When we first started reviewing the GoPro, our original intention was to use it as a black box camera; providing a way for riders to have video documentation of every ride and, if need be, of any crashes. However, after only one week, we quickly realized how shortsighted our original plan was – to use the GoPro purely as a black box camera was a waste of the fantastic abilities of this product.
GoPro on the Bike
We shared a number of videos in our First Look article. However, those were all filmed in the bright outdoors. We took some additional footage at night to share the low light abilities of the GoPro. Unfortunately, you are simply not able to capture license plates in low light. However, you will be able to share what happened along with any information about vehicles that may be involved. In the video below you can get a good idea of the make and model of the van as it passes by.
The majority of our testing had us using the GoPro on the bike. We experimented with the 720p, 960p and 1080p resolutions but ended up coming back to 720p every time. Yes 1080p recording on a GoPro can produce some stunning results, but the GoPro returns its best battery life with 720p (around 2.5 hours) and when you are attempting to record 50-70 mile rides, you need all the battery you can get. This is additionally one of the differentiators of the GoPro. Unlike many of the other offerings on the market, the GoPro has an available battery pack that can extend the recording time. Unfortunately we were not able to test the GoPro with the battery pack, so we cannot say how much extra recording time is added. However, if we were to buy a GoPro for ourselves, this is an additional investment we would definitely make.
GoPro Under Water
Taking the GoPro into the pool was one of our favorite uses of the camera. How many times have you wanted to get a better understanding of your own swim dynamics to help improve your stroke? Or maybe you just want some footage of you dominating your training partner in 10x100s. After only a single use of the GoPro in the pool, one of our editors was able to diagnose an issue with their stroke they had not realized previously.
The GoPro in its waterproof case is rated to 197 feet (60 meters), which is more than enough for your average swimming pool. We also appreciate that every GoPro comes with a mount that can be placed at the bottom of the pool. It may not have been GoPro’s intention to use the standard plastic display mount as a pool mount, but it works perfectly regardless. We just put a bit of weight on either side of the plastic, and it works like a charm.
A good training partner is the one who tells you when your form needs improving and is there for you when things go horribly wrong. In many ways this is exactly what we found with the GoPro–a great training partner. We admit that we were shortsighted when we initially considered using the camera for crash analysis alone. Instead, we found the GoPro to be a great tool in all facets of a triathlete’s life. You can easily record yourself swimming, riding, running, and transitioning and then use those videos to make both minor and major improvements to your form or technique. On top of that, when things do go wrong on the bike – the GoPro could be the only witness to what actually happens. All in all making this a tool that every triathlete should seriously consider.