GoPro, Inc.[2] (marketed as GoPro and sometimes stylized as GoPRO) is an American technology company founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman. It manufactures action cameras and develops its own mobile apps and video-editing software. Founded as Woodman Labs, Inc, the company eventually focused on the connected sports genre, developing its line of action cameras and, later, video editing software. It is based in San Mateo, California.

GoPro, Inc.
FormerlyWoodman Labs, Inc.
TypePublic
NasdaqGPRO (Class A)
Russell 2000 Component
Industry
Founded2002; 19 years ago (2002)
FounderNick Woodman
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Products
RevenueDecrease US$1.18 billion (2017)[1]
Decrease −US$163.46 million (2017)[1]
Decrease −US$182.87 million (2017)[1]
Total assetsDecrease US$0.85 billion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
964 (2019)
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.gopro.com

It developed a quadcopter drone, Karma, released in October 2016. In January 2018, Karma was discontinued.[3] Also in January 2018, the company hired JPMorgan Chase to pursue options of selling the company.[3] However, a month later, the CEO denied this. GoPro has continued its business in manufacturing action cameras.[4]

HistoryEdit

 
The first GoPro Hero, a film camera encased in a waterproof shell.

The company was founded by Nick Woodman in 2002.[5] He was motivated by a 2002 surfing trip to Australia in which he was hoping to capture high quality action photos, but could not because amateur photographers could not get close enough or buy appropriate quality equipment at reasonable prices.[6] The 'GoPro' name came about as Woodman and his surfing friends all aspired to become professional surfers as 'going pro' was the ultimate goal and the only way to be filmed on the water at that time.[7][8][9] The camera range was branded 'Hero' as their aim was to capture close-up action shots that made the subject look like a hero.[7]

Woodman raised a portion of his initial capital by selling bead and shell belts for under US$20 from his VW van[10] and, later, fashionable camera straps. He also received over $230,000 from his parents to invest in the business.[11][12]

In 2004, the company sold its first camera system, which used 35 mm film.[8] Digital still and video cameras were later introduced. As of 2014, a fixed-lens HD video camera with a wide 170-degree lens was available; two or more can be paired to create 360 video.[8][13]

On June 4, 2014, the company announced the appointment of former Microsoft executive Tony Bates as President reporting directly to Woodman.[14]

In January 2016, GoPro partnered with Periscope for live streaming.[15]

After growing the number of employees by more than 500 in 2015, the company responded to weak sales in the fourth quarter by cutting about 7% of its workforce (100 workers) in January 2016.[16]

In November 2016, the company announced it was laying off an additional 200 employees in an effort to reduce costs. The company also announced that President Tony Bates would be stepping down at the end of 2016.[17] 270 more employees were laid off in March 2017,[18] and 250 additional layoffs followed in January 2018, bringing the company's workforce to "just under 1,000".[19]

At its peak, a share of GoPro was valued at $86, but on March 26, 2018, only $4.81.[20]

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, GoPro laid off more than 20 percent of its workforce - over 200 employees.[21]

Corporate actionsEdit

On March 30, 2011, GoPro acquired CineForm. The acquisition included the CineForm 444 video codec used in the film Slumdog Millionaire. The company claimed that the codec "makes HD and 3D editing faster and more convenient without sacrificing image quality". It was incorporated in the company's 3D Hero System shortly after the acquisition.[22][23]

In March 2013, GoPro issued a DMCA takedown notice to website DigitalRev.com, which had posted a review[24] of its product, citing trademark use as a breach of copyright. This notice was retracted 10 days later, citing "erroneous enforcement".[25][26]

On April 28, 2015, GoPro acquired Kolor, a spherical media and virtual reality startup based in Chambéry, France.[27] Kolor were developers of Autopano, Autopano Video and Panotour. After September 14, 2018, Kolor products will no longer be for sale and Kolor products would no longer receive updates.[28]

On February 29, 2016, GoPro spent $105 million and acquired two start-ups—Stupeflix and Vemory—for their video editing tools Replay and Splice.[29][30]

