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Discussion Starter #1
I don't like the super gimbal/super smooth footage where you can't even tell someone just hit a 5' drop to flat, or that hides how rough a rock garden is. I think this obsession for smoothness is hurting footage now.. so where's the sweet spot?

Which gopro has just the right of motion dampening, so a nice smooth flowy single track is smooth as butter, but still shakes a bit when things get janky, and you can see the jolt of an impact from a drop?
 

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jcd's best friend
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Hero 7 (or possibly newer) might be it. GoPro introduced Hyper Smooth for that camera and it smooths out the trail without the need for a gimbal. There are some bumps every so often when you watch footage. I used a Hero 7 for a while and still have it! If you have a Hero Session, you can mount it to your helmet which turns your head into a gimbal. You could still get that "trail feeling" when you watch footage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The newest Go Pro's have the image stabilization for smoother video, but it can be turned off.
right, i don't want to turn it off though. i just want it to do "less", but that's not an option. so then the only option is to go back.. hero 8.. hero 7, etc.. to find one that is smooth but not too smooth. just wondering if there's anyone that has experience with them all
 

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Smoothness isn't the problem, it's being 2 dimensional is the problem. I personally do not like the look of videos with a gimbal, but the software smoothing built in is just fine. But nothing you do will make a 5' drop look like a 5' drop unless you view it in 3D.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Smoothness isn't the problem, it's being 2 dimensional is the problem. I personally do not like the look of videos with a gimbal, but the software smoothing built in is just fine. But nothing you do will make a 5' drop look like a 5' drop unless you view it in 3D.
i understand the gopro effect, i don't expect a 5' drop to look like a 5' drop.. but i do want know that there was actually a drop, which is not the case with the current hyper smooth gopro's.. i want the gopro to show how rough or smooth the terrain is, just not so much (like the oldest models) where you get motion sickness watching the footage.. and not so smooth (like the latest model) where everything looks like you're on a maglev track.
 

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I have a Session, 5 and 7. The footage from the 5 has to have a very secure mount.
All GoPros struggle in low light, which is why I use a gimbal then. In nice light they're great, but it's amazing what the stabilisation can do. But that said I'll always use a gimbal. I find it unwatchable from a chest mount without one

I should redo this comparison

 

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Which gopro has just the right of motion dampening, so a nice smooth flowy single track is smooth as butter, but still shakes a bit when things get janky, and you can see the jolt of an impact from a drop?
That's why you want to make sure the bar is in the frame so you can see it jack-hammering through the jank.

If you feel that you need a jolt, all you have to do is bang a gimbal on your stem. The good ones will automatically reset so you're back to stable footage with a level horizon.
 

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But nothing you do will make a 5' drop look like a 5' drop unless you view it in 3D.
As an aside, a few years back I made my own 3D-cam handlebar mount for two Session5's , recorded a technical downhill trail, carefully synchronized L and R, and loaded it on my VR headset.

BAD idea. I was nauseous within the first 60 seconds. I quickly developed a theory as to why the Hero3D system was canned by Gopro after a year. If you are going to film any old-school SBS 3D, it has to be an almost-stationary camera setup that pans VERY slowly.

Unless you have an iron stomach.
 

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Trail Ninja
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You need more useful context in the video, and less useless context.

I consider constant camera shake to be mostly useless and negative.

I'd argue that you'd get more useful context by shooting in portrait mode/orientation, esp if the video can capture what line the front wheel is taking (e.g. side of helmet/body rather than centered), over shooting in landscape orientation, but I'm sure some purists will let me know how taboo that is.

I'm personally a sucker for quality audio. Rather hear clear natural sounds, esp tires scratching for grip, than someone's immature taste in music and/or simple-minded commentary.
 
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