New Action (Cam) Hero
Like just about everybody else on the planet who skis or bikes, we've been using GoPros for several years. Naturally, when the company told us they were about to unveil a new one, we were interested. While the HD Hero 2 looks just like the old one, and costs the same amount ($299), GoPro made improvements across the board. Most notable is a faster image processor, which lets you slow down action and shoot in slow-motion (60fps in a respectable 720p and 30fps in 1080p). It also can take higher resolution stills. Whereas the old one could only capture 5 MP stills, the new one now goes up to 11. There's also a cool new feature that allows you to shoot 10 photos a second in “burst” mode. Alternatively, you can also set it to take a single photo every half second to create a time-lapse montage. Also of note: the new lens can now capture full 170 degree wide-angle video and the camera now comes with a mini-HDMI port and a 3.5mm external stereo microphone jack. (Watch the video below to see the results of these improvements.)
We first got our hands on one a few weeks ago, when we were filming some episodes for Outside TV. The cameramen on set were initially skeptical about all the new claims, but then they started playing around with it. Before long, they were fighting over it. While we've played around with it since, we haven't had the opportunity to really test out all the new features yet. Next week, however, we're sending one out on a racing boat in San Diego at an America's Cup event. Hopefully, we'll have some footage to share afterward. Stay tuned.
We're also hoping to get our hands on the new, not-yet-released accessories, the Wi-Fi BacPac and Wi-Fi Remote that GoPro plans to release later this winter. The camera-size BacPac will enable you to control the camera via the Remote or a cell phone running the GoPro App. We're also told you'll be able to playback video in the field, and that the remote will have a LCD screen that will let you know what's going on with the camera—like whether it's shooting stills or video, and how much battery life is left—without having to, say, take off your helmet. Check back for a full review later this fall.
—Sam Moulton (Outside Buyer's Guide Editor)