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SOLOSHOT3 review - great, when it works

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Created by cantSUPenough > 9 months ago, 19 Jan 2018
cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
19 Jan 2018 5:16PM
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Quick summary: when it works it does a pretty good job. But thus far, it hasn't worked every time.

As some of you will know, the SOLOSHOT3 was delivered very late. I ordered mine in August 2015 and received it last October. It is still missing some features, but it can perform its basic functions right now.

I ordered the Optic65 so it could zoom-in while surfing. Unfortunately its range is 600m and where I normally surf I am 1km off-shore... But recently I have been surfing at a beach and it worked OK. But the Optic65 provides great depth-of-field - the islands that are way off in the distance look quite close.

I tried a bunch of land-based tests - set it up, went walking and running with the tag and it followed me 50% of the time. When it didn't I would either track but without me in frame, or it would just day dream and film random stuff.

The other day I took it to the beach, set it up, went for a quick surf, but it did not work - but I did get some good footage of other people ;)

And finally, I tried again and it seemed to be tracking me OK, so I stayed out a little longer, and it worked. And it did a good job - see below.

Unfortunately, you get to see how you really surf... I was on my Speeed for he first time in a long time (my brother in law wanted to try it), and the surf wasn't great, so with the excuses out of the way it did track me even when moving "quickly" across the wave.

One big downside is the tag that you put on your arm (that the camera tracks) has the tiniest display, so unless you have very good eyesight you cannot tell if it is tracking or recording you. You are supposed to press a small "+" button to start recording and press it again to stop. But I knew I would lose track of whether it was recording or not, so I recorded everything. (And their editing software hasn't been released so I used another program.) The sound is just what the camera heard - so turn your volume down...

The battery life is not great either. I took an external USB battery and used it to recharge the camera and tag.

Anyway, I hope to try it more over the next few days so I will add more comments later.

Nozza
VIC, 1967 posts
19 Jan 2018 5:23PM
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I'd be pretty happy with that!
If that's Phillip Island in the background, it looks to have moved....

CAPWP
64 posts
19 Jan 2018 4:34PM
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I had Solosho3 25X, same as you receive 1 moth ago. Same issues some times track pretty well and later just loses and film all the people around.

such is not so bad in some point the camera point in a group on girls ... jeje nice

Tardy
2732 posts
19 Jan 2018 4:45PM
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Film quality is pretty good ...thank you ..great conditions ....must of bin fun .
i don't think I will buy one I'm blind as a bat . +. ..?..
At least with Gopro you have the beep

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
19 Jan 2018 7:11PM
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Select to expand quote
Nozza said..
I'd be pretty happy with that!
If that's Phillip Island in the background, it looks to have moved....


That's actually the "Glennie Group" off the prom.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
19 Jan 2018 7:13PM
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Select to expand quote
Tardy said..
Film quality is pretty good ...thank you ..great conditions ....must of bin fun .
i don't think I will buy one I'm blind as a bat . +. ..?..
At least with Gopro you have the beep


It is also hard to see the screen on the soloshot camera too when you are out in the sun. And personally I don't think the software is very intuitive.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
19 Jan 2018 7:15PM
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Select to expand quote
CAPWP said..
I had Solosho3 25X, same as you receive 1 moth ago. Same issues some times track pretty well and later just loses and film all the people around.

such is not so bad in some point the camera point in a group on girls ... jeje nice


On the first attempt my soloshot did film a girl paddling past on her sup. I swear it tracked her. If my wife sees that I am in trouble.

JosephBetts
155 posts
20 Jan 2018 11:49AM
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That's really clear quality footage. Nearly had a 3d iMax movie feel to it it was that clear.

Slatz
NSW, 140 posts
22 Jan 2018 1:21PM
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Yessss, about time someone wrote an honest review. I have been wanting to buy one for years but wanted to see what they were like after all the issues of the first 2 gens.
Everything online is from people with a commercial interest so good to finally hear it from a consumer.
The quality in your video is very good, I would be happy with that, but only working 50% of the time would just bug me. I hear there will be some updates soon so hopefully that will sort some of the issues out.
Hope they get it sorted soon, I think its a great idea & I would use it alot.
If a drone can track with the touch of a screen, it does seem old school for all this wrist band and syncing stuff you still have to do.
I'll buy one for sure once it works 90% of the time

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
25 Jan 2018 11:16AM
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Well, I had planned to report better news. I tried five times in a row and it worked. You had to be careful and verify that it was working - walk zig zag to the water and watch if it was tracking you. But yesterday they announced new software. I stupidly downloaded it. Today I tried it, it appeared to be tracking me, but alas, it decided to record other, more interesting things. That means you won't get to see the video of my tubes in 10' waves.

