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Unread 06-25-2017, 04:28 PM   #1
Zoeyromanov
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DSLR Camera vs. a GoPro or other action camera

Hey guys, I'd like some feedback on which camera I should opt for.
I plan to go to Fan Expo Canada, and needless to say I'd like to take photos. However I'm only going one day, but I do plan to use whichever camera I go with for other cons, Halloween, and to help build my photography skills (I mention this because I was taught it's not the fancy stuff on the market, it's how you use it.)

I have experience using a DSLR camera; how to compose shots, how to work with lighting etc., but I'm not a pro although seeing this is an event centered on photos, I'd like to keep using what I learned in photography.
I know they're expensive and I looked into buying one that's refurbished or one to rent, but it ended up being the same as buying a new camera (even for one weekend!).

On the other hand, a GoPro looks like a neat way to document/film the event. I plan to go with the head or chest mounted one, seeing as that's cheaper and the new Pro5 is the same price as a DSLR (including previous models). I also looked at other action cameras, and they're basically the same price or even more. It doesn't matter the brand, I'm more concerned about the price.
Let's say I go with the Pro, I know that this is a camera that's really for documenting things while moving, it'd be fun to document things in this perspective. Again if I go with this one, I know there are things to keep in mind such as being mindful of people who don't want their photo taken (especially since there will be people who are walking by who aren't part of the event) however I'd keep the focus on my friend and I while I take photos, or other cosplayers who agree to a photo. And since I'm mounting it people wouldn't know it's recording or not, so maybe as a failsafe I'd keep it in my bag and take it out when I'd like to take a photo, the same even if I had a DSLR (I know they have the strap to wear around the neck but again I'm just being mindful).

Maybe others can fill in me on other stuff I may not have thought about (and if this is a long post I apologize, I just needed to give my own thoughts and background in photography.)
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Unread 06-26-2017, 10:28 PM   #2
sirbestow
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I suggest DSLR if you can swing it over GoPro. While you may save a few bucks with the GoPro you'll have a better experience with the DSLR. Like you said you might not be a pro, but you'll be able to learn more over time.
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Unread 06-27-2017, 03:07 PM   #3
nathancarter
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If your primary goal is run-n-gun, easy video, then get the GoPro.

If your primary goal is still photos, get the DSLR.

While the GoPro CAN do photos, it's extremely limited compared to a DSLR: fixed (and very wide) focal length, poor low-light performance, no support for off-camera lighting.

While the DSLR probably CAN record video, it takes a fair amount of skill and experience to get it to make GOOD video: Difficult focusing, terrible ergonomics are a couple of the primary hurdles.
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Unread 06-27-2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thanks you two.

My main worry is dropping $500 at most on a DSLR for one day. If I were going for the entire weekend, then maybe it'll be more worthwhile.
I did make my own stop motion film in school, but the videos I'd take are more for my personal use, but photos are my main thing -- that said then a DSLR should be my option but then again the price.
Nathan, when you mentioned the off-camera lighting and low light shooting problem for the GoPro, do you mean I'd have trouble shooting when it starts getting darker? I did mention I know how to shoot with lighting but I want to make sure I know what you're refering to.
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Last edited by Zoeyromanov : 06-28-2017 at 08:16 PM.
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Unread 06-28-2017, 07:24 PM   #5
nathancarter
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Yes, that's what I meant.

I haven't used our GoPro in low light much, but with its tiny sensor and tiny-aperture lens, I can't imagine the low-light performance would be amazing.

With a DSLR you can open aperture and/or put on a wide-aperture prime lens, crank up the ISO, or add flash (bounced or off-camera). With a GoPro I guess all you can do is increase the ISO or try to boost low-light exposure in post.

edit: I suppose you can carry around some LED video lights to help the GoPro in low light.
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Unread 06-28-2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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Ooh, interesting idea. I was aware that ISO and aperture for the GoPro would be harder to manage, although I'd be shooting during the day into the evening (sunset at the latest where there's still enough lighting.) I'll have to see how the photos look before post.
It looks like I might end up going with the Pro for the amount. Even it runs up to $100 + with accessories it's less then a DSLR. Maybe I'll get the camera at a later date, because a DSLR is the best option to get the best out of photos.
Thanks again!
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Unread 07-04-2017, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoeyromanov View Post
Thanks you two.

My main worry is dropping $500 at most on a DSLR for one day. If I were going for the entire weekend, then maybe it'll be more worthwhile.
But didn't you just say you were going to use it at other cons too? That doesn't sound like only one day to me..That sounds like one day for THIS con only, but more days as you go to more cons, so you wouldn't be only getting it to use one day and never again or something..It's not gonna like, expire before you're next con or something..

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathancarter View Post
Yes, that's what I meant.

I haven't used our GoPro in low light much, but with its tiny sensor and tiny-aperture lens, I can't imagine the low-light performance would be amazing.

