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 HD Hero GoPro's HD Hero: one camera, several guises The …
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.
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
why only 80%
Had one for about a year now (since they came out). Totally awesome for my paramotoring.
Couple of things though - you mention 60m waterproof and 'amazing underwater clarity' - er... that is mince. Even GoPro admit that you cannot use it underwater at the moment without getting a blurry image - its a 'feature' of the curved frontal lense - So it is useless for underwater sports at present unless you put it in an underwater case or DIY the lense.
Would have been nice if you had mentioned editing footage - as I find many many owners seem to have difficulty with it mainly simply due to slow PCs, etc but it is certainly a surprise to most that there 5 year old PC can't cope with 1080p editing (as a rough guide - >2GHz dual core required for smooth 1080p playback with no graphics acceleration - which u are unlike to have if yer PC is slower/.older than that anyway).
For those interested in seeing examples of of its use in paramotoring:
would have liked to see...
the 60 fps mode, other than that, looks really good.
Which beach is that? It looks beautiful there...
..how about you strap one of those to Paris? Plane or socialite, I'm not fussy.
Thanks Giles for that great review, it is nice to see products used in anger in reviews.
You clearly went to a lot of effort to do that review (I guess that could be classed as an exhaustive review) and I appreciate that. I'm particularly interested to see how such video cameras cope with fast moving backgrounds in sports video shots (which are more difficult to digitally compress), and the sample videos give some good indication of this.
The shots you got were pretty good too.
Looks like Porthtowan in Cornwall to me!
We use the cameras for onboards in aircraft at airshows and they are fantastic
wow, the wide angle might be nice for beach sunset shots, but it is absolutely awful for anything closer to the camera.
Can we have a comparison of ContourGPS, GoProHD and ACT3k ?
I'm currently looking at either
Would love to see a review/comparison of all three.
Happy to take them out on a Mountain Biking, Surfing and Climbing weekend to compare.
Presonally I like the Size and shape of the Contour with the GPS adding some geek wow
The ATC9K seems good, though the new colours are slightly retro.
From reviews, CoPro does seem to have the best quality video, just shame the shape and look of it. Espcially on a helmet, it does looking quite special....
I have had one for about 8 months.
I'd give it around 80% as well to be honest.
I use it quite a lot, places I wouldn't dream of taking a full HD camera with me. Just set it going pointing in roughly the right direction and you can get some awesome footage. The 60fps mode is great for slow motion shots and fast paced action. Decent battery life and good sized videos so a 32GB card has plenty of space.
I had a few teething troubles with mine and still have issues with it but for the price I would go out and buy another one especially with the new firmware update and the range of accessories coming through now. Also seeing it used on a lot of TV work The air jaws and bite cam for example.
Does work underwater if you are surfing etc but for snorkelling or diving we will have to wait for the flat lens housing :)
I went overboard on the 60fps slowmo in this vid and haven't quite figured the mini steadicam out yet :)
And one of some rollercoaster action truly can take it anywhere, strap it to your hand and hold it with 3 fingers, awesome toy :)
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!
They are good
We took a couple of them skiing earlier in the year and I have a few points to make...
1: If you don't like the fish-eye effect, one of the modes (can't remember which) just uses the middle of the sensor and so bypasses the fish-eye.
2: They adjust to light incredibly well, particularly darkening... going through a tunnel with it, and watching the playback we all commented "so that's what the inside looked like" - our eyes couldn't adjust quick enough, but the gopro could!
3: Using the helmet mount, you'll look like tinky-winky. That may be a good thing, depending on your personal attitude!
My only real criticism is that it isn't hugely obvious when you've started/stopped recording - especially when wearing big gloves, but with a bit of practice you get used to it.
Overall, I'd probably agree with 80%. I doubt you'd get anything better though when you consider the versatility and quality of the footage.
Also, once you've seen/used them, you notice that they're used a lot on TV... things like Top Gear and Gadget Show, among many others.
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.