The mounting system connects up to the bottom of the housing, and includes a vast array of parts and pieces (some are optional), that allow placements on the frame, helmet, handlebars and seatpost. The HD HERO is sold in different kit formats such as Helmet, Surf and Motorsports. The Helmet version is what most bikers will purchase, and includes mounts for vented and hard shell helmets.
The kit includes a vented helmet strap, a unvented helmet strap (a.k.a the jock strap), stick on mounts, and a side arm swivel. The mounts allow attachment to bikes, cars, kayaks, helmets and more. You can purchase additional more specific adapters for motorsports, surfing, and other sports uses. I tested the optional adapters that allow connection to a seatpost or handlebar, and the “Chesty” which is a chest strap system. These two accessories are a necessity to make full use of the camera’s abilities.
Using the easy to mount helmet strap, the housing unit has a fantastic quick snap in capability that is a dream to attach to the helmet strap mount. All that are required is a quick backwards push of the buckle onto any of the mounts, and the housing is installed. The quick release system just plain rocks, it’s so easy to take the camera on and off. I wish my bike lights all used this system.
The mounts, adapters and swivel arms can be set up to shoot a lot of variations and viewpoints, making some interesting footage. Everything fits together like a small tinker toy set, with clamping and connection done by a plastic ended screw with a nut, which are tightened by hand. Although everything is easy to use and set up, it’s difficult to make things tight enough, and things always seem to move in the middle of a ride. Even when tightening with a screw driver, things can move accidentally and screw up a shot.
I really liked the helmet mount, which was simple to use and could be clamped down pretty tightly (fewer movements). I did think it looked like a freakin toaster on top of your head! I also enjoyed the handlebar mount, which could give some interesting perspective, and in addition it kept the camera out of my way. I found that the seatpost setup seemed to get caught on my bike shorts on occasion, which was very annoying.
The “Chesty” was pretty cool, and was excellent for skiing and kayaking, where it ruled. I didn’t like it as much as most people, since I tend to move around too much, and saddle and stuff got in the way.
One of the most dramatic changes from the older model is that the memory/storage capacity is now up to a whopping 32GB capacity! Much better than the measly 2GB that was the standard, although GoPro did release a 4GB memory firmware for the old HERO Wide. Unfortunately, since the 32GB cards are fairly new, they are brutally expensive, anywhere from $75 to $200+, ouch! I got a 16GB Class 6 card, which was a good compromise, especially considering the battery cannot make it to 32GB.
- Memory statistics per single battery charge: 1080p @ 12.5GB, 960p @ 15.9GB, 720p @ 15.7GB
The SD Cards are formatted with a FAT 32 partition, which has a 4GB file size limitation. While recording, a new video file will be created once the currently recording one reaches appropriately 3. 84GB, due to the FAT limitation, so you will need to piece the files together in an editor to have a full timeline.
This brings up an issue that has been problematic for many HD HERO users. Not all SD cards seem to work properly with the camera, although this can be a common issue with a lot of digital cameras, not just the HD HERO. It seems to be hit and miss for which cards might work, for instance, all my Transcend SD cards work fine for me, but others have had issues with them. Per GoPro support, “For what it’s worth, internally we use Kingston or Patriot brand cards: 16GB, Class 4.” Issues that have been reported are short video recording times, or an inability to record. I did not have any of these issues, and all the cards I have used have been fine. Caveat emptor.
The GoPro engineers improved the sound reception of the unit in comparison to the old unit, which I can attest to. The new pickup is readily apparent when using the optional non-waterproof back door, which has cut outs on it. I usually add music to my videos, so sound is sort of a moot point for me.