If you're considering buying the GoPro Hero 2 Helmet Camera to capture those thrilling and magical moments on your dirt bike, this review may help you make up your mind. As the proud owner of the GoPro Hero 2 myself, and having captured endless hours of riding on motocross tracks, sand dunes and bush trails, I can share with you some of the pros and cons that I've experienced with it.
I will cover things like the setup and mounting, recording options and flaws, filming environments, ease of use, downloading, video production, certain difficulties I've come across and more so that you can use this review to help you figure out if the GoPro 2 will suit your taste buds.
Most dirt bike riders have heard of heard of GoPro by now (and if you haven't.. where have you been hiding?) as almost every extreme sport has it's finest athletes recording their epic experiences with one. And the motocross / dirt bike scene has taken to these things like a kid to candy for no other reason than they're awesome. But they're not perfect.. so read on.
The GoPro Hero 2 comes complete with various mounting brackets and fittings (but not all of them), a tough camera housing and two housing back plates - the standard back plate which allows a clearer sound quality, and a waterproof back plate which doesn't allow as much sound to come through. You will also receive cables for charging your GoPro (it charges simply by connecting it to your P.C or laptop) and transferring photos / videos to your computers hard drive.
To make this review easier to digest I'm going to break it down into pros and cons followed by a conclusion.
Here is a vid I put together using 100% footage taken from my GoPro Hero 2. I used Windows Movie Maker to piece it together which is free, but if you want to produce higher quality vids you can purchase an editing software package. Remember the quality of the footage isn't as good once it's uploaded to Youtube. It is noticeably better when viewed directly from your computer or TV.
You can slot a 32GB memory card into the sucker which is a massive amount of recording time!
Tip: For each new mounting position you will need to film a test snippet then immediately view it on your laptop to make sure the angle is where you want it.
Also, I've used the waterproof back plate while riding in the forest on a wet day. There must have been a tiny amount of water inside the casing as it fogged up the lens making 1 & 1/2 hours worth of footage pretty much useless. Be wary of this! Humid weather will also cause problems. Try squeezing part of a gel pack (that you find in vitamin containers) into the side of the casing to absorb any moisture.
All in all I love the GoPro HERO2 and it's been well worth the $300 or so that it cost. It's easy to use, quick to set up, versatile, durable and produces amazing high definition footage that you will keep for the rest of your life.
I've used it to analyze my riding from the comfort of my couch and therefore improve how I ride. But you can use if for so many other activities than just dirt biking too so don't limit it to just your riding. If you haven't got one of these things already.. what are you waiting for?! Go halves with a mate if you don't have enough coin. It's easily within your reach.
You can use these things in so many different ways to get that unique shot or perspective. Get a little creative and have fun with it! You can mount it in many different places such as the handlebars looking back at you or forward, the swingarm, over your chest protector and of course on the top or side of your helmet to name a few.
They're tough little buggers so don't be shy to put 'em on the ground near berms and jumps.. hit the film button and tear past it as fast as you can. I held it in the palm of my hand at the N.Z Nationals and aimed it at the pros going sick over a huge table-top. Check it out here...
For more videos I've made using footage from my Hero 2 make sure you check out my videos page.