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GoPro HERO HD – First Look

The long awaited GoPro HD HERO was on display at Interbike, and the multiple TV monitors around their booth had some very luscious video running. I got to speak with a whole slew of GoPro people, and I even had a long conversation with the man himself, founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. Nick is a really great guy, and he is very psyched about their new product. GoPro spent a lot of R&D time on the HD HERO, and they not only worked on the video, but also on the audio, to help keep down wind noise when riding at Mach 10.

It was very sweet to hold the new camera in my hands and play around with it. The camera is just slightly larger than its predecessor, and uses the same old mounting hardware, except the new housing is obviously larger to accommodate the new camera. The camera looks almost exactly the same, with the same small screen, LED light and 2 buttons. The small screen still has its information upside down as you progress through its settings using the buttons.

What is hugely different is that you can now shoot HD with the HERO. You can shoot in 1080p (widescreen) at 30fps, 960p (full frame) at 30fps, and 720p at either 30 fps or 60 fps. The 60 fps allows slow motion, how cool is that! The camera angle is different in each format, so 1080p is 127 degrees, while 920p and 720p are at 170 degrees. And hold on to your horses, memory is now up to a 32GB capacity!

One of the other great things that have done, is that the camera has an internal rechargeable Lithium Ion 1100mah battery, which is good for 2.5 hours. The back of the camera has an expansion port, that will allow optional expansion packs (called Bakpacs) to be connected. The current Bakpacs list is a LCD screen, and a battery extender.

The sensor is .4 inch HD CMOS with 2.2 micrometer pixels, and the video format is H.264 compression, which is saved as a MP4 file.

Recording times are:
12min/GB for 1080p
14min/GB for 960p
16min/GB for 720p/30fps
11min/GB for 720p/60fps.

HD settings:
1080p – 1920×1080 pixels, 127 degree viewing
960p – 1280×960 pixels, 170 degree viewing
720p – 1280×720 pixels, 170 degree viewing

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