GoPro Issues: Not such a hero

GoPro, Crash, Issues, Tech, Filming
My GoNotSoPro

Last September a GoPro finally became mine. Since the first one launched I’ve coveted and dreamed of owning one. For surfing, trackdays and karting they’re a lot of fun, creating great memories. Replaying footage extends enjoyment of events and presents a great opportunity for analysis, to learn and progress.  Sometimes painful lessons, like a horrible stance after a fluffed (checkout the stall / near pearling) take off are very evident.

My GoPro is a Hero2 Motorsport Kit with Wifi Backpack. I’d held off getting one until you could get a wifi backpack and connect it to an iPhone. The LCD screen is ideal for setting up but not so handy when the GoPro is attached to a rollcage and you’re harnessed into a bucket seat with no way to reach/see it. The remote is essential for knowing what the camera is doing and preserving battery life.

The advertised concept is genius and just what I need. The reality significantly falls short:

  1. You can’t stream to the iPhone and use the remote simultaneously. You have to switch between them before setting the camera up. Fine…. Unless you’re in a kart about to race and it’s on your head ignoring the remote refusing to record.
  2. The battery life is rubbish. Even with a fully charged wifi backpack and camera my Go Pro regularly crashed and went to no bars in around 30-45 minutes of filming with an hours standby.  Solved by getting spare batteries but I’ve yet to use these as I’ve lost faith in the camera.
  3. My Helment Mount requires a small piece of paper otherwise it vibrates / doesn’t clamp fully. Really disappointed by this. Noticed excess vibration on one of my first films and it appears it comes from the clamp not fully fitting with the GoPro mount (all came with the Motorsport kit / 100% genuine accessories).

These issues aside there is a bigger issue waiting in the wings. It simply doesn’t work. My camera has crashed in over 50% of the times it’s been used. I’ve had to re-flash previous of versions of firmware (missing the ability to connect the camera to an iPhone / any smart phone) and even then it’s not reliable. Zack from GoPro support has sent his apologies and said they are aware of issues with the wifi backpack and Hero2. It’s going to be fixed ‘one day’ by a firmware update. Still waiting on that firmware update since October of last year :(. The last update, released on the 10th of January, still doesn’t stream to my iPhone. The update lets the iPhone connect & control the camera but changes in settings never get applied and it won’t stream. To make matters worse the Hero3 Black and Silver editions have been released with built in wifi. Not only does my Hero2 not work but it’s now out of date.

Frustratingly it leaves me stuck as I can’t eBay the GoPro or depend on it, it doesn’t work! GoPro have no solution at the time of this being published and just expect me to wait it out….. I do feel for them, it must be a struggle…..

It’s good to see the company is doing well but it rubs further salt into the wound that my camera isn’t what it was advertised as and nor is it likely to ever be.

Any recommendations for a better experience? Sadly, GoPro fails to live up to the dream.