GoPro Goes News–The first story–Part 3

Published On April 30, 2015 | By Mike Carroll | GoPro, KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories, Shooting News

This all got started when back in January my incredible sister Margo Carroll sent me a text with a picture of a Bolex H16 16mm movie camera that was at an auction she was attending. She remembered way, way back to the 1970s when I co-owned one with my high school photography best friend Mike Newmann. She wondered if I’d like for her to put in a bid for me.

I told her, “Thanks. But I’ve already got a 35mm movie camera that I can’t afford to make a movie with — I don’t need a 16mm movie camera that I can’t afford to make a movie with.”

Then I added that whatever money I would spend on a camera would be on the new GoPro Hero 4 Black so I could start experimenting with 4K filmmaking.

Margo then responded that she had a GoPro Hero 3+ that wasn’t being used and that I was welcome to use it.

Mike with Margo's GoPro

When I was younger and Margo was getting excited by photography I loaned her my Nikon F and a few lenses. Years later she sent it back to me — shutter shot, lenses worn out. But I was so glad that she had given it so much use.

A few days later the GoPro 3+ arrived. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. And I’m terrible at reading instruction manuals!

Lucky for me, several of my co-workers — both shooters, editors and reporters — have their own GoPros and they gave me some pointers.

I also quickly turned to ebay to start inexpensively adding some fundamental gear — a mic, a housing rig, an extendable selfie stick for getting the camera down low on the ground and high over my head.


Very early on I was working on a Saturday news story with KCRA-3 reporter Kevin Oliver about how Sacramento State University’s basketball was having a great season and there was concern that if they made it into the playoffs just where they could play, because their court at Sac State was so small.

I’ve been shooting basketball from my first few weeks in the business back in 1983 and it’s almost always following the ball with the zoom lens.

But this story wasn’t about the players or the game, it was about the building. A zoom lens would have been exactly the wrong tool for the job. So I pulled out my/my sister’s GoPro. I took advantage of the selfie stick for getting up over the action. And I loved using the ultra-wide setting on the camera. It looked nothing like a regular news story!!

OLIVER 6P SAC STATE TOURNEY CONCERNS 1And — the GoPro made the story visually fun.

And — since it’s such a small camera — literally smaller than an iPhone — nobody took it seriously.

And — it was fun!!!!

Notice: GoPro filming a GoPro. The girl in the lower right is recording with her GoPro.

Notice: GoPro filming a GoPro. The girl in the lower right is recording with her GoPro.

So this is the first news story where I seriously applied the GoPro as a news gathering tool.

I also learned, on returning to the station, that the producers went crazy with the look of the piece. They wondered what lens I was using. I held up my little GoPro and they just went, “Cool!”

That was my first entry into using the little camera in a big way.




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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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