Ahhh the GoPro – the little camera that could. I’ve talked here about this camera before, and some of its wonderful features (or potential enhancements under development.) That’s because it is a damn fine, action sports oriented camera. I’ve shown a small subset of my cycling life as seen through the time-lapse view it provides, and I even caught my own crash in high definition glory.
Well the folks at GoPro have been busy, and have release a couple of enhancements to the cleverly minimalist design.
One thing that some folks have found frustrating with this camera is the lack of an LCD display to show you what you are shooting. I actually appreciate this somewhat. The focus of this camera is to be as small and light as possible. It is designed to be worn or mounted onto other items – like your handlebars for example. In situations like that, being able to see what you are shooting doesn’t seem to add a lot of value. An LCD display would just add unnecessary weight unnecessary weight and fragility in those applications.
However, the GoPro folks have thought about this design decision and now offer an accessory to meed this need: the LCD BacPac. This is an LCD screen that can be attached (non-permanently) to the back of the housing. The camera allows you to view video you’ve already recorded, as well as see what you are about to shoot. And not to worry – they provide an additional waterproof back door allowing you to keep the same level of weather (or scuba diving) protection as you’d get without the LCD accessory.
Another option – just recently announced – is the Battery BacPac. This allows for the addition of a second battery – in addition to the one in the main body of the camera – effectively doubling the 2.5 hour recording time. This addition also allows you to charge extra batteries off of the camera, by connecting the detached (from the camera) BacPac directly to a USB power source. Without the Battery BacPac you’ll need to charge the battery while it is in the camera, or find a third party charger. While $49.99 is probably a bit of a hefty price if all you want to do is charge batteries outside of the camera body, it seems a reasonable price if you want to film for longer that 2.5 hours.
For me, GoPro is one of those devices that has turned out to do exactly what it is supposed to do, better than I expected it to do it. These couple of optional accessories only enhance that.