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174 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great HD Camera for Adventure Minded People
I have used this camera a couple of times since receiving it for Christmas. I have used both the strap mount for my vented bicycle helmet as well as the permanent stick on mount for my dual sport motorcycle helmet. In both cases, the mounts work as well as the camera. I still have the previous generation GoPro HERO in standard definition, but not in the wide field of...
Published on January 26, 2010 by technojerry

versus
495 of 513 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really want to love this camera. **Updated
This is close to being a perfect example of a wearable/mountable POV camera. But unfortunately, close isn't quite good enough.

The pros:
Video is awesome, in all of the modes.
Stills are very good quality, the timelapse feature is fantastic.
It's waterproof.
The mounting options are (almost) limitless.

The cons:
It's awkward...
Published on July 7, 2010 by MD Boatbum


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495 of 513 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really want to love this camera. **Updated, July 7, 2010
By 
MD Boatbum (Annapolis, MD) - See all my reviews
This review is from: GoPro HD Motorsports Hero (Camera)
This is close to being a perfect example of a wearable/mountable POV camera. But unfortunately, close isn't quite good enough.

The pros:
Video is awesome, in all of the modes.
Stills are very good quality, the timelapse feature is fantastic.
It's waterproof.
The mounting options are (almost) limitless.

The cons:
It's awkward to set up. Menu is like something from 20 years ago.
Firmware issues have yet to be addressed by the manufacturer. This is inexcusable as the camera has been available for sale for nearly a year.
Audio is useless. They could have saved weight and cost by just not including a mic. The only instance where it even sort of works is when mounted right near a loudish sound you want to highlight, such as an engine.
There are too many instances where "Macgyvering" is required to get the desired result. The quick release mount rattles so you need to tape the base plate, the non waterproof back allows too much wind noise, so you need to tape over the openings, the shutter button rattles, so you need to tape over that. Moral of the story: BUY TAPE.
The support by the manufacturer is not quite adequate. I realize it's a small start up company, but for all the issues with the use of the camera and the handling/editing of the files, they really need to release some conclusive videos or articles to address these concerns.

People who might find this camera useful:
Auto racing enthusiasts
Mountain Bikers
Sailors
Hobbyist videographers looking for those unique shots

People who will likely be disappointed and frustrated by this camera:
Pretty much anyone who thinks they'll be using it as a camcorder.
People who aren't really tech savvy and/or have an older computer
People who don't like to tinker and engineer solutions to make it do what they want.

******UPDATE******* ******UPDATE******* ******UPDATE******* ******UPDATE******* ******UPDATE*******
As of September 7, 2010, Gopro released the new firm ware for the camera. It seems to have fixed most of the bugs/issues. It also provides the option for upside down mounting.
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174 of 181 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great HD Camera for Adventure Minded People, January 26, 2010
By 
technojerry "technojerry" (Ridgecrest, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: GoPro HD Helmet Hero (Camera)
I have used this camera a couple of times since receiving it for Christmas. I have used both the strap mount for my vented bicycle helmet as well as the permanent stick on mount for my dual sport motorcycle helmet. In both cases, the mounts work as well as the camera. I still have the previous generation GoPro HERO in standard definition, but not in the wide field of view lens configuration like the current HD version. I like the wide field of view of this HD model. It is great at giving a very good view of both the trail as will as your handlebar movements while riding both my mountain bike or motorcycle. The quality of the video is fantastic. The files do get large, but that is to be expected with the high resolution of this camera. I have been using a 16GB SDHC card and have filed up about half of it on one battery charge. I would recommend a high speed card reader to improve the download times from the card. A 12 min video was nearly a gigabyte. The battery last I think longer than the previous standard definition camera which ran on AAA batteries. I think that I will buy an additional battery someday for long rides with lots of action.

The only reason I have not given it a full 5 stars is the difficulty in reading the small status screen with all the various modes it has. The same issue I have with the standard definition HERO. The icons that tell you if you are in burst, still, timed, or video mode are very small across the top of the display. The numbers to tell you the number of pictures or videos taken are much larger. It is just difficult if you have the camera mounted on top of your helmet and you try and look in the mirror on your bike to see if the camera is on and what mode it is. You have to use the select button on the front to both turn the camera on and select the right mode. The shutter button is on top and is easy to operator even with gloves. It is not difficult to read the display if you are holding the camera in front of you, but much more difficult when mounted on top of your helmet. You can unclip the camera from the mount, but that can be difficult when it is on top of your helmet.

