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GoPro El Grande Extension Pole | Best GoPro Pole on the Market

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On April 9th GoPro released its latest accessory for their GoPro cameras a new extension pole called the “El Grande”. I was very curious about this new GoPro accessory, I added it to my cart so I could test it out and make a review. I would just like to state that GoPro nailed it and this is quite possibly the best GoPro pole on the market today.

Now Poles and extension are commonplace and the market is flooded with many styles from every manufacturer that makes accessories for the GoPro Hero camera. I own several extension poles myself and I found myself asking “why do I need another one?”. What sparked my interest was two things, first was the claim by GoPro that the El Grande pole could attach easily to the Karma Grip and support the weight and the fact that the El Grande pole uses the buckle mount system instead of the traditional mount that most GoPro poles use.

GoPro El Grande First Impression

Upon opening the box I was quite pleased with the aesthetics of the GoPro El Grande, it is a sharp looking pole in full out GoPro style. It is robust and solid but still very light in the hand. The El Grande can extend from 15 inches to 38 inches with a simple twist/lock system. The El Grande has a nice rubber coating covering the entire pole allowing for a good grip with one or two hands even in wet conditions.

What really sets this extension pole apart from the other poles I use is its ability to support the weight of the Karma Grip when fully extended without bowing, other poles that I mounted my Karma Grip on bowed very easily and I was nervous with my expensive Karma Grip hanging off the end. Another really nice feature is the 360-degree ball head at the end of the pole that allows you to position your GoPro to the perfect angle easily without having to remount your camera. The El Grande extension pole is waterproof, so using it while surfing or snorkeling will not damage it in any way. The GoPro extension pole can be attached to the GoPro Seeker backpack to capture a nice over the shoulder view when hiking.

One interesting thing I noticed about the El Grande Pole is the 1/4 tripod screw on the bottom. This will allow you to mount it on a tripod to get some extra reach. This was surprising as GoPro tends to steer clear of traditional camera mounting systems.

I highly recommend this extension pole to anyone interest in adding one to their GoPro gear. Even if you own a pole already, this will make a great addition to your GoPro camera bag.

U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pHjlYU

Canadian Amazon: http://amzn.to/2oOTqQF

You can watch our YouTube review of the GoPro El Grande extension pole here.


The 360-degree ball joint of the GoPro El Grande.

 

Karma Grip attached to the GoPro El Grande Pole


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GoPro Gear / Accessories

Hero 7 Black Beginners Guide | How To Get Started

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Every year when GoPro releases a new generation camera we always create a beginners guide to help those who are brand new and have or will be purchasing their very first GoPro. In September GoPro introduced the new GoPro Hero 7 Black and so we have created a newly updated beginners guide just for it. This beginners guide is created for those who have no experience and have never used a GoPro. In this beginners guide, we cover such topics including:

  • Unpacking your new GoPro Hero 7 Black.
  • How to mount your GoPro Hero 7 Black.
  • Install the battery in the Hero 7 Black.
  • How to charge the GoPro Hero 7 Black.
  • Best memory for the Hero 7 Black.
  • Powering on and setup of the Hero 7 Black.
  • Connecting the Hero 7 Black to the GoPro Quick app.
  • Shooting modes on the Hero 7 Black.
  • Menu tour of the Hero 7 Black.
  • Voice commands for the Hero 7 Black
  • How to use quick capture.
  • Essential gear for the GoPro Hero 7 Black.

This is part one in our beginners guide series for the Hero 7 Black. Part 2 will cover what to do next once you have filmed some great content. We will go over how to transfer your content to your smartphone or tablet so you can share it and even edit it for those who want to take their GoPro content a step further. We will also cover the GoPro app and GoPro Quik app in more detail.

Hero 7 Black: https://amzn.to/2Djgyis
Best Memory: https://amzn.to/2qmyLmX

Other GoPro Hero 7 Black gear to consider.

