I got this cam earlier in the week but only just got around to playing with it. The Hero is relatively inexpensive ($230 from gnarlyparts.ca) but still packs some useful features. I like the fact I can set the camera to snap a photo every 2 or 5 seconds & then forget it. This way I can enjoy my ride & let the cam do its thing -- if it misses something I might have wanted recorded oh well too bad
Another cool feature is the ability to mount the cam upside down (like under a skateboard. for example). In the 'settings' section you set it to UPD & your pics or video will be right side up for viewing
The camera is also very water resistant to 100feet making it ideal to take to the lake or stick to the nose of a surfboard/kayak/etc. Keep in mind it's the exo case that's water proof, not the camera itself, but this should not matter since 99% of the time the camera will reside in its clear shock/water proof housing.
As for video & image quality, I think the camera does a great job as long as the dynamic range (DR) of the shot does not vary too much (all sunny or all cloudy, for example). When DR increases (shadows under tree canopy with sun poking thru clouds, for example), the camera struggles a bit to tie it all together although many times the end result is acceptable.
Indoor shots with multiple & different light types is another area where the camera is not at its best however once again the end result is far from being unacceptable, especially for a ~$200 piece of equipment.
The GoPro Motorsports package includes enough mounts to cover most uses & you can buy more mounts from their website if the mount you're after wasn't included. I used the suction cup for all testing so far.
Some annoyances I have found:
- You cannot turn sound recording completely off (only Hi or Lo quality settings are available).
- I have yet to figure out how to set the date since I don't even see an option for this. Thus, you have to be happy with 1970 which sux for any photo tagging you might like to do.
- I also find the screen icons microscopic although I must confess to quickly mastering the menus after reading the destructions -- doh!
- Although entirely anticipated, the fact that you cannot preview any footage (unless you plan on bringing your notebook along) might turn some people off. However, I mentioned this as 'minor' simply because the gigantic vista captured by the 170 degree fish eye lens will unlikely leave anything cropped from your image.
- Remote firing is also not an option, although I am aware it is available on competing but much more expensive cameras.
- My biggest annoyance is having to take my helmet off if I want to switch modes or adjust any settings. Of course this becomes a non issue if the Hero is not mounted on your helmet!
Resolution: 5 megapixel (2592x1944) photo, 512x384 video
Video Format: MJPEG, 30 fps, saved as .AVI file
Optics: glass lens, f/2.8 aperture, with ultra-wide 170º angle of view
Modes: video, standard photo, photo every 2 or 5 secs, 3x photo burst sequence, self timer, upside down photo/video flip
Exposure Control: auto
White Balance: auto
Self Timer: 10 seconds
Microphone: built-in with adjustable recording/input level
Audio Format: 8kHz, mono
Memory: 16 MB internal, expandable to 2GB with SD card (not included), expandable to 4GB with SDHC card (not included) via free software download from GoPro website—available soon
Capacity: 56 minutes video (incl. audio) or 1,945 photos with optional 2GB SD card. 1hr 52min video (incl. audio) with optional 4GB SDHC card—available soon
Power: 2x AAA batteries (not included), lithium batteries highly recommended. 3hrs. video recording with lithium, 2hrs. with NiMH
TV Out (with RCA cable): NTSC or PAL
PC Connection: USB + RCA combo cable
PC Compatibility: Windows ME, 2000, XP, and Vista; Mac OS X 10.2 and later
Dimensions: 1.75" x 2.30" x 1.25"/4.45cm x 5.84cm x 3.18cm (H x W x D)
Weight: 4.9 oz/139 g
* 5 Megapixel Camera with 170º Wide Angle Lens
* 1 Shockproof/Waterproof Quick-Release Housing--100 feet/30 meters
* 3 Flat Adhesive Mounts
* 2 Curved Adhesive Mounts
* 2 Horizontal Surface Quick-release Buckle
* 1 Vertical Surface "J-Hook" Buckle
* 1 Suction Cup Mount
* 1 Three-way Pivoting Side Arm Assembly
* 1 USB/RCA Combo Cable
* Warranty: 1 Year