Something totally technical (somebody could say just nerdy) for a change: GoPro came up with their long awaited iPhone/iPad app couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t get it to work (not that I tried that much…); but today I noticed something they posted on Twitter and decided to give it another try. Updated my three GoPro Hero2’s with Cineform Studio (the cams, the WiFI-Packs and remotes) and voilà, works like a charm.
Basically the concept is simple and very powerful: you can control your camera (or several) thru your iDevice. The interface is as simple as it can get – which is a good thing. You get a live preview, you can select the mode, you can trigger, and that’s about it from the main menu. Big controls which is nice if you work with gloves on or it’s chilly.
The nicest thing (imho) is the settings menu. The fact that you can control all the settings thru your iPad – i.e. no more beep, beep, beep…. no, wrong beep, start again… pushing the buttons, but a simple list of parameters you can set to your liking. Very sweet indeed.
Also, the WiFi-pack creates an infrastructure network (password protected) instead of an ad hoc one – which you access with your iPad. Important because in this set up you do not need an eternal wireless router (such as a MiFi) nor internet connection. Hah, actually, just came to think about something: I do have an old 2nd gen. iTouch somewhere, which I could convert into a dedicated remote system for the kayak photography. Pretty wicked concept…
Couple of things worth noting: in order to get the cameras working you do have to update the firmware thru the Cineform Studio on both the cams and the packs. And: remember to choose in the camera menu the iPhone/tablet -option for remote, otherwise it is a no go. And if you go back to using the GoPro’s own remote controls, remember to set that back to enable the devices to communicate. I spent a good half an hour wondering “now why the hell does this sucker not pair with my remote as it used to?”
The best part of the deal: the app is free. And if you consider the price of the pack (c. 150€) and that of a camera (less than 300€), the whole system is a true bargain.
If you haven’t seen my images from the kayak this summer when I was just playing around with these, here’s a link.
So the next step is to figure out a nice, waterproof system on the foredeck for the iDevice…