The HD HERO Naked is an oldie (in tech years), having been first released in 2010, but people continue to buy it. While its specs- this waterproof encased little gray camera is capable of shooting 720 pixel videos at 60 frames per second and 1080 pixel videos at 30 frames per second- don’t impress like those of the more modern GoPro Hero3, it is still an effective camera.
While we recommend you go with a more modern model if you are serious about capturing your extreme lifestyle, we have compiled this as a handy little guide for you to understand how the HD HERO differs from from later models and what features it has that you might not know about.
Compared to later GoPros, the HD HERO has both heavier and larger, yet it is still lightweight and small enough for everyday use. It comes with a 1,100mAh rechargeable battery, and is a bit bulky in that department, but its solid buttons and nicely rubberized coating provide a solid feeling. That said, the design will not win any prizes for beauty- it looks a bit awkward and outdated compared to more modern GoPro models like the GoPro Hero3 in black.
The included mount varies according to the chosen package. Most of the packages include 2-sided 3 millimeter pads that help you attach the device to any surface. The suction cup mount works best for attaching it to fenders or windshields. The device also comes with a harness and a strip for securing the camera in case the mounts fail. In order to mount the camera, you will need to slot in the camera to the receiving end of these mounts. One small drawback of the device is its microphone becomes almost useless when the device is put in the waterproof case. HD HERO users will have to choose between audio fidelity and moisture survivability.
The camcorder features only 2 buttons- a shutter release and another button for tweaking image display- that you will use to operate the device and record videos with. There is a tiny display on the front side which shows the remaining battery life, number of recordings and the activated video mode. It is very useful but it could have been more useful if it was put on the back side; it doesn’t quite have the intuitive design that an Apple product would nail, but then again, most electronics products don’t! The various video shooting modes include 720p at 30fps, 720p at 60fps, 960p at 30fps and 1080p at 30fps. These modes ensure the best combination of frame-rate, viewing angle and pixels. The internal settings of the camera allow quick changing between exposure setting and modes. Recorded videos are stored in a SDHC card. Note that the camera itself does not come with an SDHC card, so you will have to buy on separately. You can charge the device through its miniUSB port which is accessible once you dismantle the device from its plastic handling. A usual day with modest shooting could be covered with a single chart, so battery life will not be a big problem for you likely.
The GoPro HERO Naked is a big step from the old models in terms of both audio and visual quality. There is no comparison to the videos recorded by the HD HERO Naked to the ones recorded by previous models. As the design and body structure remain almost the same, those who have already bought some mounts for their old GoPro’s will be able to use these with the HD HERO too. It can be said that the new model has been build based on the older models. They share the same mounting system, physical shape, case and user interface. The colors in the recorded videos include decent amount of sharpness and auto-exposure. The wide angle 170 degree lens will help you in making sure that you are not missing any action due to limited field of view. A standard 50 minutes long 1080p video at 30fps should be about 5GB in size. According to the GoPro official statement, HD HERO records 1080p at 12 minutes per GB, 14 minutes per GB at 960p, 16 minutes per GB at 720p 30 fps and 11 minutes per GB at 720p 60 fps. The company recommends its users to use a reasonably fast SDHC card for yielding the best output from the device. A 32GB card will provide more than 5.5 hours of video recording, though the battery will not allow that much recording on a single charge. A tiny annoying fact is the camera starts naming the videos from 001, 002 and so on every time you clear the memory card. This means you have to rename the files before copying them in the same directory in order to avoid replacing files.
GoPro claims that you can record at least 2.5 hours of video at a single charge of the battery. It also offers extra battery pack, grab one of them if you want to shoot longer and don’t want to be bothered with charging the battery. During dry sport shooting, sound quality is excellent. When the door is close, it becomes a bit messy, but still does the job to some extent. The HD HERO performs best at outdoor situations. Record a video with it, and then show the video to someone without revealing the device name. You will have a hard time convincing them that the video is recorded on anything other than a standard-sized camcorder. The better processing of the camera makes sure that you are taking better and improved pictures with the 5MP sensor of the HD HERO. Available modes include single shot, triple shot and time lapse shots with shot intervals at 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds. However, the situation changes a bit in indoor conditions. In low or medium light conditions, the video becomes a bit grainy and unnatural. As the camera has limited white balance capabilities, it does not perform well in these situations. All of these problems could be solved during post-production, except the low-light green highlights. Other than that, the device is a very capable, flexible and genius device. It fits perfectly in pockets and powerful enough for shooting in any condition. You will not regret your decision if you have decided to treat yourself with a HD HERO.