Despite its slightly clunky appearance and chunky size, the GoPro has become king of the point of view (POV) cameras for mountain bikers. Its robust casing and superb selection of mounting options – on body and bike – are ideal for MTB.
This is the latest unit from GoPro and features a better lens plus a more user-friendly menu with more, improved settings. And that’s all in the same size unit, making it compatible with all current mounts.
The new lens is twice as sharp and better in lower light levels. We were really impressed with it in dappled light, where other cameras often struggle.
Where the HD Hero captures 5MP still images, the HD Hero 2 has 11, 8 and 5MP options and shoots in both wide and medium formats. Results are great thanks to the impressive processor. It also now shoots 10 images per second – instead of three – and creates surprisingly sharp action shots.
Video resolution has a few more options, although they differ slightly between the US NSTC and UK PAL settings. Depending on the resolution picked, the PAL setting tends to offer fewer frames per minute than NSTC.
There are several new options in the various resolution settings, including wide, medium and narrow formats in the full 1,920x1,080 pixel setting. There’s also a new 48 frames per second setting in 1,280x9,60 pixel resolution, making for smoother footage and better slow motion.
In the smaller WVGA (848x480) setting, there’s an impressive 120fps option, although it’s only really suitable for web videos because it lacks detail and vibrancy.
Externally, although the unit is the same size, it does have a few new features – the lens itself is brand new, there are progress lights on all four faces to make it easier to monitor recording status, the menu is far easier to navigate now and there are new inputs.
Next to the SD card slot is a mini HDMI port. This means you can see the true HD footage on your HD TV, rather than having to go through the regular analogue output. There’s a new Mic input too, although you need to get the new HD Skeleton Housing too or it’s a case of using the unit without protective casing.
Image quality is definitely clearer, and the camera deals with low-to-high light contrasts well, but the thing we really like is how much more user-friendly the Go Pro 2 is.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.