GoPro HD Hero Preview: Is This The Next Camera You Should Buy?
The first GoPro camera that I encountered came under the guise of a helmet-cam. I own a helmet-cam. It’s not a very good one, in fact, I’d say it’s poor. There are a couple of helmet-cams that I’ve seen that are clearly better than the one I own, and, whilst the GoPro cameras aren’t strictly helmet-cams only, they do cover this area.
In fact, GoPro class them as “wearable sports cameras”. I’d be interested to know how well the GoPro serves as a helmet cam? Just looking at it, the shape doesn’t seem particularly suited to mounting on your head. But, the sucker-device is supposed to be excellent, which is good because the last thing you want is the camera falling off without you knowing!
But I like it as more than just a helmet-cam. In general, there’re a whole load of accessories and different mounts availble, which I suppose is what constitutes the “wearable” aspect. What I really like about it though is the size. It’s tiny. So easy to fit in your pocket, which I think is an excellent quality for an on-hill camera, on the grounds that it can remove the need to ride with a back pack!
Clever mounts and housings don’t mean much if the video ends up bad. Well, the GoPro HD has been brought to my attention twice recently, and each clip that I’ve watched has been impressive. It seems good quality for such a small package and the wide angle lens appears to be, well, pretty wide.
Check out pro shred, Tim Humphreys. Apart from being amazed at the silky snowboarding, the footage quality is good. In his words: “First day out riding with my new GoPro for a few hours at Mammoth. Best 350 bucks I ever spent.”
If you’re looking to buy one yourself, you can get them at dogfunk.com.
And here’s Eddie Wall, filming his dad, I think:
The Official GoPro® Store is pretty nicely laid out and the specs for each product are presented well. So when you’re trying to work out the difference between the helmet option and the naked option, or how much video you should expect at different settings on a 32GB card, everything you need is there. Here’s a snippet:
GoPro’s HD HERO Naked is the world’s highest performance wearable 1080p HD video and still photo camera. Professional quality 1080p / 960p / 720p HD resolutions record at 30 and 60 frames per second (60 fps in 720p). Record up to 2.5 hours on a single charge and up to 9 hours total on a 32GB SD card (not included).
I’d really like to get hold of one of these cameras, not just to review myself, but to use on my snowboarding trips. From what I’ve seen, it ticks a lot of the boxes that I’m interested in. In the meantime, this following video provides a good, honest review of the camera, covering a lot of the details. Check out how small it is! The video’s fairly long, but if you’re interested in the GoPro HD it’s definitely worth watching:
And as a follow up, this video attempts to show the quality of the video produced, on the lowest setting. I’m not sure why, but it makes me a little skeptical as to the difference between the quality settings – something I’d like to see with a fair, side-by-side comparison.
So, is the Go Pro HD Hero a good example of a small, wearable, solid state HD camera? From what I’ve seen so far, I think yes…
Looking to buy a helmet cam? If so, dogfunk.com has a good selection of helmet cams for snowboarding, including the GoPro and the Contour cam – they offer excellent customer service too!