Monday, February 27, 2012
The HERO Camera Soooooo Rocks!
GoPro Camera CHDOH-002 HD HERO2 Outdoor Edition
If you do action sports or spend time outdoors doing things people would like to watch, you absolutely need this.
GoPro cameras are used by more professional athletes, sports filmmakers and core enthusiasts than any other camera in the world. The HD HERO2: Outdoor Edition is the most advanced GoPro camera yet. Wearable and gear mountable, waterproof to 197′ (60m), capable of capturing professional full 170º wide angle 1080p video and 11 megapixel photos at a rate of 10 photos per second, the HD HERO2 is the world’s most versatile camera. Whether your goal is to capture a great day out with friends or you’re gunning for the cover of a magazine, the HD HERO2: Outdoor Edition can help you nail it and look like a HERO.
If you've used the original Hero, this updated version will be a real treat. The menu is so much easier to navigate - no more obtuse codes to decipher. You can use the camera without ever looking at the user manual. Other improvements include LED's on top and bottom (as well as the front,) a more informative display, higher resolution for still images - this of course includes time lapse, and a 10 photo burst mode (the camera takes a few moments to store these out.)
If you're new to the Hero line, this beats the pants of any competitor. The vast array of mounting options, both from GoPro and third party vendors make mounting this puppy anywhere a breeze. The fact that it uses SD cards (class 4 or above) keeps the cost down. and the tons of options make this a no-brainer. There's a Streaming video back being released shortly - yes - streaming video! You can add extra power using the USP port and any generic power supply (Aluratek, Belkin, or Tekkeon) for those really long shoots. The affordable replacement housing and parts are another big plus. I've seen this thing survive being tossed from a go-cart doing 50mph (It needed a new housing, but the camera was undamaged) and being knocked off a ski-helmet and tumbling down a rocky mountain face.
The slo-mo and new super-slo-mo are really cool - watch those trick jumps and stunts in all their glory. You can always speed them up in most video editing software! When I first saw this unit online I thought it looked a little strange and was larger than it actually way. Once I actually held one in my hands, I was shocked by it's tiny size, negligible weight and variety or mounting options.
For the most bang-for the buck, the motorsports version is your best deal - you can purchase the vented helmet mount for about 1/2 the price of the suction-cup mount - that's the main difference. That suction-cup is a must-have for automotive shooting (unless you want to permanently stick a mount to your dash.)
In case you're not sure, it's the same camera in all three Hero sets (the original Hero) and it's the same Hero2 camera in all Hero2 sets. The differences are the included mounting accessories.
Special mention goes to the anti-shake/anti-vibration the GoPro has. It's amazing. It cancels out 99% of the vibration from motor vehicles and rough ski-runs! The camera is so light, some model helicopter flyer's use it mounted to the chassis.
For some additional fun, you can make a mechanical kitchen-timer rotating base for 360 degree time-lapse movies. The camera, including mount and housing, is light enough to make this work. Check out YouTube for samples and how-to videos. One final tip - the packaging has a base that the camera comes attached to. This base is great for clamping to surfaces, for use as a extra-stable base, or for screwing to an outdoor surface where you'll use the camera a lot. I'll attach it to the starting house for our ski races so I can do some motion capture from the same spot and edit them together.
One final observation on the still photo quality - it's using the video sensor, so don't expect it to be as clear or crisp as en equivalent resolution camera. The photos show a lot of compression artifacting and noise.