Download and Viewing
To download or view the video’s you will need a PC or Mac. Just take the camera out of the housing, and connect the mini USB to the camera, and then the other end of the connector to the computers USB port. The unit will appear as a Removable Disk, just navigate down to the appropriate directory (example: F:\Removable Disk\DCIM\100GOPRO) and either download or view the video straight from the camera. You can also remove the SD card, and use a SD card reader or other appropriate device, and bypass the camera as the downloading interface. The video’s are in a AVI format (MJPEG), and you can use them as is or edit them in your favorite video editing software.I have been using Cyberlink’s PowerDirector 7 with good results. For some strange reason, the dates of the AVI’s appear as 1/1/2098? Watching the video’s on a PC was a pleasant surprise, there was only a tad of graininess and pixelation when blown up to a full screen mode. Still pictures are stored in the JPEG format.
You can also view video’s directly from the camera on a TV using the RCA to mini USB cable. You use the camera’s buttons to tab through, and start each of the video’s stored on the camera’s memory. The controls are very rudimentary, but they do work. For a small video camera watching the video on my large 57 inch TV was tolerable, the pixelation, and grain were more pronounced with a bit of aliasing. It might be nice if it was recorded in widescreen instead of 4:3, as that seems to be the future trend of video.
Since the unit is enclosed tightly in a waterproof polycarbonate housing unit the sound is somewhat subdued and only the louder sounds seem to get recorded at higher volumes. Therefore, the tires, frame and forks getting banged around get picked up, but you are not going to hear low level noise. Since most of us are going to add audio information, such as a soundtrack, at a later point in time it’s not a big issue. Audio is recorded in Mono at 8Khz.
The camera’s lens is somewhat fragile so it’s a good thing it’s enclosed in the polycarbonate housing, which is how it was meant to be used. I did use the camera outside the housing doing some video’s of various bike products. The camera was easy to use, and hold, and the sound that was recorded was much better since it had no housing to muffle the volume. If you are carrying the camera outside it’s housing make sure that you use a soft bag since the protruding wide angle lens could be susceptible to damage.
With regards to use as your normal still camera, the optical quality as not as good as your normal point and shoot camera, megapixel count is not all that make a better quality picture. For rough, and tumble shots on the bike and other sports it will be fine, but I still bring my small Sony to capture still shots.
I have been getting a lot of questions and comments on this product, more so than anything else I have been testing. With the unit stuck up on your head it can easily be seen so hikers, and bikers, tend to start up a conversation on the camera.
Parts included in the Helmet HERO Wide kit: a camera, housing, 2 curved stick on mounts, 1 flat stick on mount, USB/RCA to mini USB cable, 2 quick release buckles, vented helmet strap, headlamp strap, instruction manual, extra stick-on, and a side arm swivel.
This is a composite video of various helmet mounted shots:
This is a short composite video showing various mounting options, it includes a frame, handlebar, seatpost, and helmet mount shots (there is a bit of aliasing on the seatpost shot from the video editing software):
GoPro Hero Test Video’s – Monument Preserve, CO from Brian Mullin on Vimeo.
Big thanks to Julie Evans of Verde PR and the GoPro staff (especially Justin Wilkenfeld) for letting me do a review of their fine product!
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