Why I should get a GoPro Hero7?

The GoPro Hero7 was just released yesterday, for preorder, and I am excited to no end! It will be available on Sept. 30 in the U.S. and internationally on Sept 27, 2018.

I own the Hero 3 Black, and the Hero 4 Black. These two are awesome GoPro gear but long in the tooth, now. However, I didn’t purchase the Hero 5 or 6 as I didn’t really see a need for more GoPro gear. Admitingly, the Hero6 was lackluster for me and I felt the Hero 5 provided better image compared to the highly saturated picture profile of the Hero6.

Image from GoPro website press release.

Now, the Hero7 looks similar to the Hero6 but so many improvements are included that I would consider the Hero6 as a Hero 7 Beta.

Image from GoPro website press release

Is stabilization that great?
What really impresses me is the stabilization feature offered on the Hero7 Black. GoPro calls it HyperSmooth and I assume its utilizing digital stabilization like the Rylo 360 or Insta 360 does. That would mean that the Hero 7 is probably recording at a higher definition than 4k, maybe 6k, and digitally smoothing out the picture from the 6k videos. I’ve seen the clips released by GoPro and it shows some ultra smooth stabilization which is really impressive as the image quality looked sharp as well. (This is looking at the video that was provided by GoPro so I can’t really say if the stabilization is what it states it is, but word from several people that have got to try the Hero7 before release are loving it.)

How about Slow-motion?
The next feature that GoPro users would love is the slow motion option. It offers 8x slow motion or 1080p240. In 4k, the GoPro Hero7 can record at 4k60 so you can slow it down a bit as well. I’m not sure what other speed options the Hero7 offers as in 2k or 3k format, or if the Hero7 offers recording at that HD definition but I will assume it does. If it does, then it may be that you can record 2k at 120 fps and upscale it to 4k for a bit of image quality loss. I have upscaled 1080 to 4k and it’s not as bad a quality tough a lot softer in image detail.

Timelapse feature or TimeWarp as its called is not a new feature but I have to awesome that this will also have an improvement in image quality for low light capture.

One thing I would love to see is how well the low light capability of this new GoPro is but it is quite an improvement from a company that I believe is now heading back in the right direction.

What about sound?
Sound quality wise, I did hear an improvement in the sound quality of the recording off the mike, but as any mike, if water or something muffles the mike, you will notice it off course. As the GoPro Hero7 is now waterproof up to 10m without a waterproof housing, I would like GoPro to add an option like Apple and Samsung did for their watches to have it play sound or maybe vibrate to clear out any water from the mikes after use.

What about Gimmicky features?
Timelapse feature or TimeWarp as its called is not a new feature but I have to awesome that this will also have an improvement in image quality for low light capture.
One thing I would love to see is how well the low light capability of this new GoPro is but it is quite an improvement from a company that I believe is now heading back in the right direction.

Live Streaming is a good option if you have unlimited data on your data plan or have a MiFi/hotspot option available to live stream. This option wouldn’t work underwater as you can’t Livestream underneath water due to signal reception and such. Underwater would probably be the only spot I would consider live streaming incompatible. At a cafe or anywhere with internet access, it would be an interesting feature to use but image quality wise, that would depend on the bandwidth available for the live streaming.

Gps option is a nice feature to record where the footage is being taken if you like to keep a record. Sometimes, it helps when you can look at metadata and see exactly where the footage was taken for future reference.

Portrait mode is a great feature as you need to take pictures in portrait mode sometimes. As people also go more into the Instagram format more, portrait mode will become more relevant. My personal preference is video in landscape mode, I can’t stand videos shot in portrait mode, though…

Just note that I am talking about the Black, not the Silver or White addition. Take a look at the second picture (above) to see the specs.

The Hero7 Black goes for $399.99, that’s still at a comparable price for the quality and features it offers. If you want to get it for a cheaper price, I may have good news for you. 🙂
GoPro has a TradeUp program that will take in any GoPro you may have and provide a discount of $100 for the Hero7 Black or $150 for the GoPro Fusion (GoPro’s 360 cameras) On the site, it states they will cover the cost of the shipping and once your camera is received by them, they will ship out the new camera to you. I think this is a smart move on GoPro’s move to keep their company relevant and have loyal customers. I believe they should offer the option to other similar products owners to bring in more users. Sony has their action cams which are taking up some of GoPros consumer base and this would be a way to get some of them back.

