Review: GoPro HD HERO 2

Cameras Pro Reviews

Video
New: The 1080p mode gets an ultra wide 170º and narrow 90º FOV, and the 960p gets a slow mo 48 fps, and the 720p gets a 127º and 90º FOV, while the WVGA gets 127º FOV and a slow mo 120 fps.

The HD HERO can shoot in High Definition, in four video resolutions. It can shoot in 1080p (widescreen) at 30fps, 960p (full frame) at 48 fps or 30 fps, 720p (widescreen) at either 30 fps or 60 fps, and SD at 120 fps or 60 fps. The 960p 48fps, 720p 60 fps and SD 120 fps allow for slow motion playback, which is pretty cool to watch, and does give a smoother stream. Each of the video resolutions are captured at different bit rates, which entails varying recording times and storage requirements, meaning greater resources are needed for the higher usage formats. The resolution settings are done within the camera’s menu system, which is managed by its two buttons. In fact, any of the programmable features and settings can be done through the menus, allowing in the field changes as required. The camera records in 2 viewing angles, unique to its video resolution, so 1080p is 170º, 127º or 90º, 920p is 170º, 720p is 170º, 127º or 90º, and SD is 170º or 120º. The default setting is 960p.

Thoughts: I have not played around very much with the new 1080p 170º and 90º FOV settings, but the 170º actually seemed to work decently, without too much jello vision. I am not sure if the new 11MB sensor helps with the issue, but I need some more testing to make any conclusions. My favorite new setting is the 960p 48 fps slow mo. I always have liked the tall view point that the 960 full frame provides, and the addition of the 48 fps really gives it s smoother look, with fewer transitions and choppiness. I still have the 1080p 90º FOV, and the 720p 127º FOV and 90º FOV to test, so I am looking forward to so more testing of those views.

Photos
New: It gets a new half second time lapse (.5 second), and the old 3 photos in 2 seconds burst mode, was changed to a fast 10 photos in 1 second.

The HD HERO can shoot still photos in either a manual or automatic mode. In the manual mode, it can be set to shoot either a single or ten in a sequence of photos, and even has a 10-second timer if desired. The automatic mode allows photos to be taken every X number of seconds, where X is .5, 2 , 10, 30 or 60-second intervals.

Thoughts: The new 11MB sensor gives some really nice pictures, with a lot of clarity and sharpness, and might make me use the photo feature more often. The ability to be able to do some sports specific action shots with the new .5 second time-lapse, and ultra fast 10 shot burst, should provide for some interesting, but I didn’t have a subject to test out the scenario.

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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