Compare Gopro Hero 7 vs DSLR beginners comparison.

When I mentioned on my youtube channel, Edinburghcitymom, that I was doing a review comparing the GoPro Hero 7 black v DSLR,  someone commented that it would be “like comparing a Fiat with a Ferrari.” Good analogy I thought, let’s see if it’s true.

Here are two photo, accepted to Shutterstock. Can you tell which was was taken by my Nikon and which one was taken by the GoPro Hero 7?  (Answer at the end of post).

Stirling castle in Scotland
Stirling castle in Scotland – A
Stirling castle Scotland
Stirling castle Scotland B

Both the GoPro Hero 7 and any decent DSLR (Digital single lens reflex), will take photographs and record footage, but when comparing them, it’s what’s inside that really counts.  In this scenario it comes down to the Quality of the Sensor.

Without boring you to tears talking about pixellation, the simple explanation is that in a digital photo there are thousands of little pixels, information units.  People assume that a high pixel count guarantees a great photo and while it certainly helps, the other factor to consider is the depth of the pixel which determines the tonal value. eg. the amount of colour depth stored within each pixel.

Why is this important?

If you need to enlarge your photo to poster size the DSLR will have no problem with this and will supply good clarity and resolution especially if the photo is taken in RAW. However try blowing up your GoPro Hero 7 photo and you will may lose detail around the edges and colour depth.

Other factors to consider when comparing the GoPro Hero 7 and DSLR are the available settings.  A GoPro  has an excellent wide angle lens which is a dream if you are doing a photo of a Cathedral or museum and want a large FOV (field of vision) but this also can bring problems with curved poles or curvature in the photo.

Of course you can try taking the picture as linear … here is an example of a photo that has been accepted by Shutterstock, a New York based stock photography agency.  The first photo has been edited and the 2nd photo shows the curvature.

Titanic Museum Belfast
Titanic Experience Belfast@shutterstock
The Titanic Experience
The Titanic Experience.

The Photograph can be fixed in post production, but with a DSLR you would simply change the lens or adjust the perspective on the camera after taking the shot.

There is a setting called Protune on the GoPro Hero 7, which offers the chance to adjust the ISO, shutterspeed, white balance etc, giving your greater control over the GoPro settings. It is a good idea to watch a few videos on this, to give you more flexibility and understanding of what the GoPro Hero 7 can do.  There are plenty of videos explaining this on youtube.

GoProHero 7 Black Protune
GoProHero 7 Black Protune

Often on the GoPro Hero 7 screen the photo looks fine but the screen is very small, try and connect to a laptop or Mac before you leave your location to double check the quality. There is nothing worse than getting home and realising your photo has too much grain, is out of focus or is over exposed.

If using Protune for videos remember they will take up more space on an SD card and your battery will drain quickly.  Always carry a few back up cards and batteries.

GoPro Hero 7 V DSLR size comparison – the important stuff

This may be a deal breaker for you. I know when I travel with my DSLR, that I am keeping it in hand luggage where I can “handle with care”.  Like our Ferrari analogy, I do not want any scratches, sand, dust, etc on my expensive bodywork or lens.

DSLR  Abroad – I restrict the number of lens to one because of weight and space. I also need to pack a recharger. I rarely take a tripod as I just can’t fit it in hand luggage, however my Joby flexible tripod stand is extremely useful for getting a steady photo and can hold the Nikon camera weight. Once you get to your location you are carrying this weight around all day, it can be quite uncomfortable after a few hours.

Camera equipment for DSLR
Camera equipment and accessories for DSLR camera.

The GoPro Hero 7  is a great solution, especially for travel bloggers or instagrammers.  It is extremely lightweight, easy to use underwater or skiing, hillwalking, snow boarding, surfing etc.  The hyper smooth stabilisation is excellent.

For adventure sports I would say the GoPro Hero 7 definitely has the edge. Try protecting your expensive DSLR on a slope in Val D’Isere. That’s before you even consider water damage, carrying the weight of the camera and protecting it if you slip and fall. The DSLR is too heavy for me and too expensive too risk dropping in snow.

Not so with the GoPro Hero 7, like the Fiat it can squeeze into most small spaces.  Similarly the GoPro slips easily into your pocket, your hand luggage, on a head band, on a chest mount, on a bike mount.  It’s truly versatile and of course waterproof.

