The GoPro HD Hero2 Helmet Cam

GoPro, one of the most well-known brands in outdoor imaging, has released its latest offering: the HD Hero2 Helmet Camera. And there’s nothing humble about the new gear: the company claims it’s twice as good as its predecessor in just about every respect. The best part is that they’ve managed it without having to double the price, so it’s still a reasonable deal whether you’re looking for your first helmet cam or upgrading an old one.

First up, and probably most important, is the video quality. GoPro’s previous helmet cam already had pretty good quality–some would say it was and still is the best in the market–but the Hero2 cranks up the gears and makes it even better. Footage from the camera is right at par with its bulkier professional counterparts, especially with the enhanced low light capacity. It’s probably the only helmet camera that offers decent nighttime video quality, and it goes well beyond that.

Video resolution hasn’t changed from 720p and 1080p. But the added features more than make up for it: users can now switch the field of view from standard to medium (127-degree) and narrow (90-degree). It means a world of new possibilities when it comes to creative footage, and the chance to get those rare wildlife shots or a dramatic sunset picture without having to leave the road. The new 960p mode records up to 48 frames per second, up from the earlier model’s 30. The updated standard-definition WVGA option allows you to go up to 120-fps–perfect for seamless slow-motion videos.

The still pictures are equally impressive. Stills have always been a helmet cam’s weak point; it’s just hard to capture sharp images when you’re bouncing around on a dirt bike. But GoPro again delivers; while you’ll get much better pictures with a tripod, the sensor gets in an amazing amount of detail and clarity. They’ve also improved the resolution up to 11 megapixels, with 8-MP and 5-MP options. This is a huge leap from the first Hero Cam which only took 5-MP snaps.

If you found the first cam hard to navigate or are worried about operating your first, you’ll appreciate the language-based interface of the Hero2. The controls are very intuitive and changing modes is as easy as turning the thing on and off. There’s even a series of lights to tell you when it’s on, so there’s no need to keep checking every two minutes.

The GoPro HD Hero2 Helmet Cam also connects to HD TV sets via a mini HDMI port and allows preview and playback, as well as stream the video online. An external mic jack lets you plug in a microphone for better sound quality. Those are just some of the add-ons–GoPro has a lot more up its sleeve and this camera is sure to become every outdoorsman’s best friend!

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