GoPro HD Helmet Hero review

Jim Martin
17 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Stunning image quality, albeit with average audio, makes this the best action camera we've seen



1/2.5in CMOS sensor, 1080p (25fps), 720p (25 or 50fps), 1,280x960 (25fps), 800x640 (25fps), N/A zoom

The GoPro HD Helmet Hero may not be as small or good-looking as the Contour GPS action cam, but it has plenty of other advantages. Like the GPS, it can shoot at 1,920x1,080 at 30fps and also has a 60fps 720p mode, which is great for slo-mo footage.

It comes with more mounts as standard: two adhesive ones for flat surfaces, and another two for curved surfaces. There's also an elastic head strap, plus a bike helmet mount (an optional extra with Contour's camera). To allow mounting to vertical surfaces, there's a 90-degree adaptor for use with any of the mounts. Another bonus is that the housing is waterproof to 60m as standard, but there's an open back for better audio recording when waterproofing isn't required.

GoPro HD Helmet Hero back

The camera itself has a tiny LCD display which means you can adjust settings without connecting it to a computer. It shows the current mode, video resolution, number of files recorded on the SD card, battery level and more. However, there's no viewfinder, so you'll still need to take some test footage to make sure you'll capture the action in those important moments. Thanks to the proprietary expansion connector, you can add a viewfinder - the bad news is it costs £90.

Here's some of our test footage, shot using the included helmet mount - click through to YouTube for a HD version

As well as video, the Hero can capture 5-megapixel photos. It can take single shots, a trio of frames over two seconds or continuously at intervals of two to 60 seconds. There's even a 10-second self-timer. Although the menu system is hard to use, it doesn't take long to learn which modes you prefer to use. A thoughtful touch is a table of the various video resolutions on the rear cover.

GoPro HD Helmet Hero left

There are more menu settings than you'd expect. It's possible, for example to set the camera to record automatically when turned on, providing fool-proof one-touch recording. You can also choose between auto, centre-weighted or spot metering, upside-down recording (if you need to invert the camera), enable or disable a live video feed (using the video output), delete the last file recorded and more.

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