GoPro HD Hero. Tiny full HD sports camera

18
Dec
2009

I got this a couple of weeks ago and LOVE IT! it’s the GoPro HD Hero.

It’s a small full HD camera that is designed mainly for sports but can have so many more applications.

gopro_hd_surfhero_hand

I bought the motorsports pack with comes with a really nice simple car suction mount, a waterproof case and some other little bits. I also got a 4gb SD card with it and battery (which last for about 2 and a half hours)

Not my car!

Not my car!

The suction mount could not be any simpler to use and is really rocks solid. Everywhere I drove I stuck the camera. It was so easy.

I also have a head strap for it and a chest strap. Am sure some people can think of ingenious ways to use that.

It has a number of video shooting modes. From Full HD to 720p mode (it does SD too i believe but I don’t like SD!). I like the 720p mode as the lens is wider with around about a 170 degree field of view. In 1080p it is not as wide. Shame really. It can take stills and do timelapse too.

The menu system is a pain to be honest, a bit 1990 for my likings. You basically need the manual in your hand to understand it and like most blokes I don’t do manuals. I like to work things out for myself. This I can’t do with the GoPro.

There is no LCD screen (a port will let you attach one at a later date) so you don’t know what you are getting until you get it into the computer. It records in a bizarre codec that FCP hates so needs transcoding.

I simply love how portable and easy it is to use and not just that, the results are really quite superb and the mount is damn solid. There are other configurations out there for biking, surfing etc…as I am not an extreme sportsman and me walking down my stairs and playing on my XBOX 360 would not make a great extreme sports video, so below is the last one I did in California last week on my Rental. Just prior to this I had locked the car keys in the car whilst packing up and about to leave Skywalker Ranch. Whoops. An hour later we got the keys out but now I was really late, but still I mounted the GoPro as it only took 30 seconds to mount and I wanted the journey captured (I had a 32gb card in there just to make sure I didn’t run out!)

I liked it so much I bought two. They are so cheap too! It’s about $300 for the motorsports pack.

I also have the Contour Full HD competitor but not had a chance to test it out yet. Soon…soon…

Skywalker to San Francisco Airport: GoPro HERO HD from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Skywalker Ranch in Marin County to the Airport. I was actually really quite late for this flight. Just made it!!

Shot in 720p 60p and converted to 30p

www.philipbloom.co.uk

GoPro HD HERO Camera: Surf Movie from GoPro on Vimeo.

To launch the GoPro HD Surf HERO camera, we sent our boy Brad down to Mexico with rippers Jamie Sterling and friends. The result is a professional surf movie, albeit shot on the $269 HD Surf HERO, from GoPro.

Buenos días, amigos…una más, por favor. Cómo? Exactly.

Learn more about the new HD HERO camera at:
gopro.com/hdheropreview

GoPro HD HERO Camera: Base Jump Movie from GoPro on Vimeo.

An example of the new GoPro HD Helmet HERO’s 960p (1280×960) HD resolution. 960p is a 4:3 aspect ratio, which means you’re going to see 25% more top/bottom viewing area than you do with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios. Both are killer, but in the case of this base jumping movie…960p shows you more of the cliff as its passing underneath you, and more of the scenery above and below. 16:9 would look good, too…just not as immersive.

Learn more about the new HD HERO camera at:
gopro.com/hdheropreview

Comments

  1. dana says:

    Nice review Philip. But you took the hard/long way to SFO! Next time bust a right right after the toll plaza on the bridge and take 19th straight to 280 to the airport.

    1. pbloom says:

      I know! I missed the turning! Had world’s worst sat nav in car. Oh well, made the video more interesting!

  2. [...] Exactly, within minutes of posting this entry, Philip Bloom posted his review of the GoPro HD Hero here. Oh the [...]

  3. Kevin says:

    Looking forward to a “head-to-head” comparison between this cam and the Contour HD.

  4. Rob Imbs says:

    I loved the drive over the bridge, so relaxing, brought back memories.

  5. GoPro VS Contour HD !! can’t wait to see that one

  6. Richard Copley says:

    Ok Phillip, I officially HATE YOU!!!!!! (LOL)

    Last year I Bought my EX3 because of your Revue (Love it!). Okay, I bought the Convergent Design Nano Flash on my own…..(But I’m waiting with baited breath for your videos and revue of the Nano.) But the GoProHD Video camera blew me away after I saw your review today, and the video of the rush to the airport……(Brought back many memories of keys locked in car!!) so I went on GoProHD Website and ordered 2 cameras and accessories! Phillip all Kidding aside I love your equipment revues! (I was going to buy the Sony POV Cam, probably better HD but at $2200.00 (CDN) I can get double the video with the GoProHD, Plus waterproof at half the price! Hope to see you again at NAB 2010. Thanks again for your revues and Videos.

  7. What do think the usability is for us PAL-users Philip? Would the 30P thing be much of issue (same question I guess as posed by 5D owners)? Fantastic tool though. I image using it stuck to a construction crane or heavy moving machinery.

    Peter

  8. MediaSpark says:

    We just got one too, 3 days ago – totally agree the complex menu, we were shooting surfing, we spend over 45 minutes in the sand trying to work it out, drove us nuts. I guess they make few buttons for less chance of leaks.

    The main thing we liked about it was the size and that it shot HD.