Tardy
2732 posts
25 Jan 2018 10:57AM
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After this review I went out and brought one .but for my 12 foot barrels ....
Take it back

quikdrawMcgraw
739 posts
25 Jan 2018 2:09PM
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Ive never heard of such a thing pretty cool but is the price I googled correct 1000+?...do you just leave it on the dunes?...does gopro have something similar?

CAPWP
64 posts
25 Jan 2018 7:57PM
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The key point on soloshot3 is the ability's of the camera not only tracking you, if they supposed to zoom you and take a first plane while film you.

but also depend where you located the soloshot3 vs your locations, I believe the weak part is the tag, I think does not have a good antenna for the GPS signal and is really easy to loose and then the system get lose you position.

what I note every time you fall or dive into the water the TAG lose the signal. Or in some point the TAG just lose the signal and that is.

Also is you see the website they are working on the indoor TAG or systems

The soloshot3 they are really close to find the perfect setting but is look and the end they need to redesigned his TAG with a robust antenna to minimize the lost signal.

For now as mentioning once is work delivery a good film of you, for you can obtain the same result you gonna need a camera man just focus all time in you and take await all the distraction in order you can obtain the same results.

Also is gonna depend the frequency of the waves on your surf spot, is the frequency of the waves big you will a better chance to obtain good results.

/ec4dd80928

This was the result of 2 hrs as usual the best waves is not on the VID and the best part the soloshot looks interesting in other people.

but they are really close to delivery good results

CAPWP
64 posts
25 Jan 2018 11:43PM
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Now you have both SOLOSHOT3 the one the CanSUpenough is 65X camera,

and the my is the 25X camera

As you can see the 65X much better resolution and the zoom is great

and the end regrets to not buy the 65X.

bottom line if you planing to buy choice 65X much better zoom and better quality 4K@30fps vs 1080@60fps

thats is, now you have two good Compared videos with regular people and not marketing videos

regards

Supmaori
607 posts
26 Jan 2018 2:41AM
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Good stuff buddy

Supmaori
607 posts
26 Jan 2018 2:41AM
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Good stuff buddy

FRP
205 posts
26 Jan 2018 5:06AM
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Hi

only two sessions with the soloshot and 65 zoom. First was a bit disappointing and seemed to track but just out of or just in the frame. Contacted support and they very quickly responded with the following suggestions:

"Please make sure that during initial calibration and for the first few minutes of tracking, the Tag is at least 25 ft away from the Base (this was recently implemented since it improves the rate of tracking success). Also note that moving horizontally side-to-side in front of the SOLOSHOT3 helps the unit get a better lock initially than moving to and from the camera.

You can view step by step instructions below.

1. Power on the Tag

2. Power on the Base

3. Check Tag and make sure there is no line through the GPS icon

4. Place Tag at least 25-30 ft away from the Base

5. From the home screen on the Base, select Track

6. Click the blue track button and begin tracking (select activity if prompted)

7. Begin Calibration

8. Head back to the Tag immediately and walk a few steps left to right from camera (not to and from)

9. After calibration the Base should be pointing at you, tracking, and recording. You would also see a green blinking LED light.

10. Remain at least 25 ft away from the Base for several more minutes. Minimum distance will eventually decrease to around 10 ft.

11. Use medium field of view as tight increases the chance of error."

"Please note that night filming might affect tracking. We did introduce some features that aid with night filming with a recent update. These settings work best in 1080p30, so I would definitely recommend that setting during low light."

the second trial yesterday was much better following these recommendations.

These are actually couple of clips from that session.

Bob



cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
27 Jan 2018 6:03AM
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Select to expand quote
quikdrawMcgraw said..
Ive never heard of such a thing pretty cool but is the price I googled correct 1000+?...do you just leave it on the dunes?...does gopro have something similar?


