Every is familiar with the GoPro Hero camera and it’s ability to capture your first person sweetness so you can back up your bragging with video footage. And the GoPro HD HERO 2: Outdoor Edition delivers on that promise capturing you and your friends attacking the tough mudder obstacles. Great piece of equipment to have with you as part of your team experience. In order to get the most satisfaction out of your GoPro during an obstacle race, here are a few things to consider…
1) Video quality: you can still go with the highest quality video (which looks incredible) for the entire race, as long as your ration the video time, and don’t let the camera run for long periods of time in between obstacles. I took the approach to actually turn the camera off in between obstacles, in hopes to make the battery last long, but the multiple powering up and powering down may have been a bad strategy, and probably sucked more battery than just leaving it on, and turning the recording on and off in between obstacles. Despite my poor strategy, I still had battery power at the end of the 4 hours to capture the finish line. And the video quality is amazing.
2) Prior to each obstacle, give the lens a quick wipe down, even a little muddy water on the lens can be a bummer when it is time watch your footage.
3) Mounting: I wasn’t super pumped about the head band mounting of the camera, it wasn’t all that comfortable, and I think I would have preferred the chest harness, however with the amount of crawling around in the mud, I am not sure the chest mount is all that feasible.
4) Pre/post obstacle footage: Make sure you start recording several minutes prior to each obstacle. It is good to see the look of fear in your teammates eyes and listen to them discuss their attack plan for the obstacle. After you film the action, keep the camera rolling to capture your teammates reactions, some of the best footage I got was of the teammates congratulating each other after each obstacle, and laughing at the pain of each other as they were being electrocuted.
5) Angle of the camera: keep an eye on the angle of the camera on the mount. Whether it is the head band or the chest harness, the camera can get tilted upward, which isn’t a great angle. I am tall guy at 6′ 3″, the tallest among my team, so even with the camera facing straight forward, up close, the footage was over everyone’s heads, so I needed to tilt it down slightly to get more of the action at times.
6) Pass the camera around. Get the POV of each and every team member.
7) Hold it on water jumps: If the camera is on your head, for any major jumps, or landing in water pools, I took the camera off my head and held it, limiting the risk of losing the camera on impact. You get some screwy angles as you are crawling out of pool or mud pits while it is in your hand, but it sure beats leaving that $230 investment at the bottom of a water obstacle, not to mention the priceless footage.
8) Viewing Party: This is an absolute must. Get your teammates back together a week or 2 later, grab some drinks, and premier the footage, watching it as a team is nearly as fun as going through the race together.