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The Taiwanese AOI for GoPro


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In these last months of 2023, underwater photography and video enthusiasts have witnessed a phase of particular excitement in the action cam market with the release of new models of video cameras, cases and other accessories.

If in the camera sector GoPro has suffered an attack from the competition with the presentation of models suitable for 360° shooting or equipped with a larger and more high-performance sensor (the very recent INSTA ACE PRO with its 1" sensor), as regards accessories, GoPro, thanks to its market share, remains the brand most paid attention to by producers.

Particular attention was attracted by the releases of an aluminum case and two additional lenses produced by the Taiwanese AOI.

In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to talk about one of the lenses dedicated to GoPro, namely the wide-angle AOI UWL-03 which follows its "twin" INON UFL-G 140 SD, highlighting its qualities and price.

In this article I would like to make some brief considerations on the case of the same brand for the GoPro 9,10,11,12 and the AOI UH GPX.

Made of aluminum, it is guaranteed for a maximum depth of 60 m (196 ft). It features a housing for the video camera and a battery that is used to power the cam and the 5" rear monitor. It is also equipped with a vacuum system.

In the front part, in front of the lens, the bayonet coupling system is mounted to allow the additional lenses to be applied and removed while underwater. The bayonet connection also allows you to insert colored filters (red, magenta etc...).

The price in Italy will be approximately €1,800.00.

On the body of the case there are some buttons that should allow you to make choices of the various parameters to change the shooting settings during the dive.

Some have expressed doubts about the maximum depth of use of 60 m which, for an aluminum case, seems too limited. I believe that this parameter is indicated according to the use of additional lenses which have their operational limit of 60 m.

I believe that, ultimately, the only real advantage of this case consists in the rear screen which expands the limited view allowed by that of the GoPro.

In my opinion, however, an adjustable screen would have really made a difference as it would have allowed better management of the panning of the camera system.

Of course, should I have the chance to test this product, I will be happy to share my impressions in the field.

Puccio Distefano

aoi-uh-gpx_10.jpg

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Thanks Puccio!

I'd been following this product, and expecting a steep price, but €1,800.00, wow, that does exceed expectations...

It's an interesting product, clearly well designed, but for most budgets it will hard to justify such a price tag for an action camera brand which upgrades its models every 12 months or so, with no guarantee newer models will fit (even if there was no real change from 9 to 12...)

The screen is good (any info on the nits?) but also not crucial for gopros where focusing isn't so much the issue (unless working with macro, but even then there's no peaking), and framing is pretty straightforward (remember when the first models didn't have screens?) and as you've said, adjustable would have been nice...

A vaccum valve is probably overkill on a cheaper camera already waterproof to 10m, and yes, 60m does seem limited since many divers investing in an aluminium housing are often looking to extend the standard dive housing specs.

An external battery is nice though, if I was still using gopros (which I've also used a lot until switching to a manual-capable compact, see here), this would be nice to have to make sure you don't run out underwater - that said it's fairly straightforward and risk-free to change a gopro's battery in between dives, compared to non-waterproof cameras - and also the screen display will be eating up some of that extra autonomy...

The external lens / filter, which is going in the right direction to remove barrel distortion which plagued gopros while preserving a wide field of view, but the AOI/ Inon products can be adapted on standard housings as well...

We'll see how it catches on, but at this price tag, appeal might be limited as we're venturing into a price range a little different from that of most GoPro users.
The Hugyfot screen integrated housings didn't have the exposure AOI products now have, but didn't really spread like wildfire either.

cheers

ben

PS I think AOI is Hong-Kong based rather than Taiwanese
 

Edited by bghazzal
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These are the full specs for the AOI UH-GPx:

COMPATIBILITY: GoPro HERO 12, 11, 10, and 9
DEPTH RATING: 60 Meters / 196 feet
BODY MAIN MATERIAL: Marine Grade Aluminum Alloy
SURFACE FINISHING: Hardcoat Type III Anodizing
MAIN BODY COLOR: Anodize Flat Black
LENS PORT MOUNT & FILTER SLOT: AOI Quick Release System (QRS) - QR2 Mount with Color Filter Slot
LENS PORT GLASS: Multi-layer AR and Hydrophobic Coating
WATER LEAKAGE PROTECTION: Built-in Vacuum Analyzation & Water Detection System (VWS)
BUILT-IN WATER DEPTH MONITOR: Max. Monitoring Depth up to 100 Meters with Preset Depth Alarm Function
BUILT-IN DISPLAY MONITOR:
5" Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) 16:9 Display Monitor
Viewing Angle 80° / 80° (L/R & U/D)
High Brightness 400 cd/m2 and Contrast 1000:1
Focus Peaking Assist
Digital Zoom (4x, 9x, 16x) Assist
RGB Histogram, Waveform, Vector Scope & Monochrome …etc. Functions
Two Custom-setting Buttons (F1 & F2)
POWER SUPPLY: Removable Power Bank (22.5W, 10,000mAh) - Operation Time: 2 Hours 30 minutes
MAIN BODY DIMENSIONS: 192mm(W) x 114mm(H) x 106mm(D) / 7.5in (W) x 4.5in(H) x 4.2in(D)
MAIN BODY WEIGHT: On Land: Approx. 1,877g / 4.1lb - Underwater: Approx. 546g / 1.2lb
STANDARD ACCESSORIES:
Detachable & Foldable Monitor Hood x 1pc.
Removable Power Bank (22.5W, 10,000mAh) x 1pc.
Vacuum Hand Pump x 1pc.
Spare Main Seal O-ring x 1pc.
Spare O-ring for Vacuum Valve Protection Cap x 1pc.
Silicone Grease x 1pc.
Moisture Muncher CapsulesTM x 1pc.

***

 
It does have focus peaking, which is nice and would probably make a GoPro much more "macro-capable", instead of having to guess critical focus... But 1.800 euros for an action cam housing with a screen, ouch...
Edited by bghazzal
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