GoPro HD Hero Sports Cam Reviewed

One way to convey a compelling story is through the use of creative angles, especially point of view shots (POV). But how does one go about capturing these shots? GoPro’s HD Hero packs full 1920×1080 HD video with its 1/2.5-inch HD CMOS sensor. The GoPro crew sent some mounting systems they offer with the HD Hero that allowed us to mount the camera wherever we desired – whether it was on the front of a surf board, a wrist, or even mounted on the front of one’s chest – GoPro had us covered.

The Hero

GoPro’s HD Hero is compact and packs a powerful punch with more than three resolutions from full 1920×1080 HD video, 1280×960 for vertical video and 1280×720 HD recordings up to 60fps for super smooth, slow motion shots. The GoPro HD Hero can record up to nine hours on a single 32GB SDHC and about 2.5 hours on a single charge. The battery is easily recharged via its USB port through a computer or compatible wall or car USB charger. It can also be used while charging for shooting timelapses. We found the included removable polycarbonate housing extremely valuable in those rare cases when the camera took a nasty spill, instead of replacing the whole unit, simply replace the inexpensive outer shell. Did we mention the housing is waterproof up to 180 feet!?


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Testing Grounds

The HD Hero was simple to setup, but the menu was a little difficult. With a little practice it proved no longer an issue. We easily mounted the HD Hero to a car with a suction cup mount, which GoPro sells as an additional accessory. We captured several hours of footage along with a dozen photos, all with exceptional results that cut together well with footage from our traditional more expensive Full HD camcorder. The GoPro HD Hero has a 170-degree viewing angle when shooting in 960p and 720p, so you’ll get the super wide almost fisheye look. The audio the GoPro captures is fine, but nothing to write home about, so plan to capture sound with an additional device if audio is a staple in your production. The amazing full 1920×1080 HD video, comparable to more expensive and heavier cameras, paired with limitless mounting options even has some producers capturing their whole videos with these tiny cameras.

Tech Specs

Sensor Type: 1/2.5″ HD CMOS

Video Format: H.264 compression

Audio: Built-in Microphone

Photo Resolution: 5 Megapixels

Video Resolution: 1920×1080 30fps, 1280×960 30fps, 1280×720 30fps and 60fps

Storage: SD cards up to 32GB

Battery Life: approximately 2.5 hours

Weight: 5.9oz with housing

Data Transfer: USB


  • Amazing quality
  • Tons of mounting options
  • Compact


  • Slight learning curve
  • Not much feedback from display


Full 1920×1080 HD video that compares to more expensive and heavier cameras, paired with limitless mounting options and a go-anywhere design makes the GoPro HD Hero an amazing little camera.


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Derek Sine is the Digital Imaging Technician for a California State University

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.


  1. It is indeed a very nice little camera to work with. Especially the first person POV has a nice effect to it when mounted on a helmet and pointed correctly.

    The weakness indeed is not being able to look back at the material instantly for quick adjustments. That’s why they’ve just released a small LCD-bacpac, but I don’t know if it will fit in the housing that way… Anyway a little practice is needed when shooting the clips, but it proves to be a very useful little camera which even in the water depths does a miraculous job.

    Here is a video with the GoPro HD used in its 720p 60fps mode to capture and remixed the speeds in the production with Premiere Pro 5:

    Here’s another video shot with the old GoPro, but gives a good idea about how the first person POV underwater works out: Remember this is upscaled footage.

    Nice article about an even nicer camera to work with.

  2. the fact the reviewer never mentions that footage shot underwater is not sharp made a gopro buyer like me quite puzzled… bogus review/buyer beware if a priority is shooting underwater.

  3. There are multiple manufacturers who make underwater lens adjustments for these GoPro’s. Google it and you’re underwater footage will be much better.

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