CNET First Look
GoPro HD Hero2 sports cameraThe brand that put sports cameras on the map is back with better video quality and a few new tricks up its sleeve.
The GoPro Hero is back and after 3 generations, not much has changed for the sports camera. At least not physically. I'm Antuan Goodwin. Let's take a first look at the newest member of the GoPro Sport Camera family, the GoPro HD Hero 2. Now, externally, there are only a few places where the HD Hero 2 differ from the first gen GoPro HD Hero that we tested almost 2 years ago. It's got a larger recording indicator on the front and 3 more indicators on the top, back, and bottom. So, as you can now tell from angle whether this thing is actually on or not. The lens is a higher quality glass unit. But the focal length is still fixed, a GoPro signature 170 degree wide angle. Now back, there's the backpack (cord?) for connecting GoPro's add on modules such an LCD or an extended battery. There's a new HDMI video output and on the other side, the analog input and output are now labeled. You also won't need to break out the instruction manual to understand GoPro's newly designed interface, which now features icons and text where the old model only had cryptic numeric codes. This if anything as the single greatest update that the HD Hero 2 gained over its predecessor. But it's not the only one. The HD Hero 2 also features a new 11 megapixel sensor for still photography and a new burst photo mode that captures 10 full resolutions shots in just 1 second. There's also a new slow motion video mode that captures standard definition video at 120 frames per second. It's perfect for capturing the minute details of motion that are normally too fast for the eye to see. The rest of the GoPro's video mode are still (in text?) for the total of 7 video modes including 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and 720p video at up to 60 frames per second. And there are 4 still photo modes including a time lapse, single shot, and the burst mode that we mentioned earlier. The GoPro Hero line of cameras is still among the ruggedest in the market. This first gen HD Hero has fallen off no fewer than 3 (??) at speed and it's no worse for wear. And the increase in user friendliness and functionality helps catapult the HD Hero 2 back to the top of our list of favorite sports cameras. If you want to check out my full review of the GoPro HD Hero 2 on CNET.com for even more details about the things that I liked and disliked about this camera and how it compares to the competition from Contour. Until then, (I've been?) Antuan Goodwin and this is the first look at the GoPro HD Hero 2 sport camera system.