Super photo, Timewarp, hyper smooth…sounds too good to be true…

GoPro Hero 7 accessories
GoPro Hero 7 accessories

Yes and it does have its irksome little problems as I have been discovering especially in hot countries.

My biggest problem with the GoPro Hero 7 is the freezing issue. If I delete multiple files, it freezes. If I have it in sunshine for any length of time it overheats and on my last trip to Belfast I could barely pick it up that’s how hot it was. I have read online that Snow Boarders have the same problem with the GoPro Hero 7 freezing in the snow.

How to resolve?

Place it in the shade, pull out battery, let it cool down. Re insert and start again. You don’t lose the footage but you have just lost some great photo opportunities, as I did going through Valencia on a bike tour.

(Photo below taken in Valencia on automatic settings using GoPro Hero 7)

Indoor Market Valencia
Mercado Central @shutterstock

The DSLR never freezes on me but I have had problems with condensation on the lens when trying to photograph inside a Greenhouse.

What equipment suits your needs?

Really I think you have to ask yourself what you are going to be filming/recording. If you are trying to capture an authentic moment in time,  then setting up a tripod and fairly substantial DSLR will attract lots of attention and people start to pose or stare and the moment is lost.  Not so with a GoPro. No one even knows you have a camera and if you take it out of your pocket, it is so small, no-one notices. This can be handy in museums or places of worship. Like the Fiat, the Gopro hero 7 is pretty discreet and unobtrusive.

Byodo Temple in the Valley of the Gods, Hawaii.
Byodo Temple, Valley of the gods Hawaii@ Shutterstock

Why I love my DSLR

For me personally the GoPro compliments my camera, it is another tool, another accessory for photography.  If my camera runs out of battery I have the GoPro and if I want to jazz things up with a short time lapse, the GoPro is so easy to put on a stick and carry. I like them both.  However, the Nikon DSLR sensor beats the GoPro and that’s why I love my big heavy statement camera.

The photo above, Byodo Temple and the one below in Milan was taken on my DSLR and there is a reason that a DSLR is so heavy… Like the Ferrari, it’s a classy piece of equipment.  Sometimes people move out of the way, stop to watch or even come closer to take a look. This photo below was taken in Milan using my Nikon camera and Tamron 16-300mm lens. The 2nd shot of Belfast City Hall was taken on the GoPro Hero 7 black. I find the quality of photo from my DSLR superb and I can make quite a few adjustments on the camera tools before I attempt anything in post production. The DSLR also gives you the option of changing the lens, unlike the fixed GoPro lens which is fixed. You can buy a polar pro macro lens and adaptor for the Gopro Hero 7 black but I have never tried it.

La Duomo Milan
La Duomo Milan-Lou Armor@shutterstock
Belfast City Hall Northern Ireland.
Belfast City Hall, Lou Armor@shutterstock

Filming with Gopro v DSLR

I love the flexibility of recording film footage on my Nikon DSLR but for me personally I find the DSLR  too heavy to keep steady.  Resting my camera on the back seat of a car or a bus, there is still too much shake.  The GoPro handles this easily and of course is very lightweight and easy to hold.

The stability issue for a DSLR means that you may have to buy a gimble when filming unless your camera is on a tripod or stable surface. For the DSLR stabilisation, the factors to consider when buying a gimbal are weight and balance. The good gimbals use lithium batteries and can be pretty expensive, for a DSLR you are looking at an extra couple hundred pounds or dollars.

The GoPro accessories like the Fiat, are cheap and easy to find. Expect to pay about £30 for macro lens and for GoPro stabiliser anywhere from £30 upwards. Probs better to buy multi purpose gimbal. My Best Buy gimbal has been a joby gorilla pod which I can wrap around my bike handle, a tree branch, railings…. it lets you change your perspective and relax your hands when filming a long time lapse.


If you are travelling on a gap year with restricted luggage and have a decent phone camera, I would say take a GoPro and learn Protune.  The GoPro Hero 7 is very robust and I have dropped it, sat on it and generally forgotten where it is, it’s that small.  Easy to pack including accessories. I charge my GoPro batteries via my laptop and have dual battery recharger for speed.

