GoPro Hero 5

First impressions: This review will be updated as I get more of a chance to play with this camera. I received it Oct 4th so still plenty of playing around to do!! So far I have added 1 additional con, updated some of the pros, and added a few pros.. I will continue to update!!

Short Review: I have owned GoPro cameras since the Hero 2.. I have recently been introduced to other brands that work just as well but I am loyal to GoPro and had to try out the new hero 5.. I am glad I did because GoPro is now on top of their game again and this is now the best Action Camera I have ever owned!!.. I used to hate all in one designs (Waterproofing being built into the camera) but I actually feel it works very well with this camera and provides much greater protection! No more “Naked” GoPros getting broken! (I have broke a few)

While the Hero 5 doesn’t really have any major improvements in resolution or shooting specs, the improvements that have been made in design and software actually work well and really make the photo and videos appear much better! The most notable improvements include built in stabilization that works very well and much better audio! Audio is where action cameras have always been lacking, but GoPro has made a huge improvement here. GoPro has also improved their user interface which is a great improvement. Old models took a little while to learn, but not the Hero 5.. I haven’t seen an action camera this easy to use ever! So even though GoPro has carried over the same sensor from the Hero 4, this camera is very much worth the improvements

Pros:

1.) Video Quality – Is outstanding. The software changes they made, actually make the video quality look much better even though the same sensor was carries over

2.) Much easier to use interface – No more learning curve! Includes Voice Control

3.) Much easier to use – Thanks to the new interface

4.) Audio Quality – This is the most noticeable difference. The audio quality is simply outstanding

5.) Stereo Sound

6.) Ability to shoot RAW WDR (Also a Con because RAW is only available on a few options)

7.) GPS – Can now track where your photos are taken

8.) Camera is now much more durable thanks to the built in housing

9.) Photos are still simply amazing

10.) Battery life is now AMAZING – no more 1 hour battery.. I received a full two hours out of all three of my uses so far

11.) Love the built in screen

12.) I haven’t ran into any bugs YET but I own several Action Cameras so the little quirks here and there, I know how to get around them. I’m not really sure they are bugs, but just how action cameras are

13.) Voice Control – Thanks to Amazon, Apple, and others we now live in a day and age of controlling things with our voice.. Voice control is now included on this camera and works well!! This is what action cameras have needed! No longer do you need an app or bluetooth remote to control the camera on a selfie stick.. You can now do it with your voice!!

14.) Supports up to a 128GB memory card! Plenty of room for 4K videos!

15.) The new GoPro software is better than the past.. I like quik and find it to work fine for basic task.. I still use Final Cut for most of my stuff!

16.) Cloud – While the cloud is a good idea, and for some this is a GREAT advantage for the new GoPro. YouTube is free so is my Prime Photo account.. I will continue to use those but I am very happy to see GoPro integrate a REAL cloud solution for their cameras.. I know a lot of people don’t like this decision but it isn’t required to use their cloud. I was a GoPro Plus Beta tester and I found it easy to use.. I no longer have the account now that it cost money but I did find it to be very well thought out software!

17.) Still works with most OLD accessories!! Of course you need new batteries and stuff but old mounts, chest straps, selfie sticks, grips, and even cases should still work!! (Like storage cases, not waterproof housings)

18.) Higher ISO options than previous GoPros

19.) Improved connectivity to my phone, much easier to pair and connect than previous GoPros

20. Built in Waterproofing works down to 33FT BUT they have an external housing available for divers that makes it waterproof to 196FT

Cons:

1.) While I was a fan of GoPro plus I no longer use it now that its out of beta. I wish GoPro would integrate free services a little better to their apps and not require the use of their services for their apps.. I would use their apps more often if it was integrated better with services such as YouTube. Final Cut integrates very well with other services, not only Apple Services. I feel that GoPro plus is going to be great for a lot of people, that is why it is also listed in my “Pros”..

2.) The biggest accessory that no longer works that I have a few of, are “Domes” for half underwater photos.. Most Domes that I own have an old GoPro housing that you place the GoPro into.. Something to keep in mind!

3.) Raw is only available on a few options

4.) The REAL waterproof housing now cost $50. This housing allows the camera to go down to 196FT.. The camera HOWEVER IS WATERPROOF already! But only down to 33FT… If you plan to use the camera for scuba this will run you another $50.. The standard housing on the OLD GoPros allowed it to go down to 131FT and then 197FT with the dive housing.. This is why I don’t really like built in waterproofing.. We lost a lot of depth on the hero 5!!

