By Erik Vlientinck
GoPro’s US$299.99 HD Hero2 camcorder (gopro.com) packs video-recording capabilities of 1080p/30, 960p/30, 960p/48, 720p/30, 720p/60, WVGA/60, and WVGA/120, as well as photo-capture capabilities (single, burst, self-timer, and time-lapse) at a maximum resolution of 11 megapixels. And it’s all in a box the size of a cigarette lighter!
The Hero2 has a new glass lens for really sharp results, it supports 32-GB SDHC cards, has a new easy-to-use (but tiny) LCD interface, a mini-HDMI port, and LED recording lights on all sides. The HD Hero2 is meant to sit in its sturdy, plastic housing while shooting, but it can be used “bare” as well. In fact, one of the most exciting new features, the 3.5mm external mic port, can only be used bare or with the optional skeleton housing installed. The jack and the USB interface are unreachable with the waterproof housing installed.
The Hero2 supports viewing angles of 127° (only at 1080p) and 170°, and slow motion of up to 120 fps in WVGA mode (848x480px). In 1080p mode, there are three viewing angles to choose from: narrow, medium, and wide; but the camera speed is limited to 30 fps.
Using the Hero2 is easy, although the LCD screen is tiny and the buttons are somewhat difficult to operate with the waterproof housing in place. Yet I found the GoPro HD Hero2 to be a professional camera by any standard, except for one thing: in poor light conditions, noise becomes intolerable.
Rating: 7 out of 10
(This review is brought to you courtesy of “Layers Magazine”: http://layersmagazine.com/ .)