I am looking forward to the expansion port options being available, like the LCD screen to view the videos in the field. I am also thinking of investing in the chest strap mount so I can get different view over the handle bars as will as making it easier to see the small status display. Other than the small icons telling you which mode, this is a very nice camera that takes very high quality action videos. It is very small and light and easy to use when you have it in the right mode. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone wanting action videos of their bicycling, motorcycle, or skiing activities.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Sports Camera, January 3, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: GoPro HD Motorsports Hero (Camera)
I bought this HD camera to replace a VholdR Wearable Camcorder (Black) which didn't survive getting run over by my SUV. The Hero is a well constructed camera, very solid feeling with quality construction.

Pros: The camera has four modes - video (in several resolutions), still pictures, self-timer still pictures, and interval photos (pictures every few seconds). The lens gives a tremendously wide wild view which is nice for HD's 9:16. It will shoot 1080p, 960p 720p (at 30 and 60 frames per second), and 480 (at 60 frames per second) line resolutions. It uses standard SDHC memory cards and has an internal battery which recharges via a USB cable. The recorded audio is very good both inside and outside of the motor sports waterproof case that came with my kit. Video is relatively good, not as vivid as a dedicated camcorder but the resolution is good. My kit came with a variety of mounts and a suction cup mount for windows and car body use. The waterproof case comes with two backs, one that is watertight and one that is not for better audio when waterproof use isn't required. The kit comes with connectors for connecting the camera up to an HDTV monitor (component video) or a TV monitor (composite video). A neat feature in the menu is that you can flip both the video and still photos so you can shoot with the camera upside down without a problem.

Cons: The quick release mounts have a bit of wiggle to them. The back of the waterproof case can be difficult to lock closed. The menu system is a bit troublesome to use as there are only two buttons and three LCD characters to use. Once set you'll not have to go into the menu very often.

Future: There's a connector on the rear that GoPro plans on using for an external battery or a monitor. Neither are available at the time of this review but they are being worked on.

In use on the trail the mounts worked very well. I used the suction cup primarily to mount the camera to my windshield, bumper, side body panel, and side window. Across rugged rocky trails the camera held firm and the video came out very well. The simple interface was easy enough to use. One button to turn the camera on and select the mode and another to stop and start the recording.
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85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SHOULD BE the best sports camera BUT.....see UPDATES, September 2, 2010
By 
AK (Kentucky) - See all my reviews
This review is from: GoPro HD Motorsports Hero (Camera)
I am extremely happy with this camera. I use it on my GSXR-1000 in the twisty roads for great action HD video as well as mount it to my radio controlled sailplane for great HD video of the flying area. The picture quality is astounding and shake free. The video is eye watering on a plasma TV or wide screen projector during playback.

The kit is very complete with a large assortment of mounts. I'm surprised that there are so many mounts and that they don't try to charge extra for them in an "additional" kit. Supposedly the camera is waterproof to 180 feet and comes in a waterproof primary case (that can be removed).

Overall, I don't know how they can deliver so much product for so little cost, I am completely happy....get your own :)

UPDATE 09/05/2010

I am having an issue that appears to be fairly common with other GoPro HD users. When you finish a video and hit the shutter button to stop recording, the video gets corrupted due to some issue with the camera, the SD card, or a file allocation issue with the firmware. I am using a high quality Class 4 SD card and know it works fine with other hardware. I am seriously unhappy that after a weekend of great video, the SD card is corrupted after multiple reformats and everything else in the book. I understand a firmware is in progress but has been so for a long long time. I recommend this camera AFTER they get the issues fixed.

