Share Your Most Extreme Moments with an Extreme Video Cam

by Matt Forcey

Anyone watching the news coverage last week from the Chilean mine rescue, at some point would have found themselves inside the rescue capsule as it made its ascent up the tunnel to the surface.  You were there with the miners thanks to an amazing piece of video (which if you haven’t seen, watch it here) that was recorded on a very spartan, very rugged, and all around very impressive little digital video camera called the GoPro Hero.

Created in 2004 by a group of self-professed athletic super geeks in Silicon Valley, the GoPro Hero was originally designed for fellow amateur outdoor sports enthusiasts who needed an easy-to-use, wearable recording device, to capture then share with the world the crazy shit they do.  True to the original design’s form with their latest model, the new HD Hero 960 is barebones when compared to any other digital camera or camcorder you have used.  A small plastic box (actually a polycarbonate exoskeletal housing), not more than a couple of inches square, camouflages a recording device that industry pundits have called “more powerful than most professional cameras on the market.” 

Some fairly extreme atheletes share their passion:

Shockproof, bombproof, and waterproof says GoPro, the camera can be tossed, dropped, thrown, submerged, dragged, and anything else you happen to be subjecting yourself to at the moment.  No need to give it much thought either, the camera doesn’t have a LCD screen (you record and then view later on your computer) and there are just two buttons, power and record.  All you really need to do is strap it or clip it on to you or your gear, hit record and the Hero does the rest, the ultra-wide angle lens recording your activities (blood-tingling or benign) in stunning 960p HD video or automatically snapping 5MP still photos at 2, 5, or 10 second intervals.  GoPro’s engineers would also like you to know that they have invested more in this camera’s sound system than most companies spend on their entire camera development.  Whether that’s true or not, it’s nice to know they have put some effort into what is an often overlooked feature of personal digital cameras. 

Standard accessories include (amongst other things) a waterproof housing, helmet mount, quick-release buckle, and adhesive mounts.  If you need something more specialized, the company will also sell you inexpensive chest straps, bicycle attachments, and roll bar and surfboard mounts.

With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for 2.5 hours of constant recording, and with SD cards now available in 64GB models, you should have no problem chronicling your stunt for posterity… or insurance purposes.



A couple of months ago, legendary sportsman Chuck Patterson posted a video to Vimeo that showed the world a new perspective on the interactions between surfers & Great White Sharks – from Chuck’s the Vimeo page:

“the day before I shot this video, i was SUP surfing with a couple friends and 2 sharks circled us for about 15 minutes. the next day, i decided to go back out at around the same time and take my GoPro HD Hero camera mounted (with the GoPro handlebar mount) on a 10 ft pole and do some exploring. Sure enough within 5 minutes a 9 ft shark came out of no where and circled twice and slapped his tail on my board before disappearing. then a minute later a 7 ft young juvenile Great White swam circles around me for 12 minutes. It was an unreal experience that I will cherish forever.



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