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back to article GoPro HD Hero 2

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. GoPro HD 2 sports camcorder The HD Hero 2 looks virtually identical to its predecessor, but has …

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Bronze badge
Boffin

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqI8yli4AE0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qr7cCo8W1E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqwvzFO2rYk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ykc45jP_7Y

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Anonymous Coward

Or just go to the Dirt Bike Show

This weekend... Madison, who distribute the GoPro2 in the UK, will be there so no doubt should have something to demo (and/or sell).

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Silver badge
Alert

Go-Pro is good but there are some weak points

As a motorcycle and 4-wheel vehicle driver in a country with some of the worst drivers world-wide I have two Go-Prp's in the body of my two-wheeler plus a helmet mounted unit. My employer also a further 9 units on company wheels. I also switch them to my utility vehicle when I go on long trips.. They are used for continuous recording of driving events (crashes, police collecting bribes, etc.)

Go Pro is definitely up there in the leaders, I had a couple of Oregon Scientific but they don't repair their products. Go Pro has numerous accessories but I recommend you buy the HD HERO Naked Kit as it has a broad range of general accessories including a spare lens (that can easily get scratched as they project to the front). I also recommend a spare case (the camera itself has no mount and you need the lens built in the plastic protective case to achieve focus), and a spare battery or two - recharging from a USB jack takes overnight. The ONLY good thing about the Oregon Scientific unit was the fact it used AA cells.

Other things to note:

1. Only one specified SD chip will enable all functions;

2. The camera housing lens fogs up (industrial goggle cleaner eliminates effect);

3. The all-plastic mount is easily broken by snatch thieves;

4. Buy extra batter packs;

5. None of the GoPPro specialised housings such as Helmet HERO, Motorsports HERO, Surf HERO or the chest mount are sufficient to withstand theft (sharp twist and the base snaps), crashes involving a car (the camera flies off), violent waves can also crack the base and cause the camera to fall off, and when used on the chest there is no protection.

6. To prevent (5) I had several stainless wire cages fabricated in which the camera is located. I also had a compatible mounting base (the part that attaches to the helmet, car, bicycle) machined from aluminum/aluminium so the camera is secure under all circumstances.

7. Cords are provided but can only be used when the camera is not in the case - I made up right angle connectors which can be used with the non-waterproof case;

8. The base on which the camera is mounted in it's packaging is great as a spare base.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has used the GoPro as a POV (Point Of View) camera mounted to Ski Dooers on the highest setting and used the recording for TV broadcast.

It handles all types of daylight, well lit indoor scenes and brightly lit streets - it is terrible on poorly lit streets - as found in UK villages and towns..

As long as you now GoPro limitations, you'll be happy with it. Use a demo in a store IN THE DARK CORNER and check it out.

Notwithstanding it's shortcomings, I would recommend it and will buy another unit or two when I am in a country with a distributor. Good luck!

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Video

With the greatest of respect, the only good thing I can think of with regard to the stunningly underwhelming 12 seconds of wobbling around was that it put the rest of the 'review' in a more favourable light than I ever thought possible.

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Thumb Up

awesome little device

got the original HD,

the polyshell is rated down to 60m - so is excellent for diving. it suffers from the digital camera bane unable to cope with low light sitations, so at 30m and beyond it's starting to look a little grainy as the CCD tries to grab all the stray photons it can, but quality is excellent none the less. all diveshops i've visited have asked for copies of the footage for demo reels etc. if doing swim throughs, trenches, or caves, get a couple of LED floods to fill out.

also good for ski'ing. able to analyse technique and adjust accordingly.

having one of these on a head mount really makes you learn to calm down the head movements in whatever your doing diving/ski'ing/riding.

for a laugh tested in a nightclub. did not work ;)

can record 3-4hrs 1080p to 16Gb SD card on standard battery. just enough to cover a days activities, but would like the extended battery pack, or 3D upgrade.

doesn't get everyday or even weekly use, but wouldn't be without it anyway.

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Silver badge

3D lens option more ...

a gimmick than a serious application. Pictures are somewhat distorted.

Better to spend your money by more battery packs or a screen.

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Not what I had hoped for

120FPS @ 480p is pretty useless though, you can't really mix that in with HD footage and not notice the glaring loss in quality. I don't see many of the extreme sports crowd using 480p when 720p @ 60FPS is so beautiful.

Personally I think they should have gone for a 720i mode (120 FIELDS a second) so we could do a bob+weave deinterlace to end up with 120FPS 720p footage - I can't notice any loss in quality if done well (Virtualdub's "Deinterlace Smooth" filter is good if your NLE doesn't do it automatically) so this seems the best way to me to jack up the FPS with minimal loss of image quality. I guess they can't go much over 720p @ 60FPS due to bandwidth limitations of SD, but this would require little to no extra bandwidth.

Low light performance does seem significantly improved though judging by stu4's videos.

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120 fps?

Surely you need an extreme amount of light to be able to shoot at 120 fps? As others commented that the light sensor isn't the best for normal shooting anyway, it seems an odd thing to add.

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For the majority of users light is not a problem. Sure if you are doing caving or diving deep or something but most GoPro users use them outdoors in the daytime - and high framerate is for capturing high motion, which you don't tend to get as much underground or in a liquid as a guy flying through the hair and spinning like a madman.

They clearly upped the low light capabilities of the mk2 to help in this area, view stu4s first video for a good example of that.

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re Clive

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.

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Bronze badge
Holmes

sensitivity

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.

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Silver badge
WTF?

299.95

Pre-order at Action Cameras.

It's almost cheaper to get a bucket flight to the states, buy it there, and smuggle it back in.

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Silver badge
Happy

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.

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Anonymous Coward

Crocolis HD

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.

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