Tips:

1.) Make sure you grab a high quality memory card to go with this. I personally use SanDisk Extreme but GoPros website list a lot of cards they suggest. Using a card that is cheap or not suggested MIGHT cause freezing, the camera to overheat, or even your videos to corrupt.. SanDisk has never given me any issues

2.) There are several Action Camera accessory kits on Amazon that will “Jump Start” your collection of mounts.. Remember, this camera has a basic mount but nothing major.. I recommend a good kit from Amazon to save you money!

3.) GoPro PLUS and GoPro software IS NOT REQUIRED.. I still use it for basic task, and think it works great for basic task but one of the complaints this camera is getting is the new software.. I use more of a professional video editing software such as Final Cut and it still works fine. Also, I don’t need GoPros cloud service. YouTube is FREE so is Amazon Prime Photos

Overall: After a few hours of playing with this camera I simply love it and feel it offers great improvements over previous versions! I look forward to updating this review as I play more with the camera.

This Product WAS offered at a Discount From GoPro for Review

Chill Gorilla Rain Cover for Hammocks

Short Review: Unfortunately we are in a drought here and it hasn’t rained much this month so I can’t really test it’s waterproofness BUT from the materials to the build quality I feel 100% Safe saying this is 100% waterproof!! I have a big campout planned in two weeks and this IS THE FLY I will be taking! Everything about this fly is simply AMAZING!! It is made of the same PU Coated Nylon Tafetta Ripstop that the ENO Profly is made of BUT IT IS MUCH LARGER AND MUCH less expensive!! This fly even has reinforced corners (The ENO Profly doesn’t).. It also comes with stakes and cord! (ENO comes with cords but no stakes) With that being said, I am a huge fan of ENO products but their Profly left me wanting a lot more for the price.. (I do however like their profly sil but only when I am using my featherlite setup).. This Chill Gorilla rainfly I think MIGHT BE THE ONE I take on my regular campouts!!! This is a very nice rain fly for hammocks.

I even took this to show one of my outdoor friends today at work and he was ALSO very impressed with the size (He is another ENO fan like me but has also been wanting a larger tarp). Needless to say, he will be ordering one of these next paycheck he says! Its a very NICE fly!

Pros
1.) VERY LARGE – Provides PLENTY of coverage.. The ENO Profly was GREAT in the rain but in storms I always got a little damp.. It just wasn’t big enough to stop the blowing winds.. This is MUCH LONGER and wider and I can keep my hammock VERY high in this fly and it goes down much further WAY past the hammock.. It is also MUCH longer than my hammock so I feel safe saying that blowing winds wont be an issue..

2.) Protects from the RAIN & SUN – I use rain flys for more than rain!! I set them up high to block sun on sunny days when I am just relaxing in my hammocks!! This fly is plenty large enough to setup and block the sun!! Being a dark color it will block most of the sun and heat!!! Set it up high enough and you wont feel any heat coming off the fly! I have had plenty of black tarps and they never make me hot in the sun

3.) Reinforced corners – Always an added durability plus!

4.) Includes Stakes – Making this an even better value!!

5.) Lightweight – Weighs only 1.68 pounds.. Being 24% larger than eno this is to be expected but I figured it would weigh even more! The ENO Profly weighs 1.31 pounds.. My Profly SIL only weighs 1 pound BUT it is a much thinner silicon infused nylon and it doesn’t provide nearly as much shade as the material is very thin!! I only use it on featherlite trips.

6.) Excellent Value – being made from the same 210D PU coated nylon as ENO, being LARGER than most other tarps on the market, including stakes, and ALREADY costing less than half of the big boys MAKES this a GREAT choice and excellent value

7.) Awesome LOGO – I still love the amazing Chill Gorilla logo

8.) All packs down in a bag about the size of a football.. So slightly larger than other tarps for hammocks but again, this is a larger tarp!! It still packed into my 85L Osprey with ease along with hammocks, sleeping bags, clothes, food, and other stuff I place in my bag (Already packing for my campout in a few weeks).. Size is not an issue unless you have a small pack BUT if that is the case, you are probably featherlite backpacking anyways

Overall: This is the BEST fly I have used and seen!! It might not be the best on the market but IT IS THE BEST I have used or seen and I have used several from even the large companies!! I own a Profly from ENO and a rain fly from Grand Trunk.. I also own a Kelty Noahs Tarp and a few others.. This Chill Gorilla blows them all out of the water!!

