GoPro have been leading the market for compact shockproof and waterproof action cameras and I can definitely see why. There are now being used by anyone who wants a camera capable of recording high quality video, that can still fit in your pocket. There are becoming more and more popular as travel cameras for this reason, and that you can mount them to pretty much anything. This model only costs around £94 which is very reasonable for what it can do.

I had wanted a GoPro for ages and finally ended up getting one, deciding to go for the entry level Hero model. This camera is integrated within the housing and can take up to 32GB micro SD memory cards. It has around a 2.5 hour battery life which is pretty decent for it's size. It has a more limited range of recording options, but being the entry level model it makes it easier to use. It comes with a waterproof back door to use in any dirty or wet situations plus a skeleton back door which can be used when its dry and dirt free which will give you much better audio.

Video
There are 3 different options for recording which can be used for different situations. All of the modes output high quality video, but each one has it own advantages depending on the type of filming you will be doing. To have a look at some of the videos I've taken with it, have a look at my Knowsley Safari Park and LA Photo Diary & Vlogs posts.

1080p at 30fps - I use for this normal filming when I want Full HD output and to leave footage at normal speed. It gives crisp quality and represents details very well. 

720p at 60fps - This is a perfect mode to use if you want to create slow motion footage of what you have been recording, as the higher frame rate will still give you smooth footage even when it has been slowed down.

720p Superview - This mode records in an even more immersive view to capture more of what's around you. It will give a little more distortion in the video, but is good to use when you need a wider angle view. 

 

Photo
The Hero can produce 5MP stills which come out surprisingly well. There are 3 different modes to use for taking photos which can all come in useful in a number of situations. Some still photos are shown in my Calderstones Park post.

Photo - This is the mode for taking single photos if you want to snap something quickly. The only thing to bear in mind with only taking one photo is that when you press the shutter it will cause the camera to move slightly which sometimes gives you blurry images. 

Burst - This option takes 5fps by taking 10 photos in 2 seconds when you press the shutter. I've found this very useful to use instead of the single photo mode to help eliminate blurry photos. This mode can also be used to capture fast action such as someone jumping into a pool, and you can edit the photos to stitch them all together so you can see all stages of the action in one photo. 

Time-lapse - I love using this mode to capture things such as sunsets and the movement of the clouds. You will need to set it up on a tripod as a stable base for the duration of the time-lapse. It will record at 0.5 second intervals but if you want to have the time-lapse running quicker you can speed it up in GoPro Studio when editing. To get an idea of how it looks, have a look at the video in my Sefton Park Sunsets post. You can also use the mode if you want to take photos of yourself, as you can start it running and it will take multiple photos so you can choose the best ones. The wide angle comes in useful here too as you can get a lot of background in, even only holding it at an arms length.


I've mentioned this as part of my How I Take My Blog Photos post, but I thought I'd include it here again. If you have ever seen panning time-lapses and wondered how you can do them then look no further. All you need to buy is an egg timer from IKEA for around £6 and then attach the flat adhesive mount to the top. You can then put the quick release mount on the GoPro and slide it straight in. There you have it, a very cheap and easy way to capture panning time-lapse photos. 

Mounts
GoPro Tripod Mount - This was one of the first mounts I bought as it allows you to attach the GoPro to any standard tripod. This is perfect when you want to capture time-lapse footage or have a stable base for getting the action shot. 

GoPro Chest Mount - This allows for real POV footage and is very stable. You can wear it for pretty much any activity or travel adventure you are doing. I've not had much chance to use this properly, although it came in very useful when I went to LA to film what I was doing while keeping my hands free.

GoPro Suction Cup - Another great mount that can attach to any flat surface. It's perfect for using for filming in the car as it means you will get a very stable shot while filming and you know the camera not going anywhere. You can also attach it to the outside of vehicles if you wanted to so you don't have to film through a window. 

GoPro The Handler - A very lightweight handle is perfect for filming either yourself or what you are going. The bonus with this handle is that it floats the camera too, so is perfect for use in the water. I used this nearly all the time in LA and can be easily slipped into a bag with the camera attached when you aren't using it. This mount is in the top photo of the post. 

Overall, this is a great little camera that can produce some very impressive results. Being an action camera you know it can stand up to whatever you might throw at it and it can capture footage where many other camera cannot. I can see this coming in very useful as a travel camera and will definitely be going on all my future trips with me. If you are thinking about buying a GoPro but don't want to spend loads, this entry level model is very good value for money.