I have an equipment to take a good pictures, however I had no a tool, which could allow me to taking underwater shots. I was trying to do this with the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone with using some waterproof bag. Unfortunately it was not working good, because the water leaked inside and due to this I almost killed my smartphone. Because it was during my honeymoon on the other end of the world, I was very keen on the reef. I was going to snap a good pictures on the underwater world in Bohol and Bali. When the waterproof bag worked better then my smartphone was zooming in automatically. In the result my images were looking cropped due to digital zoom function only. Finally I took some scant footages, that I am not happy with.

Finally after return from our honeymoon journey I decided to buy a better equipment for underwater purposes once next trip happened. The time came on early June this year, when we were preparing for our baby moon in Croatia. Despite of the lack of reef I decided to make some explorations on site and I bought a new equipment for this purpose.

This is the most simple GoPro camera, that perfectly represents the entry level. I was really happy, when I saw this camera in action for the first time. Next I was happy to see the footage on my laptop screen, also very nice. Let’s take a look for the short review of this GoPro camera then.

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Pic. 1 A top view on the GoXtreme Pioneer GoPro camera.

CONSTRUCTION & ACCESSORIES

In my opinion the most important element of this GoPro camera is the removable waterproof housing, that enables your camera to go as deep as 30 m underwater. Another important feature is the camera buoyancy. When you accidentally drop this GoPro somewhere underwater it head towards the water surface being easier to find between the smooth vawes.

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Pic. 2 GoXtreme Pioneer GoPro camera enclosed in waterproof housing.

The GoPro Xtreme Pioneer also includes a wide accessories. The accessories included allows you to use your camera on your bike, helmets, etc. This is a great selection of essential mounts for any kind of action (Pic. 3 – 8).

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Pic. 3 – 8 The GoXtreme Pioneer GoPro camera accessories.

The compact action cam has a 2” screen. Personally for me is very small and watching some videos & photos through this screen is very uncomfortable and doesn’t reflect the real quality at all. This is only my personal feeling anyway but I realize, that the 2” screen is a big atitude for sure.

VIEW

The GoPro Xtreme Pioneer covers from 45 deg to 170 deg ultra wide angle. Thanks to this the GoPro can be designated to create a panoramic or even 360 deg views. The movies and videos are captured with 140 deg wide angle. The live view shows the usual fish-eye distortion (Pic. 9), that is common with action cameras, however due to a 140 deg field of view the distortion is not overbearing. In general the 140 deg field of view is smaller than many action cameras, which are usually around 160-170 deg.

MOVIES

The GoPro Xtreme Pioneer is capable to make a movies with 1080p at 30fps per sec. and 4K at 10fps per sex. The video quality is good, however the small sensor makes a little soft footages in low light conditions.  In normal light conditions the footage quality is equal as in much more expensive cameras. Problem lies with lack of HDR option, that combined with a small sensor makes the white sky effect domineering. It happens when the light level differs across the simple frame, then in effect the action cam loses the contrast.

I used this action cam mainly for underwater purposes and I can admit, that the footages were perfect. All issues described in the ground conditions doesn’t apply the underwater, where the contrast as well as tone and colours are absolutely perfect. I could have snorkeling  many hours and enjoy recording the seabed and reef with GoXtreme Pioneer, that definitely met my expectations in water environment (footage below).

PHOTOS

The GoXtreme Pioneer is capable to take a pictures up to 12MP. Unfortunately the small sensor doesn’t offer a good pictures at all. The action cam takes a decent pictures up to 5MP only. For higher resolutions the images are taken by interpolation.

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Pic. 9 – 10 The GoXtreme Pioneer GoPro camera 12MP photo example: 9 – normal with fish-eye feature, 10 – cropped. Unfortunately merging the pixels doesn’t make the photo good. Cambridge, Corrie Road, United Kingdom.

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Pic. 11 – 12 The GoXtreme Pioneer GoPro camera 5MP photo example: 11 – normal, 12 – cropped. Picture looks slightly better and sharper, even when cropped. This is the most optimal setting for taking pictures by GoXtreme Pioneer. Baska Voda, Croatia.

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Pic. 13, 14 – The GoXtreme Pioneer GoPro camera 5MP underwater photo example: 13 – normal, 14 – cropped. Baska Voda, Croatia.

SUMMARY

I think, that GoXtreme Pioneer offers more or less everything that most action camera users could want.  This action cam is ideal to capture a holiday in the snow or sun, although personally for me the best is in water environment. Due to extremely low price this GoPro camera is seriously worth some attention. If you are into true extreme sports, then this camera is not for you I am afraid likewise if you are into the timelapse photography. Having another equipment designated for photography purposes this action cam can be a perfect complement to your photography within some action and underwater like in my case.

Mariusz Krukar

 

Links:

  1. Camerajabber.com: GoXtreme Pioneer – review
  2. http://www.argos.co.uk/product/7545489
  3. GoXtreme Pioneer presentation
  4. GoXtreme Pioneer action camera review

Youtube:

Read also:

  1. The Video facilities in Samsung Galaxy S5

 

 

 

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