UPDATE 09/06/10

Instead of updating the 09/05/10 report, I have found somewhat of a solution. I found that you must format the SDHC card with the GoPro HD(which I was doing) BUT pay attention to the red status light by the lens when the format is complete. If after the format the red light does NOT blink red three times then the format was successful and the videos won't get corrupted. In my case, every time I formatted the 32GB SDHC, I got three red blinking lights at the end of the format. The camera acted like the card was OK by displaying OOO for the video but it would corrupt 100% of the time. So, in my case, the 32GB SDHC was faulty. Pay attention to the status lights, this information was not in the manual that I could find.

ANOTHER UPDATE :( 10/18/2010
The same problems resurfaced. I would go out and take awesome videos, the camera acted like everything worked well. i plug in the camera to the computer via USB and it says "You must reformat the card" I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS CAMERA until GoPro fixes this issue that appears quite common (researching the issue on the internet), extremely frustrating... YMMV (Your mileage may vary)

UPDATE 11/1/2010
GoPro finally sent me a replacement camera and it works fine, I think there is a significant number of defective cameras in the system but they will work with you and eventually send you another one.

UPDATE 2/14/11
I thought that the new GoProHD camera sent to me to replace the original defective one was working. It did for about a month. Once again, it started corrupting videos and costing me lots of grief. Imagine if you climbed Mt. McKinley and got to the top, take your "hero" pictures, go all the way down, and discover that your camera screwed up, that is the kind of frustration I'm talking about. The camera hosed me on too many shots like that to put up with anymore. I'm probably going to take this thing to the shooting range and blow it to pieces. Buyer beware.

++++ ANOTHER UPDATE 5/25/11

LESSONS LEARNED: I did update the GoProHD to the latest firmware (v01.01.54) I also tried yet another SD card. Perhaps the combination of new firmware and the Patriot 16GB Class 6 SDHC did the trick. I learned that this camera is extremely picky about SD cards. If you're are having trouble with your video getting corrupted, update the firmware and try another SD card. Once you get the right card, the corruption issues should stop. I have been using the camera a lot for two weeks since the new firmware and Patriot 16GB SD card and have had no issues. I changed my star rating from a one to a three.
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123 of 137 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not underwater!, October 6, 2010
This review is from: GoPro HD Helmet Hero (Camera)
the good...
Great package. Plenty of accessories for customized mounting. nice small and simple design. strong housing, yet clasp can be broken easily if not properly aligned and forced to close. Amazing picture quality. setup menu a little dated.

the bad...
Was bought for its waterproof qualities in preparation for a Fiji trip. HOWEVER, contrary to what GoPro touts, it is not great for underwater. The reason is the housing curvature over the lense curvature combined with water defraction creates blurry images. this is only found in the GoPro FAQs. very misleading. do an internet search on this. had to buy a special housing with flat lense from eyeofmine.com at $80. Now picture quality underwater is the same as above water. this is where my two stars came from.

If you want it for underwater and don't mind buying a new housing for $80, then I recommend, if not, don't buy.
If you are using this not for its waterproof qualities, then I recommend.
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167 of 193 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work as expected and flawed design, March 27, 2010
By 
rc (Maryland, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: GoPro HD Motorsports Hero (Camera)
The selling points of this particular camera, for me, are the 720p@60 and 1080p@30 video modes. The 720p@60 in particular (60 frames per second), is ideally suited for fast action. It also has the widest field of view. The 1080p@30 is an interesting alternative, for its higher resolution and less wide field of view.

Also critical to my purchasing, was that the battery would last over 2 hours, as I want to record, without intervention -- as that's not practical -- for about that long (up to 2 hours).

Unfortunately, I found out that the 720p@60 video mode crashes or stops recording after about 29 minutes! After spending (wasting) hours of my time, I found out on different forums, that this is a common -- I suspect universal -- problem with this camera. I believe I read it may also be a problem with the other 60 frames per second, lower resolution, mode as well.

There's some confusion because there are a _lot_ of complaints about problems with different SDHC cards. For example, there is one forum thread that lists cards that work (finding one that does is an issue), and others then contradict the list and post that they _don't_ work!

In my case, I'm using the SDHC card that is actually recommended and is used by GoPro. I've systematically tested the 720p@60 and 1080p@30 modes. The 1080p mode runs till the battery runs out. The 720p@30 does the same. But, the 720p@60 consistently crashes at 29 minutes +- a few seconds. It does so after it begins the 2nd video file. This is probably a problem with the camera design/firmware.

