New Harness Enables Fun Dog Videos
Go everywhere GoPro cameras have captured surfers and snowboarders, and now they are going to the dogs with a new canine harness.
Ernie Slone |
Posted: September 26, 2014, 2 p.m. PST
When I got the new Fetch harness from GoPro to try using their ultraportable camera with my dogs I expected to get some cool videos and photos from a pup’s perspective.
What I didn’t expect was for this rig to make my dogs immediately super cool with everybody we encountered, whether they were age 8 or 88. Boy did we stop traffic. Everybody had to ask what it was, how it worked, and even the surfer and skateboard dudes immediately flipped out.
The black, durable and lightweight harness attaches easily with just three straps, then you just slide a GoPro camera (not included) into either a top mount bracket, or you can hang the camera from a front mount at the chest.
Because my two terriers are low to the ground, the top mount worked best, but I plan to try the front mount with the Greyhound rescue dogs I work with at a shelter.
When my older terrier, Gordon, hit the beach people immediately wanted to know: "Don’t his ears get in the way?’’ Well, yes, although you can adjust the camera angle. But actually, having the ears in the lower part of the frame really gives you the context – hey, this is actually on the back of a dog!
Once you have your dog in the harness and the camera mounted, you can either push a camera button to start filming, or with the Hero 3+ I used for our review, there is a handy remote that you just click to start or stop video, take a picture or switch between photo modes. You can even download a free app that lets you see what the camera is filming right from your smart phone or smart tablet.
I had seen GoPro videos before, but being a photo snob I was not all that impressed with the quality and resolution of the results. But boy, this little Hero 3+ camera can really take some great shots, up to 4K, beyond ordinary high definition. And you can shoot bursts of photos or even time-lapse photos. Very nifty.
The standard GoPro clear protective enclosure comes with a back that either has holes, allowing the audio to be heard easier, or you can make it water resistant by adding a solid plastic back that just snaps in and out.
I was a bit worried about taking video at the beach, with all the noise of waves crashing and dogs barking, but in fact the audio came through much better than expected. And as you will see from the video, everyone stopped and remarked, and some immediately said they had to try one with their dog.
While the video was high quality, the walking motion of my little dogs made me almost a bit seasick when I reviewed it. It definitely works better when my little dogs were standing still. With a larger dog, the gait might be smoother, giving you better results.
I tried using the rig down at the beach, in a park, and just on my ordinary walking trails and it was lots of fun, and not too heavy or bulky for my 15-pound terriers. The harness is very adjustable, and should fit medium to larger dogs, although you might be challenged if you have a massive Newfoundland or such.
If I ran my dog in agility or was active in dog sports, I definitely think this would be a fun product to have, and I plan to take it along when I go on hikes to unfamiliar, adventurous places.
The harness retails for $59.95. You can find out more at www.gopro.com
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