GoPro HD HERO2 vs The Rest
Not so long ago we wrote a blog, ContourROAM vs. GoPro, reviewing the great new features Contour included in their new Full HD camera, which nicely matched and in a lot of features excelled over the GoPro HD HERO. The release of the ContourROAM set up a nice little match in the Sports Action Camera title fight between Contour and GoPro.
Well, what a battle it has ignited. GoPro’s release of the HD HERO2 was a massive counter punch and has blown its competitors clean out of the water. The new features have not only taken on the ContourROAM and similar cameras, but they have taken on revolutionary features included in higher end cameras, such as Contour’s bluetooth connectivity.
Although the new GoPro HD HERO2 is far superior in a lot of ways, this does not mean that the GoPro is the only camera you should look at when buying your next sports action camera. Contour still has its range of cameras with inbuilt GPS and video mapping, which no other sports action camera manufacturer has done with similar success or popularity. Contour still has its mounting benefits due to the lower profile camera, making it much better for helmet mounting. Then you have Liquid Image’s range of goggle cameras and dive masks which give the most accurate point of view filming you will ever achieve.
Now to the nitty gritty. The great new features and the not so great new features of the GoPro HD HERO2. As boasted by GoPro, the new HD HERO2 is more powerful than its predecessor in nearly all ways. With an 11 mega pixel image sensor, faster processor, variable field of view plus some other cool little features this camera is a weapon.
Video Resolutions: nothing has changed here, as in the HD HERO and the Contour range of cameras the HD HERO2 supports 1080p, 720p, 960p and WVGA
Video Frame Rates: Over and above the standard frame rates of 30fps in 1080p and 30 or 60fps in 720p, the GoPro HD HERO2 supports a massive 120fps in WVGA (848x480). Even though this does sound impressive, who really cares about WVGA and standard definition video resolutions.
Camera Optics: Here is one of the most important new features available on the GoPro HD HERO2, Variable Field of View. This is an amazing feature enabling you to change the field of view between 170deg, 127deg and 90deg. This is an awesome feature for those situations where the subject you are videoing is quite a distance away. The only downfall with this function is that not all the field of view angles are supported in 720p mode, which is a very popular videoing resolution considering it has the option of 60fps.
Photo mode: Here is the next big hit with the GoPro HD HERO2, the exceptional photo quality. With an 11 megapixel sensor this little camera can take high resolution photos for all your print needs. Not to mention the time lapse photo option now supporting photos every 0.5seconds and the photo burst mode supporting 10 photos per second. We haven’t had a chance to put the new photo modes through their paces as yet, but the figures sure are impressive.
Some more notable features of this awesome new camera include:
- An easy to drive display and menu. You no longer need to have your little book of rules handy to remember what all the abbreviated settings mean. The new GoPro has a higher resolution screen with more meaningful options for changing your cameras settings.
- Record LED’s are now not only on the front of the camera, they are on the top, bottom and rear of the camera. This definitely helps with knowing whether the camera is recording or not when mounted in obscure positions. I noticed while using the chest harness, I no longer had to wrestle with the GoPro and harness to look at the front of the camera to ensure it was recording, with a quick glance down I could see the flashing LED. This is a much needed improvement.
Now for the icing on the cake
The smartest design feature of the new GoPro HD HERO2 is the physical dimensions. Yes, the smartest design change is no change, that’s right, it’s the same. This camera will fit the same waterproof housings, your 3D housing, your wrist mount and so on. Therefore all other GoPro accessories and mounts both genuine and aftermarket will still fit your camera. Awesome effort R&D team, we take our hat off to you.
Finally, the biggest question of all, what’s next?? These tiny little cameras have come along leaps and bounds over the past few years. From standard definition to high definition, then to GPS and Bluetooth, now WiFi, what is next on the horizon and who will be the next to push the envelope. Contour, VIO, Liquid Image and the many other competing brands, the ball is now in your court!!!