Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunny Sunday in February

With my new Hero GoProHD mounted behind the factory windshield of my Suzuki V-Strom DL650A I decided to try it out in the sunshine. It picked up a lot of glare from the windshield as I rode south over the Oak Street Bridge then along Hwy99 and Hwy 91A. My ride ended at Steveston harbour to the Government pier where there was a good view of Mt Baker in the background

This is my 2nd test video. The GoProHD footage is sandwiched between video taken with my Lumix ZS3 (720p30) . For those who require additional information here is what I noticed.

The video taken with the Panasonic Lumix ZS3 was 1280x720p 30 fps (actually 29.97) at a capture rate of 12 Mbps. The video produced by the GoProHD set at 1280x720p30 was around 8 Mbps. With a bitrate of 50% less you would expect the GoProHD to be of lesser quality. I am using PREL7 (Premiere Elements 7) as my video editor. The ZS3 compiles video in the AVCHD codec which requires conversion from Mts (Sony calls it M2ts) to mpg. My converter can be set to any bitrate so upon conversion the MPG was downsized from 12 Mbps to 9 Mbps.

Using PREL7 I am able to import the MPG files from the ZS3, and it will import the GoProHD mp4 files without conversion. After I bring these clips to the timeline, import the transitions and put in some titles, I render the final version to Mpeg2 at 6 Mbps. I noticed from the video forums that most videographers render anywhere from 4 to 5 Mbps to keep the files sizes reasonable for upload to YouTube. This short 4 minute video ended up at 297 MB and took 50 minutes to upload after the 1st one failed. There is a bug with Windows 7 and most everyone is having troubles uploading when using windows7. Since I purchased my new laptop rendering is much faster. It is rendering around 20% more than real time. This 4 minute video took around 6 minutes to render. Using my old Acer it used to take 2 to 3x real time.

The only reason I mention all of this is because we have some new Videographers in the sidelines waiting for their own GoProHD to arrive in the mail. I am a helpful person by nature and I expect to field some answers when or if, they are having problems with their own projects.

When I get a chance I will try to mount the GoProHD without anything in front of the lens. I don't believe there will be any flare from the sealed waterproof case. It is just being cast by the factory windscreen


  1. Thanks for all the details Bob. I should have my GoPro tomorrow if UPS is on time!


    PS: Your flag is missing the blue... ;)

  2. Thank you for including your workflow. Just out of curiosity, how do the videos compare between the 2 cameras without the conversion step? Is there any noticeable difference between the two codecs?

    BTW, I may be in the minority,but I don't find the glare from the windshield annoying at all. I see it there but it isn't a distraction.

    Thank you for the video.

  3. The details are really useful Bob. As one of the new videographers, I am like a sponge trying to collect as much info as I can. Like Chris, my GoPro should arrive tomorrow (it's sort of like a race to see who gets theirs first), but I probably won't get much time to try it out as I have to clean my red bike and deliver it to a custom bike show here in London.

    I have ordered Adobe Premiere Elements 7. I agree that the sun is not too distracting, but I think the picture quality will be much better without it.


  4. I think you'll beat me Gary as you're six or seven hours ahead. :)

  5. Pretty cool video. I have some thoughts for my first one, if I need help, I know who to bug.purtemis

  6. Chris:

    with all the Winter Olympic stuff going on in town, I thought I would be patriotic and show some Red & White, sorry no blue this week


    Both are compression codecs but the AVCHD has better colour and sound, and is also the native codec used in BluRay Players. Most of the newer VideoCams use this format. AVCHD is only for capturing, while the MPeg4 can be edited. Being self taught you end up doing a lot of experiment and trial and error, so I am learning the hard way. I also frequent video forums and many are having problems doing what I am doing.

    I think I am a perfectionist, I want everything to be technically perfect, but I see your point. Now when I look at it, it doesn't bother me so much. I mean, it is what it is and you can't always change where the sun wants to be


    I was just trying to help with the work flow. A normal blog entry for me with 12+ photos would take a couple of hours. I have to select the photos then resize them and upload to webshots. They I have to HTML code them all individually as I put the words in.
    That video took me nearly 5 hours, which included 2 hours to upload because of Window7 problems which YouTube has not yet solved. Many are having problems


    Not to worry. Gary will be busy at the custom m/c show.


    Sometimes there is no replacement for movement and sound. With still cameras they all record to jpeg or raw, but for some reason all P&S cameras use different video formats. It gets confusing when you mix and join

  7. Quite the competent tiny vid cam. Now you've got me thinking ... I don't find the minor reflections from the plexi screen terrible. No more so than driving a car ... you just look through them, plus it gives the video a real flavor, too.

    I did find the sudden cessation of engine / road noise to be jarring upon reaching Stevetson and switching camera. Perhaps some music might make that transition smoother?

    Good test, Bob!!

  8. Bob and Chris - guess what got delivered this morning.....! Gotta go clean my bike though and then go out, so I guess Chris will beat me to opening the box......

  9. Bob,

    I used to spend hours on each entry too. Then I got live writer (free download from MS) http://download.live.com/writer

    Using that and the flickr uploadr, and flickr plugin for writer saves tons of time. It lets you pic the size of the image and inserts the html for you. much faster than hand coding.

  10. Chuck:

    I think you and Chris are right about the glare. It is what it is and adds character, and the sun won't always be in front. Once in a while you get lucky and it rains which means NO glare.

    I have been nabbed by YouTube too many times to take a chance on adding music. I still have videos posted that are sound suppressed due to Columbia Records or Sony. Their emails are written in a very threatening manner.

    During the past couple of years I have been taking videos of street performers with the idea of using THE music, as long as it is being played in a public place and not for an admission fee


    I give up, have no idea what would be in the box, perhaps Chris might know . . . Maybe what you think is in the box - ISN'T


    Maybe I'll check it out and think about it. I don't like to lose control with automated functions.

  11. Dear Bob Skoot:

    I sent you a long post on this yesterday, and it just disappeaded. I wondered if I had offended you. Then again, I had a raging headache and copuld have just erased the whole thing.

    This response is to cover your last two blog episodes.

    1) I am jealous. I like getting new farkle and this GoPro camera is right up there with the best of it. While it doesn't seem to be all that expensive, I haven't got $300 to piss away on a camera right now. But when I do, this little unit will be first on my list.

    2) The previous post constitutes a great product review, and a step-by-step installation. I think your distrust of the 3M adhesive base is probaby unwarranted, however. But I was trying to get a good look at how the camera links to the base and the tether is a smart idea for a number of reasons.

    3) Like Rich Maciida, I df not think the glare from the widscreen was an issue.

    4) This was the best video you have taken yet.

    5) Pursuant to the conversation we had on the phone, however, I do thnk the process for getting the video into the computer, then edited, then onto You-Tube is ridiculously complicated. There needs to be a clink and install approach, that takes no more than ten minutes.

    I have iMovie on my laptop and intend to get an aftermarket book on how it works.

    Fondest regards,
    Jaxk • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  12. Hi Bob,

    Nice and steady the video, I think the glare adds realism, since thats what we actually see through our screens when riding!!

    I've got some aux lights coming in a day or two,more than lightly I shall be calling on your electrical knowledge for a second time lol.

    I think we've started a trend with shooting video from a bike Bob, judging by all the interest lol.