GoPro HD Hero camera
Water sports action star
Review For show-offs and general
posers outdoor enthusiasts everywhere, GoPro devices tap neatly into all sorts of extreme sports where cameras have previously been off-limits. Indeed, the Hero range can be stuck, worn, twisted and clipped in numerous tricky places.
GoPro's HD Hero: one camera, several guises
The latest incarnation, the HD Hero, weighs in at 167g and has 1080p video recording. The makers claim a surprising 2.5hr battery life for recording with this dinky device’s rechargeable cell. It charges from USB but can also be juiced-up from an optional mains PSU. For playback, the HD Hero even has interfacing to show video using the supplied cables for component (HD) and SD (composite) gear.
The three distinct camera options – Motorsport, Surf and Helmet – each contain different stick-on clips and camera-mounting straps. Handily, GoPro seems committed to providing attachments for various niche sports, from chest mounts to roll cages, with more accessories due as the range develops.
So on a glorious afternoon at one of Cornwall's best-loved beaches, I turn up with the necessary camera mount pre-attached to a surfboard, yet feeling rather uncool about being the guy all ready to film (no-one but himself) surfing.
The waterproof casing is good for 60 metres
Prepping the camera felt a tad fiddly given the elements of sand and surf-wax ever present to smear, scratch and generally ruin. These initial fears were unfounded though. Have the camera fully charged and then housed (waterproof to 60 metres) you’ll find it can be chucked around quite freely.
I keep telling this friend of mine that he really shouldn't mention "watersports" on his CV under the "interests" section without qualifying it in some way.
I mean, people could get the wrong idea.
You understand that they might think he likes swimming or some such.
..how about you strap one of those to Paris? Plane or socialite, I'm not fussy.
Contour HD worth a look at too
If you are looking at HD helmet cameras, the contour HD is the other option to consider. For me, videoing the cycle to work, they are both a tad expensive. Nice for fun use though
Chest mount is good too!
We have used the chest mount Go-Pro for firefighting training. When reviewing the video, it's much better than footage taken from a distance as you are right there in the thick of the action.
Good review - HD Hero is awesome when used for the purpose it is intended
I grabbed the HD Hero Motorsports camera. It's the exact same hardware just different mounting options. I do a fair amount of motorcycle riding and have it mounted on the very front edge of my BMW R1200GS.
When it is used for that kind application it cannot be beaten. The size and weight mean of the camera has zero effect on the handling of the bike and the quick release mounts mean I can mount it on the front or back in just seconds.
A recent ride on a beautiful road in low light at speeds of 80 mph (ish) showed that the capture is still absolutely superb even at speed, with no discernible digital artifacts.
I ran the camera for over 2 hours and there was still one bar of battery left.
Great for "action" type of video where any normal HD Video camera would be too heavy/bulky/expensive to use
No so great for day to day video of the family at DisneyLand.
As an aside, the camera crew for Discovery Channels "Deadliest Catch" started using these last season!