Yes, you just leave it in the dunes or beach. I have rigged up a way to keep mine locked and pegged to the ground. Someone could still steal it, but it will take them much longer - they can't just grab it and run. If anyone wants to know how, I will post the details. To my knowledge GoPro don't have a product like this. There is another product on the market like it, but from memory the GPS thing on your arm is much bigger.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
27 Jan 2018 6:10AM
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Select to expand quote
FRP said..
Hi

only two sessions with the soloshot and 65 zoom. First was a bit disappointing and seemed to track but just out of or just in the frame. Contacted support and they very quickly responded with the following suggestions:

"Please make sure that during initial calibration and for the first few minutes of tracking, the Tag is at least 25 ft away from the Base (this was recently implemented since it improves the rate of tracking success). Also note that moving horizontally side-to-side in front of the SOLOSHOT3 helps the unit get a better lock initially than moving to and from the camera.

You can view step by step instructions below.

1. Power on the Tag

2. Power on the Base

3. Check Tag and make sure there is no line through the GPS icon

4. Place Tag at least 25-30 ft away from the Base

5. From the home screen on the Base, select Track

6. Click the blue track button and begin tracking (select activity if prompted)

7. Begin Calibration

8. Head back to the Tag immediately and walk a few steps left to right from camera (not to and from)

9. After calibration the Base should be pointing at you, tracking, and recording. You would also see a green blinking LED light.

10. Remain at least 25 ft away from the Base for several more minutes. Minimum distance will eventually decrease to around 10 ft.

11. Use medium field of view as tight increases the chance of error."

"Please note that night filming might affect tracking. We did introduce some features that aid with night filming with a recent update. These settings work best in 1080p30, so I would definitely recommend that setting during low light."

the second trial yesterday was much better following these recommendations.

These are actually couple of clips from that session.

Bob





It is interesting that it took yours a while to zoom in the first time. But you are right about the sequence - if I turn on the tag first and make sure it is happy, and then turn on the SS3 the system works more reliably. I have found that you then need to get that 25 feet + away and either wait for it to properly track you, or even walk to where it is filming and then move and it follows.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
27 Jan 2018 6:18AM
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They have now fixed the software - there is a new download. I had it working, download a new version, it totally mucked it up (and missed a great session...) but they have fixed the bug.

Here is another video - the waves weren't great (but then, neither am I...). I am a long way away from the camera. The rocks and island you see in the background are a long way away - the depth of field is quite amazing.

But you really have to want the video... It is actually very good, and I would defy anyone but a dedicated videographer to get a better focused, framed, steady video. But you have to allow 5-10 minutes to get it set up and secure, meanwhile you are hanging to get into the surf...

I do have the Optic 65.

FRP
205 posts
27 Jan 2018 5:32AM
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Thanks Can'tSupenough

Man, you are making those waves look great! The quality of the video impressive. (I envy your surfing in shorts. I was in my winter suit today and I was still a bit cool. ) What settings were you using?
I am interested in how you are securing it to the ground.

Cheers

bob

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
27 Jan 2018 8:42AM
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FRP said..
Thanks Can'tSupenough

Man, you are making those waves look great! The quality of the video impressive. (I envy your surfing in shorts. I was in my winter suit today and I was still a bit cool. ) What settings were you using?
I am interested in how you are securing it to the ground.

Cheers

bob


Thanks Bob! Unfortunately I only captured vid when the waves were a bit smaller and lacked oompf. Had some great sessions on this trip - which is now over...

I used the "tight" settings to get the closest zoom. When it works I have found it tracks well. Sometimes it will keep panning at the end of a wave if I dive under the water - the tag can't tell the base where I am. But after I resurface it tracks back to me.

