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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I love watching 4K walking tours on YouTube, and would like to get some equipment to let me record my own walks and hikes with similar quality.

I don't have a nearby camera shop (not that any would be open in lockdown) so I'm hoping there's someone on this forum who can help direct me as to what to get.

1) First up is the camera. GoPro Hero 9 and 8 seem to be the ones to consider. I've seen beautiful 4K videos created with the Hero 8, so I know it's more than capable. So either will do. In general, later is better, right?

2) Next is the gimbal. Here's where I'm getting lost. The Hero 9 doesn't seem compatible with as many gimbals. I've read that the Crane M2 works with it, but on Amazon the M2's specs do not mention Hero 8 or 9. And GoPro's own Karma gimbal doesn't work with the Hero 9. Yikes! So, does this mean I'm better off getting a Hero 8?

3) Then there's the selfie stick, which screws into the bottom of the gimbal. I've never used a selfie stick, so I don't know what to look for in them. It needs to be sturdy (holding the gimbal securely) and comfortable to grip. Anything else I need to consider? Are the mount points/screws pretty much universal?

4) For microphones I see some people using in-ear stereo mics. Would those plug directly into the GoPro, or would I need some sort of mic amp? Or do they record audio separately, so that I need to combine it with the video in Vegas or some other video editor? I don't mind doing that sort of editing, but it would be nice if the audio could be automatically synced with the video. And what if I want to record something besides ambient sounds, like my kids talking or something else that happens on a hike? Would I need a separate mic for that? Or would the in-ear mics and the GoPro's own mic pick up sound well enough?

5) Do I need a special lens for capturing walks? Or is the GoPro's lens fine for that?


I think that's it for the basics. I can figure out accessories batteries, microsd cards, wind filters, cases, etc. later, unless you think they have an influence on which camera or gimbal to pick.

Anyway, thanks for any suggestions!
 

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If you watched a person's video, suggest asking them what Gear they used. a good start. you may find some saying just a smartphone, some may say a gimbal added, and some may say a pocket 2 by DJI. For me I simply go out with the camera if it is my gopro hero 8, or DJI Osmo Action and film as is, with a selfie stick.

I started off with a Hero 4, a Feiyu G4 gimbal, and then when the Hero 7 and hero 8 came out, there went my gimbal. I rather have some movement than none, taking away all the movement in a video, might as well stare at a painting nailed to a wall, Just me but I also do not want to get seasick:

to answer your questions and others chiming in you'll find that, you must stick around to the site and participate in topics, like you, want the answer and last we hear from you. so lets see what we all can share here:

to Q1 Camera: according to Rumors of People, the hero 10 will be released, the hero 9 has what is called Horizon level so if you are tilted the camera will self-correct, hero 8 and 7 do not have it, but the Mobile app of gopro offers that app feature Hero 9 if the funds can afford.

q2 gimbal: gimbals are out there just did an amazon search https://amzn.to/3kArfAr suggest searching

q3 Ulanzi mt-09 https://amzn.to/3kyF5DD I paid less does not screw on to the gimbal, unless the gimbal you are looking at you can get attachments

q4 Hero 9 must use a media Module, that then needs to be now looked into the gimbal if it can accept that and that the actual mics do not interfere wit the gimbal rf signal interference you pick up noise, or can get the promic adapter and attach that dongle along side. do some research on it, no USB type c mic will work, why? gopro write protected their products

5 the gopro 9 has the special lens, your option to buy or not, No a smartphone doesn't require, so the gopro will not require

hope my opinion helped out a little

like said participation is needed to the site then get teh answer and go (SMILES)
 

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with Hero 8 upwards you dont need gimballs, video is almost perfectly stable in most circumstances.
Wait for the 10 if yor budget allows. wait even if it doesnt, people upgrading to 10 will be selling their 9s at a reasonable prices
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, thanks for the responses!

I love the Prowalk Tours videos:
-- If you click "Show More" below his video you can see he's using a Hero 8 with a EVO SS gimbal, and when I catch his reflection in windows I can see he's got it mounted on a stick. So that's my target baseline in terms of equipment: I'd love to get our own family videos looking as smooth and crisp as that!

