GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide Action Camera Review
By: Michael Phrakaysone


To capture video has been a huge influence within global society.  It has impacted society in many different ways in which we've never seen before.  The affordability of video recording has made sharing our lives with the world easier than ever before through the internet.  It has changed the electronics industry forever with the decisions they make in delivering gadgets with video recording, such as in our cell phones, laptops and even gaming platforms.  Just the amount of pocket video cameras that have been released within the past few years have been staggering.  

There is one problem however with all of the video cameras out there and that is the question of mounting them.  People who live active lifestyles always have the issue of finding a suitable solution of mounting their video cameras.  The manufactures either do not offer mounting kit for a variety of applications or the device is too big to be mounted. 

However, there is now a solution for those that want to mount and record video for just about any type of application you can think of such as automotive, sports and flying.  Today I am happy to share with you my review of the GoPro Motorsports  HERO Wide Camera.  This little camera is a gem at being mounted because it includes a dedicated mounting system that can be placed just about anywhere, a suction mount for automotive usage and even more optional mounts available for sale.  Read on to see more of the GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide Camera.

About GoPro

"GoPro is the world's leading activity image capture company.

GoPro produces the famous HERO® line of wearable and gear-mountable cameras and accessories, making it easy for people to capture and share their lives' most exciting moments. GoPro's products are sold through specialty retailers in over 40 countries and online at

No more missed footage because the camera was stuffed in the backpack or left in the car. Finally, get the shot that makes you look like a HERO...GoPro."

GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide Camera Product Overview

"The world's smallest, wireless on-board video camera.

The Motorsports HERO Wide quick-release attaches to helmets, cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, etc.  Features the industry's widest 170º wide angle lens and 5 megapixel sensor for the most immersive point of view video and photos possible from a wearable sports camera, period.
 Sets up in seconds and is easily moved between different mount locations.  Shoot 56 minutes of high-resolution video and 5 megapixel photos automatically in "Photo every 2 seconds" mode. Use as a hand held camera, too. Shockproof and waterproof to 100 feet/30 meters.
Based on the best selling original Motorsports HERO camera, the Motorsports HERO Wide features improved video, photo, audio, and low light performance. Reliability in ultra-high vibration environments has been improved with an entirely new internal circuit design. Battery life is improved to 3 hours of video record time when using Lithium batteries and 2 hours when using NiMH rechargeable batteries. 

Five quick-release adhesive mounts and industrial strength suction cup are included. Suction cup is GoPro-approved for external high speed driving and riding, and is strong enough to pull dents out of a car door (unfortunately tested by GoPro). Adhesive mounts are removable but require purposeful removal by user. Safe on painted surface.

Additional expansion mounts available separately, including roll bar, handlebar/seatpost, chest harness, and surfboard mounts."

GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide Camera Product Specifications

  • Model Number: GMHW5170
  • Resolution: 5 megapixel (2592x1944) photo, 512x384 video
  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Video Format: MJPEG, 30 fps, saved as .AVI file
  • Optics: glass lens, f/2.8 aperture, with ultra-wide 170º angle of view
  • Modes: video, standard photo, photo every 2 or 5 secs, 3x photo burst sequence, self timer, upside down photo/video flip
  • Exposure Control: auto
  • White Balance: auto
  • Self Timer: 10 seconds
  • Microphone: built-in with adjustable recording/input level
  • Audio Format: 8kHz, mono
  • Memory: 16 MB internal, expandable to 2GB with SD card (not included), expandable to 4GB with SDHC card (not included) via free firmware upgrade
  • Capacity: 56 minutes video (incl. audio) or 1,945 photos with optional 2GB SD card. 1hr 52min video (incl. audio) with optional 4GB SDHC card
  • Power: 2x AAA batteries (not included), lithium batteries highly recommended. 3hrs. video recording with lithium, 2hrs. with NiMH
  • TV Out (with RCA cable): NTSC or PAL
  • PC Connection: USB + RCA combo cable
  • PC Compatibility: Windows ME, 2000, XP, and Vista; Mac OS X 10.2 and later
  • Waterproof: rated to 100 feet/30 meters
  • Dimensions: 1.75" x 2.30" x 1.25"/4.45cm x 5.84cm x 3.18cm (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 4.9 oz/139g

First Impressions

GoPro Camera

The GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide comes in the most fantastically designed packaging  I've ever seen.  The top portion contains the GoPro camera mounted in an enclosed plastic case and the lower portion (in a black corrugated box) contains all mounts, adhesives, housing and everything you need to get the camera up and running.  I can't say enough about the packaging and its beautiful design.
For $149.99USD, you will receive the following items in the GoPro Motorsports Wide box...

  • GoPro Motorsports Camera with 170-degree Wide Angle Lens
  • 1 Shockproof/Waterproof Quick-Release Housing--100 feet/30 meters
  • 3 Flat Adhesive Mounts
  • 2 Curved Adhesive Mounts
  • 2 Horizontal Surface Quick-release Buckle
  • 1 Vertical Surface "J-Hook" Buckle
  • 1 Suction Cup Mount
  • 1 Three-way Pivoting Side Arm Assembly
  • 1 USB/RCA Combo Cable
  • GoPro Stickers
  • Warranty: 1 Year

The bundle that GoPro provides for its Motorsports HERO Wide camera is a accumulation of many different parts.  At first it's overwhelming to see all these items laid in front of you but then you realize and appreciate just how simple and effective GoPro's mounting system really is.  And they just don't give you one type of mounting style; they give you five.  There are multiple extra mounting styles given and many more to be had by a later purchase.

