Blog Spotlight: Paddling with a Camera

Stabilizing a camera using a paddle shaft. Source: Marek Uliasz 2006

Paddling photography offers a unique perspective that we know a lot of our customers & readers are interested in capturing. Some prefer capturing all the action with their GoPro rigged up on a mount while others might take a leisurely paddle with plenty of breaks to put down the paddle and pick up the camera. Well, however you like to do it, I wanted to share a great resource for all of you SUPing, canoeing or kayaking photographers.

Paddling with a Camera shares pictures, video, stories, reviews, tips & gear for paddling photography. It’s run by blogger Marek Uliasz, aka the Wayfarer,  and, while you might not find a new update every time you check in, is full of some very in depth articles. What makes this blog so great is that Marek is obviously very passionate about the topics he covers. He’s got 20 years of paddling kayaks and canoes under his belt and also runs several other sites including a Fitness Paddling blog and Stock Photography page. We’re big fans of his content like this recently posted article titled 10 Tips How to Avoid Blurry Pictures when Shooting from a Kayak. Encourage anyone interested in paddling photography to check his blog out!

Joseph @ACK

Also, check out these Simple Tips for Kayaking With a Camera from ACK Guest Blogger back in 2011.

Gear Giveaway Sweepstakes Update: Week One Winner Announced

Packaged up and ready to go! Congrats Tony!

Congratulations to Tony Valentine from the great state of Mississippi for winning the first prize, an MSR Reactor Stove System, in the ACK 2012 Outfit Your Adventure Gear Giveaway.

The contest runs through early August. Anyone can participate by simply “liking” our Facebook page and entering via a short form. What makes the contest unique is that if you share with your friends, you can obtain an unlimited amount of multiple entries increasing your chances of winning. Additionally, all participants have multiple chances of winning regardless if they have already won or not!

Prizes being offered include a Gregory Fury 24 Backpack, an NRS Pilot Knife, a Werner Camano Paddle and a GoPro Video Camera!

Click here to enter and good luck! – Roland @ACK

2012 ACK Outfit Your Adventure Gear Giveaway

Yesterday was the official announcement of the Outfit Your Adventure Gear Giveaway on our facebook page. Here are the details: Each week for five weeks, visitors that like our facebook page and enter their info will have the chance to win a product. It will be a different product each week including (in order of giveaway) a MSR Reactor Stove, a Gregory Fury 24 Backpack, a NRS Pilot Knife, a Werner Camano Fiberglass Straight Shaft Paddle and a grand prize GoPro Hero 2 Camera. Each contestant will earn an entry by entering their info but can earn an additional five entries each time a friend enters by following personalized shared links. Basically, the more you share, the better your chances of winner. Click here to enter now!


Product Review: GoPro – Big Video, Small Camera

My first experience with a GoPro was in Colorado during a 5-day ski-trip. I wasn’t using one of them while skiing but rather I came across an amazing GoPro commercial while bed ridden for 3 days battling the flu. Apparently, most of it was filmed using a GoPro and I simply couldn’t believe that this tiny little camera was generating these videos with amazing clarity and vivid colors! The wide-angle lens really added to the overall effect too. I enjoyed the commercial so much that I went on YouTube only to discover an array of awesome videos filmed using a GoPro camera.

It was time to get my hands on one. I knew we carried them but I never looked into buying one assuming it was an expensive product and probably one that may be complicated to use. Once I checked into it, I discovered that not only was it affordable at $299 for the full helmet cam package, it was easy to use. In fact, I was disappointed with myself for not looking into it earlier for all my past year’s paddling trips and work related events.

Finally, I got my hands on one and it did not disappoint with resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 at 30 FPS and video clarity that put all other more expensive videos cameras I have used to shame. Best of all, it was so easy to use. As a paddler, I also liked that it came with a waterproof case rated at up to 180ft. It didn’t get wet when I took it out for a first test run on a stand up paddleboard so I gave it a quick under water test in a pool and was pleased with the results.

I like that the camera battery automatically begins to charge when downloading videos to my computer but be prepared, you get about 2.5 hours recording time when fully charged. If you plan to go an overnight paddling trip, consider taking some backup batteries.

Sound quality was good but I just wish it would do a better job when utilizing the waterproof cover. I didn’t realize this was an issue until after I had already filmed several clips. I also wish it had a built in preview screen. Unfortunately you have to download the video clip to preview them. The good news is they do offer an affordable LCD BacPac camera attachment, which provides instant previews, playback and visual control of your camera settings.

I give this product 4 stars out of 5 stars mainly because of the lack of a built in preview screen but overall, for the price, features and quality, I highly recommend this the GoPro camera and look forward to putting it to good use on my next paddling trip.

Here is another great sample video by GoPro featuring a white water kayaking competition. Do you have a GoPro? Tell us how you use it by commenting below!


Yakfishing Addicts Klub Review: GoPro Helmet HERO HD Video Camera

Editor’s note: ACK would like to introduce the YakFishing Addicts Klub to the ACK blog guest roll! Y.A.K. (for short) is a fishery conservation club, promoting proper angling, species conservation and catch and release. They’ll be providing reviews and other articles from time to time. This review features the GoPro Helmet HERO HD 960 Video Camera. ACK carries the HD 1080 model.

I ordered a GoPro Camera for use with the Yakfishing Addicts Klub. Upon arrival of The Go Pro HD Hero 960 Camera I noticed the care that was taken to present a quality product. I’ve never seen a video camera or camera for that matter come is a glossy black box with a clear plastic top where the camera sits as if it were being displayed in a showcase. However, none of that really matters if the product doesn’t do everything that the consumer needs it to do.

I need to assist others on their kayak fishing adventures so my main concern was to get a video camera that was small, easy to use and hands free with the ability to clearly document catches. This thing is ridiculously small weighing in at 3.3 oz and taking up less than 5 inches of space, one cannot find something smaller for the price. The package comes with two additional mounting brackets, a head strap, waterproof housing and li-ion battery.

I was concerned with the 5MP quality as most cameras now have no less than 10.1MP. I field tested both the video and picture functions and was extremely surprised with the picture quality. I can’t see the difference in the photos when compared to my 10.1MP Olympus. There are a few things that I would like to see improved including the battery life from the li-ion which lasted 2.5 hours and that the two additional mounts don’t come with the right adhesive to stick to polyethylene (what kayaks are typically made from). That said, the Go Pro presents a nice package for today’s kayak angler that is looking to capture that moment you’ll never forget.

For more information about the Yakfishing Addicts Klub, click here.

Guest Blogger,
Yakfishing Addicts Klub