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Jul 20, 2009

GoPro Motorsports Hero Wide Angle Helmet Camera

This purchase has been a long time coming for me. I've even gone as far as to Velcro my regular digital camera to my chest to get video footage from the rider's point of view to try to capture just a little more of the experience. The GoPro Hero Wide Angle Camera is a helmet cam, but also a lot more. The package I purchased was called the "motorsports" HERO Wide. The differences are only in what ways you are able to mount the camera. You also have the option to get a normal lens camera. The wide angle is 170 degrees which captures a very wide view, the normal is 54 degrees so there is a major difference between the two. The wide is the most common and most versatile, but it does tend to skew the image. The biggest benefits of the wide angle are of course the ability to capture more of what's going on, maintaining the feeling of speed by keeping the side views, and it makes the image more stable. The camera comes with a ton of mounting options including a half dozen adhesive mounts, swivels, vertical mounts etc. The motorsports package also comes with a suction cup to mount on smooth surfaces such as gas tanks, fenders, hoods etc. The cost for these seems to be between $159 and $199 depending on what you get. It also is waterproof with the case that it comes with. The video format is good at 30 frames per second. It also shoots normal 5 megapixel, 2592x1944 photos with the option of auto mode to take pics every 2 seconds or every 5 seconds hands free. The video quality is 512 x 384. Some of the vids I have seen have seemed kind of jumpy, but it is only due to connection speed etc. I was very impressed by the video quality. The camera is extremely simplified in order to make it compact. There are no manual light adjustments or zooms or anything of that nature. There are only two buttons on the camera. The top is the "shutter" and the front is the menu. You can toggle through many menu options with these two buttons however to get the camera to do what you want. To see all the features along with more sample vids and other helmet cam options check the links below. We wanted to try the thing out so we shot some footage in the pool. Check out the footage below! We were still trying to figure it out, so we had the sound on Low Mode, but it does give a good idea of what it can do. The lens cover can be removed for a better sound quality if you know the going is going to be dry. Low sound mode is for mounting the camera on a rear fender for instance where the sound and vibration can get out of control. Stay tuned for more pics and video from our upcoming Caineville trip. I got a little creative with the mounting location. It can be mounted in this area or on top as shown in the final photo. I wanted it here so the visor wasn't being filmed and I didn't want to see the camera when I was riding. It's just personal preference, but it seems more engaging to watch more of the cockpit than the visor to me. The camera is so light that I can't feel the weight when the helmet is on. The camera can be mounted right side up or upside down. A setting in the camera tells it which way you are mounting it so the picture comes out right.

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