My name is Russell Latimer. I'm the President of Eye Of Mine Multimedia. I have a degree in motion picture production and have worked on a number of feature films, so I know the needs of professional photographers/videographers.
We here at Eye Of Mine see the enormous potential in the HD Hero for professionals. The purpose of this page is to help educate you on the HD Hero for professionals and give you an objective view of the camera to see if it fits your needs. And we'll show you what Eye Of Mine Multimedia has available currently and what is in development. You can find complete specs on the HD Hero on our HD Hero page.
This wireless SD Card will transmit the GoPro original camera files up to 200 feet wirelessly using a traditional network (ad hoc network also possible). Go to the Eye-Fi info page.
HD Hero Overview
The GoPro HD Hero is a video camera with resolutions of 480p, 720p, 960p and 1080p at 30 and 60fps. It has very good quality mono sound and is also a 5pm still camera. It has a proprietary battery that lasts approx. 2.5 hrs. With the underwater housing it can go up to 180ft / 60m underwater. Here are the modes: stills, burst of 3 stills, stills self-timer, stills time-lapse and video mode. A new mode with the firmware upgrade is One Button Mode. You simply turn the camera on and it starts recording video or timelapse.
Here's some possible uses:
As stunt car cameras. With the wide angle and slow mo, you'll get awesome perspective shots
In hard to fit places like on the steering column facing the driver. Try that with a Red One!
As a first person perspective camera. Great for horror movies.
Forget the real helicopter, use an R/C helicopter. Think of the money you'll save!
And forget your snorkel lens, this will get right in there and it's completely self-contained.
As an all weather camera. This camera will go in water, mud, sand, cold, heat......
Try attaching to the top/side of a matt box for a second backup shot or to broadcast remotely
With our live video out package, you could broadcast to a big screen. HD video is also a live option.
And if you damage it, it's no big deal. Whole camera with underwater housing costs less than some lens filters!
Here's the ultimate Hero HD camera shootout: we put a $4500 Canon XH-A1 HDV video camera
against the $259 Hero HD camera package in a video shootout. Watch at 720p full screen:
The HD Hero is a fixed focus camera f2.8. But don't let that turn you off. It is the sharpest fixed focus lens we've ever seen. it will focus from approx 8" to infinity for both stills and video. Here's a good example of the sharpness and focusing range. And with our exclusive flat lens housing, you now get razor sharp video/stills underwater too!
It is fully-automatic. The lens aperture is fixed - you get one big T-stop:) Because the lens is fixed, the only other variable is shutter speed which obviously can cause issues in bright daylight with stuttering because of fast shutter speeds. We sell ND filters to help with this problem. See ND section below. With the HD Hero, GoPro introduced a new spot metering capability which probably would be helpful for stage work with spotlights.
Ohh there is one other adjustment and that's auto video gain. Unfortunately, there's no way to turn this feature off.
Shutter: This camera has a rolling shutter as most non-professional digital cameras do. Information is written from top down just like a TV monitor. Except this is a progressive frame so the entire frame is written at once unlike interlaced frames.
This has a great time-lapse mode. Choice of a picture every 2,5,10,30 or 60 seconds. The on-camera display has 3 digits, so when you've taken more than 999 pictures, the counter stops counting, but THE CAMERA CONTINUES TO TAKE PICTURES. For the file naming, the camera puts the first 999 pictures in the usual 100MEDIA subfolder on your SD Card, then after that, it auotomatically creates 101MEDIA until it fills up with 999 images the creates folder 102MEDIA and so on. It will do this until the card is full. Average 5MP JPG size is 1.7 - 2MB. Here's some great examples of time-lapse taken with THIS camera:
9 Day Time-Lapse: Attack of the Morning Glory Plant
click on video for description on YouTube
Low Light: HD Hero is much better in low light and the standard Hero, but it's not the end all. The claim of >1.4 V/lux-sec is pretty exaggerated since it's really not a usable image at that point, but even still, we are impressed with the moderate low-level lighting capabilities for an HD camera. Here's a pipe Organ video to test the low light and audio capabilities (watch it at 720p).
We will be creating an official low-light test, but in the meantime, here's a quick and dirty low-light test we did comparing the standard Hero to the HD Hero in low-light.
There is one odd behavior with this camera which we haven't figured out. Under very low-light conditions, the focus goes soft. Everything has soft focus. But by the time you're at this level you've got video noise to contend with too.
Auto Color balance has been fixed with the firware upgrade. Stills will balance indoors and video video comes close.
All formats shoot at 170 degree wide-angle, except for 1080. This format is a more comfortable 127 degrees.
audio: 48kHz 128 kb/s
48kHz, AAC monophonic with automatic gain control. Although GoPro claims CD quality audio that's not the case. There's quite a bit of harmonics happening with certain frequencies. We did a non-scientific audio test pointing the camera at stereo speakers and it was pretty strange. Here it is: Sweep 20-20k, pink noise. And for comparison here's the built-in mic on a Canon XH-A1 recording the same thing: sweep 20-20k, pink noise. Here's a pipe organ performance to test the audio. You'll hear the harmonics. Now in GoPro's defense, this camera is designed for motorsports and the audio works great for that purpose. It does exceptionally well in very loud environments as well as soft environments in addition to reducing wind noise.
Color profile: Stills: sRGB IEC61966-2.1, 8 bit
Housing: For some reason, the underwater housing has a slight magnification to the lens. We don't understand why. So here's the ANGLE OF VIEW with and without the housing:
WITHOUT HOUSING: diagonal angle of view is 170 degrees, horizontal: 165 degrees, vertical: 160 degrees
WITH HOUSING: diagonal angle of view: 160 degrees, horizontal: 155 degrees, vertical: 145
Dimensions: Camera: 2-3/8" w x 1-5/8" h x 1-3/16" h PLUS 3/8" for the lens that sticks out.
Housing: front area: 2-5/8" w x 2" h x 1-1/2"d PLUS 1-3/8" front button, back area: 2-7/8" w x 2-1/4" h
Weight: 5.3 oz with battery. 6.3oz with battery and housing.
We realize the importance of having control over at least shutter speed. Nothing like a nice blur at 200mph (or even 20mph). We have an ND / Polarizer all-in-one filter.
WITHOUT ND.Rolling shutter causes issue shown below: WITH ND filter: Much more pleasing to the eye
There is an issue with this camera (and the previous standard Hero) with EVERYTHING going slightly out of focus underwater. It's marginally acceptable for novices, but for professionals, it just won't do. Go to our underwater focus fix page for more information. The problem is caused by the small curved underwater housing lens. A quick fix is to put a flat lens in front of that lens. The trick though is there has to be air between the flat lens and the underwater housing lens. You will also get a little chromatic distortion at the edges. The video below shows the difference with the two lenses:
Stock GoPro Underwater housing: Eye Of Mine Flat lens:
This video was shot with the flat lens housing $79.99:
Live Video out:
The new firmware update fives you live video out for free now and you can turn off the icon overlays if you want the HD or SD output for editing purposes. Note when the camera is recording, the HD video downgrades to SD. Check out our live video out page for more information and pricing.
We took the above live video out to the next logical step: Wireless! We have 2.4Ghz and 1.2Ghz systems, low power and high power with a range up to a 1/4 mile! More information is also on our live video out page.
Back port: Ahh we saved the best for last. Currently there arethe LCD bacpac and the battery bacpac that use the back port. But we can imagine other possibilities: wireless audio, wireless remote, extra battery and probably some customer configuration that you're thinking about right now.
Misc Software: GSpot is a good program for looking at video information