GoPro HD Hero2 Outdoor Edition
The latest offering from GoPro is a great little POV unit with many improvements from its predecessor. It is definitely the best video camera that the company has offered to date with improved optics, backward compatibility with previous HD Hero’s accessories, and the same bombproof waterproof housing. There are some very obvious changes that include a new glass lens for sharper images and 4 led lights located in different places to more easily inform the user of its status. The ports are clearly labeled this time around which is a welcome change from the original. Onboard microphones are now located on the top and bottom edges of the unit. The most welcome change that users will find is the overhauled interface on the LCD screen. Larger and clearer icons indicate the recording mode more clearly. Each mode is sensibly labeled for much easier navigation. That and the improved menu system with simple drop-downs for different options make life with Hero2 much easier. That said, I did still need to open the directions and was happy to find that they have been improved as well and provide a good resource for advanced settings changes. Like its predecessor, the Hero2 features a range of video and photo modes to choose from including 1920x1080p Full HD video at 30 fps, 1280x720p widescreen mode at 30 or 60 fps, or 1280x960p Tall HD mode that records at a 4:3 aspect ratio at either 30 or 48 fps. The folks at GoPro seemed to have listened to their customers and found some intelligent ways to improve the nifty device. Most video settings put the field of view (fov) at the 170 degree wide angle that is almost a trademark of the GoPro cams but users can choose to step down to medium 128 degree or narrow 90 degree FOVs as well. Also, GoPro has improved their low light image quality creating much more natural images when shooting indoors.
Finally, GoPro has an array of accessories available to its owners. In the coming months we will be examining some of the products they offer to improve the performance of their units, especially those that are helpful to us fly guys. It is clear that they have created a great platform with a durable, smart product that has taken a positive step forward with the Hero2. With a little practice and patience, the Hero2 allows you to turn those magic moments into lasting images that look great and last forever.