GoPro is such a well known company that their brand has become synonymous for action cameras (much in the same way Walkman did back in the good old days of Rich Astley and Bros). It hasn’t all been plane for the cam maker though with shares slipping and sliding, and their market being flooded by alternatives from other tech companies.
Like every good tech brand before them GoPro has responded to the difficulties by launching a new flagship product, and diversifying its range, all topped off with a fancy launch event.
GoPro Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session
Just as they had with the Session 4, GoPro have done away with the waterproof case on the Hero 5 Black. This means a more compact camera that’s also waterproof and even packs a larger 1220mAh battery (good for up to 2 hours and 45 minutes of recording).
The Hero 5 Black gets a new GPS module, a 2-inch colour touch screen and can record video at a 4K resolution and shoot stills at 12 mega-pixels. If you can do without the screen, GPS and settle for ‘only’ 10 mega-pixel photos the Hero 5 Session comes in an even smaller size with a lower price.
Looking over those specs you might be underwhelmed by the similarities between the new models and the previous versions, but never fear there is one rather cool innovation on both new cameras! Voice Control!
“GoPro start video” and GoPro take a photo” are two of the examples GoPro offered at the launch, but there are also commands from powering the devices up too (“GoPro On” perhaps?).
Pricing for the Hero 5 Black is £349.99, the Hero 5 Session is cheaper at £249.99. Both will be available direct from GoPro early next month.
GoPro Karma Drone
The real big news at the GoPro event though is the launch of GoPro’s first drone. The Karma is one of a few folding drones on the market (until DJI launch theirs next week) meaning transporting the quad-copter to and from the trail should be quite easy.
Users will be able to pilot the Karma through the supplied Karma controller, but it appears that there will only be manual flight options with “tracking” or “follow me” modes not supported at this time.
As you would expect from a GoPro drone, the Karma is designed to use GoPro’s own cameras but annoyingly doesn’t ship with one out of the box. On the plus side though you do have the option of disconnecting the gimbal from the drone and using it for handheld steady shots (a feature that rival drones don’t offer).
GoPro will begin sales of the Karma through their website late October with pricing starting from £719.99 for just the drone, rising to almost £1000 if you buy it with the latest Hero 5 Black.
The final announcement from the launch is GoPro Plus. This is a subscription based service that will allow you to automatically upload video to the cloud, use music from an online library, edit video and give you a 20% discount off accessories and mounts.
So those are the highlights from the GoPro launch. Is there anything in there that has you reaching for the credit card or does your current GoPro still do everything you need?