What is it Capturing?
Another point of contention is that is sort of hard to know what you are capturing on the HD HERO. The old view finder is now gone, so you have to use the alignment of the camera body itself to know what it is shooting, which is even tougher since once you put it on your head you really aren’t sure where it is pointing? Trial an error (look at the video post ride) will eventually get you to know what angle works best.
Status LCD Screen
The HERO Wide had an upside down viewpoint of the LCD screen, which was very annoying. The upside down screen output was a leftover from the HERO’s surfing roots, in which the camera was attached to your wrist, and upside down was the right side up! I am glad they went to a normal screen output with the HD HERO.
The LCD screen is where you see the current status, such as the battery level, video resolution setting (1-5), shooting mode (photo, video, triple shot, timer), picture count, deletion status and exposure setting. As you go through the menu system, using the power/mode and shutter/select buttons, various icons, numbers and 3 letter anachronisms are highlighted on the LCD screen, allowing multiple camera options to be set. The upside down image capturing mode is missing (upside down records right side up), hopefully a firmware upgrade will be released soon. The user manual (ok, a single large double sided piece of paper), does a good job of covering everything, even if it is sometimes ad nauseam!
I would have liked a slightly larger screen, since a lot of information is packed into it a small area. The mode icons are difficult to see, and they are tucked up high on the screen.
- 98.9 grams – camera with battery and SD card
- 26.1 grams – battery
- 1.7 grams – SD card
- 90.5 grams – waterproof housing with connector
- 19.3 grams – connector
- 189.4 grams – total
- 60mm x 42mm x 30mm – camera size
- 72mm x 65mm x 46mm – housing size
- 13mm x 16mm – LCD screen size
The housing is a really nice unit, that is durable, waterproof and resists contamination. The housing is made of polycarbonate, with stainless steel hinge pins. I have used the camera kayaking, and biking in the snow and mud, and can attest for its tight seals and protection it affords. Which is a good thing, since the camera itself is a bit fragile, so it really needs to be used within the housing? On the bottom of the housing is a slotted connector to hook it up to the mounting system.
The back of the camera has an expansion port, that will allow optional expansion packs (called Bakpacs) to be connected. The current Bakpacs list to be released sometime in 2010, is an LCD screen (to view videos/pictures), and a battery extender. The Bakpacs will come with an expanded back door, so that the fatter camera (camera with attached Bakpac) will fit inside the waterproof housing. Future Bakpacs are supposed to include a battery warmer for those ultra cold days when batteries give up the ghost at the most inopportune moments.