The DSLR will always win with photography shots in my opinion and film footage quality is good if you can get stabilisation.

The Gopro offers a brilliant package at a reasonable price and if filming and outdoor activities is your priority, then the GoPro Hero 7 comes out top for versatility and practicality.

Enjoy your photography equipment, whatever you decide. The answer to the early question is that photo A of Stirling castle was taken with the  Gopro hero7 and photo B was taken with the Nikon. Did you guess correctly?

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time.



Lou A.


Review of Amazon Basics 60″ tripod.

The Amazon Basics Tripod is an excellent light weight, secure piece of equipment to compliment your videography or photography. I would use it for overseas travel as it is so lightweight. However, in Scotland you may need something heavier for photography if climbing  Munro, especially when the winds are high. On the plus side this is so light, 3lb that you are not adding too many additional pounds to you rucksack.

Amazon Basics light weight tripod.
Amazon Basics light weight tripod.

The Amazon Basics is well built and has rolled around the boot of my car a few times without incident. It is very easy to use.  The silver brushed aluminium body is sleek and subtle. The legs have telescopic extensions with clasps which stay in position, unlike my other tripod which frequently slips.  The rubber fittings on the legs are a little cheap looking but they have not fallen off in mud or disappeared into snow, so I am happy about that. I have not used the extension yet but it offers the opportunity for more height if required.

The Amazon Basics Tripod is great for taking abroad. It is slightly longer than more expensive tripods but if you place it diagonally in your suitcase it should fit. The quick release plate mount for a camera or camcorder is a great feature and it is simple and easy to use.   The Amazon Basics Tripod is  not as smooth as a roller head but it is very reasonable considering how inexpensive it is. Can be a little jerky but just twist the wand to get more fluid movements. (see video below).

Amazon Basics light weight Tripod
Amazon Basics light weight Tripod

The Amazon Basics tripod arrives with a cover for carrying and I like the bubble level for keeping my skylines straight with Shutterstock agency.   I have used the Amazon Basics Tripod with my daughters Canon EOS 4000D and my Nikon D500 with heavy 16-300mm lens.

I would ensure that one of the legs is under the camera to help with stability if you are worried that your lens is too heavy. Costs £24.99 with free delivery. I think this is an excellent entry level tripod. It does not come with a remote. The dimensions are 61.49 x 11.18 x 10.41 cm with a maximum height of 158cm.

If considering a camcorder click here. Comparison of the Canon XA11 & Panasonic.

Thanks for reading

Lou A.






Shutterstock: Earn Money online. (Beginners Step by Step guide)

Shutterstock is a stock agency based in the USA and this will be an important point to remember later when I discuss hashtags/Keywords.  At this moment I will go through the basics of Uploading your photo’s. The importance of Keywords. Reasons for rejections and Success.

I have been uploading since May 2017and started with 3 images. My portfolio now has 733 images.  February 2018,  I made $44 dollars for the month and the previous month I made $43.  I regularly now make $50 dollars a month (2019).  I take photo’s where ever I go. Shopping, car garage, kids day trips. I use Payoneer for international bank transfers as you are paid in US dollars and I am in the UK and this is a safe method for me with low transfer rates. You can also get paid by Shutterstock to your Paypal account.

earings to date 2018

Important point – I am an Amateur photographer and I do not know how to use Lightroom or Photoshop. I only use my Mac. 

You can still make money.  

Who wants your photographs?    I assume it is car magazines, travel magazines, local supermarket, newspapers, agencies, food bloggers …the list is endless. You do not get to see where your photographs are published. You can see the country it was downloaded too and which photo, but that’s all.

How to make Even more MONEY? 

Upload to multiple agencies, use photo’s with NO trademarks that can be used as commercial shots rather than editorial shots OR upload film footage. These pay more. You can also upload music and illustrations.

Commercial photo are those that could be used in an advertising campaign, have no visible trademarks or branding and have the proper model releases etc.

A Model Release? If you have crowds of people in your photo you cannot obtain model releases for everyone and these pictures can only be editorial photo’s which means less money. However,

If you have a selection of fresh fruit on a wooden table in your garden, this can be used commercially, and pays more. Provided that there are no logo, brands or visible trademarks. The Drawback to commercial photo’s…..

