Okay, I admit it, I’m a geek. I always have been, and I probably always will be. They are likely to bury me with my Ipad (assuming the nursing home people do not take it away).
As I mentioned yesterday, I have started taking my GoPro to the range when I go. I thought I might offer some advice for those of you who want to try this and have not done so yet.
First, choice of camera. I had one of the original GoPros (GoPro 3) and I bought every single available attachment for it. By the time I finished with it, I had more junk than I could carry. There were problems with this original GoPro (pictured here)
One problem was bulk. It was giant and clunky and no matter where you put it, it got in the way. And even though there were a dozen or so accessories for the damned thing, there was nothing that put it at eye level, or even close except for a device that was designed to strap it to a bike helmet. Now, if you go to the range with a bike helmet on, they are liable to ask you to head back to Happy Acres and call the men in the white coats if you don’t leave quietly. So the bike helmet thing was a non-starter.
There was a head mount. (pictured)
Again, the problem here is that wearing this in public makes you look a little like the Borg from Star Trek. Not my favorite look!
One potential solution was the chest strap. The chest harness wrapped around your chest and held the camera out in front of your chest, and just like the other mounts, it was clunky and you couldn’t go to high compressed ready without bumping it. Here it is mounted over a chair with the GoPro3 attached so you can see it.
Not very practical. So strike two.
Then, following a trip to Italy, my GoPro got lost, and my wife bought me a GoPro Session. Unlike the others, this one had a built in battery you couldn’t change, and roughly the same length of running time. More importantly, it was lightweight and much much smaller (pictured here)
Along about the same time the ball cap mount came out. (pictured here)
It fits on the brim of your hat, only slightly above your eye level and it provides a good view of the action if you adjust it properly. On its initial break in run at Disneyland, I must confess to having some great views of dark ceilings because I did not adjust it right. And this is pretty dumb because with the GoPro app on your phone you can get a dynamic view of what your camera is seeing so that you know whether you are capturing your shooting or getting a really good view of the sky. Once you have the camera adjusted, assuming you don’t mess with the hat, you should be set for video capture.
One really good thing, as I have already pointed out, is that a camera records everything you do right, and everything you do wrong. Unlike setting up a video camera and walking away to do shooting, you simply tap the button on the top of the Session (the newest version is the Session 5) and start shooting. You get the shooter’s view of the shooting (very much like the bodycam video you see every now and then). In retrospective analysis it makes it much easier to see what you’re doing wrong and also what you do well.
I believe its important not to judge your shooting solely on the basis of targets with holes in them. Anyone can punch holes in paper given enough time. Being able to accurately see what you’re doing, how you’re holding the firearm, etc, is a huge advantage in trying to figure out why, for example, all of your bullets are grouped on one side of the target. (pictured here).
So, that’s my take on GoPro as a shooter’s aid. I hope you’ve found it helpful.