPro software for PC is x64 or 64-bit only while Sony software runs on my 32-bit PC tablet.  Well maybe…


I picked up an used Sony HDR-AS20 ActionCam for cheap for the purpose of testing. Tetherig to my iPhone or Asus Zen andoid tablet was fine but tethering to the tablet PC has be elusive. Also GoPro and ActionCam have fixed focal length … meaning no zoom. The one thing they have over camcorder is multi-camera control. Al:so a test of long term recording needed for masquerade or skit night came up short. I recorded 2:21:49 on a full charge. Given this year’s masquerade was nearly 3 hours, it means ActionCam might fall short. However, it saves in 4 gig files or 35:23 segements without hiccups.  Ideally, I would like to attach a small USB power pack to the ActionCam but the case which attaches to camera to tripod cuts off access to microUSB on HDR-AS20 as well the case muffles the stereo microphones. Plus swapping batteries is hell with the case enclosure.  I’m looking at 3D printing my own case for HDR-AS200 which would allow ease of access while shooting. MicroSD are cheap and 2 hours of video was about 16 gigs of data.

This setup has a LONG way to go before I’m satisfied with running a multi-camera shoot.  It’s fun to experiment in new technology which years or even months ago wasn’t available. Of course, these cameras were meant for live sports.  Using them for studio sit down interview or multi-camera recording of the masquerade isn’t what these were meant for.  I will have to do lots of testing before I can come up with any results or find out it pan out. Still I looking at gear that will last years as did my old digital camera which lasted 10 years.

I appreciate any feedback to this article.


This entry was posted in photography, Video and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.