I took the SoloShot3 to the beach again today. I'm starting to get the hang of this GPS camera, as far as the initial setup and calibration go. Today was a low tide surf session, which puts me farther from the camera unit itself... but my armband did not lose communication, as I have in the past, and I ended up with OK footage. I just wish the waves were better.
The optimum conditions for the SoloShot are clear skies, higher tide, and an empty beach... and decent waves with accommodating winds! Hahaha, so that means pretty much never on the east coast. But I leave the tracking beacon attached to the camera while it does it's signal location and tracking. The unit will spin around on the tripod for a few minutes before figuring itself out. After it has finished its configuration, a green light blinks. You can see this green light blink from far away, that's how you know the camera is still pointed at you. There are some settings for frame size and position, this takes some tweaking, here's a quick start guide from their website.
I went with the cheaper model SoloShot camera, so if you splurge for the higher-end model, your image quality and range gets a lot better. You can check out my video edit and pictures below from a recent session at Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA. The footage is shot in HD 1080p, and it looks ok, even from a far distance. This footage was shot from more than the 600 feet recommended by the manufacturer... and I zoomed in on the footage using a video editing software, Final Cut Pro. If it were a higher tide, the waves move closer to the shore, and the footage does get better, as does the tracking. I'd say overall, this thing is worth the money. Don't expect amazing quality and framing, but it is your own private photographer.
The Surf Report - March 20th 2021 11:30am
The waves were bad in Hull... small, crumbly, and still pretty cold. It had actually been a minute since the east facing beaches received some swell, and the past few weeks at work have been super tough... so I needed to get wet, no matter the conditions. I almost paddled out into the choppy mess that was yesterday's conditions, but I opted to stay dry instead. For this morning, conditions were partly groomed due to a gentle offshore wind, but the size of the swell was fading fast. I wore a 5/4 Rip Curl Flashbomb with a built-in hood, 6mm boots, and 5mm gloves. The tide was almost at a dead low, not optimal for my street, but at least the sun was out!
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