You can check out more info on their TradeUp program here: https://shop.gopro.com/tradeup

You can check out GoPro7 here:

GoPro Website above.

GoPro Hero7

Affiliate link for picture above


Setting up an overhead camera for stock footage

This is my setup for an overhead camera angle for recording stock footage.

As I am still working on making myself feel better, I needed to take my mind off being ill. I decided to do another stock footage recording. This is my 2nd attempt at stock footage with the Sony A6500 – video below.

Gears used:

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB


Sony A6500 with 18-105 Lens Kit

Mobile Phone:

Samsung Note 8

Links above are affiliate links, when you purchase from the link, it offers a small commission to me but at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.



Doing the behind the scene footage for these stock footages are time-consuming and was distracting in that I feel that I didn’t pay as much attention to shooting more ideas and different angles for the footage. However, it does help me with training myself to think about better setups, better lighting, and keeping my mind busy for the brief moment I am able to work on this project.

Please do check out the previous post on the BTS stock footage I posted. Thanks for checking this out and I look forward to reading any comments for better stock footage setup or idea I can work on stock footages.


Video Stock Footage setup – my BTS DIY lighting setup

I have been ill, recently, and have been having some difficulty with work… I am not the type to not work, my mind is not geared towards it. Doing photography and videos are my stress relievers.

It’s difficult to not be able to work full time at work and be incapacitated to a degree that I feel like I am immobile. My greatest stress reliever is photography and videos so I decided this may be my remedy to relieve the stress of being so ill. Mind you, I’m only now starting to think about this again, this illness occurred several months back! My doctors have me resting to the degree I can, but the longer I’ve been ill, the longer my stress level was rising.

This leads to going back to doing something that I can do and at ease from anywhere. If you have good lighting, you can just use daylight but I decided to go with a lighting setup as the home was too dark for the stock video.

I’m using the Samsung Note 8 for the BTS video.

Samsung Note 8 US version

My Sony A6500 with 18-105 lens

Sony A6500 with 18-105 lens

Small HD 5″ monitor

Small HD 5″ monitor

My experience with the light setup is that it works great if done correctly, however, I was not happy with the setup. I would have, in hindsight, set up to bounce the light off the ceiling or directed the light right down from the top. I would have used some reflectors like whiteboards and blackboards to bounce light or diffuse and reduce light in some areas. There were some highlights in the bowl due to direct light from the clamped lights I got from Home Depot like a decade ago. It would be better if I could have bounced the light off the walls and ceilings but were not as bright for me to do it in that manner without me having to up my iso. For stock footage, stock pictures, they want clean noise, and sharp pictures/videos. The Sony A6500 handles low light pretty well but making it cleaner with proper lighting will provide a better result for any camera.

Take a look at my video lighting setup and cereal pour below.

I did go ahead and purchase the Viltrox Light set after this ordeal as I do need lighting gear for other video shoots besides stock and I liked that it came as a three light setup with a remote control to control lighting on the lights. The fact that you can also power the lights with Sony L batteries was another perk. These are the same batteries used on my Small HD, Sony camcorder, and is pretty much an industry standard for battery power. I do not know how well it’ll work but am looking forward to testing it soon!

Viltrox 3 pack lighting kit with remote control

Thanks for watching and I would appreciate your comments about the light kit or better stock photo setups you use.

The above picture/links are Amazon affiliate links and provide a small commission to me but at no extra charge to you. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Why I chose a Prepaid Mobile Plan

Having kids is one thing, having several kids that need phones is another!

I had an extra phone that I had been testing out (Letv X500) which was available for me to give to my daughter, I just did not want to add an additional line to my plan at this time.

I got the Simple Mobile prepaid plan which I believe is owned by Tracfone.

