RB Umali and the GoPro HD Hero

RB Umali has been behind the lens filming skateboarding for the better part of two decades. It’s a rare privilege to earn a living doing something you love, and RB makes it look easy. Lucky for you he’s agreed to share his knowledge through a monthly video blog here on ABD covering gear, gadgets and other gems that only come with years of experience. This month, he takes a look at one of his new favorite pieces of equipment, the GoPro HD Hero camera.

RB Umali filming Dave Willis, Photo: Sean Cronan


  1. doug diaz
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    it’s good to see dope skaters turn dope videographers. kids are lucky to have an inside look into the profession. rb umali is one of the best! maybe you guys could throw in some greg hunt, as well.

  2. Posted January 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Given the Carnie/Gary the cat connection, any chance to get some ‘behind the lens’ stuff from Dimitry? Or Kosick?

  3. Posted January 6, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words.. i might be able to get Dimitry in on a gadget review if I can get him away from the Bowery Bar! Really hyped on all the positive feedback for ABD. And really excited to submit my next video gadget review. I just wish it would get a little warmer in the Northeast so I can shoot some more skating.

    Check out this latest update from the CES show on the LCD Bakpac and 3D rig for the GoPro HD Hero! – http://gizmodo.com/5726148/gopro-sports-cameras-go-3d

    And to anybody who might be reading this at GoPro if you would like to send me samples of your product I would be more than happy to test it out on the field for you!

  4. Posted January 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Stoked on this. I picked one up last month. It’s great. You can always take it out with you and it won’t be a burden if you don’t film anything. I’ve dropped this thing at speed, and it has been hit by boards sent flying out of my hand a number of time but it still works/shoots like new. The only downside is poor low light performance and jenky buttons because of the shell.

  5. Dustin
    Posted January 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    How did you get the spinning timeless done? looks great!

  6. Posted January 9, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Thanks! The spinning timelapse was done with a $4 egg timer rigged with a 3/8″ tripod screw on top.


  7. Posted January 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I got one too. So far I am mixed. Did you film any skating with it as a replacement to a regular video camera? I’m dying to try but due to all this snow I gotta wait. And due to the low light issues it sucks indoors.

  8. Posted January 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I would never consider the GoPro as a replacement to a “regular” video camera as it has no manual shutter/exposure controls or viewfinder/lcd screen. It does produce great images in the sunshine tho.

  9. wardo
    Posted February 5, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    The more I see of these cameras, the more I like. I broke my usual cam at the skatepark, and the recession won’t let me replace it. Even with the LCD attachment, the price is still about half what i spent initially to keep the quality of my footage the same.

    With a guy like RB saying its no joke, I’m hooked. Thanks, ABD.

  10. corey
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    What handle are you using in the first photo?

  11. Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The handle in the first photo is made the RedRock MicroHandle.


  12. corey mckenna
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    R.B- thanks for the link to the rr micro. what else do you have rigged to it?
    thanks again.

  13. Mark I.
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink


    Do you have a suggestion for something just a step up from the Go Pro for HD filming? What do you think is a moderate setup for price range of 400-600 dollars?

    I have seen a few HD cams by Sony combined with an Opteka lens that seem decent. Also, I would be uploading footage to a Mac (not sure if that makes a difference)…

    Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    Mark I.

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