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GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac review: GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac

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The Good The GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit gives a user complete control over a connected GoPro camera. The Wi-Fi BacPac's internal battery helps to conserve the battery life of the main camera. Up to 50 cameras can be controlled with additional BacPac purchases. Upcoming smartphone/tablet apps will further boost functionality.

The Bad This kit adds two more devices that need recharging between sessions.

The Bottom Line The GoPro Wi-Fi Combo Kit includes everything you need to upgrade your GoPro camera for fully wireless operation.

9.0 Overall

The GoPro HD Hero2 is already one of our favorite sports and action camera systems here at Car Tech. It's rugged and waterproof; it's easy to use; and the video it captures looks terrific. However, having to stop and get out of the car to start and stop recordings or draining the camera's battery filming dull stretches of road or traffic can be downright annoying. Wouldn't it be great if there were some way to remotely control the GoPro camera system the way you can with the Contour+ or the Ion Air Pro WiFi?

Well, now you can with the release of the GoPro Wi-Fi BacPac + Wi-Fi Remote Combo Kit.

Wi-Fi BacPac
The first bit of the Wi-Fi combo kit is the Wi-Fi BacPac. Since its launch, the GoPro HD Hero2 camera has supported add-on modules called BacPacs. Previously, we've seen the LCD BacPac and the Extended Battery BacPac.

Wi-Fi BacPac
The Wi-Fi BacPac stays powered on even when the Hero isn't, thanks to its internal rechargeable battery. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Wi-Fi BacPac attaches to the rear of the GoPro camera with its proprietary connection, giving the module full-speed access to every function of the HD camera. A tiny LCD on the BacPac displays the status of the wireless connection and the charge level of the BacPac's internal rechargeable battery. Because the BacPac can be used to remotely power the GoPro camera on and off, it needs this internal battery to maintain a connection with the remote even when the camera is powered down. This battery also keeps the BacPac from being a drain on the battery and recording life of the camera.

On the right edge of the BacPac, when viewed from the rear of the camera, you'll find a Power/Menu button that can be pressed and held to power the BacPac on and off independently of the camera. Tapping this button brings up a new menu on the GoPro's front LCD that can be used to configure the connections made by the BacPac. The left edge of the module is also home to a Mini-USB port that is used for recharging the internal battery.

The internal battery is a huge convenience for those who want to be able to conserve their camera's battery by remotely powering the main unit down between recording sessions. However, it does add one more thing to the list of bits that you'll have to remember to recharge between uses.

plastic doors
The Wi-Fi Combo Kit includes two deeper doors to replace the GoPro's standard door (top). Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The BacPac module adds a bit of bulk to the GoPro camera and won't fit into the stock waterproof housing, so GoPro includes two replacement rear doors with the kit. One door is completely sealed to retain the case's waterproof rating -- it even includes a waterproof button pass-through so you can still access the BacPac's Power/Menu button. The other door is ventilated for use in dry conditions where you may want slightly better audio recording quality. The ventilated door exposes the USB charging port and the Power/Menu button.

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