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TKB Review: GoPro Wi-Fi Bacpac Combo Kit

Enables full remote control of up to 50 cameras at a time, live preview, playback on smart phones and tablets, and more. $99 www.gopro.com.

The GoPro W-Fi Bacpac Combo Kit includes a waterproof remote and a wi-fi accessory that attaches to the back of your GoPro HD Hero or Hero2 camera. It also includes two replacement back doors (one waterproof, one not)  for your GoPro housing and a wrist strap for the remote. The replacement back door is the same as the expanded back door that comes with the GoPro LCD Bacpac.

Even though we tested the Wi-Fi Bacpac with a brand new Hero2 camera we first had to update the software on the camera, Wi-Fi Bacpac, and remote. This was a little time consuming but straightforward. Directions for updating your GoPro products can be found here.

After the software update, the remote connected with the camera immediately after turning on the camera, Wi-Fi Bacpac, and remote. The remote features two buttons and a small screen that mirrors the GoPro’s screen. Controlling the camera with the remote works the same as using the buttons on the camera itself.

With the remote, you can control every aspect of your GoPro and the display on the remote shows you the same information as what is displayed on your camera’s screen. You can start or stop the camera, change modes, or change settings with the remote. In short, there’s nothing you can do with your GoPro camera that you can’t do with the Wi-Fi remote.

According to GoPro, you can use one remote to control up to 50 cameras at the same time. We only had one camera on hand, so we weren’t able to test this aspect of the remote. If you connect the remote to multiple cameras they are controlled as a group and they all respond the same way. GoPro also claims that the remote works at distances up to 600 feet. We only tested it at up to about 200 feet away with no problems at all.

The remote allows you to mount your GoPro far away without having to give up any control. This is especially useful to kiteboarders who often attach their camera to their kite or lines. With this accessory you are able to easily start and stop the camera or even change the camera’s mode while you ride. You can now just record the moments you want to or even record video and capture still images during the same session without having to have access to your camera.

During testing, the GoPro Wi-Fi Bacpac Combo Kit worked flawlessly. One small drawback is the small delay (less than half a second) between when you press a button on the remote and when the camera responds. This delay is minimal but long enough to make the remote difficult to use if you are trying to capture a still image at a precise moment.

Another slight drawback is that you now have three batteries to charge instead of one. Both the remote and the Wi-Fi Bacpac are powered by their own internal batteries that are charged via USB cables. If the Bacpac’s battery runs down it will continue to be powered by the camera’s internal battery.

GoPro is planning on releasing a mobile app very soon that will allow even more functionality if you use the Wi-Fi Bacpac with a Hero2 camera. With the app you’ll be able to use your phone or tablet to control your camera while being able to see what the camera sees on your screen. You’ll also be able to playback clips and even upload them using your phone’s internet connection.

Overall we found the GoPro Wi-Fi Bacpac Combo Kit to be a really useful addition to your standard GoPro camera. Anyone who mounts their camera in difficult to access places should consider getting one to be able to control their camera from afar. We found it to work exactly as advertised and we’re looking forward to seeing the expanded capabilities the GoPro App will offer once it’s released.

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