GoPro HD Hero 2 evaluation
GoPro has been within the HD motion sports activities and helmet cam recreation for a while now, with its Hero line proving a well-liked sight atop many a daredevil’s lid. Now, you’ll be able to add HD Hero 2 ($300) to the ever rising listing of choices now, as that is the newest (they usually say biggest) incarnation so far. Final time we examined the Hero Unique — because it’s now referred to as — towards the Contour HD, however now we’re pitting new towards previous, like for like, aspect by aspect. Not solely will we uncover how the brand new boy stands up towards the digital camera it successfully usurps, we’ll additionally see the way it fares out within the area. Above all, we’ll see whether or not a smattering of latest recording choices, and a supposedly “two occasions sharper” picture make it value the additional dollars.
When you unbox the Hero 2, you will be greeted by most of the similar accoutrements as earlier than. The packaging is identical Perspex-topped cardboard field, the digital camera satisfaction of place, whereas all of the equipment are tucked away down under. The package you get depends upon which version you purchase, with three obtainable at launch: Outside, Motorsports and Surf. We have been testing the Outside set, which is little greater than a brand new identify for what was beforehand referred to as the Helmet Hero.
Within the field are 4 adhesive mount clips, an elasticated head mount, a padded helmet mount, three pivot arms, a water-proof case, a non-waterproof case door (for higher audio), a battery and naturally the digital camera. All very acquainted in case you personal any GoPro gear, a lot in order that the brand new digital camera itself is nearly similar too. There are delicate variations within the measurement of the recording LEDs, HDMI port, three.5 Mic enter and naturally the product identify emblazoned on the entrance, however apart from that they are equivalent, which means that their instances are interchangeable additionally.
What is new with the HD Hero 2 is what is going on on beneath that unassuming little case. Based on GoPro, the Hero 2 is 2 occasions as highly effective in each approach. Meaning “two occasions sharper picture” (nevertheless that is measured); 11MP Photographs, up from the unique’s 5; ten photographs per second, up from three; time lapse right down to zero.5 second increments, beforehand 1 second; max fps one hundred twenty, up from 60; and one hundred seventy levels FOV all the best way as much as 1080p, beforehand one hundred seventy stopped at 960p, dropping to 127 levels at full decision. Thankfully you will not be anticipated to pay double worth for all this additional spec, however extra on that later.Mounting
Accent-clever, the pivot arms are there to allow you to place the HD Hero 2 in a lot of totally different positions, however they’re considerably fiddly, and restricted within the variety of angles. You’ve gotten sufficient to get the digital camera prolonged, away from helmet obstructions, and alter the mounting angle ought to you have to. As earlier than, the adhesive clips cling to something with vigor; due to this you must be dedicated to no matter you’re sticking it to. If you wish to movie your pal snowboarding, pray that she does not thoughts you slapping one in every of these on her board, because it’ll be there virtually completely.
Typically clipping the digital camera out and in of those mounts could be troublesome, particularly if area is restricted, or your fingers are gloved / moist / chilly, which is perhaps very often contemplating that is an motion sports activities system. Likewise, the pivot arms are screwed in place, and the little plastic screw heads might be extraordinarily troublesome to loosen manually with climate crushed fingers, mercifully the caps have an uncovered Philips-head screw, so you will get a screwdriver in to do the job when your fleshy digits fail.
The tie-up helmet mount pad is nice for these lids with air vents, and means you do not have to make use of up one among your 4 adhesive clips, nevertheless it does depart itself extra open to loosening or coming undone, so a bit little bit of a commerce off. The top-mount makes you are feeling splendidly self-acutely aware whenever you adorn it, like some type of techno-miner, however it’s pretty snug and sensible, which is by far crucial factor right here.In use
As soon as you’ve got labored out the way you’re mounting it, the remainder of the set-up is a cinch. Like its elder sibling, the entrance button controls energy and cycles by means of menu choices, whereas the highest button selects, and naturally, units the digital camera rolling. As soon as once more you must cope with a tiny LCD display for navigating by way of menus, however the interface is a bit more pleasant than earlier than, with barely clearer icons and textual content changing the calculator-esque codes of earlier than.
