GoPro Hero Cameras are the coolest new product for outdoor enthusiasts. They make a fantastic gift for yourself or loved ones.
The GoPro brand was developed in Half Moon Bay, CA and is the one of the foremost brands for action cameras. An action camera is a highly durable, waterproof camera that can withstand the abuse of the outdoors and takes high quality video footage without even being touched by the user. The user simply mounts the camera on her helmet or surfboard or even ski pole and presses record. The GoPro Hero Cams can be used and have been used for an amazingly diverse group of activities, from hunting and fishing to skiing and rock-climbing, from Sarah Palin's Alaska TV show to filming inside the mouth of an alligator. GoPro Hero cameras have been used to film on more than sixty TV shows. Perhaps the best part about these cameras is that you do not need to be professional videographer to get amazing video footage. You simply strap the camera on, press record, and start your adventure.
So now you ask me why the GoPro Hero Camera specifically. That's a great question. There are other action camera products available, most notably the Contour products like Contour Roam. The Contour products are not bad, but GoPro has some serious advantages for beginners. Mainly price. More expensive action Camera's usually feature slightly more Field of Vision (FOV) with means how wide the lens is, and sometimes slightly higher quality images. These features are certainly cool, but if you are just starting out with action cameras, I recommend sticking to the basics – you probably won't notice the difference.
So you're interested in a GoPro Hero, but which one should you buy. All GoPro products are called “GoPro HD Hero”. They are all HD, even the cheapest one. To avoid confusion, realize that there are actually only three different GoPro cameras, however each camera has a number of packages it is sold in and therefore is labeled as a more specific product, for example the GoPro HD Helmet Hero which is a GoPro HD Hero camera sold in a set that attaches to different helmets.
The three different Cameras available from GoPro are the Hero 960, Hero Original and Hero2 Professional. The Hero 960 is only $150 and it's the one I recommend to people who are starting out. The main drawback of the Hero 960 is that the picture quality is 960p rather than 1080p of more expensive models. It also has a less wide-angle lens. However neither of these factors matter enough for a beginner that they should necessarily drop a whole lot of extra money on the higher end models. The Hero Original is GoPro's classic model and starting at $200 I also recommended as it has 1080p and comes in packages with accessories to attach to either a helmet or surfboard or other outdoor gear. And finally the Hero2 is GoPro's most robust model, which I certainly recommend for someone really serious about adventure filming. However if you are just starting out and trying to film your two-year-old on the slopes for the first time, I wouldn't drop $300 on the finest gear without some background experience.
Happy documenting your peak experiences. Keep shredding!