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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whiteford

Jackson, WY

Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on December 8, 2015

The Best.  Just get to know it
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used all GoPro models since I first bought a Hero2. You know that in the future, there will be a future improvement (like with all gizmos) but at present, this is simply the best action sports camera available.

The product info is spot on. It can shoot high frame rates for smooth slow motion, and it can shoot beautiful 4k...and it can do everything in between. Cameras with similar output (4k, 1080x96, 720x240, 2.7k x60...) are in a very different price range and camera style.

If you're looking for an easy point and shoot, or small form factor and ease of use, check out the Hero+ or the Session. Both are outstanding cameras. As is the Silver, so you can more easily line up shots with the LCD screen. But...for having the option of taking complete control over your settings and aiming on the highest quality end product- you can really do no better than the Hero4 Black.

You can "set it + forget it" with some standard settings, and you can go deep in customizing everything for each shot, like you would with your RED, ARRI, or Flip Phone. In finding out how you should adjust your settings, it's great to use the App, so that you can get direct feedback as to how your settings are changing the look of your photo or video. Test out different time-lapse speeds with different interval settings, and check out the results using the free GoPro Studio software. It does an incredible job of taking your photos and turning them into a time-lapse movie...and it does a wide array of other beneficial things that really let you take control of maximizing workflow, editing, and output.

Pro-Tune is where the nitty gritty settings live when it comes time to craft something...but know you can also simply set the color as "GoPro" and white balance on "auto" and you've got some instal-bangers right there. When you get into night shots, or very dark or bright shots, then I'll start using exposure compensation (often -.5 or -1.0 on bright days above the clouds) or film with a more flat color if I know I'm going to do color correction or cut the footage with another camera. (Using a flat color profile can give you more dynamic range, and setting the white balance locks it in...but don't forget to change these settings back when the time comes, especially with your exposure compensation.)

So you get the camera, you get into the settings, you start editing...and you run into questions. I'm constantly looking at GoPro's help section as well as their tutorials- or anyone's for that matter- to increase my own knowledge. The internet is pretty darn good at answering questions...you just need to know what to ask. With each bit of knowledge you gather, it increases your own creative abilities. It's a really nice positive feedback cycle...

Back to the camera. Besides being a little processing powerhouse, it's versatile. And maximizing the versatility comes down to using your imagination for how you want to set up a shot- which comes back to the basic, but wonderful mounting options. You can get really elaborate and mix and match- but the go to mounts for me are:
helmet mounted, Chesty, or 3-way arm. I more selectively use the pole/frame mounts, suction cup, and tripods. I'd highly recommend picking up "the frame" and using the additional protective lens cover, along with the 3 way arm. When water gets involved, then it goes into it's full case...
and that comes back to something I've come to take for granted: When it's in the case, it's crazy tough. I've scraped it on rocks, I've bashed it in dirt and snow, and taken it deep underwater...and obviously, it's A-OK. I wouldn't toss it off a high rise, but you probably shouldn't be doing something like that anyways.

A few other things that are nice to pick up: the double battery charger, extra batteries, extra micro sd cards, and anti-fog inserts for your really cold or wet endeavors.
Any questions GoPro or otherwise, feel free to hit me up!

(3)

 

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on December 8, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Click it down, it's down. Click it open, it's ready to pour. This top combined with the 16 oz Hydro Flask bottle is my go to every morning. Coffee and tea stays hot for hours, and this top properly prevents me from dousing my face if I'm taking a sip while riding in the car and hit bumps.

I wouldn't trust it just tossing it into the bottom of my pack- but I usually use the larger 40 oz Hydro Flask with the screw top for those day long adventures.

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on June 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ready to dance down whatever you put in front of it, the HDR 650B is quite the quiver killer. If you're riding a ton of park or hard DH, you may be more apt to stick with the 160mm travel/26" version, but I love the subtle improvements that the 27.5" wheels bring about, and haven't been feeling any lack of oomph for suspension.

Really, the only complaints you hear tend be be on internet forums (cough mtbr cough) are that 1) there isn't enough travel and 2) rear tire clearance. To that, I think a 140mm front fork (34mm ideally) mates really well with the 130mm rear, and while it's not ideal for hucking off your roof to flat, it is completely at home getting bashed down the gnar in your local (or EWS) race. The DW-Link pedals (and climbs) wonderfully while providing really active squish in the rough spots, and it ends up feeling like more than 130mm. (That's what she said...)

I'm running a Hans Dampf 2.25 rear and think it's a nice match for my "enduro" build, and haven't had any problems with tire clearance.

Consult the reviews here + the rest of the internet/magazines...but if you can, get out and demo an Ibis. You'll be psyched, and compared to similar products, your wallet will be pleased with your purchase.

