Looking for a small, mountable, “ideal for sports and action”, inexpensive ($179 – $299) high definition video camera with a waterproof housing and image quality that Lucasfilm (the Star Wars people) calls “amazing”? Take a look at this amazing video footage (with skiing, snow boarding, surfing, cliff diving, motocross, auto racing, jet piloting, base jumping, and parasailing). Then keep reading! This camera will go anywhere and mount just about anywhere.
For several months on various “outdoor” TV networks (National Geographic, Discovery Chanel, Animal Planet and others) I’ve watched some remarkable video footage from a very small, mountable HD video camera. I didn’t recognize the brand or model so I’ve been searching for the camera and finally located it. It is the GoPro HD HERO which can be mounted on helmets, cars, motorcycles, surfboards, and about anything else you can imagine. Imagine mounting it on a pole with some bait to record the bite of a shark from inside the sharks mouth ( it was the “inside the shark’s mouth” video sequence that got my attention and started me on my search for this camera).
In addition to wonderful HD video quality, it is also a 5 megapixel still camera which can be set to automatically take photos every 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds until the memory card is full or the battery dies.
How good is the video quality? According to producer Rick McCallum of Lucasfilm, Ltd., “When I saw the footage from the GoPro on our big screens at Skywalker Ranch, I was amazed…”
The lens is fixed focus, single focal length and the field of view depends on the HD resolution you pick. Here are the specs:
* Lens Type: Fixed Focus (2ft/.6m – ∞), glass
* Aperture: f/2.8 (high performance in low-light situations)
* Angle of View: 170º ultra wide angle in WVGA, 720p, or 960p mode
* Angle of View: 127º wide angle in 1080p mode
The model line includes:
HD Helmet HERO
HD Motorsports HERO
HD Surf HERO
HD HERO Naked
HD HERO 960 (an older model)
As of the date of this post, most models range from $259 (for the Naked model) to $299. The older HD HERO 960 is $179. If you use the purchase link at the end of this post, the shipping is free.
When you buy the basic model, the “HD HERO Naked”, you get:
* 1 HD HERO Camera (5 megapixel)
* 1 Rechargeable 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion Battery
* 1 Waterproof Quick-Release Housing (180’/60 m)
* 1 Curved, 3M™ Adhesive Mount
* 1 Quick-Release Buckle
* 1 USB Cable
* 1 Component Video (HDTV) Cable
* 1 Composite Video + Audio Out Cable
* Warranty: One Year
Other models use the same HD HERO camera but come with different mounting accessories. You can also buy all of the mounting accessories separately.
This camera will get you to thinking about doing all kinds of photography you may not have thought about before. And the best news, if you do something risky it is with a $179 – $259 video and sound camera, not your high dollar DSLR with high def video. So go ahead and mount this camera to your car, bike, surfboard, helmet, headstrap, wrist, or wherever. If you love action video, this is video heaven.
More details are at GoProCamera.com. Be sure and check out the videos.
You can buy all of the HD HERO models at my photography store.