There are products that come along that are really cool; once in a while, a product comes along that is revolutionary.
The short end of it – Total Motorcycle Gold Award – The GoPro HD Motorsports Hero is a revolutionary product that will open up your world and share it with others. Close to prefect but with a few things to improve upon for GoPro HD 2.
The long end of it – Read on and enjoy…
There are products that come along that are really cool; once in a while, a product comes along that is revolutionary and that is the GoPro HD Motorsports Hero. The GoPro HD Hero lets you open up your world and share what you see and experience with others, all in a light and compact package.
People have always wanted to share their experiences with others. Back in the early 19th century we developed the very first still cameras, heavy, wooden, bulky but still capable of taking either a black and white or color photo (1861) of whatever the photographer’s eye saw and to share it with the masses. The first cameras were “magic” as it allowed someone to see a view from a place they may never be.
But the people wanted movement.
The zoetrope, mutoscope and praxinoscope came to be in the 1860s. These would display sequences of still pictures at sufficient speed for the images on the pictures to appear to be moving.
But the people wanted smoother motion.
By the 1880s the development of the motion picture camera allowed the individual component images to be captured and stored on a single reel, and led quickly to the development of a motion picture projector to shine light through the processed and printed film and magnify these “moving picture shows” onto a screen for an entire audience.
But the people wanted sound.
In the 1920s, new technology allowed filmmakers to attach to each film a soundtrack of speech, music and sound effects synchronized with the action on the screen. These sound films were initially distinguished by calling them “talking pictures”, or talkies.
But the people wanted color.
The next major step in the development was the introduction of so-called “natural color”. The pivotal innovation was the introduction of the three-strip version of the Technicolor process in 1934.
But the people wanted to make their own films.
In 1932 the first “home movie” cameras appears. In 1935/6 color film appears. This was the point at which home movies finally came within reach of the average family.
It wasn’t until 1965 when Super 8 was released and was quickly adopted by the amateur filmmaker. It featured a better quality image, and was easier to use. Super 8 allowed for 2.5 minutes at 24 frames per second. Now the stage was set for a person to share affordable full color, full motion, home videos for the first time.
Fast forward to today….
Now I think you can see why I would call the GoProHD revolutionary. Capable of up to 1080p HD resolutions and recording at 30 frames per second (60 fps in 720p), a tiny size of 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2” (42mm x 60mm x 30mm) and just 3.3oz (94g) incl. battery weight. Plus over 8 hours of video at 720p (30 fps) with a 32GB SD card (SDHC) card.
Not JUST a video camera, but a moveable point of view. With GoPro’s universal (to their mounts) system you can mount the GoPro camera practically anywhere. With several different and unique mounts available (see below), fixing the GoPro camera to almost any object is amazing. Plus the GoPro is nearly indestructible as it is “Shockproof, Bombproof, Waterproof to 180’ / 60m” and able to resist over 200mph speeds as tested by some YouTube home videographers.
Night Vision Goggle Mount
Handlebar Seatpost Mount
Curved Adhesive Mounts
Surf HERO Expansion
HD Wrist Housing
HERO Wide Wrist Housing
HERO Wrist Housing (Standard Lens)
Suction Cup Mount
Roll Bar Mount
Chest Mount Harness
Helmet Front Mount
Head Strap Mount
Vented Helmet Strap Mount
Flat Adhesive Mounts
GoPro HD Hero Setup
The GoProHD takes just 2 minutes to setup and adjust for recording. You have a simple display screen and 2 buttons. The “Power/Mode Button” to turn the camera on and off and to choose between modes in menu mode. “Shutter/Select Button” controls taking a photo/video when out of menu mode and mode option selecting when in menu mode. Thus you can change between photo mode, triple shot photo mode, video modes, timer and basic SD card file access.
When on and once the shutter button is pressed once the “LED light” will flash to let you know the camera is live.
While you can use the camera without the casing, you will find it necessary to have the casing on if you want to do anything serious with it. The casing is waterproof when used with the waterproof door has two waterproof spring loaded buttons to use the Power/Mode Button and Shutter/Select Button, although they are difficult to press with motorcycle gloves on.
GoPro HD Instruction Manual
GoPro HD Hero Overview
Total Motorcycle fully reviewed the camera over the period of 2 months in every video resolution mode and even with still image photography to put the GoProHD to the test.
We found the camera was very capable for video, passed all the tests we could throw at it and produced outstanding video results. The still photo results even exceeded an average dedicated 12 megapixel camera. The GoPro mounts were high quality, light and we were able use them in many different angles on a motorcycle chassis/frame, bike parts and even on the rider themselves.
With the GoPro HD Hero capable of holding 32GB SD cards (SDHC) it opens up a huge window for day long videos and the option of having enough storage to not worry about downloading back to a computer to have enough SD card space for a few days use while on tour.
It is also really nice Go Pro included 2 backs for use. A non-waterproof version to pick up more sound and a waterproof “over 100mph” version to increase the flexibility of the camera.
I would like to have seen 4 improvements here.
1. An additional LED light on the rear of the camera so you can see the camera is “live” without looking at the front when it’s live.
2. Viewfinder. Without a LCD backpanel or old fashioned viewfinder it is difficult to tell where the subject is in the frame and how “big/small” they are. GoPro does now carry the LCD BacPac to fix this issue but it should be standard as it really is a standard part of any camera today.
3. Audio input from an external source. So you can use a microphone placed elsewhere to capture sound (such as near an exhaust while the camera is mounted on the front of a motorcycle).
4. Small Suction Cup Mount. The Suction Cup Mount is extremely useful and flexible but it can be difficult to find a big enough flat spot to suck it to. A smaller Suction Cup Mount would be ideal to mount the GoPro to even more surfaces.
Total Motorcycle GoPro HD Hero overall review video
Overall, we give the GoPro HD Hero 4 out of 5 stars for having such a revolutionary product that is so close to prefect but with a few things to improve upon for GoPro HD 2.