GoPro HD Helmet Hero Review

Review posted 08/22/2011

Quick Take
  • Small compact body that can mount almost anywhere
  • Comes with an extremely rugged housing, which is waterproof and even bombproof
  • Optional backdoors for when you're not using the kit underwater or above 100mph
  • Depending on the kit, you get loads of useful mounting hardware
  • Once you learn the menu, it's very simple to use
  • Requires only one hand for use
  • Records pleasing full 1080p HD and 720p HD video
  • Fast f/2.8 fixed lens works well in low-light
  • Captures decent audio
  • The menu can be daunting, especially if you didn't read the manual
  • No optical zoom
  • Image quality of still images is more in tune with current day mobile phones
  • Slow shutter response/lag in still mode
  • No HDMI output
  • Audio can sound a bit odd when the waterproof backdoor is installed
Bottom Line
The GoPro HD HERO is where it's at if you're into any kind of "extreme" sport and you want to record high-quality HD video. With the included housing and mounting options, the HERO offers outstanding bang for your buck. Read more in our Full Conclusion.

GoPro's HD HERO digital video camera is well known, whether you're an extreme sports nut or not, you've likely heard of these amazingly tough little HD cameras. GoPro created these units to answer the call of the wild from adventurous athletes, competition shooters, racers, and survivalists. The HD HERO is an extremely compact HD video camera that allows you to record full 1920x1080 (30p), 1280x720 (30/60p), 1280x960 (30p), and 848x480 (60p) video in almost any situation. You can also snap 5-megapixel still images. Whether you're hanging ten, base jumping, shooting a 3-gun match, or racing down the drag strip, you can mount the HD HERO to you or your sled, and capture all the action.

The camera itself is not waterproof, however once you install it in the included waterproof, shockproof, and bombproof housing, the HERO is ready for action. With a fixed lens with fixed focus, you get a super wide angle of view to help ensure you capture everything in front of you; and even a bit of what's around you. With various kits available (Helmet, Motorsports, Surf, and Naked), along with several awesome accessories, the GoPro HD HERO system is hard to beat if you need to capture video in extreme conditions.

GoPro HD HERO key features:
  • 1/2.5" HD CMOS image sensor
  • Fixed F2.8 all glass lens with fixed focus
  • Wide angle of view: 170 degrees in still, 720p. 960p, WVGA; 127 degrees in 1080p
  • Super tough housing is shockproof, bombproof, and waterproof down to 180 feet (60m)
  • Replaceable glass lenses for the waterproof housing
  • Capture 5-megapixel still images (three capture modes available)
  • HDTV video output, with included composite RGB cables
  • Li-ion battery pack (1100mAh), provides 2.5 hours of video
  • Memory card slot accepts SD and SDHC type cards up to 32GB
  • Expansion port on the back for optional LCD BacPac, Battery BacPac, etc.
The GoPro HD HERO is available now. There are various kits available, so the price varies. As of 8/2011, GoPro offers the following kits:
  • HD Helmet HERO - $299.99
  • HD Surf HERO - $269.99
  • HD Motorsports HERO - $299.99
  • HD HERO Naked - $259.99
  • HD HERO 960 - $179.99

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.