    FC codex issue is a pain too, but again, we can’t complain with the size and weight of the thing.

  9. This new GoPro camera is the dogs bollocks! I’ll be utilising it for some extreme sports videos next year. Only pain is the 30p thing. Though I was told by GoPro that they are seriously considering making a 25p capable version due to the number of requests they have had from European customers.

  10. Erik says:

    Just a question.

    Is it 30p or 29,97…? I want to know if I can synchronize through pluraleyes with footage from my 7D…

  11. John Merrick says:

    Philip,
    You are an inspiration to so many of us.
    I’ve had an EX 3 for over a year and love the image.
    I’ve shot the 7D and loved it, considering buying it as well.
    Do you know if the Hero has an AC power supply?
    I’ve got a 7 week construction time-lapse to do and it’s an expensive plane ride to change batteries. The thought of the Hero sounds so simple but it may not work for this application .
    I’m considering 7D with ac adaptor and an intervalometer.
    Set it to 20 shots an hour and let it roll with a battery back up incase of power loss. Also make or buy a housing.
    If you have the time to reply that would be great if not I understand.
    John Merrick
    Thanks for all you make available too the hungry minds out here.

    1. pbloom says:

      Hi John. The mains supply replaces where the battery pack goes in so there can’t be a backup. Either one or the other. P

  12. Steve says:

    When I watched the driving video i was terrified!

    Philip! You were on THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.

    You are very lucky you didn’t get into a serious accident.

    1. pbloom says:

      dont worry. we were ALL on the wrong side of the road!

  13. This looks like such an awesome little camera. I will definitely be buying one at some point in the future. It’s a pity though that it was not more compatible with Final Cut… but that base jumping video is truly awesome/insane.

    I think at some point I might have to buy a few of these to give away on my blog.

  14. Erik says:

    Hehe!!!
    Lol!! Extra lol ! Awesome guys!!

    Hey, BTW, 30p or 29,97? Huh?

  15. Erik says:

    Hello,

    My name is Erik.
    Great Review !

    Oh! By the way, sorry to ask this:
    Do you know if this camera record in “true” 30p or 29.97 ?
    Just important for me to know.
    I ever you have time, just drop me a line please Philip.
    By the way, your video of Prague is fantastic!
    Hey, do you know if the HD Hero camera is 29.97? Or it like a real 30p? Or maybe something else?
    Aouch! My socks are pink! It is not the good color !

  16. Brzhood says:

    AWESOME for me.

  17. Nick Larson says:

    Beautiful camera, I may have to pick one up. One question though Philip, do you think the motor sports mount would hold up in water, ie on the side or front of a boat?

  18. Erik says:

    Hey! I wanna be a pirate !

  19. tj says:

    am i correct in saying this takes stills while recording video, What do you think of the still pics are they any good, do look like 5 mega pixels? $299 is cheap but it’s the same price over here in sterling!!!

    1. pbloom says:

      the stills are ok. its video or stills…

  20. Erik says:

    Do they sell grog here? in 29,97 or 30p??

    Hello??

    1. pbloom says:

      no idea, don’t have my rushes to hand to check

  21. Travis says:

    I’m wanting to buy this little guy BUT…codec issues with final cut are such a deal breaker. What does the transcoding process entail? I haven’t found anyone that has posted a workflow. In my case, I would love to edit go pro footage along with my canon xh-a1 1080i footage…same timeline. Any thoughts?
    Thanks, Travis

  22. Erik says:

    Got the confirmation from the maker it is 29,97!
    Cheers!

  23. kirstin says:

    Phil, or anyone, got any tips on editing the footage in Final Cut Pro Studio 2? Compressor – convert to ProRes 422 LT? Export settings for web? Anyone?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. pbloom says:

      exactly Kirstin. I use mpeg streamclip to prores 422 lt

  24. [...] films in HD.  Older Standard Definition version available for £150. See some of videographer Philip Bloom's experiments with itMotorola T5 £60/pairwww.cotswoldoutdoor.comWalkie talkies for keeping in touch on the piste/between [...]

  25. max says:

    Hi Philip

    did you get a chance to compare this with the Contour HD?

    great web site

    Max

    1. Volker Ide says:

      Hi Philip, hi Max,

      I tested the cameras for the german tv “ARD Ratgeber Technik”. We compare the GoPro with the Contour HD etc. Have a look on my side http://www.tvdocs.eu or
      http://daserste.ndr.de/ardratgebertechnik/media/ratgebertechnik220.html If you got questions etc. mail me.

      best regards

      Volker Ide

  26. Volker says:

    Hi Philip,

    great work you do, maybe you can come to Hamburg / germany for a masterclass…

    we tested the GoPro HD and compared it with the Contour HD fot the german TV ARD Ratgeber Technik. Amazing results. You def. need good weather conditions, to shoot good pictures.

    Best regards

    Volker

  27. carl says:

    Hi Philip,
    I own a gopro and like your review found the menu system impossible to operate so to help myself and others I have uploaded a pdf to my website which anyone can print off, cut out and slip into the back of the waterproof casing and refer to anytime to help with menus and instructions.

    Go to http://www.digitalslrshooter.com to download it. It is on the homepage next to the picture of the gopro camera. Can’t miss it.
    best
    Carl

    1. pbloom says:

      thanks Carl. Very useful