Beyond the above, there is another feature (the ability to select up or upside-down recording) that is supposed to be available in a firmware upgrade. There are no available firmware upgrades for this camera. Other's have been waiting and waiting and waiting for GoPro to release an upgrade and it's one of those any-day-now things. This is Spring and the camera has been out for a good while. So, who knows when or if there will be such an upgrade.

Bottom-line: I recommend to _not_ buy this camera until an actual firmware upgrade is released, and there are reports that it, at least, fixes the 720p@60 video mode recording problem. This is a POV action camera. It's a fundamental flaw that it can't record in its optimal video mode for more than 29 minutes without manual intervention.

Another complaint... the camera can only be mounted when it is in its water proof housing. This adds significantly to its weight and bulk (and awkward appearance). For some uses, the waterproof housing makes sense. For many other uses -- such as inside a car or cockpit or any non-wet or damaging environment -- it doesn't. The camera itself, without the housing, is small. But there's no way to mount it -- it doesn't even have the standard tripod screw opening that other cameras have. So, I'm scratching my head trying to figure out a way to use the camera without its housing (and protect the lens w/out the housing-- it doesn't even have a lens cap)... yet another problem to be solved.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MILSPEC to the bone, September 2, 2010
By 
Alexander Wolf (Los Gatos, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: GoPro HD Hero Naked (Camera)
I bought this camera for use with my flying student to gauge their performance during maneuvers and have a permanent record of what we accomplished during their training. What I got was a camera that would fly in all weather and conditions - and record 2.5 hours while being battery limited, not storage space limited. The Camera is very sensitive to the type of memory you use with it - right now the only cards I use with it are the Kingston SDHC 32GB class 4 cards. Read up on the Gopro website as to the memory they have tested successfully with it. Not all SDHC cards are created equal.

Kingston 32 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SD4/32GB

Video examples: [...].
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Camera FAILED to do the job!, April 7, 2011
By 
Mythman (Pago Pago, American Samoa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: GoPro HD Motorsports Hero (Camera)
I've just returned from a tour of the Hawaiian island of Maui with the Hero mounted on my motorcycle helmet, and I *thought* I was taking video images of my fantastic rides on that island's rugged south coast, up to the volcano, and elsewhere.

But when I popped the SD card out of the GoPro Hero and hooked it up to my computer, I found out that in 5 out of the 6 videos I took (ranging from 10-30 minutes each), the camera stopped recording about halfway each time. The video images suddenly stopped and were replaced with frame after frame of blackness.

Nothing. Zip. Nada.

So, although I captured *some* good video, I lost a whole lot of fantastic footage of me zipping along some great roads surrounded by great scenery. What a drag.

Honestly, I'm going to chuck the Hero into the trash can now, because I can't count on it 100% to do its job and capture video when it's supposed to. What a shame.

I'll never buy this brand again.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, March 4, 2010
By 
FTR "FTR" (Fort Worth, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: GoPro HD Motorsports Hero (Camera)
I bought this camera to use on off-road single track rides and adventure races. It worked once on my road bicycle commute,but has not worked since then. Customer support has suggested changing battery types without any difference in performance. It just will not stay on in a bumpy environment. If you buy this camera hang on to your warranty and purchase documents do you can send it back. I have encountered other people on off-road rides who have expressed similar concerns. Amazon will not respond to my emails asking for assistance on a return and Go-Pro insists on documentation. Perhaps my experience is unique, but hang on to your purchase documents nevertheless.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useless as an Underwater Videocam, April 9, 2010
This review is from: GoPro HD Surf Hero (Camera)
The GoPro HD videocam is fundamentally a POV helmetcam for bikers, skiers, and boarders. It offers reasonable HD resolution, wide-angle, with a scan rate up to 60p, which work well for land, air, sailing, or surfing. For the money, it may merit four or five stars for those uses.

My tilt is from the vantage of underwater use, for which the GoPro HD is gol-durned worthless and merits zero stars.

Attractions:

Here's what drew me to buy:

1) The device comes with a waterproof case rated to 180', plus a wide-angle lens, which are intriguing features for a <$300 price. The elastic head strap mount can be worn above goggles. One can also buy dessicant strips to avoid fogging.

