The GoPro HD Helmet Hero camera promises the Earth in its advertisements. Thankfully it manages to deliver on most of those promises, though there are some obvious weak points.
The Helmet Hero is an HD capable video camera that will also shoot photographs manually or at preset intervals. It begins with a rechargeable battery that will last for up to three hours of filming, and spare batteries are available if you wish to film for longer.
Included with the camera is a wide range of accessories that enable you to affix the camera in many ways to helmets. Still, a separately sold add-on allows you to attach it to your dashboard. With the in-car kit, you can keep the battery charged as the camera is in use. The camera may seem large on the helmet, but it is lightweight and almost unnoticeable when properly fixed.
Audio quality is good when the camera is not used in a case. Unfortunately, when placed into the supplied subject, the rate drops drastically, making anything said hard to hear. That seems to be a trade-off for keeping the camera safe, but, unfortunately, there are no solutions to this problem.
One notable absence in the accessories kit is a viewing screen for the photographs. The only screen on the camera is a small LCD screen that allows you to see the settings that have been selected on the camera. Although a separate screen is available, it has to be purchased separately. That is already an expensive piece of kit, so needing to buy the screen and the other parts required to make the necessary improvements.
There is an obvious lack of labeling on the buttons on the outside of the camera. However, this is somewhat understandable. A camera used in the extreme conditions that this camera is designed for is far more likely to pick up dirt and grime than other cameras would, and any indentations for labels would fill with muck. Equally, printed labels are likely to scratch or wear off easily and end up looking awful.
Unfortunately, this means that you are left with no choice but to learn what all of the buttons do, and this may mean carrying the instruction booklet with you or making a small cheat sheet. That seems to be the most natural action to do until you become familiar with the camera.
The waterproof housing for the camera is also not ideal. Unfortunately, the cover’s curvature in front of the lens means that the camera cannot focus well and produces terrible images. A separate case was needed to take full advantage of the camera’s quality, but the underwater shooting is good in a higher quality case.
The Helmet Hero isn’t perfect as it is sold. However, with a little extra money spent on this camera, it becomes an amazing piece of kit capable of keeping up with anything that even an extreme user can throw at it.