GoPro Shorty: https://amzn.to/2JuD885
GoPro Charger: https://amzn.to/2PuDaT5
Floating Hand Grip: https://amzn.to/2PBkLnx
GoPro Case: https://amzn.to/2qnej5x
Silicone Sleeve: https://amzn.to/2yKAVBh
Power Bank: https://amzn.to/2SzgzDD
GoPro Backpack: https://amzn.to/2qmRVZP
Extension Pole: https://amzn.to/2PxLtNL
Bike Mount: https://amzn.to/2EXcAxG

 


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GoPro Hero 7 Black | 30 Days In Review

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Before I make a review of a product like the new GoPro Hero 7 Black I like to have a good amount of time to use and test it in real-world scenarios before I make any kind of judgment. This turned out to be especially true for the Hero 7 Black because my opinion on it has changed quite a bit since those early first few days. If I had made a review too soon it would not accurately reflect my thoughts on this camera after a good amount of time using it. I would also like to point out that I purchased the GoPro Hero 7 Black myself, It was not sent to me as review gift from GoPro. I am not part of the “GoPro Family” or a GoPro influencer as some call it. This is important because I spent my hard earned money on it just like you did or will be doing. I expect good value for my money and this ensures a good honest, accurate and fair review.

Hero 7 Black (USA) https://amzn.to/2CEWTZg
Hero 7 Black (CAN) https://amzn.to/2yCRhvP

Early on in the Hero 7 release, there were reports of batteries not charging completely, GoPro freezing while charging and firmware update issues. I can’t really comment on those issues because I didn’t experience any of that with my unit. The only one time issue I had was during the initial firmware update via the GoPro app it did fail, however, it was successful on the second attempt. I must also say I have experience firmware update errors with every GoPro I have owned since the Hero 3 series.

Early on in the release of the GoPro Hero 7 Black I was not really sold on the value of upgrading on what essentially seemed to be just a firmware upgrade on a camera that for the most part was identical both inside and out except for the new black finish. The new features that GoPro was promoting seemed very interesting but was it worth spending $400 US or $529 Canadian. I spent the first week with my new GoPro testing out all the new features including HyperSmooth (Stabilization), TimeWarp (Hyperlapse), SuperPhoto (HDR Photography). I also spent time testing out the dynamic range and audio properties of the new Hero 7 Black and I must say it did not disappoint. To address the issue of the Hero 7 just being a firmware update, from what I have read the Hero 7 Black has an extra gig of ram and newly engineered microphones to help make these new features and changes possible.

So let’s break it down and go over all the new changes and what I think of them.

Form factor/Cosmetics: I am not a fan of the new black material they are using as the finish. I find it looks a little cheap and does not have the feel or look as a premium product should. I much preferred the finish on the Hero 5/6 Black. I have found it to scuff easy and because of it rubbery finish, it always has lint and debris stuck to it. I am not sure how the finish will hold up over time. Now really how a product performs is more important than cosmetics, but when you spend a lot of money on gear you want it to look good and stay looking good over time.

HyperSmooth Stabilization: GoPro is calling the Hero 7 Black a gimbal killer with its new HyperSmooth technology, now I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that but I definitely feel there is some merit to their statement. The stabilization on the Hero 7 Black is truly incredible, leaps and bounds ahead of the Hero 6 Black. There are those times when a stabilizer will do a better job, but for me, I can see that 80% of the time in scenarios where I would want a gimbal to film I really don’t need it anymore…it is that good. A gimbal will always give you a little more of a polished look, however not having to lug a bulky gimbal around and still able to get gimbal like footage is alright in my books. Gimbals are delicate and can be damaged easily, not to mention there are those situations where you just can’t use a gimbal. One big improvement of the HyperSmooth stabilization on the Hero 7 Black is the fact that you can now stabilize 4k 60FPS footage, this is huge for me as I primarily film in 4k60FPS. I am extremely pleased with the stabilization on the Hero 7 Black, so much that I feel this is well worth the upgrade cost alone. One downfall of the Hero 7 Black Hypersmooth is that it does not produce the best results in low light conditions.