2) Dedicated UW videocams cost plenty, and the best consumer "rugged" digicams with HD video (the Panasonic T2 and Olympus 8100) rate only to 30', have LCD screens that are hard to see underwater, and shoot no wider than 28mm, making it hard to frame shots.

Realities:

I used the GoPro HD while snorkeling and free-diving to about 25'. The Cozumel waters were among the world's clearest. Lighting was mixed sun and clouds. The camera case was dry and clean, and it contained two fresh dessicant strips. I shot at the 1920x1080 30p setting. The full HD, I thought, would give me some room for digital zoom when editing, to bring key object to center frame. I avoided the 1920x720 60p setting, since that is a "fish-eye" mode best for very close POV shots, blurs more at the edges, and the faster frame rate superfluous for slow UW action.

1) The GoPro HD's video becomes exasperatingly ill-focussed below the surface. The blur is far worse than my own short-sightedness. I could see far better without my glasses than could the camera. Coral formations were all blurry. Fishes, crabs, and rays appear only as blobs. People who see YouTube GoPro underwater samples that look tolerable probably saw shots of large objects taken with the standard definition models. The GoPro HD's underwater video is anything but HD. It is worse than SD, worse than VHS, worse than MacGoo vision. GoPro has responded to some owners (but not in its product brochure or manual) that it is "aware" of the focus issue, but has yet to offer any optical or firmware corrections. My problem had nothing to do with condensation, since the case was dry and included fresh dessicant strips sold by GoPro.

2) The angle is wide, but not wide enough to alleviate need for careful manual control. One's tendency is to aim the thing a little too high. Since there is no preview screen to learn on-location, it would help if the brochure gave buyers some "heads up" on the problem. Essentially, one must set the head strap hinge about 25 degrees downward from the angle of one's forehead, and NOT have the shooting angle match the foreward diretion of one's diving mask. Alternatively, one should mount the cam on a pole and point it carefully. If holding it in hand with no pole, be extra careful about diretion, usually aiming below a 45% angle from the water surface.

3) No underwater color filters or white balance adjustments. GoPro sells no adapter filters and no generic or third party models fit. GoPro could introduce firmware that allows digital white-balance adjustments for blue or green water, but has not replied it will ever do so.

Bottom Line:

1) People in search of an action or helmet videocamera for land, air, or above-water use should survey the other reviews, plus comments at a user forum. Most are favorable. The most common complaints, meanwhile, are that the protective case latch can break and that GoPro failed to deliver a firmware update, without offering any new ETA. Go Pro's wide-angle and 60p mode offer unique advantages for POV action video ABOVE WATER. A wide-angle conversion lens alone can cost plenty, and none of this sort exists for other small models. However, if you can get by with 28mm equivalent wide angle, various "rugged" P&S digicams are more versatile (for stills or video) and have preview screens. GoPro may soon introduce a preview attachment for its devices, but cost extra and require removing the cam from its protective case.

2) Those in search of a device for underwater HD video should explore other manufacturers' models. Alas, there are few expert reviews that include proper underwater tests. Do not rely on any reviewers' bathtub tests, home aquarium tests (especially if shot from outside, or samples transcoded or shot with SD models. In its present configuration, the GoPro HD is entirely unsuitable for scuba, snorkel, or other diving shots. The earlier SD models yielded more tolerable UW qualty, but anyone in search of HD results, and a $300 budget, might find an underwater enclosure or "marine pack" for a P&S digicam that performs. Circa $400 will buy the latest and best "rugged" digicams with HD video (Panny T2, Oly 8100) rated to 30'. If one intends to dive frequently, or below 30', greater expenditure for dedicated equipment may be in order. Otherwise, avoid risk and expense and get a disposable UW still camera.

As a general, neutral word of advice, people who intend to EDIT GoPro HD video should have a multi-core PC with a recent dedicated graphics card. Sony Vegas Pro, FCP, and Pinnacle 12.1 / 14 support the MP4 h.264 files. Other editing packages may require conversion to another codec before editing.
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GoPro HD Motorsports Hero
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