GoPro HD Hero2 Outdoor Edition Camera Review

The secret of the GoPro’s success is the versatility of its modular mounting system. The HD Hero2 is available in three basic packages; the Outdoor Edition, which includes helmet mounting straps and accessories; the Motorsports Edition, which includes a powerful suction mount suitable for attaching to vehicles, and the Surf Edition shown here, which includes a replacement back with added buoyancy and a selection of adhesive mounts designed for attaching the camera to surfboards and boats. All three kits include the standard waterproof case, a robustly constructed polycarbonate box with a strong pressure latch, which is rated for depths up to 60 metres. As well as these kits there is a wide range of specialised mounting devices available, such as a bicycle handlebar mount or a chest harness.

The core device is of course the HD Hero2 camera itself, which is a small and relatively unassuming flat-sided silver plastic box. At first glance, it does look a bit primitive, like a toy camera for toddlers, but looks can be deceptive. The front panel is the most interesting, featuring an ultra-wide-angle, fixed-aperture, fixed-focus lens, a small LCD data display and the on/off button, as well as a large red LED to let you know when it’s recording. One side features the USB video out and external microphone sockets, the other the SD card slot and Mini-HDMI socket, while the rear has an accessory socket for the various optional backs. Out of its waterproof case, the camera is very light and compact, weighing 100g and measuring 60 x 42 x 38mm. The case does add some bulk as you can see in the accompanying pictures, and also bumps that weight up to 213g, not an inconsiderable mass if you’ve got it strapped to your bike helmet.

Using the GoPro is pretty straightforward, and the interface is certainly a big improvement over the rather fiddly operation of previous models. It does have a number of options, with 170, 127 and 90-degree field-of-view in 1080p full HD, as well as the ability to capture time-lapse and still images. The camera operation is fully automatic; you just set it recording and then get on with your activity. It beeps quite loudly when you start recording and has a bright LED on the front so you know it’s working.

If you’re into outdoor sports and activities of any description, then the GoPro camera system provides an accessible and reasonably cheap way to record and share your exploits. The camera produces extremely high quality video under all circumstances, and the incredibly versatile mounting system lets you attach it to all kinds of outdoor and sporting equipment. The limited battery life is a disadvantage though, especially on longer trips.

Price : £205

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