If you have been skiing anytime in the last five years, chances are you have noticed various novices with a strange small box attached to their helmets. These magical boxes are GoPros; small, easily attachable, versatile and indestructable cameras that the common consumer can use to record anything and everything. Since its original HERO model four years ago, GoPro has been successful through easily marketable high quality videos that give the average Joe the hopes of becoming a pro.
Users’ edited GoPro videos have been easy advertising for the company. Much like wearing a shirt with a large brand name on it, viral videos on the internet have paved the way for the company’s success. Everyone loves to film themselves engaging in fun and different activities, and GoPro allows users to capture interesting moments of themselves that were not previously capturable. GoPro users usually keep the camera running in order to increase the likelihood of capturing a crazy moment.
GoPro released the HERO4 on Oct. 5 in two colors, silver and black. The black model costs $100 more than the silver and not just becasue of the color change. The HERO4 black camera boasts cutting edge quality shooting 4K video at 30 frames per second (fps) and 1080p video at 120 fps. 4K video refers to the resolution at which the footage was captured at. Chances are, you haven’t seen 4K video since the average monitor does not display such a high resolution. All of this capture power is stored in a camera that can fit in the palm of your hand.
Both new versions of the GoPro HERO series have many new features. The most obvious being a touchscreen menu attached to the back of the camera where users can navigate through new and improved advanced capture settings, as well as view their content.
If users don’t want to look at their content on the camera, they can instead connect to the GoPro app for smartphones through WiFi or Bluetooth. The connectivity feature also works for a remote that can activate the GoPro from distances up to two football fields away, approximately 600 feet.
Another cutting-edge feature is the HiLight Tag. In order to easily find radical, yet casual triple-cork during long filming session at Tahoe, GoPro has allowed users to apply a “tag” to special moments. Most GoPro users choose to edit their footage so they can show their coworkers or classmates how hip they are. With this new advancement, it will be much easier to make musical compilations of best tricks as one can now quickly jump to HiLighted moments.
GoPro’s diverse attachment arsenal is another part of the camera. Users can mount a GoPro on almost anything, including a dog, which allows for many different angles and creative filming techniques. Some users have fashioned their own attachments.
A popular do-it-yourself mount is one where helicopter-like rotors are attached atop a user’s helmet and the camera is pointed inward at the user’s head. This creates a 360 degree pan around a user. Seeing someone with a helicopter helmet however, may not look so good.
All of these features have made founders Nicholas and Jill Woodman very wealthy. GoPro recently went public and experienced immense initial success. On the first of the month, the two married founders announced their plans to donate 5,821,739 shares of GPRO to charity. This requires them to bend the rules of their lock-up restriction that initially prohibited company insiders from selling their stocks until an adequate time had passed. The stock dropped 11 percent the day after the Woodmans announced their donation. Prior, GPRO experienced a 177 percent increase since the initial public offering.
Each year, the GoPro camera lines increase in quality. Historically, the camera quality has doubled in fps with the newly released HERO4 camera shooting 4K video at 30 fps in comparison to last year’s HERO3 shooting at 15 fps. Can we expect 60 fps 4K video next year? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the HERO4 packs plenty of exciting features that will turn average Joes into pros.