Simple Mobile Sim Kit

I got the one dollar deal for the sim kit and a $25.00 prepaid plan which offers unlimited talk, text, and data. The network is under T-Mobile so your mileage will vary depending on location. Looking at the website, it also offers unlimited text and calling to international areas. It varies by country to landlines or both landlines and mobile. I’m assuming this is possible due to Simple Mobile using the T-Mobile network. They also state that you will receive a $10 credit for international zones that are not covered under the network. I highly suggest you take a look at their website before using your plan, just to be on the safe side.

Simple Mobile Refill

The $25.00 refill card states unlimited talk, text, and data with the 1st GB up to 4G LTE speed than 2G speed thereafter. However, after I installed the sim card and activated the pin on the plan, I received a notification that it is up to 3GB for unlimited data, then it slows down. This is not a problem as I intend for my child to be using wifi more than the data plan, under supervision.

The process is really simple in activating the sim card, you will need a sim pin or a small paper clip to push the sim card holder out, then insert the sim card. Once that is done, all you have to do is turn the phone on, follow the steps when it asks you if you wish to activate a new number or an old number that you have. Next step was your zip code so that they can provide a number close to you, if you choose the new line, and wait for activation. The process was pretty effortless and went by really fast. I was pleasantly surprised and happy with the process.

If you wish to check out a prepaid cell phone and service plan, check it out here.

The above pictures and link are Amazon affiliate links. The link will pay a small commision to me but at no extra cost to you – if you purchase from the link. I appreciate your support. Thank you.

I’m an Amazon Influencer

Hello all, just to let you know that I am now qualified as an Amazon Influencer.

What that means is that Amazon has qualified me to have my own vanity page where I can list products that I use or wish for. 

It is off course an affiliate page and what that means is that a small commision is given to me for any purchases made but at no additional cost to you.

I love it as I don’t have to post a bunch of links on a post but have one simple link where you can check out the stuff I recommend or wish for.

You can check out my Amazon Influencer page here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/recordlifemedia

Taking my Espresso Machine Everywhere

I’ve purchased the Litchi Portable Espresso Maker for a reason, a simple reason.

Sometimes you want coffee, other times instant coffee, or Keurig pod coffee and last of all…you got to get yourself an espresso.

While you’re camping, instant coffee is okay but a shot of espresso definitely calls you in the morning. A bit of luxury in the wilderness is a gift I’m willing to accept.

What I have here is the portable espresso maker by Litchi. It works as promised. The espresso comes out warm instead of hot so I would add a bit more hot water to it after pumping out the espresso. I think it’s the pumping air action that must cool the hot boiling water to a cooler temperature. It’s not so bad since I can drink the shot of espresso right away.

All in all, I give it 3 out of 5. It’s easy to use and easy to clean up., Very portable and easy to pack away. I just wish the cup of espresso could be a bit hotter at the end hence the 3 out of 5.

Get your Litchi portable espresso maker here:
Affiliate link above helps with my expensive hobby and at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Now, if I’m wrong or am using this product incorrectly, please let me know.

Capturing component video to hdmi

I know I’m holding on to the past and being a stubborn fool when it comes down to it but I can’t help it. I love this camera! I love the quality of the video the camera produces!

Tape-based recording to camcorders are pretty much extinct now and digital capture is the future – using a digital capture system like the Focus FS-H200 or Atomos systems like the Atomos Ninja is one way of extending the lifespan of cameras like this.

The Sony Fx1 is wonderful and the quality from the HD capture is outstanding, especially viewed through component out. However, I’ve been wanting something to capture component to HDMI and I think I’ve found it! The way I’m doing it is through firewire capture at this time, as shown in the video.

So with the older HDV format camcorders like the Sony FX-1, what’s one way to extend the life of a wonderful camera like this? This is my old-school fix for digital media capture and recording. It is not as efficient as the newer technology but it’s a wonder that it does the job from back then.

I’m looking to update to an Atomos or similar system which will be great for the Sony FX-1 and my Sony A6500, hopefully soon.

Shot on Sony A6500: http://amzn.to/2tNUy6R
AVerMedia Component to Hdmi: http://amzn.to/2tNMPpl
Atomos Capture Systems: http://amzn.to/2rVkT1g
Affiliate links above helps with my tech addiction. Thanks.