With a DSLR you can open aperture and/or put on a wide-aperture prime lens, crank up the ISO, or add flash (bounced or off-camera). With a GoPro I guess all you can do is increase the ISO or try to boost low-light exposure in post.

edit: I suppose you can carry around some LED video lights to help the GoPro in low light.
I can vouch for your worry about the lighting. I had a hero4, and unless lighting is REALLY good, the picture looks like complete garbage.
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Unread 07-04-2017, 05:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
But didn't you just say you were going to use it at other cons too? That doesn't sound like only one day to me..That sounds like one day for THIS con only, but more days as you go to more cons, so you wouldn't be only getting it to use one day and never again or something..It's not gonna like, expire before you're next con or something..
Yeah that's what I meant. I was just being concious of how much I'd be spending because the events I'd like to use them for are widely spread, so the major one wouldn't be until Decemeber for December Comic Con. There's Halloween until then, as well.

Edit:
Actually on that note, now that you say it like that I guess I shouldn't be too worried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
I can vouch for your worry about the lighting. I had a hero4, and unless lighting is REALLY good, the picture looks like complete garbage.
Yeah the DSLR is more equipped than a GoPro but in the mean time I'm also looking for something more...suitable than just a phone. Doesn't look like I'd be able to get a DSLR, so a GoPro would be be just fine in the mean time. Speaking of lighting I had better experience using a Rebel T1i than the XTi for darker shots (for school) no matter how many times I've tinkered with it.
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Last edited by Zoeyromanov : 07-04-2017 at 09:09 PM.
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Unread 07-16-2017, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoeyromanov View Post
Yeah that's what I meant. I was just being concious of how much I'd be spending because the events I'd like to use them for are widely spread, so the major one wouldn't be until Decemeber for December Comic Con. There's Halloween until then, as well.

Edit:
Actually on that note, now that you say it like that I guess I shouldn't be too worried.



Yeah the DSLR is more equipped than a GoPro but in the mean time I'm also looking for something more...suitable than just a phone. Doesn't look like I'd be able to get a DSLR, so a GoPro would be be just fine in the mean time. Speaking of lighting I had better experience using a Rebel T1i than the XTi for darker shots (for school) no matter how many times I've tinkered with it.
Since the first half of this isn't really needing more replies I'll just move onto the lower half.
Idk what research you've done, but what you're saying isn't....correct? if that's the right word..
Buying a DSLR you can literally just get ANY accessories, even the cheapest ones, and you'll be set. With a gopro, you HAVE to buy the gopro specific SUPER EXPENSIVE accessorits. So let's say you buy a DSLR that's $400, around the same as a gopro. Then you need a tripod at the very least. What's this? You need the gopro mount on order to use any tripod? There's another $10. The gopro chest and head mount won't look any better quality than holding it. It'll still be shaky, and worse, you have no control over movement. So if you have to turn to talk to someone, WHOOSH! there goes the views good day, now they got a headache becuase the video just has really bad rapid movement, and could make someone feel sick just watching it. It's different than say, biking or skating or something, where the head mount stays in one direction because you need to be looking ahead of you. At a con you constantly will be moving your body to be able to hear your friends or other attendees over the crowd. With it in your hands, you can turn your head, and the camera can either slowly pan over, or you can hold it in the same spot, and still turn your head.
"But what about the shakiness?" I hear you ask. Well have fun trying to keep it from shaking on a head or chest mount. You're still moving and it's in a static position. In fact, it'll shake MORE on those mounts than in your hands. "Well I'll just get a stabilizer then"..Mmk..Have fun with that. They cost almost as much as the camera. Now you've doubled your cost. I have a decent one for a DSLR and it was $70. Plus the gopro has shit audio. You can get a cheap shotgun mic for $30 at best buy (the one i have) and it works WAY better than any camera on board mic.I spent about in total, $700 on my whole set up. Imaging a USED DSLR..I had a few that I got for only $80-100..You can really get good deals.

Then again you can do even better. Right now, camcorders you can find pretty cheap. I got the Canon Vixia HFR700 at walmart for $200. I see them used at pawn shops all the time too. I use it with the same mic I got at Best Buy, and it shoots in 1080p 60fps. And it has in camera image stabilization, meaning it basically doesn't need a stabilizer, but WITH one, you can get amazing videos.

Sorry this was kinda long, but I figure the information should help.
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Unread 07-16-2017, 09:12 PM   #10
Zoeyromanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
Since the first half of this isn't really needing more replies I'll just move onto the lower half.
Idk what research you've done, but what you're saying isn't....correct? if that's the right word..
Buying a DSLR you can literally just get ANY accessories, even the cheapest ones, and you'll be set. With a gopro, you HAVE to buy the gopro specific SUPER EXPENSIVE accessorits. So let's say you buy a DSLR that's $400, around the same as a gopro. Then you need a tripod at the very least. What's this? You need the gopro mount on order to use any tripod? There's another $10. The gopro chest and head mount won't look any better quality than holding it. It'll still be shaky, and worse, you have no control over movement. So if you have to turn to talk to someone, WHOOSH! there goes the views good day, now they got a headache becuase the video just has really bad rapid movement, and could make someone feel sick just watching it. It's different than say, biking or skating or something, where the head mount stays in one direction because you need to be looking ahead of you. At a con you constantly will be moving your body to be able to hear your friends or other attendees over the crowd. With it in your hands, you can turn your head, and the camera can either slowly pan over, or you can hold it in the same spot, and still turn your head.
"But what about the shakiness?" I hear you ask. Well have fun trying to keep it from shaking on a head or chest mount. You're still moving and it's in a static position. In fact, it'll shake MORE on those mounts than in your hands. "Well I'll just get a stabilizer then"..Mmk..Have fun with that. They cost almost as much as the camera. Now you've doubled your cost. I have a decent one for a DSLR and it was $70. Plus the gopro has shit audio. You can get a cheap shotgun mic for $30 at best buy (the one i have) and it works WAY better than any camera on board mic.I spent about in total, $700 on my whole set up. Imaging a USED DSLR..I had a few that I got for only $80-100..You can really get good deals.

