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Review: GoPro HD 960 Hero

by Josh Fletcher 14. March 2011 10:51
Josh Fletcher

Have you ever dreamed of shooting the buck of your lifetime on video to relive again and again? Well, that dream can become a reality if you have two things, first a big buck standing in front of you and second, the GoPro Hero action camera. Now we may not be able to help you with the buck issue, however we can help you with capturing the moment of truth all in HD quality video.


This fall I heard about this tiny little camera that action and sport junkies are talking about. It’s a little camera that can virtually mount anywhere and withstand almost anything. Surfers were attaching it to their surf boards, motorcyclists are attaching it to their bikes, and just about anyone that is filming action sports is using this little camera. So it got me thinking about getting one to use to film our hunts, after all its small, lightweight, and waterproof. So I went online and checked out the videos that were filmed using this little camera. What I saw immediately caught my attention. The videos were clear and the camera was tough and rugged. It wasn’t long and we started thinking about all the different uses that we can use this camera for. My first thoughts were to give the viewers different camera angles for the Bow Hunt or Die series, second it would be a great backup just in case my “big camera” fails to record (like what happened to me on the second DVD from Bowhunting.com). And last  I had thoughts of capturing video footage that I wouldn’t dare put my professional camera through.

GoPro HD Hero in its waterproof housing.

It wasn’t long and I had ordered my new GoPro HD Hero camera. I was impressed with it as soon as I opened the box. For starters it has a rechargeable battery that lasts for approximately two and a half hours. I tested this camera during the opening weekend of the Wisconsin gun deer season. It was 18 degrees opening day and I got a whole days’ worth out of the battery. What I like about the setup to this little video camera is that you can program it like I did to start recording as soon as you turn it on, which is as simple as a push of a button.


The HD Hero records in full 960p or 720p giving you crystal clear video. If you equip the Hero with a 32GB SD card and record in 960p you will get approximately five and a half hours of video before your memory card is full. To me this is astounding. Even though I didn’t have to, after each hunt I just pulled out the SD card and down loaded my days’ worth of filming to my computer.

The GoPro 960p with accessories that came with the camera, including the waterproof housing.

The HD Hero has a wide angled lens that gives you a large field of view, we especially favor this feature because all you have to do is literally point the camera at what you want to film and it will capture your target. The only downfall of not having a zoom and a wide angled lens is that the camera will not pick up a deer that is beyond forty to fifty yards. So you won’t be able to film antelope at a hundred yards with it. However the wide angled lens works perfectly for filming archery or turkey hunts.

The HD Hero does have audio; however it is not professional quality. The best way we can describe it is that it sounds “tinny”. For the average user the audio will do just fine and the quality of the video that you will capture with this camera outweighs the “tinny” audio.

As we mentioned earlier, the HD Hero is fully enclosed in a virtually indestructible waterproof housing that protects the actual camera. This housing will protect the camera down to 180 feet. As a hunter if you’re in a 180 feet of water you have more to worry about than wrecking your camera! The HD Hero’s case comes with a quick release mount that attaches to just about anything. The quick release mounts attach using 3M adhesive tape. There are also many different mounts that you can get that will attach to your bow, tree stand, or just about anywhere that you can think of. I made a mount for my bow that attaches to my stabilizer with a piece of angle iron.  The possibilities of where to mount this camera are virtually endless. Also with a weight of just 3.3 ounces it doesn’t add much weight to your bow or gun. 

An easy homemade stabilizer bracket to attach the GoPo camera to the stabilizer of your bow.

 
Another neat mount that I like to use is the head strap mount. Basically you wear the camera on your head much like you would wear a head lamp. By filming your hunts this way, gives the viewers the feeling like they are actually a part of the hunt.

The head strap mount that comes with the GoPro camera.

If you’re looking to film your hunt this spring or fall and don’t like carrying a bunch of heavy camera equipment or would like to add a new camera angle, the HD Hero by GoPro is definitely worth your time. I have filmed my gun deer hunt this fall along with my ice fishing trips this winter with the HD Hero and I absolutely love it. It allows us to be more creative with our video footage and produces crystal clear video quality. Stay tuned this spring to www.bowhunting.com for videos filmed using the HD Hero. If you would like to purchase your own HD Hero check out the Campbell Camera’s website to order yours for this upcoming hunting season.

Click here to purchase a GoPro HD Helmet Hero from CampbellCameras.com




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