Everyone tries to produce them. Your photo would have to be Exceptional to get chosen from 120,000 fruit boards or cheese boards…you may find that by using local herbs or dried fruits from your specific region this gives you the X factor that makes your photographs stand out.

What are Keywords? These are the words  that you will use to describe your picture and this can make all the difference. 


Okay this photo was rejected by shutter stock so we will use it as an example. It was out of focus. Keywords are needed to describe the photo to the buyer, which makes it easier for search purposes.

A. Poor or insufficient Keyword hashtags would be: flower, orchid, petals, greenhouse, indoor, pretty. 

B. Another contributor may use a similar photo with the same keywords but also added stem, tropical, flora, bloom, botany, beautiful, herbaceous, horticultural, Orchidaceae. 

Can you see the difference? 

Now imagine.  I am a busy editor on a deadline for a gardening brochure and have 40 mins to change an entire page because of a late advert.  I do not have time to scroll through 120,000 images of orchids. I have 40 mins.  I will narrow my search by my keywords… tropical orchid, greenhouse, single plant, yellow. Whose photo will appear higher up in the search? You got it B.

Think commercially..who is looking for your photo and what will they TYPE into their search. 

Are you ready to upload?

Great it’s not a complicated system, if you get accepted straight away, brilliant. Shutterstock in my opinion wants to see you are not a one photo wonder and they will reject you a few times to check that you have a few photographs to offer.  Once you have had a few rejections, you will start to understand and think about the process more. Don’t get upset, take it as a critique and a way to improve your photography.

Don’t be put off when you see amazing photo’s and think I am not that good.  A buyer may have used shutter stock for 10 years and used all the amazing photo every year. They need fresh material all the time and YOU may have something new to offer. We are often our own worst critics!

Improve Your Photo before Uploading.

The first thing I do is edit my photo on my camera. Sitting on a bus, waiting in a queue, just start editing and straightening. Most cameras have this facility.  At home I start to review each photo and alter light, contrast, colour depth, on my Apple Mac. I have no fancy tools. Please take time to get this process right and try not alter pictures too much. Save your photo in a named location that is easy to find.

How to Upload to Shutterstock 

Once you have done your basic editing, press Upload on Shutterstock. Then it will say, click drag and drop or select multiple files. I find select multiple files easy. Just locate the files and start the upload.

Shutterstock has become increasingly popular and I find uploads are not approved for about 48 hrs.  If you upload once a week then you get a higher visibility for a few days, if you drip feed shutter stock  twice a week you get constant visibility. (In my opinion).

Click the little box beside the photo and start describing it in the field. In the description stick to the facts.

Who? What? Where? When/date. Do not over elaborate at this stage. You can use more words in the ‘Enter keywords section’. Be exact about where the photo was taken, don’t say London, UK. Say the area in London, e.g. Parsons Green,  or the street in London, then say London, UK.  Good tip here, if on holiday and you are taking loads of photo, take home a free tourist map. It helps later to pinpoint places you may have forgotten the names of.

Example. Interior of Museum of Scotland, popular tourist attraction. Chamber Street, Edinburgh, Scotland UK. OR if you can’t remember the street name , type, Edinburgh City Centre, Scotland UK.


If your photo has logo brands in the photo then click the box Editorial.  Choose a category from the drop down box. This can be tricky as sometimes its not obvious what box to choose, e.g. people running in a marathon. Would you choose, sport /exercise? Would you choose people? Would you choose parks/outdoors?

Go with your gut instinct. I still hum and ho over photo’s. Its okay.

Upload to shutter stock

DO NOT SPAM:  Spamming is using keywords/hashtags inappropriately.

Keywords I would use are for below are : Winter Palace, St Petersburg, Russia, tourism, travel, tourist attraction, palace, outdoors, people walking, city centre, statues, ornate, exterior, pillars, September, Autumn, architecture, building. I am describing what I see.

Spamming is over use of words and descriptions. Eg. Winter palace, palace in Russia, outside palace, people at palace…this is overuse of the same words.

