The GoPro HERO2 was released a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to mention it here despite being late with the news. I have no desire to make this blog exclusively about $10,000 cameras just because I'm in line for one, and this $299 weather-proof, shock-proof, idiot-proof wonder is a prime example. The HERO2 claims to be twice as sharp as the first version (though they're both 1080p), with better low light capability and an 11 megapixel sensor. Unchanged from the first edition is the fact that it's often used to capture envy-inducing activities, which the following video demonstrates perfecty (pretty much everything except the shark part):
If you want to nitpick... there's some CMOS skew on those helicopter blades. That's about it. It's $300 and it goes anywhere!
Okay, so, to bring this back to independent film... I was lucky enough to meet with Doug Liman as part of the IFP and Lincoln Center program, Emerging Visions, and it was fascinating to hear a big-time Hollywood director talk about all of the obstacles he's faced not only on the set of huge blockbusters like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but also to hear of the issues he faced when shooting Swingers ON FILM with a budget of only $200k. As part of a discussion about the budget of Man-child, one of his responses was, "well, maybe you'll have to come up with a way of shooting the basketball scenes that no one's thought of. Attach GoPros to the actors and just leave them in the shot, or something." I'm not going to take it that route -- though there are a number of POV shots -- but his attitude was inspiring, which is "find a way to get it done no matter what." And while I don't think the GoPros are right for Man-child, I do have another narrative/interactive project that they might be right for... first things first though!
Link: GoPro HERO2 at Amazon (three versions, Outdoor, Motorsports, and Surf)