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MXA TEAM TESTED: GOPRO HD HERO2 VIDEO CAMERA

November 26, 2012
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WHAT IS IT?
GoPro is the preeminent first-person action video camera company in the world. The HD Hero2 has high-definition capabilities for an incredibly clear and vibrant picture, as well as numerous settings for recording video and shooting photos.

WHAT’S IT COST?
$299.99 (camera), $79.99 (LCD BacPac).

CONTACT?
www.gopro.com or (888) 600-4659.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the GoPro HD Hero2 video camera.

(1) Camera. The HD Hero2 is a do-it-all video camera. It records high-definition video or stop-action photos, and it does so with excellent quality. MXA heavily relies on the HD Hero2 when making riding videos, because it does such a tremendous job capturing footage. The sound quality is also very good. Simply put, the GoPro HD Hero2 is the gold standard in the first-person action video camera market.

(2) Settings. The best feature of the HD Hero2 is the high-definition recording capability. GoPro covered all of their bases, giving the user the option of selecting 720, 960, 1080 or WVGA resolution. The field of view can be swapped between a super-wide angle of 170 degrees and a more realistic-looking 127 degrees. The Hero2 can shoot a photo every 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds. If that’s not enough, it can also shoot a burst of 10 photos in a second. That’s fast!  

(3) Mounts. Included in the HD Hero2 case is a suction-cup mount, J-hook buckle, a three-way pivot arm, standard mount, and five adhesive mounting plates. The standard mount and three-way pivot arm are most popular for motocross riding. We advise against using the suction-cup mount, as it often fails in a dirt bike setting. GoPro sells a plethora of other mounts for surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding and scuba diving. Beware when sticking the mounting plate to anything, as the industrial-strength adhesive can pull off paint during removal. It’s gorilla-strong.

(4) LCD screen. The HD Hero2 doesn’t have a digital back, making it impossible to review footage. GoPro does sell an LCD screen for $79.99. We recommend splurging for the BacPac. It allowed us to watch footage post-ride and aim the camera at the proper angle before recording. However, the Hero2 battery runs out significantly faster when the LCD screen is displaying during recording. Make sure to turn the screen off whenever possible.  

(5) Weight . At 1/2-pound (with the LCD screen attached), the HD Hero2 weight is noticeable when mounted to a helmet. It won’t force you to crane your neck, but when attached to the side of a helmet, it’s a bit of a nuisance; however, we’ll gladly deal with it (especially the additional weight of the LCD screen). After a few rides, you will barely notice the GoPro.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We wish that GoPro included a large SD memory card (a 32GB card costs around $100).

If you’re in the market for a first-person video camera, look no further than the GoPro HD Hero2. It’s the cream of the crop.

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