(3)

 

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on June 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been rocking the Pace shorts for the past couple years because of their breathability & stretchtasticness. They end up serving as my go-to hiking/trail running/workout shorts due to their light weight and range of motion. I really dig them while on the bike because they won't get caught on anything...but this does come with a compromise: the inseam is short enough (14") that my knees are exposed..so if you aren't confident enough to show your patellas off, you may prefer the 8Track or Descent shorts ;)

The lightweight material is also very quick to dry...bonus.

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on May 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I took my first ride wearing the Smith Forefront last night. Basic adjustments were quick and easy (twist dial at the back, chin strap, ear triangle- to use technical terms) and I really didn't think about the helmet until towards the end of my 2 hour ride. The Forefront only came to mind several times as I pedaled towards the sun and thought about how my visor (neon orange) highlighted the colors and looked light something I should instagram, but I was having such a good time I forwent social media. Roughly an hour later as I slowly chugged up Hagen's Highway trail, I realized I could feel cooling air coming through the "straws" of the Forefront's core. Granted, I've got short hair, but I've never really noticed this before. I was impressed. I'll update this after a few more rides, but it's a solid start. I've got to get my hands on the GoPro mount to see how it compares to the stability of the "vented helmet strap" that I'd usually use.

(4)

 

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on July 31, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I think that the Shimano XT line provides excellent bang for you buck. Strong, relatively light, and really solid performance. It's a great workhorse line, at a price you can generally stomach. I was only disappointed when I realized I couldn't adjust the tension on the clutch mechanism. (Edit- clutch is adjustable, see comments below). Even with the clutch engaged and proper chain length (on a 1x10 Ibis Mojo HD) I wanted to tighten things up to prevent chain slap that was still occurring over really rough descents. On my newest bike I threw down on the XTR Shadow Plus on which you can adjust the clutch.

(1)

 

Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on July 31, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Every morning I brew coffee in a french press and fill up this Hydro Flask. It's large enough to prevent the need for constant fill ups (for me, at least) and the seals are excellent. No leaks, no loosening...and the flip lip is solid and easy to open and close with one hand. It does a tremendous job of maintaining the temperature of your beverage...better than any other travel mug I've used. Keep it close by when you're on the road so you can avoid use of disposable cups!

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on July 10, 2013

Stay dry and steezy
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Comfortable, roomy fit without being too baggy and getting caught on stuff. Quite durable and shrugs off branches and other trailside gnar. The hood is large and fits well over my open face helmets without problem. Breathes well, but most importantly keeps you dry. It packs down nice and small & I toss it inside my Dakine Nomad pack anytime there is a chance of rain. Zippered pockets are handy for light items but if you're riding aggressively heavier items (cell phone or multi tool) will bounce the jacket around because the shell is quite light.
The red looks great on a dreary day, too!

(2)

 

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on July 10, 2013

Don't leave home without it!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

So light and packable that it's more or less a part of my first aid kit. Breathes really well while blocking the wind. Perfect for a chilly start to the ride or while waiting along a windy ridge line for your friends to catch up. Hiking, running, biking, and ski touring...times when your activity keeps your body warm, but you are want to avoid the bite of the wind. If you remove it to change layers in a windy place, make sure it doesn't blow away...because it's so light that it certainly could!

(2)

 

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on July 10, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I often wear more casual sunglasses that are decent for athletic endeavors because, well, I think I look cooler. However, now when it comes time to go for a real ride, you can't deny the performance of some top of the line V2 shades. I really enjoy the orange lenses for busting in and out of shade and sun, but the simple clear lense absolutely kills it later in the evening or a stormy day.

Swapping lenses is very straightforward and quick. They're light, good coverage (no eye watering) and I forget that I have them on...until my sweaty head starts dripping onto them. They can't help with that! The adjustable nose piece also helps dial the fit to your face.

(1)

 

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Andrew Whiteford

Andrew Whitefordwrote a review of on July 10, 2013

A great "go to" pack.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use this pack for almost every ride. Adequate space for first aid kit, a rain layer, extra food, cameras, tools, tubes, pads, etc. I find the small base side pocket with a forward facing zipper is ideal for my multi tool, because you can access it without taking the pack off. The outermost portion is handy for stowing knee pads or your full face if you're on a long climb. I appreciate the full sized bladder. There are two fleece lined pockets- the internal one is handy for my cell phone or GoPro, and I save the larger glasses pocket for the...well, glasses.

I've got a lot of other packs, but I choose this one 98% of the time. (For serious adventures, the Apex may be more appropriate. For my road rides, I go with my Amp.)

(2)

 

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