Tak­ing you to new heights

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Go­pro HD Hero 2 $

499

Go­pro hel­met cams have been around for a few years now and are al­most stan­dard is­sue in the snow­board park and af­fixed to the heads of keen moun­tain bik­ers.

With tech­nol­ogy ever im­prov­ing it’s no sur­prise that just be­fore Santa packs up the sleigh, Go­pro has a new cam­era on the mar­ket – the HD Hero 2.

So what’s new? This se­quel to the enor­mously pop­u­lar HD Hero takes what it was al­ready do­ing and does it a bit bet­ter. Ac­tu­ally, quite a bit bet­ter.

The out­side of the cam­era looks nearly iden­ti­cal with the same hous­ing, mounts and ac­ces­sories from the HD Hero. At first glance you’d be for­given to think that noth­ing has changed – how wrong you’d be.

The first im­prove­ment is a wel­come change – the dis­play has been com­pletely re-thought. Pre­vi­ous mod­els re­quired re­mem­ber­ing a num­ber cod­ing for res­o­lu­tion set­tings and the abil­ity to de­ci­pher odd hi­ero­glyph­ics to set the cam­era. No longer. There’s now a text read­out that tells you ex­actly what you are do­ing.

The big­ger changes are in­side. There is a larger sen­sor that not only im­proves the still cam­era res­o­lu­tion (5MP to 11MP) but also the over­all pic­ture qual­ity. When you com­pare the footage of the old Go­pro ver­sus the new one the sat­u­ra­tion and rich­ness of colour is a mas­sive im­prove­ment.

The HD Hero 2 also sports a new lens that’s much sharper than its pre­de­ces­sor, mean­ing still im­ages and video footage looks crisper and bet­ter.

The most ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments are the soon to be re­leased add on fea­tures. Go­pro is about to launch a new wi-fi back that al­lows you to live view and re­view (on the Hero 2) and re­motely trig­ger the cam­era (Hero and Hero2). This is all con­trolled via your smart­phone or tablet and the kicker – you can con­trol up to 50 cam­eras from one iphone.

The Go­pro HD Hero 2 picks up where the HD Hero left off and takes ac­tion sports photography to a whole new level. The only ques­tion is: Are you enough of a hero to push the Hero 2 to its lim­its?

Scott Kennedy is a Queen­stown-based ad­ven­turer and jour­nal­ist: ad­ven­tureskope.com

Go­pro: Queen­stown sky­divers cap­tured re­cently with a sporty hel­met cam.

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