Small cheap and good?

Over the past month my wife and I have been planning a vacation for our upcoming 10th anniversary. Well besides the trip to the ocean for a few days we planned a day on a deep sea fishing charter. I thought cool it gives me a chance to grab some once in a lifetime shots for building up my stock portfolio. Well along with the planning came a small (well rather heavy) realization, lugging my current set up could result in a very long uncomfortable adventure. Even a skinned down version of my rig weighs in at a little over 12 pounds. Compound that with being on a boat for most of the day and it didn’t sound like much fun. Also the the thought of a few thousand dollars of camera and audio equipment taking a swim in the ocean kinda scared me a little. So I started out searching for a small light weight solution that I could get good stills and quality video that I could submit.
My first knee jerk reaction was to go straight to the gopro 4 black edition. It gets high quality video and good stills from a tiny package. It would also get me a chance to play with 4k a little more for my personal use. Also it was waterproof so I wouldn’t worry it if accidentally took a swim. The price was even good too at just under 500 bucks. What stopped me from pulling the trigger was that a couple of the stock sites refuse gopro footage now, or will accept on a case by case basis. Translation short of having footage of the camera being devoured by a shark, or the camera strapped to the back of a magical unicorn, it’s likely to be rejected. So the gopro was a no go.
My next thought was the blackmagic design pocket cinema camera. I’ve loved the idea of this camera since it was announced. 1080p raw, super 16mm sensor, smaller than an iPhone 5, what’s not to love. I was even willing to overlook the dismal battery life. Unfortunate it didn’t do stills and I would have to lug around two cameras, defeating the purpose of a lighter set up. Also even at a $700.00 used street price it was a difficult sell, especially to the wife even though I could get far more use out of it. In case of a accidental swim 700 bucks is a bitter pill to swallow. So scrapped that idea.
I also kicked around the idea of renting a camera and lens too, but having to call the rental insurance and tell them the camera is 200ft at the bottom of the gulf of mexico didn’t seem like a pleasant chat to be having. Combine eating crow and out the cost of a camera and rental fees didn’t seem like a good idea financially.
Well I started browsing around and while looking at, I found a crazy deal that could possibly work. They had a Panasonic gf3 for a whopping $70.00. Yes seventy. That also included a 6 month warrantee on the camera. I was too good to pass up. Yes it’s a far from perfect camera, but it can do very good stills in the right hands, and hacked its video quality is good enough to squeak by the strictest of guidelines. The gf3 is tiny too, actually is half the size of my 60d. I also like the fact it’s micro four thirds format allowed almost any lens to be adapted to it. So why am I getting so excited about a 3 year old entry level girlfriend camera? Simple, quality stills and acceptable 1080p video, combined with 3 batteries and adapter for under 100 bucks. That’s almost disposable pricing. Even with the cost of a couple Nikon ais lenses you would be well under the cost of the gopro silver model and have better video. Yeah it’s not water proof so no diving with it but I am not planning any diving just to be covered in fish guts in the middle of the ocean. Its cheap enough if something were to happen I wouldn’t be that hurt by it. So this may be the right solution for what I need.
Once I get the chance to test it out and run it though the paces, I’ll update with some samples and if it will work for what I want. On a side note, if you haven’t used I highly recommend them for any used gear. They are very conservative in the grading scale, meaning that their bgn rating is ebays idea of mint, and they are competitive in price. They also service and repair your gear too. They are so good that this is straight word of mouth and I don’t get any affiliate kick back. They are so good they don’t even need an affiliate program. Till next time

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One Response to “Small cheap and good?”

  1. Aniisz July 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm // Reply

    I have read all your articles about the 5.8g 200mw FPV Wireless AV Tx & Rx Set. I also have the exact same set like you epecxt the GoPro camera. I used the little camera but the problem is, everything works normal but I don’t get any picture, my screen is just black. I’ve already tried different things but nothing works. Do you have some advice?


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