GoPro HD Hero 2
Geek Treat of the Week Surfer dude and Reg Hardware reviewer Giles Hill waxed lyrical about the HD Hero when he tried it out last year, and the developers at GoPro have just launched a new version of their rugged, outdoorsy and underwatery action-cam.
The HD Hero 2 looks virtually identical to its predecessor, but has been upgraded in a number of areas. The camera’s resolution for still photos has been increased from 5Mp to 11Mp, although you do still have the option of shooting at 5Mp or 8Mp if you prefer.
It’s faster too, as the ‘burst’ mode can now capture ten shots per second rather than three.
Video resolution is still 1080p HD, but a new wide-angle lens provides three separate field-of-view modes. The Wide mode captures a full 1700 FoV, while Medium gives you 1270, and Narrow brings it down to 900.
The previous model could go slow-mo by shooting 60f/s in the 720p or 848 x 480 (WVGA) modes, but the HD Hero 2 can now slow that down to a full 120f/s in WVGA mode.
Battery life is the same, at around 2.5 hours, and like the original HD Hero this new model is available in Outdoor, Motorsports and Surf editions, each of which comes with the appropriate mounting kit and accessories.
I found the menu system a bit fiddly when adjusting some of the settings, and the lack of a viewfinder means that it can take a little while to get the camera mounted properly.
However, image quality was very good – even on the cloudy and wet day when I first tested it – so once it’s set up properly you can just clamp it into place and carry on shooting until you hit something that brings your little adventure to an end.
It’s certainly a good option if you need a rugged camera/camcorder that can cope with more extreme outdoor conditions. The manufacturer needs to sort out its UK sales and pricing though. It quoted us a price of £300, but then told us that you have to order it from the US website where it’s listed at $300 – £190 at current exchange rates.
Might be worth keeping an eye on Amazon to see if it turns up there at some point. ®
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House of Marley
got one day before they came out
happened to be on hols in the states, and Best Buy had stuck em on the shelves on the sunday afternoon. 180 quid. bargain.
I've had the original HD since it came out. The new 170º fov is exactly what I was waiting for - it's always been a compromise between do I need to FOV and having to settle for 720p. And the 120fps is surprisingly effective and clear. The fact that it now uses the full sensor for 1080p seems to have made the low light performance better too - on a dull day I sometimes found the quality pretty grainy if shooting in 1080p with the old one.
It's also worth mentioning it now has a dot matrix LCD so the menus are far easier to navigate than the old one. It's also compatible with the LCD backpack, plus some new wifi things coming out soon.
I stuck a number of videos on youtube to illustrate the differences between the new and old model:
After reading techmoans review I got the Crocolis HD, it comes with an LCD on the back and is waterproof, does the usual 1080 and 720 60fps with a wide angle lens. I can't see how the HD Hero is worth £300 or even £200 the Crocolis sells for £100 + shipping and import duty.
It also comes with a solid metal bar mount, strap mounts, cage, velcro, suction cup etc so you can use it right out the box, and the battery is removeable and available online.
I like the fact it will run off USB for power and loop recordings, making it a good camera to have on all the time.
dark is dark sure. these are uncorrected straight from camera. however, view full res and you will see noticeable less noise on the mk2. which is the point.
Smuggle? Never had a problem cossing borders
I always carry at least one unit, and have never been hassled by customs.
Of course. if you are going on a buying spree just remember to mail the packaging, warranty cards and instructions home, to a friend.
I wouldnt say 'clearly upped the low light capabilities in the mk2' - 14 seconds in on that direct comparison video from the first post shows - you can't see any more than you could with the mk1.
The left of the bed is still dark. Sure the picture is more yellow, but no increase in light sensitivity.