The basic premise behind the mounting system is having the GoPro being enclosed in a shockproof and waterproof housing that is hinged at the bottom and then that housing is then capable of being mounted with the mounts that are provided.  It can be mounted upside down, right-side up, any way you want to do it because the camera has the ability of recording video different ways, or its always easy to correct with software.  The camera itself has no tripod mount so the only possible way of mounting is within the hinged housing.

First, you have a suction mount cup system that you can use for any car, truck, or van that has glass windows.  Additionally it can be used on your vehicles side panel, the top of the car, sunroof and on any flat non-porous surface.  This isn't your typical suction mount, this thing is made from PanaVise and is super powerful.  I've never seen and experienced a suction-mount this spectacular before.  The suction pad is 3.4" in diameter and once you push in and lock it, it literally cannot be removed or even moved around.  Try tugging it with your own hands and it's just not possible.  This suction-mount is without a doubt the best I've ever used.    

Furthermore, the suction-cup mount has the ability of full range of motion.  Supposedly you can take this suction-cup mount at speeds up to 200mph but GoPro won't fully endorse doing that.  But having the confidence of being able to stick at high speeds is refreshing to see.  I've had it on my sunroof at 100KMH on the highway and it passed with flying colors with no camera shake or judder.  Amazing!

The rest of the mounts and attachment styles rely on two-sided adhesive pads, which are made by 3M.  Two-sided sticky tape on the outset seems kind of pathetic and weak but these 3M sticky pads are something else I've never seen before.  They smell different and you really have to decide where you want to place the sticky pad because chances are, you'll never be able to remove them ever again.  You won't be able to change your mind after.  These sticky pads by 3M grip like nothing I've seen before.  Once the mounts are in place, use the quick-release attachments to complete the mount.

The only problem you will face with the clear shockproof and waterproof housing is that the audio will be muffled because it obviously sits in an air-tight case.  How can the camera record sound properly?  It's just like covering your own ears with a tin-can, meaning it's not really possible to record clear audio.  The good thing is that because of this design, while wind-noise is still present, it is cut down severely and is manageable.  I think for most people, the best way to eliminate the shortcomings of this problem is to place a music track on top of the audio, done through software obvious.


The GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide camera is operated by placing two standard AAA batteries into the back of the camera.  GoPro did supply us with Energizer Lithium batteries which lasted real long and its quite the battery being able to withstand different temperature conditions.

The GoPro Camera

This camera weights 139g and measures in at only 1.75" x 2.30" x 1.25" (H x W x D) making it the smallest onboard type camera to date.  It looks so tiny and cute too :)

The front of the camera contains the HERO logo to the lower right hand corner, wide angle lens, viewfinder, LCD screen for changing settings, mode button and the white circle is the red indicator light that tells you when the camera is recording.  The LCD screen is very basic and gives you icons to follow when changing modes and short form words like Up or Dn when wanting to change the  video recording format.

The right side of the GoPro camera contains the SDHC card slot which is capable of supporting up to 4GB of memory.    

The left side of the GoPro camera contains a micro-USB connection.

The back of the camera contains the battery compartment door where you will insert two AAA batteries for operation, the viewfinder and the microphone port. 

Another microphone port is offered at the top of the camera along with the shutter release button.

Overall this is a really simple video camera and for good reason.  All you really need to do is turn on the camera and start shooting video.

Video Results - How did it fare?

The standard GoPro camera like the one I am reviewing today is not going to win any resolution awards.  It can only film at 512x384, but in reality, I think this is good enough for most people.  With the 170-degree wide angle lens, you can see such a fantastic view than any other camera out there. 
Considering the size of the camera, the video quality is actually very good.  Being CMOS in design, I was happy to see no rolling shutter, nothing of that nonsense with  its video recording.  The colors while not being entirely natural (a little too saturated) was still good. 

You can't really expect much in terms of dynamic range but I was happy to see that not everything was blown out.  The only blown out thing in the video is the sun.  The sensor being so tiny cannot tolerate the sun's dynamic range so it interprets it is a tiny black dot.  Furthermore, I noticed no crazy lens flare's like you do in other cameras, and it was fantastic to see little to no camera shake present in the video.


Considering the size of the GoPro camera, I have to say that GoPro has done an excellent job with the video quality and just the total package.

Audio quality is nothing to write home about.  I was expecting  nothing good out of a microphone that records in 8kHz mono.  But I was surprised that within the clear waterproof housing, the GoPro could actually pick up the sound of the engine and general road noise.  That was surprising for me to see. 

Wind-noise was expected but it's totally manageable, even at high speeds.  Later on in the video, I reach 85KMH and while wind-noise increased, it was still very much manageable and could have been certainly worse.


I think GoPro's execution of the Motorsports HERO Wide is fantastic.  I love everything about it and cannot say anything overly negative about it that would give me any reason not to recommend it.  Without a doubt, the GoPro Motorsports HERO Wide is a must have.



Custom Search