GoPro Hero2 HD video/still camera typical price �250, Contour ROAM HD video camera typical price �150

While we were loaned examples of these two leading action-sports cameras for just long enough for the Editor to shoot a hand-held effort from the back seat of a J3 Cub operating from a farm strip (link at, contributor and Red Hawks aerobatic team member Bob Grimstead has been using an earlier version of the GoPro for some time. “The GoPro is an excellent camera, without which we could not do,” says Bob. “It is tiny, it weighs nothing and with a 32Gb card stores a whole season’s footage — all flights from takeoff to landing, so perhaps ten or twelve hours in total. Now they are bringing out a remote-control back, so I could turn it on/off immediately before and after our sequence, rather than having to record absolutely everything from jumping in to the cockpit to getting out again.

“I did a lot of research before shelling out on something I could barely afford and only weakly justify, but it has been one of the best investments of my life, allowing me to record our antics for posterity and enbling some serious de-briefing, which always leads to improved flying.”

The Hero2 is roughly the size of a pair of matchboxes and the Contour, originally designed as a helmet cam, is not much bigger. While either camera will produce excellent video recordings, it is the Hero2’s 170� lens and ability to produce 11MB stills (see Bob’s shot, above) that makes it our choice. PW