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Excellent DEVICE!! This thing has the SPECS of my IMAC but it is essentially a Tablet!! When I was buying it, someone else was looking at one and said “Ohhh its like an IPAD” the I said, “an Ipad on steroids! Spec wise this is more like a macbook”.. Anyways with that being said I LOVE MINE.. With that being said, I ended up getting mine from Microsoft directly because of their AMAZING bundle deals (See below)

My Use: I am a student and Windows on my IMAC Crashed (Due to an IMAC issue) and I needed something semi powerful to run Access and a few other school applications.. This SURFACE works very well for that and I have found that I am using it for more and more everyday!

Version: I got the i5 with 8GB of ram and a type cover

Pros
1.) Powerful – This really is essentially a laptop when it comes to specs.. The i5, while not the newest processor, is a very powerful processor.. It is strong enough for video editing of 4K video, photo editing, and basic gaming!! I have been playing Cities Skylines now on mine without any isses

2.) All in one DEVICE – Tablet! You got it here! Laptop!! You got it here!! Streaming Media Device! You Got it here!! Feels great in hand as a tablet and works very well on your lap as a laptop!

3.) Sits on your lap with a type cover – I hear mixed reviews on this BUT I do get this to sit on my lap with the type cover.. Just like a real laptop!! No issues doing this for me!

4.) Battery Life – The downside of the i5 version, instead of the core M version is the battery life isn’t nearly as good.. But after testing the core M and the i5 side by side, I could feel the difference between the two processors!! The core M was much more sluggish than the i5 so I feel battery life is a good trade off.. If you don’t need the power go for the M version.. The M version DOES STILL have a lot of power

5.) Media Device – GREAT DEVICE for Media!! At the time of this review, if you buy from Microsoft you even get 3 months of free Hulu.. This tablet works WONDERFULLY with Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and other streaming services!!!

6.) FULL WINDOWS – I know, a lot of people have mixed reviews when it comes to Windows 8.1 and 10.. It’s growing on me BUT this is a full Windows device.. That means you are not limited to tablet apps.. You can download anything that can be installed on Windows Systems..

7.) WORK, relax, OR PLAY!!! Office works GREAT on it, it plays steam games fine on medium graphics (Older games it plays fine on high graphics), and like I said it works GREAT with relaxing to movies while streaming on netflix

8.) Includes USB port – Grab a USB hub if you need more ports but with everything being wireless now, I really don’t use the USB port much at all

9.) Full customization – Don’t like the stock versions?? Go to Microsoft directly and you can build your own surface!!!

10.) VALUE (Bundles) – This is honestly a great product especially if you take advantage of the bundles at Microsoft stores!! For mine, I got the Surface and the type cover for regular price minus 10% for my student discount! BUT they offered a bundle that included FREE extended warranty with accident protection! Free sleeve! Free 1 year of Microsoft Office! And free 3 months of Hulu!! Wonderful deal if you ask me

11.) Microsoft Complete Care – Great warranty service.. Again, I got mine for free with a bundle BUT I dropped my first surface.. Took it to the Microsoft Kiosk at the mall and paid my $50/fee and walked out with a BRAND NEW ONE.. no questions asked!! Just a few jokes about being more careful was all!!

12.) Small! Takes up no space in a backpack!!

13.) MicroSD Card Slot – I use my Surface a lot for photo and video editing now.. This takes up a lot of memory!! I have purchased a 128GB MicroSD card to expand my memory. This is really something I didn’t expect to do much on my Surface, but I have found that video and photo editing works VERY WELL on it! I just needed more memory BUT I HAVE THAT MEMORY!! Plus, I can plug my GoPro memory card directly into the Surface and do all the editing on it

Overall: Coming from a Mac fan I really enjoy this Windows Device!! I found it easy to use, very powerful, and a WELL BUILT product.. It might not be for everyone but this is a premium device, one made just as well and just as nice as Ipads or something else top of the line! I highly recommend this! I purchased it for school but found that I am using it more than my IMAC and tablets I own!

**Product WAS NOT provided in exchange of honest review**

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