I've seen other 4K walking videos on YouTube. Some are smooth, but many seem either shaky or have lots of head bob. If a gimbal-on-a-stick can help smooth out some of the motions during a walk, I'm all for it. Of course, technique is ultra-important, and not having kids tugging at our arms while filming! :)

I'm a bit skeptical of in-camera stabilisation. Back in the 1990s I had a tape-based video cameras which had digital stablisation and although it worked, it also cropped the picture and made it feel less crisp. So at this point I'd rather have some mechanical stablisation, even if it's overkill. Of course, if a GoPro has internal stablisation as well, it's can't hurt as a backup (for when the gimbal battery dies).

I'm curious about the Hero 10, but am concerned that there will be even fewer gimbals ready to use with it. And of course the price will probably be a bit higher than the 8 or 9. What's the Hero 10 likely to do better than the Hero 9 in terms of making walking videos?

For that matter, what does the Hero 9 do better than the Hero 8 in terms of this sort of video? Does it have better colors, better lighting options, better stablisation (if we turn it on), better waterproofing? Or are those pretty much the same? Is there an advantage to filming in 5K if our TVs only handle 4K (and we don't intend to crop)?

And are there reasons (aside from price) for choosing the Hero 8 over the Hero 9? For example, is the Hero 9's extra weight noticeable on a long walk, and does it put the camera more at risk of falling off? Does it reverse ("selfie") monitor drain the battery faster while not really helping with filming?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been reading and watching videos about the GoPro Hero 9 and have learned some things, but also have some more questions.

1) In the videos I watched, the Hero 9's digital stabilisation looks very effective, even when compared to Hero 8 + gimbal. However, I'm also aware that some of those videos might be influenced by marketing or affiliate motivations. In general, can I trust those videos which demonstrate the Hero 9's stabilisation? Or do they exaggerate its effectiveness vs gimbals?

2) The Hero 9's digital stabilisation noticeably reduces the field of view when it's turned on. If you turn off stablisation, is the field of view larger, similar to the Hero 8? And are there different levels of stabilisation, each with its own field of view?

3) The Hero 9's Max Lens Mod looks like it makes stabilisation even more effective (and increases the field of view), but at the expense of resolution. For slow walking videos, do you think the Max Lens Mod's increase in field of view and stability is worth the drop from 4K to 2.7K? Or is it best to skip for now?

4) Is there anything else a gimbal gives us that is useful for filming walking videos? Or is it mostly useful for other types of action shots (and self-tracking)?

5) If I'm not using a gimbal, what's the best stick/mount for the Hero 9?

6) For those of you who originally skipped a gimbal for the Hero 9, did you end up getting one? If so, why?

7) Does the Hero 10 look like it will dramatically improve slow walking videos? Or it is likely to be overkill?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's a quick update.

I now have a Hero 9 and 10, the media mod, a Crane M2 gimbal, and lots of accessories. I also have Premiere Pro. So in terms of hardware and software I think I'm set.

Now I just need to learn how to use all this stuff! Since I'm new to GoPro and Premiere, there's quite a learning curve.

I've taken the Hero 9 on 2 long hikes (testing various settings), and the Hero 10 on one 30 minute jog (one long cut). Some bits of the footage are pretty nice, but as a whole it's nowhere close to being as pleasant and polished as the "professional" 4K walking tours I've seen on YouTube (which are filmed with similar or older equipment).

My tests suffer from what I'm guessing are common problems: dull colors, crooked horizon, stutter, compression artifacts, etc. I know I my tests were probably more demanding than the slow city walks, since I was moving quickly through hilly, forested terrain (with lots of shade and bright sunlight in the same clips)... but I'm sure I can improve things for both types of filming (slow tours vs fast jogs) if I can figure out how to best tweak my settings and workflow.

So, I have TONS of questions, about GoPro settings, filming techniques (like how to deal with shadows and slopes), editing in Premiere Pro, and encoding for YouTube.

Where's the best place for me to ask questions about all of those topics? This forum might be able to help with specific questions about the GoPro(s), but what about general walk-filming techniques and Premiere Pro? I'd love to be able to find people who have all 3 in common. Is this the best place to do that, or is there another forum which is a better match?
 
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