Priced £299.99, http://gopro.com/
SINCE reviewing the GoPro Hero2 last year, the popularity of this little gem has snowballed.
Almost every lifestyle show I watch on television uses the GoPro for filming in confined conditions.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I watch people filmed driving or Channel 5’s Gadget Show presenters testing something whacky, to notice the vast array of GoPro cameras fastened to very possible vantage point.
I’m clearly not alone in believing the GoPro Hero2 is a remarkable camera.
With variable video modes — including full HD 1080p — variable focal lengths, plus the option of still photographs and continuous burst shooting, the GoPro is a versatile device.
My last review of the GoPro saw me take it abroad. The camera experienced plenty of sun, sea and water in the USA, the Caribbean and Mexico and performed remarkably.
This review carried out in August and published on September 1 in the Burton Mail, focussed on the GoPro’s capabilities as an underwater camera.
I used it extensively with its elasticated head strap and its full waterproof capabilities — it’s able to cope with depths up to 60 metres.
I was thrilled with the GoPro Hero2 following the review, but this time I wanted to test it in some rough and tumble situations — how would the camera cope with shocks, knocks and cold February temperatures?
My testing ground this year was not quite as elaborate as the Caribbean — instead we took it to Ashbourne to record the Royal Shrovetide Football match and then to a Go Ape high-wire adventure park.
For part of the review this time, I used the GoPro without its waterproof and shockproof clear-plastic bodyshell as I needed to be able to utilise the camera’s 3.5mm input for an external microphone.
The GoPro’s built-in microphone is superb for everyday recording but I specifically needed a directional microphone to help overcome the noise of thousands of noisy Shrovetide football players and spectators.
I was thrilled with the results of using the GoPro alongside a directional microphone and I’m pleased the 3.5mm input was given as an option — this is a feature often overlooked.
The only drawback is that I cannot find a way of plugging in a 3.5mm microphone jack without having to remove the GoPro from its protective cocoon leaving it vulnerable and exposed.
During the Ashbourne Shrovetide match, the camera was strapped aloft on a monopod above the throbbing crowd, the GoPro worked wonders — and when back in its case, it was more than happy to cope with the sudden downpour of snow covering the Derbyshire Dales.
Having survived Shrovetide football, it was time to pack the camera off with our digital features writer Leah Cassady who used the camera to film her exploits at the Go Ape adventure park at Cannock Chase.
The camera was used in its protective shell and the elasticated head-strap once again proved that it was capable of holding firm while whizzing through the trees on a high-wire or clambering across various assault courses.
Over the course of two reviews we have proved that the GoPro can survive underwater, it works exceptionally well in all weathers — be it the extremes of the Caribbean sun or cold February mornings, and it can cope with all manner of bumps, drops, shocks and vibrations.
Above all, the GoPro has again proved that it delivers outstanding results.
We always opted to use the camera in its highest 1080p setting with a wide field of view of 170°.
However, we could if we so wished had used the camera with a 127° or 90° field of view at a resolution of either 930p or 720p with either 30 or 60 frames-per-second for slow motion footage.
Not forgetting the camera’s still picture setting of 11MP, 8MP or 5MP, with a 60-second self-timer and rapid burst mode of 10 pictures per second.
Should I be surprised that I keep seeing the GoPro in the background on so many television programmes? Not really, it’s proved its worth.
This usage is further evidence of the camera’s capabilities.
If it’s good enough to be used extensively to film the programmes that you watch on the BBC and ITV then it is more than capable of meeting any family’s demands.
My next challenge is to see if the new GoPro Hero3 is as good — or better — than this Hero.