Review: GoPro HD HERO 2

Cameras Pro Reviews

GoPro released the new HD HERO2 on Monday, but I got to spend some quality time with the camera over the past couple weeks, and I am pretty impressed. The HD HERO2 has quite a few new features, the most prominent being the addition of an 11 megapixel sensor and a wholly upgraded user interface or menu system. There is a fine line between bumping up the pixel count (11MP) into an extremely small sensor size (.435 inch CMOS), in which the increased pixels per inch (PPI) or pixel density causes noise and loss of detail issues, but in this case, it seems to work just fine. The new 11MP sensor is also enhanced by the addition of a sharper glass lens, both of which result in better clarity and sharpness, and more vibrant and realistic colors.

Other new features: The slow mo 720p at 60 fps (frames per second) resolution, is now joined by 960p at 48 fps and WVGA at 120 fps. The photo section makes use of the 11MB sensor, and gets some fast-action setups of a .5 seconds time-lapse, and an ultra fast burst mode of 10 photos per second. To view on a big-screen TV, it gets a HDMI output, which really makes it handy for watching footage post shooting. The HD HERO2 is compatible with their expansion BacPac add-ons, including the upcoming Wi-Fi BacPac that will have remote management through a small wireless remote, and a smartphone/tablets/computers, and in addition will allow video streaming to devices. The sensor also gets better light sensitivity, bumping it down to .84 V/lux-sec.

The new GoProHD HERO2 retails for $299, and is available in three versions, the Outdoor, Motorsports and Surf. Refer to http://gopro.com/hd-hero2-cameras/

NOTE: This is just a First Impressions, and a full blown review will be published in the near future.

HD HERO2
Note: The Camera is the same size and form factor as the current HD model, and so the housing, mount systems, and BakPak’s remain the same.

GoPro’s HD HERO2 is a POV (point of view) high-definition sports 11MP CMOS camera, that can take video and still shots. It can record video footage in 1080p, 960p, 720p and SD formats, and 11MP photos in several modes. It records data onto SDHC and SDXC cards (not included) up to 32GB in size, and is powered with an internal rechargeable battery that gives around 2.5 hours of recording time. The camera is encased within a plastic waterproof housing, that attaches to a plethora of mounting accessories, and can be mounted to a wide array of objects. The camera can be used for an assortment of outdoor activities, including motorsports, biking, kayaking, surfing, skiing, base jumping, etc.

Thoughts: It’s nice that camera body remains the same size, and that it can use the current parts (mounts, BacPak’s, etc.), so if you have old mounts from a previous version, you can still make use of them.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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