TimeWarp/Hyperlapse: Another new feature of the Hero 7 Black is it can now create TimeWarp videos also known os hyperlapse videos. This is really is a useful and welcome feature of the Hero 7 Black. The TimeWarp feature works very well and can produce some visually stunning hyperlapses all with the push of a button. Not only does it work well, but it also is super easy to use the TimeWarp feature and that is very important, nobody wants to spend to much time trying to set up shots. With the Hero 7 Black, you just press the shutter button and go. In Past GoPro models to film a hyperlaspe was quite a time-consuming procedure, you had to have good editing skills and patience as well as it was not an easy task. Timewarp videos are a nice way to shoot interesting b-roll footage for your videos and is a very welcome addition.

SuperPhoto (HDR): To be honest I was a little disappointed with the SuperPhoto feature (also known as HDR) on the Hero 7 Black. When it was first rumored that the new Hero would be getting an HDR feature I was quite happy as I love to shoot HDR photography on my DSLR. Traditional HDR photography is when the camera shoots 3 photos with 3 different exposures, one overexposed, one underexposed and one normal this is called bracketed photos. The photos are then merged together in software into one photo and it leaves you with a nice evenly exposed photo with good detail in the highlights and lowlights. Most smartphones and even the Hero 6 Black had this feature. However they did not save the bracketed single photos, you are only left with the finished merged photo. I was hoping the Hero 7 Black would allow for the saving of the individual bracketed photos so the user can do their own HDR processing, but unfortunately, that is not the case and you are only left with the finished HDR image. I do hope this is changed down the road as I would love to edit the HDR photos myself. Now when it comes to the quality of the processed HDR or SuperPhotos I personally feel it needs some work. I find that there is something off about the SuperPhotos I can’t quite put my finger on it, I think there is not enough shadow and contrast. I find photos shot in regular mode look better. This is just my personal preference and others may feel differently. If you look at the example below you can see what I am referring too.

A comparison of the GoPro Hero 7 Black SuperPhoto versus a normal photo. Personally, I find the normal photo looks better. The SuperPhoto (hdr) lacks contrast and depth. No editing has been done to either photo.

A Final Thought On The GoPro Hero 7 Black

Some other things to note about the Hero 7 Black is the newly designed menus. I really like how GoPro set them up. It took a few days to get used to the new layout but I find they are simple to navigate and well organized. GoPro has finally added a photo timer to the Hero 7 Black. This is a long overdue feature and for the life of me, I can’t understand why it took so long for such a simple little feature. No more having to yell at your GoPro to take a photo when shooting a selfie, no more funny looks from people around you. GoPro has added live streaming. I am not going to get into that in this review as it really is not a feature that interests me. I did take a quick look at it and it seems easy enough to set up if you are interested in live streaming with your GoPro. One last feature I should mention is you can now easily shoot in portrait orientation. Its one of those things that you will not use every day but when filming for some social media platforms it definitely is handy to have.

This year’s launch of the GoPro Hero 7 series was a little lackluster compared to years past, no launch event with Nick Woodman enthusiastically showing off his latest cameras and gear, and no launch video which many look forward to watching. Not a lot of hype built up like in years past and I think was due to the fact only mildly interesting hardware was released this year, we didn’t even get any new GoPro accessories this launch!

With all that said I am quite happy with my Hero 7 Black purchase. If you have a Hero 5 Black its is definitely worth the price to upgrade, however, if you have a Hero 6 Black its not such an easy decision. Personally, I think it is worth the upgrade just for the stabilization alone. If you’re on the fence about purchasing the Hero 7 Black if you already own the Hero 6 Black. You could always sell you old GoPro online to help offset the cost of upgrading. You can watch our Hero 7 Black 30 days in review on YouTube. We include sample footage and talk about the new features. I hope you enjoyed my full in-depth and comprehensive review of the GoPro Hero 7 Black.

Hero 7 Black (USA) https://amzn.to/2CEWTZg
Hero 7 Black (CAN) https://amzn.to/2yCRhvP

 


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