Monday, February 28, 2011

Contemplating getting a GoPro HD HERO Wide camera

After watching a friend's recent attempt at recording a drive up the twisty roads of Ulu Yam, I've been intrigued with the idea of making a video myself. And so I've been researching on whats the best equipment available out there on the market for the filming of car events. These are the two contenders which are available for purchase in Malaysia:

Specification Comparison Chart (courtesy of
ContourGPS HD 1080p  GoPro HD HERO Wide
Suggested Retail Price RM1280 RM1299
Included mounts Goggle and flat surface, extra stickem pad Vented helmet, headband, 2 flat surface, 2 curved surface, adjustable pivot arm, WP housing* with add'l open "audio" back, 2 quick release mounts
Included cables USB
Software Online download available
Lens/Field Of View (FOV) 110 deg. on 1080p, WVGA
135 deg. on 960p & 720p
 127 deg. on 1080p
170 deg. on 960 & 720p
Adjustable camera settings via software: Time, 4 video quality, audio gain, bit rate, contrast, exposure, sharpness, spot/center/avg. metering via camera menu:
video settings
exposure metering
Video settings 1080p@30fps
960p "full frame"@30fps
720p@30 or 60fps
WVGA (848x480 @60fps)
960p "full frame"@30fps
720p@30 or 60fps
File Type/codec QuickTime .MOV/H.264 MP4/H.264
Battery / included rechargeable lithium - yes rechargeable lithium - yes
Battery run time 3 hrs (as per Mfg.) 2.5 hours (as per Mfg.)
Internal memory No No
Memory Storage MicroSD up to 16GB
SD up to 32GB
Memory included Yes - 2GB No
Still photos? No  Yes - 5 mp, several modes
Digital zoom? No No
Remote or LANC No No
weight w/battery 4.4oz 6.3oz in wp case*, 3.5oz without
Size L x W x H 3.75" x 1.27" x 2.15" 1.6" x 2.77" x 2.5" (in case)
Weather resistance "water resistant" Not WP without WP housing - NOT included Yes, only with WP housing* (included)
Other notes: GPS tracking, Rotatable lens, dual laser sighting system Online video hosting/posting *housing must be used for mounting of camera

Judging from the reviews and user feedback from numerous sites on the internet, boths products have their strengths and weaknesses. In my case however, I'm looking for a camera that provides high quality footage and ease of editing (the GoPro camera excels in these two areas). Mounting and ease of use are secondary since the camera will mostly be mounted inside the car (the Countour camera is easy to deploy and is less of a hassle to mount). So whats the verdict? 

Have a look at this video comparison between the two cameras and I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion that I arrived at:

Oh and check out this awesome GoPro video of a ProSports car race between Porsches and Jaguars as they battle it out at Laguna Seca.


Temujin said...

GoPro looks to have the edge over ContourHD, though ContourHD looks nicer than the conservative looking counterpart.

Owh, and u need 3 of them cameras.. Hehehe

Loki said...

Of course. You, me and Azmir will get one each, hence three cameras :P.

Eu Jin said...

Go get it bro! :P