The drive down to Wollongong in a convertible BMW, absorbing the warm wind and stunning scenery, was one of those moments for me. There’s something exhilarating about weaving through the Aussie bush, covered by blue skies. We had the road to ourselves, so the music was blasting and our energy was high.
Luckily, I did capture it.
What was even more stunning is when that bush faded and the whole coast revealed itself. The blue of the sky melded into the sea as we kept driving down one of Australia’s most iconic roads.
Luckily, I got that too.
In a way that is rare for me, the footage I got actually does some justice to the experience. It captures the breadth of it. That we were surrounded by the sea, bush and sky, driving at speed. Obviously, there’s nothing like being there in person: the presence of the wind and sun cannot be replicated in any video. But if I’d tried to record it on my phone, or any typical camera, all that would be evident from the narrow and bouncing images was just how hard a BMW’s suspension is.
Luckily, I didn’t: I was using a GoPro MAX.
This meant all I had to do was hold a stick. Seriously. I have no training, knowledge or even remote aptitude for anything related to camerawork. I just held a stick attached to the camera. The editing that followed was also incredibly easy. The above two videos took five minutes each, from beginning to end, and they were my first times doing it. You can see what the process looks like here:
The camera itself is also a remarkable piece of technology: waterproof, 360° dual lens, shotgun-mic, incredible stabilisation and a touch screen. You can read more about it here, or you can see more of it here.
While I said it’s easy to use, there’s still an immense amount of depth involved in taking full advantage of its capabilities. Some of the shots you can find online seem like they must be CGI, involve a drone, or just procured by magic. That’s how GoPro started. Its roots are using a robust camera to capture unbelievable footage from perspectives so intimate that yours palms sweat watching. The MAX is still very capable in that department.
My own adventure with the camera involved Go Karting, which is a little more accessible than, say, jumping off a mountain with no parachute. Still, it was pretty amazing to see just how stable the camera was, even as my head bounced up and down and swivelled left and right due to my questionable driving. You can see for yourself.
It’s a pretty can-do-anything camera. It’s amazing for vlogging, with the brand constantly receiving endorsements from the king of vlogs, Casey Neistat. For me, though, I’ll be using it to capture bushwalks, scenic drives, family gatherings and I’ll be sure to bring it with me in the rare occasions I feel adventurous enough to go skiing, skydiving or bungee jumping.
For $799.95, it’s an investment, but for me it’s also the only camera I’ll really need.