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GoPro 1080p HD Helmet Hero

The good news is that GoPro will be offering the world's first 1080p high definition helmet cam. The bad news is that its reasonable price tag and marketing toward amateur sports video stars will mean that you'll be more likely to watch 1080p footage of your buddy trying and failing for hours to master a skateboard trick in his basement than to watch clean, awe-inspiring first descents in AK. That just gives you a reason to find some new, more-talented friends.

Sorry folks, poor lighting and my lack of photog skills were a bad combinationSorry folks, poor lighting and my lack of photog skills were a bad combination

Regardless of the merit of the sports action recorded, the video will be crisper and cleaner than any other amateur action sports footage that you've seen. That's because the GoPro HD Helmet Hero provides the filmer with the option of 1080p at 30 frames per second, 960p with 4:3 resolution for maximum viewing area, or 720p at 60 frames per second. Both the 960 and 720 resolutions can be shot with GoPro's 170-degree wide angle and the 720p can playback the most impressive cuts of action in slow motion. The camera also doubles as a 5MP still camera, which gives you 170-degrees of shooting, with 2, 5 and 10-second burst modes, 3-photo burst mode (3 photos spaced by 2 seconds for capturing action sequences), and self-timer mode.

Since some video footage is incomplete without sound, and a built-in mic can be completely inadequate, the HD Helmet Hero includes the option for a wireless remote recording system giving you 30 feet of flexibility to add the sound you crave. While the helmet is in the name, the camera is compatible with all kinds of GoPro mounting hardware, allowing it to be mounted to anything from a mountain bike to a surfboard.

The HD Helmet Hero will be hitting stores this fall. The suggested retail is $300. I had the opportunity to view some footage from the camera at last week's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, and I can say that the $300 is a sound investment.