GoPro's Protune Hero 3+ Down-Grade: C+ at Best

Apparently, GoPro changed the Protune tonal curves the HD Hero 3+ uses when white balance is switched off from what they previously used for the HD Hero 3. It seems as if they now use separate tonal curves for the red, green, and blue channel, while for the HD Hero 3 the channels all used the same tonal curve. The unpleasant outcome of this is that raw HD Hero 3+ footage gets a massive tint. To this time, no satisfying set of effects and their parameters is know to deal with such footage in Kdenlive or other open video editing and grading tools. All experiments so far were unsatisfactory.

Albeit this tint problem is only seen when white balance is switched off, this is exactly the mode you want to shot in your underwater footage. Thus, GoPro without any real need mucked around with Protune, making it useless. GoPro's Studio software is nothing more than a bad joke: since when is grading done on raw footage before the footage has been cut and arranged? Whatever GoPro is, it needs to go pro as soon as possible, as breaking Protune is ridiculous.

Over here were I live, we have grades that go from «1» (best, «A» in some other countries) down to «6» (worst, «F» grade). It may be a sign that the HD Hero 3+ thus translates to a C+ grade. At best.

Unfortunately, GoPro still don't gives any useful information about how to deal with Protune. They simply point you to their pointless Windows and OS-X software. Seeing this openly customer-hostile I'm not the only one getting HD Hero 3 Black Edition cams while their prices dives, as the 3+ seems to rot in shop shelves.

Kdenlive, Kubuntu, and the Contour ShuttlePRO v2 Jog Dial

Cuts the video, as well as the mustard:
ShuttlePRO v2 by Contour Inc.
While today computer mice are almost ubiquitous input devices at least for the larger personal computers, it is sometimes much better to (additionally) go for a special-purpose input device. Such specialized devices are much more convenient when working, for instance, with video and audio. (Re)Winding forth and back through the footage is easy, while mice are not exactly the best tool, erm, at hand.


Dry Heroes

Proven in practice at 4°C water temperature.
In the past months, for me GoPro's anti fogging strips performed totally miserable. Today, I could put my new method for defogging to a real-world test under water...


Hero Power Bar

Not exactly on everyone's agenda, yet hero power users may probably face the same problem: how do I power all this video equipment for recharging? While on a tour, wall power outlets are typically a rare sight. And then you can spot only loners. Of course, one can buy power strips almost everywhere, so where's the problem?


Mass Heroes Charger

When travelling with a bunch of GoPro HD Hero cameras, then getting all the batteries charged for the next day of happy shooting becomes of concern. Of course, charing one battery per HD Hero camera is easy ... but throughout the day these little suckers basically eat batteries.

While I'm on site, recharging batteries is often not possible. So evenings get packed with constantly petting the charging station; something I don't like. Luckily, GoPro finally managed to deliver its (long promised) new and smart add-on...


Heroes of Thin Air: Castle Wolfstein 3D

I have to confess: I could not resist when titling this new blog post. Anyhow, this is about a real Castle Wolfstein, a ruined one, to be precise. Because I shot this landmark portrait from my Phantom quadcopter, I'm ... well ... entitled to also tackle on a shiny «3D»!

Castle Wolfstein, Upper Palatinate (view on YouTube)

My first attempt to film on site wasn't exactly any success. Light was bad, the sky was overcast when I returned on site. Colors were simply dull, contrast was awful. So I deleted all footage and I never did since regret. But then there simply was this afternoon, with its beautiful autumn Sun light ... so I grabbed my equipment and off I went to Castle Wolfstein. This time, everything was (nearly) perfect. Beautiful light, only few clouds on a bright sky, almost no wind at least in the heights I wanted to fly. And then these fantastic colors of Nature: red, yellow, and green ... like a lovely poem.

Fine conditions for flying and shooting. And on top I had this incredibly unlikely fortune to get a motor paraglider on, erm, tape. So enjoy watching my newest video!


Full Face Snorkling Mask...?

We were afraid it might happen one day: here we have it ... a full face mask for snorkling, named «EASYBREATH». Believe it or not. The mask has been announced by Tribord, which is a brand of the well-known French company DECATHLON SA which produces and sells sports goods.

Tribord claims, this full face snorkling mask is for those people who don't like to breathe through the mouth and dislike the usual and well-proven biting mouthpieces as being unhygienic.

Well, I can perfectly understand that people don't like biting mouthpieces. However, why do such people really want to even swim in a sea, full of piss and oil, to start with? And breathing unfiltered surface air, full of dirt and fine dust?

Let's hope that Decathlon packs a full-body condom into the box.

What really irritates me: how do such people react when they get a good  charge of sea water into their full face mask, so they need to purge it? I yet want to see a snorkel with a working automatic plug. Not without reason, SCUBA divers don't use such «snorkels». Yet, Decathlon uses such a design? Seems as if attorneys will surely have their field day soon after this mask goes to sale.

Food for Heroes: SanDisk Extreme Plus 32GB in the Red

First Ultra, then Extreme ...
and now for the, well,
ultimate climax:
The Extreme Plus. Woo-hoo!
It caught us in total surprise. Yet another product name rehashing the «plus» meme in its name. This time, SanDisk marketing had this great idea in order to create another microSD card wonder.

So, SanDisk's product management managed to pimp up its product names from Ultra to Extreme, and now even to Extreme Plus. How im-press-ive. It seems that the Extreme Plus series is going to replace the previoius Extreme series of microSD memory carads. However, I don't really see any real differences, at least not in terms of packaging and the labelling on the microSD card itself...