Then again you can do even better. Right now, camcorders you can find pretty cheap. I got the Canon Vixia HFR700 at walmart for $200. I see them used at pawn shops all the time too. I use it with the same mic I got at Best Buy, and it shoots in 1080p 60fps. And it has in camera image stabilization, meaning it basically doesn't need a stabilizer, but WITH one, you can get amazing videos.

Sorry this was kinda long, but I figure the information should help.
No problem, thanks for additional info. I previously meant that I was trying to figure out which one I should get and whether a GoPro would be an option. I know overall a DSLR will get you much better results than a GoPro, but I was looking at all options inlcuding pricing.
You mentioned the shaking in video, but if there is too much movement in it or you can't really see anything I would take it again or delete it because it'd be too hard to look at. With the GoPro I was thinking of casually walking around, just hanging out and other things like that so there's no crazy movement but this is besides the point.
I see what you mean, that I'd be better off with a DSLR and while I have previously worked with one I haven't found a good deal just yet.
Sorry if things still seem to be off.
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Unread 07-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
Then again you can do even better. Right now, camcorders you can find pretty cheap. I got the Canon Vixia HFR700 at walmart for $200. I see them used at pawn shops all the time too. I use it with the same mic I got at Best Buy, and it shoots in 1080p 60fps. And it has in camera image stabilization, meaning it basically doesn't need a stabilizer, but WITH one, you can get amazing videos.
If your primary interest is video, a decent used camcorder should be very high on the list of considerations.

Way easier to use than a DSLR; better options, audio, and image quality than a Gopro.
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Unread 07-18-2017, 11:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Zoeyromanov View Post
No problem, thanks for additional info. I previously meant that I was trying to figure out which one I should get and whether a GoPro would be an option. I know overall a DSLR will get you much better results than a GoPro, but I was looking at all options inlcuding pricing.
You mentioned the shaking in video, but if there is too much movement in it or you can't really see anything I would take it again or delete it because it'd be too hard to look at. With the GoPro I was thinking of casually walking around, just hanging out and other things like that so there's no crazy movement but this is besides the point.
I see what you mean, that I'd be better off with a DSLR and while I have previously worked with one I haven't found a good deal just yet.
Sorry if things still seem to be off.
Honestly I don't know 100% of everything you plan to do, which makes it a little harder to recommend anything really. If you want to do nothing more than just film around for the fun of it, not trying to get the best videos to make a name for yourself or anything, then a camcorder or point and shoot are really the best options. Point and shoots can get up there in price for some good 1080p ones, which you should go for. I do this from a YouTuber standpoint so all I know is trying to make it as good as possible, whereas that may not be your goal, so my advice might be slightly overboard. But for nothing more than just filming for the sake of memories and nothing else, camcorders and point and shoots will be better. But I'd say just go with the camcorder because it'll have a VERY long recording time, which means filming panels and events will go smoothly as long as you have enough space on your SD card, and they will have articulated screens so you can film from different angles and still see, then when selfie filming (like vlog style), you can flip the screen so you can see youself and make sure you're all IN THE SHOT lol
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Unread 07-19-2017, 12:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
Honestly I don't know 100% of everything you plan to do, which makes it a little harder to recommend anything really. If you want to do nothing more than just film around for the fun of it, not trying to get the best videos to make a name for yourself or anything, then a camcorder or point and shoot are really the best options. Point and shoots can get up there in price for some good 1080p ones, which you should go for. I do this from a YouTuber standpoint so all I know is trying to make it as good as possible, whereas that may not be your goal, so my advice might be slightly overboard. But for nothing more than just filming for the sake of memories and nothing else, camcorders and point and shoots will be better. But I'd say just go with the camcorder because it'll have a VERY long recording time, which means filming panels and events will go smoothly as long as you have enough space on your SD card, and they will have articulated screens so you can film from different angles and still see, then when selfie filming (like vlog style), you can flip the screen so you can see youself and make sure you're all IN THE SHOT lol
That's ok ^_^
My main focus is essentially shooting/filming my time at the event, and being able to use my photography for this event is all. I do know a bit of set up and all those things you mentioned; and no your advice is solid!
As I said before looks like I'll be using a DSLR.
Thanks again!
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