I purchased a "tie down mate" which you screw into the sand. You then hide the bar that is used to provide the leverage to screw it in/out. I then use a wire rope cable from that to the K-lock you can buy with the SS3 (the K-lock binds the Optic 65 to the base and provides something to attach to). You can screw in the "tie down mate" while you wait for it to on or calibrate, but only attach it after it has calibrated because it spins around 360 degrees. (In soft sand I scrape a bit of a hole and then dig in the "tie down mate" and bury it afterwards.)

www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Tie-Down-Mate&i=314759







FRP
205 posts
27 Jan 2018 9:31AM
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Thanks CSE

That looks perfect. All the beaches that I surf are sand except one. In general the beaches here a safe for leaving gear unattended. That said I had my paddle stuck in the sand as a marker and I was prone surfing. Early in the morning alone. I watched a guy walk over to my paddle and pull it out of the sand and start walking away. I came in and ran after him. He said he thought it had washed up..........ya and stuck straight up in the sand!!!

cheers

Bob

colas
2911 posts
27 Jan 2018 4:11PM
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Select to expand quote
cantSUPenough said..
But you have to allow 5-10 minutes to get it set up and secure, meanwhile you are hanging to get into the surf...



If it is the same thing as the Soloshot v1 I have, the armband emitter takes 5-10mn to get a GPS lock if it hasn't been used for some days. What I did was just turning it on as soon as I got to the beach (or even 5mn before), so that it had time to refresh its GPS satellite data while I was getting ready.

blueplanetsurf
172 posts
29 Jan 2018 7:28AM
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I got a Soloshot3 recently and after some frustration got it working well on the third attempt and was happy with the results. I still need to figure out a way to keep it from shaking in the wind though.

Piros
QLD, 5317 posts
29 Jan 2018 1:23PM
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Cool video Robert like the camera rig at the end. Re the Solo shot camera:- They took so long to deliver this camera by the time you got it, it's out of date. So the low quality camera is your first problem , 4K 30 fps yeah OK but so do cheap $50 gopro knock offs have that , what about sensor size , what format , stabilization , wifi , low light, ect , ect.

Anything that zooms 65X needs to be on a solid tripod , especially if it's windy BUT this will not eliminate any play on the Solo shot pan head. Inbuilt stabilization would have really helped this. We played around with one wake boarding and left it on the shoreline it tracked ok but this seems to be a big problem with many owners so still plenty of software issues to sort out. I personally think Solo shot has shot it's self in the foot like Gopro did with Karma. They should have focused on specific 3rd party handy cams to use on their rigs and not build their own .IMHO

FRP
205 posts
29 Jan 2018 11:31AM
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Thanks Robert

much appreciated. Good footage. Thanks for leaving the windy bits in. Did adding weight to the little hook on the centre of the tripod help with stability? If so how much weight are you applying? Any other ways of mitigating wind shaking?

cheers

bob

Casso
NSW, 3508 posts
29 Jan 2018 5:00PM
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Here is what I have done to mitigate the wind shaking of the panning head:


Upside down bucket with the lid bolted to a heavy duty angle bracket (along with the camera via the tripod fitting). The bracket gets clamped to a fence post at the beach and is rock solid - no need for a tripod. Pop the bucket on AFTER calibration and it'll keep the wind off the camera. The bucket and lid will shake in the wind but that will wobble independently of the bracket holding the camera.

Good results so far except for the time when a cross shore wind was catching the max zoomed out lens which stuck out beyond the bucket hole.

Before bucket:



After bucket:

Piros
QLD, 5317 posts
29 Jan 2018 6:14PM
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That's pretty clever Casso and good result . Reinforces what I said above about play in the pan head , even eliminating the tripod you still can't stop the shake , that's a big nail in the coffin from me.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
29 Jan 2018 6:57PM
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Select to expand quote
Casso said..
Here is what I have done to mitigate the wind shaking of the panning head:


Upside down bucket with the lid bolted to a heavy duty angle bracket (along with the camera via the tripod fitting). The bracket gets clamped to a fence post at the beach and is rock solid - no need for a tripod. Pop the bucket on AFTER calibration and it'll keep the wind off the camera. The bucket and lid will shake in the wind but that will wobble independently of the bracket holding the camera.

Good results so far except for the time when a cross shore wind was catching the max zoomed out lens which stuck out beyond the bucket hole.

Before bucket:


After bucket:


You surf pretty well with and without a bucket

blueplanetsurf
172 posts
30 Jan 2018 1:36PM
Thumbs Up

Thank you Casso, I had the same thought, mount the camera directly to the railing and then make a wind cover, the bucket is a great idea.



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"SOLOSHOT3 review - great, when it works" started by cantSUPenough