Product review: GoProHD Hero-Stills

The GoPro HD camera is a pain in the butt to program, learn and use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a digital must for South Florida. Yes, this is a full HD still and video camera but for today, let’s talk about stills.

The 5 megapixel GoPro Hero is the coolest thing in cameras since the ill-fated Flip. As a still camera, you can set it at three different resolutions with the widest giving you an unbelievable 170 degree view.

That is if you can set it at all. The GoPro user manual makes the IKEA assembly instructions look like “Green Eggs and Ham.” Really guys, this is a complex electronic device and I get a two sheet fold out??? By comparison, one of my Nikon manuals is 223 pages.  So bring your patience and enlist the help of a tech-savvy 12 year old.  I guarantee once you figure it out, you’ll love what you can do. Shoot single shots, three frame bursts or set it to shoot at 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 second intervals. But just like a point and shoot, it’s anyone’s guess when the shutter will go off so take lots of shots.

Another huge obstacle to the faint of heart is the lack of a viewfinder so you only have a general idea of what you’ve got until you download your shots. I don’t blame them for that one. It is what it is. It’s also the ultimate P.O.V. camera. My dentist really had no idea what I was doing when I shot this last Ash Wednesday…

It comes with a waterproof housing and is tough as nails. But be careful in open water; the HD Hero does not float.

The GoPro comes with a bunch of accessories so you can mount it to a helmet and shoot as you jump out of a plane. Sorry I have no personal sample on that one yet. I’d have to say that this is the best 300 bucks I’ve spent in recent memory.

I like it so much that I’m going to get at least another one which will come in handy for covering multiple angles at the same time. That will be especially useful for rolling film which is another post for another day.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 Responses to “Product review: GoProHD Hero-Stills”

  1. blackwatertown Says:

    Impressive – GoPro are paying attention re the instruction manual.
    Great film (the link).

  2. blackwatertown Says:

    Looks and sounds great. I have a Flip – shame they’re getting the bullet – I found it straightforward and OK to use. But you seem to be getting great images out of that GoPro HD. Like Lori – I want one too now.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hi Paul…get one!

      Just to clarify – in my opinion – this is not a Flip replacement or a core still or video camera replacement. The wide perspectives look great, but when you start doing portraits, they can get unflattering.

      But it is great for certain things. Look at this GoPro video of the day (today).

      Yes, this was shot on a $300.00 camera. Incidentally, GoPro wrote to me and said: We are working on those instruction manuals right now!”

      Enjoy and if I can help, let me know.


  3. moi Says:

    In 2009 this was the first multi-sport multi-weather all-terrain rugged video camera that I could finally rely on. I live in the cold (Quebec City) and I couldn’t find anything reliable to bring outdoor or in places that you wouldn’t normally bring a camera. And it’s HD! Full HD, with 60 frames per second. And wide lense. And waterproof! And I bought a whole bunch of various mounts and I must say I really love the GoPro. We used to say “Grab the camera and let’s go” but now it’s “Grab the GoPro”.

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Hi and thanks for stopping by!

      Yes this is a great rig. Wondering if you had any battery problems in the cold. Sometimes when I shoot ad campaigns in the cold, we have spare batteries that we keep warm (In the motorhome, in pockets, etc). That’s not a GoPro thing, just a battery reality thing. Thanks again for stopping by. Happy shooting and enjoy!


  4. Lori Todd Says:

    I don’t know if I should be thanking you or cursing you. This seems really damned cool and being a photo nerd, I’ve now added this to my wishlist. hahaah!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      I think I’ve unwillingly obligated 300 bucks from a bunch of people. It’s not a primary camera, but great for the wishlist. POst up Pics if you get one…


  5. Ray Medina Says:

    Thanks for the review… I’ve really thinking about something like this, especially to use for the MS150 coming up as it is a pain in the butt to pull out my point and shoot while riding in a huge group. I think this can be extremely fun and useful.. Thanks!!!

    • Mike LaMonica Says:

      Ray, it is perfect for that! You can even get four…one for each side of your helmet.

      If the race is soon, get it soon so you can practice. You can get it at Mack and a few other places here. The price is the same anywhere. Any questions, let me know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: