GoPro HD Hero: #1 Action Camera Review

 

Dead.

As in- if I paid a professional $1000 they still wouldn’t be able to fix it- dead.

This was the fate of a formerly intact Nikon point and shoot digital camera while I was zip-lining through the Canadian National Forest. After falling 200ft and hurling by every. possible. branch. that would catch it, the ground (phew) managed to stop my camera’s momentum via spontaneous combustion.

Camera? What Camera?

This was only the start of the bad camera luck for me. Through the years, I’ve been through tons. Unfortunately, nice filming equipment and adventure don’t play well.

Not until now.

Go Pro. 


The video at the top of this post shows all the fun I’ve been having over the last 3 weeks with this thing.

Here are the specs:

  • $259
  • Up to 1080p @ 30 FPS
  • Up to 760p @ 60 FPS
  • 170° view
  • 5MPCamera with timer as well
  • 2.5 hr battery life
  • Up to 32 GB of storage
  • Simple 2 button interface
  • Waterproof, sand-proof, impact proof, speed proof, bad idea proof
  • Slow motion playback
  • USB computer charging/playback
  • Direct TV hookup for playback

 

The Good

 Its rugged and durable. In fact, it’s been known to survive 3000 ft falls among other things. The 60 fps setting is the one I most often use, because it’s SO easy to hop on iMovie and have fun with the slow motion playback. It also has two different backs for the casing of the camera. One is waterproof and improves sound quality if you’re going faster than 100mph. If you’re not riding a GSXR 1000, going diving, or rolling in sand, the open back is awesome for frisbee games, if you’re going under 100mph, or skateboarding.
The main point with this camera is, you get true HD video without the fear of your camera not being able to hang.

 

The Bad

There are some things you should be aware of before you buy:

-The software for true slow motion playback costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

When slowing down video through iMovie, it does not slow down every individual frame. It cuts out every third frame as you slow things. This has the effect of making your video look choppy and not very smooth at slower speeds. Anything below 50% of the original speed sacrifices the flow of the video on iMovie. If you’ve already invested in software that allows you to slow down every frame individually, you get video that looks like this.

-It tends to hurt film quality dramatically if you’re inside or if what you’re filming isn’t under direct sunlight.

I’ve learned to take the GoPro out only in the daytime. At night, things start to look grainy compared to when you’re outside at noon (when the camera can catch the glare of every bead of water dropping down from your chin when you exit the pool). The good thing is, most action sports and crazy adventures take place during daylight hours.

 

That said…

Buy this camera. The link is on my gear page. Not because it’s a kickass piece of machinery that can catch every high speed situation (it can). But because it’s going to make you WANT to Do MORE. And that’s what this blog is really all about. Getting us to go outside, and try something that we haven’t. Afraid of heights? Give fear the finger, strap on the GoPro, and jump out of a plane. We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time.

More soon…

I just got done moving everything into my new place. Ah, the life of a nomadic college student. I’ve got a few things on the agenda coming up:

  • Bull Riding
  • Tough Mudder: 13 mile obstacle/mud race
  • Learning NOT to play tennis like a caveman with a giant stick

 

Off the wall posts coming. Stay tuned.
-Chase

 

Posted on August 17th, 2011

6 People have left comments on this post



» Gavin said: { Aug 17, 2011 - 07:08:43 }

Great review.

» Human Rights said: { Aug 25, 2011 - 12:08:05 }

Big thumbs up – thanks!

» The Champ said: { Aug 31, 2011 - 01:08:08 }

Nice Summary

» Chase Doran said: { Aug 31, 2011 - 02:08:22 }

Thanks!

» The Zuma said: { Sep 19, 2011 - 04:09:23 }

Big thumbs up – thanks!

» CV2 said: { Sep 20, 2011 - 05:09:23 }

Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!