Review of a GoPro from an amateur
Review of a GoPro from an amateur

Review of a GoPro from an amateur

Is it for you?

Garden of the Gods

Technology and I have always had a love-hate relationship. I love the advances in technology that make life easier. However, I wouldn’t say I like the painfull process of learning how to use it. Maybe it’s because I was born in the 60s and many things were still “do-it-yourself”.  Whatever the reason I struggle, I have to say I initially struggled a lot with the GoPro.

The gift

GoPro and multiple accessories

So as a gift, my husband got me a new GoPro9. However, he didn’t stop there; he got me a whole case of attachments. At first, I was surprised and a little shocked. My understanding of a GoPro; is it is the best action camera developed by a surfer who wanted to capture “moments in action.”  That will explain the multiple mounting equipment and accessories that GoPro offers. 

However, we do hike and kayak in some beautiful scenic places. Up until now, I have been using my cell phone to take pictures. The GoPro is a small compact camera, waterproof, and pretty hard to break. Given our sporting choices, this camera could be ideal.  

I did a little research on the GoPro:


GoPros are the new cool toy. According to GoPro, these little cameras offer the ultimate high-quality views, are waterproof, and are built to capture action on the go. “Supposedly” they are so easy to use, a child could figure it out.


There are some disadvantages to the GoPro. No matter what they say; There is a learning curve to use the camera the first time. It does take some assembly, and there is no manual with instructions, so it takes some time to figure out how to use it.

Time to play with my new toy

We decided to go for a hike and try out my new toy. We have a whole separate case of fascinating mounting devices to choose. There are mounts for bikes, aerial mounts for drones, mounts that will float if you drop the camera in the water; This will come in handy when we go kayaking next time. We decided to go with a basic clip to attach to my backpack. I attached the GoPro to my backpack, and after some time trying to make sure it was on and recording, we began our hike.

Our hike was not exceptionally rugged on the day we decided to use the camera. We choose a well-used path along fascinating views of the red rocks at Garden of the Gods. The GoPro does allow for hands-free recording, but you have no control over shutter speed and aperture. There are also many settings that you can apparently adjust on your smartphone. I guess adjusting on the fly is not an option.

Time to view results

After a few days, I have some time to look at the video. Immediately I realized I had no idea how to get it onto my computer. No manual comes with this camera, so it is a guessing game.
The first test was to figure out how to open the door on the camera to access the SD card which holds the video.

The only instructions that comes with camera is a little card with images.

The little card that comes with the GoPro offers little pictures for instructions. The visual instructions suggests you push down to the right (see instruction #2). It appears that you push out and down at the same time to open the door. In fact, after watching videos on Utube and multiple tries, I figured out you have to hook your nail on the door, push down and pull out. In fact, opening the camera took two hands. I would think there would be an easier way to make the door more accessible, but you have to consider it has to seal properly to keep the water out. So….

Another set back

Once again, the camera does not come with written instructions, so I had to guess the steps to get the video onto my computer. My husband had bought me a dongle that you slide the SD card into and into your computer. I was so frustrated with my lack of intuitive knowledge of this camera that I missed the instruction on installing the video onto my computer (see #3 on the card). Since that first attempt at downloading, I have seen on the card that there is a cable you can plug into the camera right to your computer.


There are no more instructions beyond the four visual instructions on the card. The instructions do not give you information on accessing the video and transferring them to a computer. At this point, I am beyond frustrated and now getting cranky with all the unknowns with the camera. Unfortunately, there is another step that I didn’t know about; you have to download an app.

The app Quik GoPro is not what I would call intuitive. I had to watch more Utube videos to understand how the app works and how to extract photos.


I know my review sounds like I am unhappy with this gift. The fact is, I am only unhappy with the lack of instructions. Some people would be okay with that, and you might be too.

It is a great camera that can grab some high-quality photos while you are on the go. While hiking if I drop the camera on the ground, it is indestructible. The same can be said about kayaking; I can drop it in the water, and it won’t ruin the camera.

The GoPro is “capable of shooting incredible footage in almost any condition.”

Once I get a better grasp on the ins and outs of the GoPro, I will find that high-quality shots are worth all this “learning curve” time.

Here are a few of my first pictures that I pulled from my video reel.  Despite a lot of editing I need to learn, I will continue to share.

Hiking at Garden of the Gods, CO.
Red rocks
Trail is a combination of paved and rough

I’ve written an article on kayaking and its advantages – check it out “Over 50 – Try Kayaking“.
Looking for a new hobby and remove those quarantine cobwebs? Check out my article “Hiking For Mind & Body.”

Does anyone else struggle with technology? Feel free to share your pain with me. HA


  1. What?? No manual?? Yikes! I’ve been wanting to get one of these since my solo travels but was afraid I wouldn’t be able to operate it correctly or take full advantage of its capabilities. Sounds like I was right. Beautiful shots, though! Thanks for sharing. 😊

  2. Pingback: Cell Phones Can Make Life Better - Over 50 Healthy Living

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