If you're like most automotive enthusiasts, you probably spend a fair amount of time in front of your TV watching various forms of motorsports. Whether you prefer a weekend NASCAR race on the living room big-screen or some late-night road racing on the garage TV while working on your project car, all of that coverage has one thing in common--outrageous camera angles of everything from in-cockpit views to rear-facing sights of the racing pack.
Now you can produce the same type of video for your own use with the personal video-camera system from GoPro Cameras. The GoPro Motorsports HERO is a 3-megapixel digital camera that not only takes TV-quality, 30 frames-per-second video you can play back on your computer or television, but allows you to take still pictures as well.
The camera kit comes with everything you see in our lead photo, including mounting tabs, suction-cup mount, adapters, waterproof housing, and data cables, for $179.99. While the GoPro digital camera has only been out for a few months, expect to see upgrades in the near future, including a wide-angle lens, a quick-release kit, replacement mounting tabs, a rollbar mount, and more.
We ordered a GoPro Motorsports HERO to play around with, and we thought we'd share the setup and usage with our readers. Our plans are to keep this little baby handy when we travel to events and post video to our Web site from feature-car photo shoots, ride-alongs, track days, and much more. So be sure to visit www.mustangandfords.com and check out our videos as we begin to use our Motorsports HERO more and more. We even have a few videos up right now from our testing of the camera system so you can see the quality of the video output.
Tips for Better Videos Use NiMH rechargeable batteries
Try to shoot in midday to reduce sun spots/flare
Feel free to edit your videos and add soundtracks/music
The more secure the base, the less vibration will be noticed on screen
When mounting on a high-vibration surface, put the microphone on "low"
Try different mounting points and combine into one great video
|GoPro Camera Motorsports HERO Specs ||Sensor ||3 megapixel (2,048 x 1,536)||Lens Glass ||f2.8||Exposure||Auto||Memory ||16MB internal, expandable to 2GB SD||Video||513x384, 30 frames/second 56 minutes on 2GB SD)||Self-Timer ||10 seconds||PC Connection ||USB interface (RCA cable included for TV use)||Power ||Two AAA batteries (NiMH recommended)||Operating System||Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS 9.1 and later||Dimensions ||1.25 x 1.75 x 2.6 inches, 4.5 ounces|
The Motorsports HERO comes...
The Motorsports HERO comes with both flat- and curved-surface mounting pads.
The curved-surface pad shown...
The curved-surface pad shown here is designed for helmet mounting and is perfect for open-top cars, motorcycles, and so on.
The flat-mount pad is typically...
The flat-mount pad is typically used for bumper mounting of the Motorsports HERO camera, but we're sure we'll find a multitude of uses. Both the flat- and curved-mount pads attach via 3M's Very High Bond (VHB) tape. While the tape is tough and will hold just about anything, it can be peeled off with little effort.
The Motorsports HERO comes...
The Motorsports HERO comes with an internal memory of just 16MB. This is enough for about 25 seconds of video (we didn't test maximum picture output). For best use, GoPro recommends a 2GB SD flash memory card. Prices range from $15 to $40 depending upon brand and speed. We also highly recommend NiMH rechargeable batteries for extended use.