Kicking off primary filming is straightforward: merely choose film mode and press go. When you’re rolling the digital camera beeps and purple LEDs on the entrance and prime flash to let you understand it is nonetheless going. The earlier mannequin suffered from not beeping loud sufficient to be heard over engine noise, and it is nonetheless the case with the Hero 2, which means you are not all the time positive it is capturing until you possibly can bodily see it. Annoyingly, there’s nonetheless no method of viewing what you’ve got simply shot till you both get house and add it, or purchase a the BacPac accent at an additional value. As a center floor, in case you have an iPad with a digital camera package, the GoPro information play again simply wonderful proper off the bat. Different tablets also needs to deal with them and not using a drawback.
The resolutions out there are the identical as on the HD Hero Unique, simply with extra body price choices and FOV angles (in a forthcoming firmware replace), which expands the variety of stylistic prospects. For instance, WVGA mode will be capable of be shot at 60 and 120fps; 720p will get three FOV choices: ninety, 127 and one hundred seventy in contrast to earlier than the place you simply had the extensive one hundred seventy setting; 960p will get a 48fps setting and up on the prime 1080p once more the 2 further FOVs at the moment are out there.
The 1,one hundred mAh battery ought to see you thru a superb 2.5 hours of use based on its claims and in our exams it barely registered a lack of over half on the indicator whereas out and about, capturing often. Outputting the video you shot is now attainable over HDMI which usurps the element cable provided with the final era, however you will want the lead already, as it isn’t provided within the field like beforehand.Video high quality
The very first thing you will discover in case you have the posh of getting each cameras is that the HD Hero 2 is noticeably clearer. Many individuals are likely to assume in pure numbers: megapixels, decision and so forth, however then overlook that loads of it actually is determined by the piece of glass the picture is coming via. We observed that pictures have been usually sharper, however this was most seen with extra complicated textures corresponding to asphalt, grass and so forth.
The extra decision settings and FOV choices are extra of a luxurious than a necessity, however mixed with the upper degree of sharpness do give the system a extra full and professional really feel. Audio nonetheless suffers dramatically when contained in the waterproof case, and fares mildly higher with the extra sound-pleasant door.
The colour stability between the 2 fashions can also be notably distinct, with the HD Hero 2 reproducing far more genuine tones in comparison with the Unique’s barely brasher ranges. Efficiency underneath decrease-mild ranges additionally appeared to have loved a marked enchancment.
There are nonetheless occasions when you possibly can sense that that is finally a click on-and-go digital camera. For instance, some jaggies are nonetheless noticeable at occasions, and white stability could be a little off every now and then, however all issues thought-about, it usually places in a strong efficiency.
The movies under have been taken in two very totally different mild conditions, however offer you an excellent understanding of how properly the digital camera may carry out underneath totally different climate circumstances. The primary was shot on a cloudy winter day about an hour or two previous to sunset and it holds up fairly nicely.
Subsequent is a few on-board (heh!) footage, we took on a brighter day. Pay shut consideration to the pavement, and you may see that at occasions definition of the asphalt is not all the time crisp, however given the quantity of motion that is forgivable. It is value noting that the rocking forwards and backwards just isn’t because of the digital camera mount, however the rocking of the board it is hooked up to. Sudden actions resembling this will make the ensuing materials a bit of disagreeable to observe, so it is value making an allowance for when you think about your mount factors.
Pound for pound, the HD Hero 2 is a marked enchancment, and continues very a lot within the advancing footsteps of its predecessors. The worth just isn’t rather more than the Unique when that was new at $299.ninety nine. That stated, a few of our gripes stay, they usually could be vital sufficient to vary your shopping for choice relying in your necessities.
The primary one, we discovered, is that the digital camera itself is sort of heavy, particularly when cased and mounted. Heavy sufficient that if you’ve obtained one slapped in your helmet, you undoubtedly find out about it, and sudden head actions may cause you to really feel a tip within the stability – considerably off placing when mid-motion.
Likewise, the mounts themselves may lend themselves to bigger, smoother surfaces, however if you wish to connect it to one thing much less common, you may wrestle. Positive you should purchase totally different mounting kits and instruments, however it quickly provides up. To not point out how fiddly it may be to get arrange good too. If you want to change the digital camera place on the go, you may end up lacking a few of the motion. This will all be negated to a point with the suitable preparation, however value contemplating if prep-time is not a luxurious that you simply may need. For probably the most half, GoPro has improved on what was already a well-liked product, so we anticipate newcomers to be happy, however upgraders may need to think about if there’s sufficient internet profit.
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