GoPro, Stay Pro: GoPro HD Hero Naked Review
My new GoPro HD Hero Naked (gopro.com/cameras)
I’m going to start with a little bit about the camera. It’s got a 170° angle lens, so it’s pretty wide. The lens also fish-eyes if a point of focus is too close. The housing it comes in has two different backs: waterproof and what I’m calling the “audio back.” The GoPro housings are waterproof up to 60 meters, if you use the waterproof housing. The alternate housing has spaces cut out of the back, which means that the camera’s on-board mic can pick up more audio. The battery lasts roughly 2.5 hours (a little less with the LCD BacPac attached), or can run for roughly 5 hours with the Battery BacPac attached. Although there are different variations on the camera (Surf Hero, Helmet Hero, Hero Naked) there is no difference in the body itself. The only differences are in the mounting. Surf is for surf boards, Helmet is for helmets; but the Hero Naked was meant as an all-purpose mount. The idea behind it is to “make it what you need” by buying various different mounts (gopro.com/camera-mounts).
Here’s my video review of it:
(please excuse the audio, I didn’t record externally)
There are a few downsides to the camera though. It doesn’t have interchangeable lenses and doesn’t have a focus option. Which makes sense because it’s meant to be a light weight, sport camera. Also, if you’re using the waterproof backing, the lens tends to fog in cold/muggy weather (or if it’s a hot day, and you’re dipping the camera in cold water). It’s an easy fix, just pop open the housing and let it air out for a few seconds, or GoPro sells Anti-Fog Inserts (gopro.com/camera-accessories) that absorb and moisture and reduce the amount of fog. There is no way to manually set exposure, but the camera does have two pre-set options, center average and pin point. Either it will set exposure to the average of everything, or if you’re shooting from a dark spot into a bright spot, you can have it set exposure to the brightest spot it sees.
Overall, the pluses of this camera WAY outweigh the minuses. It’s price point alone makes it worth investing in. It wont become the primary camera in your kit, but it could be a nice add-on/ secondary camera. And if you’re the type of person that likes to have BTS footage, the time-lapse shooting on this camera is clean and easy. The camera can be mounted to 99% of surfaces that you’d want to mount it to, and even some that you would never think to mount it to. Transferring footage and images off the SDHC card is simple (just like any standard SD card) and is easy to work with in any video editor.
Do yourself a favor and pick up this nifty camera (accessories included) from GoPro.com for less than $500.
Here’s the time-lapse I shot driving from Fort Bragg to Petaluma:
(Warning: because I drove through bright and dark spots, parts of the video create a strobing effect. Take caution when viewing, your eyes will thank you.)