DSC_2059 (1)

Hashtags/Keywords: as I mentioned at the start hashtags/keywords can be tricky as the American spelling of some words is different. I tend to try and use both spellings harbor/harbour. It may just be a UK thing but you will similar problems with say a place in Copenhagen. You simply do not have symbols on your key board, just try and describe a place as best you can. Eg. This street is on Nyhavn, shutter stock may not recognise the spelling, just click MARK ALL KEYWORDS AS CORRECT. This will allow your words to be saved. Shutterstock now remembers your keywords and offers you prompts, which is fabulous when you submit similar photo’s.


The Numbers Game – How much competition do you have?

Search Shutterstock for Orchid, there are 455,310. I am an amateur photographer and my orchid will never be seen. So lets change our train of thought. I am Scottish, lets try Wild Bluebell. 12,186 photo of wild bluebells. Odds are getting better for me. Lets try Wild Bluebell in rain. 286.. really, much better odds of my photo being downloaded. Its spring, I walk my dog, sun, rain, snow. So take your camera, follow the seasons, snap away.

How many people are looking for wild bluebells in the doesn’t matter. Once your photo is uploaded it is their for years to come. Someone, somewhere in the world, is writing an article on scottish wild plants and the collapse of the bumble bees colony. They need a photo..they are not going to send a photographer to Scotland, they will use a stock agency. Shutterstock in my opinion is one of the best. Don’t try and guess who wants a particular photo for what, you may never know. If you love the photo, upload it and use at least 20 Keywords.

Registering with Shutterstock.

You will have to submit  forms of identity before you can upload as Shutterstock needs details for payment to you. Payments are made to Payoneer or Paypal and are not paid until you reach the minimum payout of $35.

Payoneer will take a transaction fee, usually for me its around $3 as banking is increasing security around the world you will need to submit a passport of drivers licence I.D.  This is standard procedure and I feel safe using Payoneer as their security checks are good. They pay. into one of my bank accounts and notify you before a payment is due. I am usually paid in USA dollars. To find out more click here: Payoneer

You may want to retain exclusivity of your photo, if this is the case then stock photography is not for you.  If you love the idea of someone in the world using your photograph to promote a place, a product, a region, then you may enjoy Stock photography. Below is the link. It is an affiliate link and I will get 0.04 cents from you photo if you make the cut.

Reasons your photo do not make the cut

  1. Only submit photographs that are of the best quality. Blurry, out of focus, filtered and over exposed photo will be rejected. Tips, if your photo keep coming back rejected as out of focus, get your eyes checked….
  2. Photo less than 4MB will be rejected. If transferring from a phone, use the biggest upload size available.
  3. Poor Lighting, trademarks and poor composition means rejection. By composition I mean are there distracting elements in the photo. e.g.Branches of tree, trash cans, illuminated road signs?
  4. Poor Composition. Too many objects can ruin the balance of an image. You are striving to achieve just the right amount of detail to allow the viewer to observe the moment. Everyone can take a photo but not everyone really looks at the scene and decides on the best angle to effectively capture the moment.
  5. Shutterstock will not accept photographs from some privately owned tourist attractions due to licensing rights and disclosures. Hollywood walk of Fame will not be accepted. Shutterstock provides a list of places they cannot accept.  I would suggest that you review the list from time to the to save you wasting uploads and energy. Eg, Eiffel Tower at night, Blenheim Palace, National trust properties, Inside Colesseum Rome, Royal palaces, exteriors are sometimes allowed as editorial with captions. These photo’s  were not allowed due to licensing restrictions. Edinburgh Military Tattoo and visitor centre outside Queens View in Pitlochery, Scotland.

Cropping: Do not over crop a photograph. Leave enough space for a potential buyer to  overlay text. They may need to put a headline on your photo. Example below. I could have cropped the sky for better balance but perhaps someone wants to put. “Beware strong undercurrents”, think commercially!

Photo @shutterstock

Success: I am not at that stage yet, many contributors on the forum say that you need 2,000 photographs on your portfolio. I have a way to go yet. Oh yes, the forum is a great source of help and worth looking over. You can have your rejections reviewed, you can ask technical questions and learn from the top contributors. The top videographers earn $30,000 yearly and stock video receive 30% of the fee.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time. If you are visiting Scotland don’t forget to read my Festival and Military Tattoo guide and I hope you get great success on Shutterstock. My updated portfolio is here. 
Lou A.