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GoPro HD Hero 2 Scott Kennedy, November 2011
 
 
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Go Pro HD Hero 2 sample movies



The following movies were filmed with a GoPro HD Hero 2 in its 1080p mode. The HD Hero 2 uses completely automatic exposure settings with a fixed maximum aperture, so there's no control over shutter, ISO or f-number. All of these movies were shot without the optional screen back accessory, so please forgive some of the compositions!

Registered members of Vimeo can download any of the clips below in their original formats by clicking the links.

Alternatively if you prefer still photos, check out my HD Hero 2 sample images.


The headline new feature of the GoPro HD Hero 2 is 170 degree coverage at 1080p. The earlier HD Hero Original could only film 170 degree coverage at 720p, and reduced the coverage to 127 degrees at 1080p. To illustrate the difference between their coverage at 1080p, I fitted the GoPro exterior housing to a tripod with a quarter-inch adapter, and filmed the same scene with both cameras; note I used the fully-sealed back, so there's little if any audio captured. The first clip below is from the earlier GoPro HD Hero Original, so is at 127 degrees.

GoPro HD Hero 1 (previous version) sample video: Outdoors, 1080 / 30fps / Wide FOV / 127 degrees
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)


The second clip below was filmed from the same position with the HD Hero 2 using its 170 degree 1080p mode, and the difference in coverage is dramatic. You'll also notice how the newer model also enjoys more saturated colours for a more pleasing image overall.

GoPro HD Hero 2 sample video: Outdoors, 1080 / 30fps / Wide FOV / 170 degrees
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)


170 degree coverage is great for most of situations the HD Hero 2 will find itself, but at other times it's more appropriate to use a narrower field of view. The HD Hero 2 offers two narrower options at 127 degrees (matching the original Hero 1) and at 90 degrees. The following two clips show each of those from the same position as the previous clip.


GoPro HD Hero 2 sample video: Outdoors, 1080 / 30fps / Medium FOV / 127 degrees
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)


The HD Hero 2 has a fixed focal length lens, so this 'zoom' is performed by simply taking a crop from the sensor. With 11 Megapixels in total, there's sufficient dots to take a 1920x1080 pixel frame from the middle without interpolation, but obviously fewer pixels to bin / combine for higher sensitivity. Manufacturers never release information regarding the pixel-binning process, but it's clear from these two clips that the noise levels have increased - or at least become larger and more obvious thanks to the crop. Remember this clip was also filmed in bright light conditions. As such, while the medium and narrow field of view options are useful for tighter compositions, be aware your footage won't be as clean under close examination than the wide 170 degree setting.


GoPro HD Hero 2 sample video: Outdoors, 1080 / 30fps / Narrow FOV / 90 degrees
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)


Now let's see how they compare under dimmer lighting conditions...


GoPro HD Hero 1 (earlier version) sample video: Indoors, 1080 / 30fps / Wide FOV / 127 degrees
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)


Here are two clips filmed moments apart from a dimmer interior location. Above is the original HD Hero 1 with its 1080p / 127 degree mode and below is the new HD Hero 2 with its 1080p / 170 degree mode. This time I panned the tripod from left to right.

Once again the difference in coverage is quite clear here, but equally dramatic is the difference in noise levels. The HD Hero 2 has a larger sensor and a lens with a brighter focal ratio, the latter allowing lower ISOs and the former allowing cleaner output in general. The combination delivers a far superior image here, coupled with greater colour saturation. For me, these tow clips really illustrate the huge step forward the HD Hero 2 represents in terms of 1080p video performance: coverage, noise and saturation all significantly improved.

If you've not already seen them, you may enjoy my HD Hero 2 sample images. Alternatively head straight to my HD Hero 2 verdict!

GoPro HD Hero 2 sample video: Indoors, 1080 / 30fps / Wide FOV / 170 degrees
Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only)



Now check out our verdict!


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