Sunday, 30 March 2014

Framed Prints for sale

I have 6 Framed Prints for sale. If you would like a look please follow the link below.
local pick up only

Framed Prints


GoPro HERO3+ BLACK EDITION REVIEW Well here it is, my take on the new GoPro HERO3+ (3+) Black edition. GoPro cameras are happy to be Skied, Biked, Parachuted and surf boarded rain or shine. This review however, is angled towards underwater use as this is the main environment where I will be using the camera. This is a new model refresh as compared with the HERO 3 (3) Black Edition which has made half a dozen improvements. Most are great and benefit most users but 2 of these improvements that I noted impact directly on the deeper diver and may or may not be construed as improvements…….My experience has always been in stills underwater photography and video with the GoPro was a completely alien experience. I had to learn about resolution settings 720 or 1080p and there are more settings available too. Frame rate was another thing to think about. At 1080p I had 4 options with the HERO 3+ when shooting for Pal format used by TV’s in the UK. These frame rates were 24, 25, 48 and 50 frames per second (fps). Then there was angle of view Narrow, Medium, Ultra Wide and Superview. This last field of view is new on the 3+ and is ideal for selfies etc. I chose the Ultra Wide view and I found this ideal for shooting marine life and shipwrecks. There are also settings for still photography with an upper resolution of 12mp. All of this was a little daunting at first and the menu on the camera was a little clunky, when scrolling through the options to set it all up. Once you do it however and get the results you want, you will not require to touch it again, until you want to try something different. A new feature that can assist with going through the menu is that the 3+ has improved Wi-Fi and can connect to a supplied remote control or your smart phone through an app. The downside is that Wi-Fi uses up battery power very quickly.My setup was 1080p at 48 fps in ultra Wide view with the Wi-Fi off. With the camera all set up I was ready to go… well almost, three things slowed me down:-1.    The Weather has been extremely poor on the East Coast of Scotland. Drastic action was called for and I ended up in a freshwater quarry to test the camera before a newer model superseded the 3+. So I videoed car wrecks instead of my desired footage of the big new offshore wrecks.
2.    I had to give thought to how I would attach the 3+ to me when I was in the water. The head mount strap has been discontinued by GoPro but they are still available from third party suppliers. I thought about a helmet mount and even went as far as customising a helmet with one of the sticky mounting pads supplied with the 3+. Lastly I bought a tripod mount and attached this to the hot shoe of my underwater housing for my stills camera. Job Done!
3.    This is the big issue that will impact on deep divers. With older GoPro models the underwater housing supplied was always rated to 60 metres. With the 3+ the max depth of the supplied housing is 40 metres. If you do not dive below 40 metres this will not affect you and you will enjoy the benefits of Go Pros slimed down smaller housing. However, if you are a deep or technical diver this change will mean that you will have to shell out for the now branded dive housing at extra expense if you wish to dive below 40 metres.
The 3+ is said to have improved battery performance over the 3. I did eventually get into the sea to conduct a second test. Conditions were cold and the battery in the 3+ died after an hour. Three other divers on board were using the hero 3 and their batteries outlasted mine. This was very surprising as the 3+ battery is meant to be improved and I was expecting 20-30% better performance. That said the Hero 3 users may have been using a slower frame rate which does save battery power. The 3+ that I was using had only been charged up twice for my tests so perhaps the battery is still bedding in? Never the less I was expecting longer than 60 minutes of filming from a full charge.The lens has been upgraded in the 3+ and this was the big attraction for me. Image quality and distortion are improved over the 3. Let’s face it image quality is what photography is all about. The 3+ really delivers and I was amazed at the results delivered by this tiny camera. Passing dive boats moored in the harbour, I could clearly read the web addresses painted in small writing on the boats hull.The 3+ also features a low light mode and the camera can automatically use this mode when it senses low light. It really does work too. While my dive lights left dark shadows under the hull of a wreck. The 3+ slowed the frame rate down and showed detail in the shadows. This was accompanied by noise but for us divers often operating in dark water I found this a great new feature and I left it in auto mode. A definite improvement for UK divers.The final thing you have to think about with the Hero 3+ is how you will mount the 3+ for underwater work. GoPro offer countless mounting options from clips to brackets. If you choose to go with a GoPro you will have to buy into their mounting system. Unlike a tripod mount found on most camera systems, Go Pro have their own mounting system. As a plus mounting options are endless but it is likely to cost you more. This needs to be factored in when purchasing the system. The Go Pro Hero 3+ is supplied with a couple of adhesive mounts and a bracket that will get you started though. In ConclusionThe GoPro 3+ is the most expensive action camera available in this class. Some of its competitors such as the Intova Sport HD II are less than half the price, include a built in rear screen and come fitted with a standard tripod mount. Image quality is said not to be as good as the GoPro3+ but I have not tested this for myself as yet. (I may conduct a future test to compare the performance). So if you are on a budget this may be worth a look. Ultimately though the 3+ Black Edition is the market leader and a very nice camera to use, with great functionality and the best image quality in this type of camera. It has a great range of filming options and is well supported by a range of accessoriesProsThe GoPro Hero 3+ is a magnificent camera, which produces excellent footage from a device that is only slightly larger than a box of matches. The GoPro 3 was a vast improvement on its predecessor and while the 3+ is more of a refresh than a new model. The improvements over the 3 are significant with the upgraded lens being the most important of them. The image quality is noticeably better. There are more shooting modes with higher quality settings and faster frame speeds.  The all new shooting mode Super view may be a fantastic option for divers to use and I will try it out if I have an opportunity. It is so wide angle that it may be fantastic for shipwreck photography. The Low Light Mode works well and recovers detail from deep shadow. These are all great points and should I experience the predicted better battery life where both dives of the day can be captured I would be very happy with the 3+ indeed.ConsThe new housing is only limited to 40 metres deep. Divers will have to buy the dive housing which is rated to 60 metres if you wish to dive deeper with your go pro. You have to buy into the GoPro mounting system which can be expensive.If you would like to see my initial attempts with the 3+ please see my two videos on U TUBE. Here are the links-Preston Hill Quarry Wreck Dive on the Glanmire hope you like themMike Clark 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Dive on the Glanmire

Hi All,
follow the link below to see the video of my recent dive on the Glanmire. Vis was around 6 metres which was better than i was expecting for the first of March. I was testing The new Gopro HERO 3+ Black Edition. This is my second dive with it. im quite pleased with my attemps so far and i just have to figure out a better lighting system. A full review of the Gopro HERO 3+ Black Edition will feature in Scottish Diver soon and on here too.

Link   Dive the Glanmire

Mike Clark