In March 2020, GoPro acquired stabilization software company, ReelSteady.[31]

IPOEdit

On February 7, 2014, GoPro submitted a confidential filing for an initial public offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).[32]

On May 19, 2014, GoPro filed its Form S-1 with the SEC without specifying the number of shares or their price. The company stated that they hoped to raise at least $100 million through the sale of shares, using the money to pay off debt in full ($111 million as of March 31, 2014) and "to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, technologies or assets". They said that they planned to list on the NASDAQ stock exchange using the symbol 'GPRO.'[33][34]

The expected price range was $21 to $24 a share; on June 25, 2014, GoPro sold 17.8 million shares to initial investors at $24 per share (totaling $427.2M).[35] At the IPO price the company was valued at $2.95 billion.[33][36]

One reason for GoPro's decision to go public was the potential to become a media company to generate additional revenue from the content its cameras create.[37][38]

Product linesEdit

HERO camerasEdit

Woodman worked on his first camera for two years after founding the company, eventually introducing the GoPro 35mm HERO in September 2004 at San Diego's Action Sports Retailer trade show.[39] In its first year GoPro sold $150,000 worth of products.[39] In 2006 the company introduced its first Digital HERO, with 10 second video capability, and generated $800,000 in revenue. The following year GoPro sales quadrupled to $3.4 million.[39]

In 2014, the company was selling the HERO3+ in editions of different colors. It was capable of filming in 16:9 aspect ratio, supporting 4K UHD video and 12 MP still photographs.[40] The HERO4 was introduced on September 24, 2014.[41]

On September 28, 2017, GoPro released the HERO6 Black, which claims improved stabilization over the HERO5 models and is capable of capturing 4K video in 60 FPS.

On September 20, 2018, GoPro came out with the HERO7 Black, which apart from providing improved stabilization over HERO6 models with HyperSmooth, also featured the new form of video capturing, "TimeWarp", providing a high speed effect to the videos. HERO7 also came out with capability to stream live across multiple platforms like facebook and Youtube .

On July 11, 2018, GoPro announced that it had sold more than 30 million HERO cameras since inception.[42]

GoPro KARMA & GoPro KARMA GripEdit

 
GoPro Karma Drone

The GoPro Karma was GoPro's consumer drone, until its discontinuation in January 2018.

In 2014, GoPro entered into discussions with DJI for a private label model built with the GoPro branding. After the failure of these negotiations, GoPro entered into an agreement with 3D Robotics (3DR) for a similar partnership based on 3DR's flight controllers. 3DR failed to meet their agreed upon timelines. As a result, GoPro took full control of the development process in mid-2015.

Scheduled to be released early 2016, the GoPro Karma project was delayed several times before the GoPro Karma was announced with an introduction date of October 23, 2016. The Karma was released along with newer models of the HERO5 and Session cameras and features a removable handheld stabilizer (gimbal) integrated into the design. After a few customers complained about power failure during operation, GoPro recalled Karma drones and gave customers full refunds.[43]

In February 2017, GoPro re-launched the Karma Drone.[44] However, in January 2018, GoPro Inc. said that it will be cutting more than 20 percent of its global workforce and putting an end to its drone business after a disappointing fourth quarter. The company said it expects sales of about $340 million, well short of its own previous projection of as much as $480 million and the average analyst estimate of $472 million. Their revenue took an $80 million hit due to discounting for its Karma drones, as well as its Hero line of cameras, over the holiday season.[45]

GoPro 360° CamerasEdit

In November 2017, GoPro launched the Fusion camera,[46] an omnidirectional camera which is capable of recording 360-degree footage. The Fusion was the first GoPro to feature an increased maximum resolution of 5.8K.[47] In October 2019, GoPro updated this line-up with the introduction of the GoPro MAX.

AccessoriesEdit

GoPro produces various mounting accessories for its cameras including a 3-way mount, suction cup, chest harness, jaws-type flexible clamp, dog harness, surfing mount, etc.[48]

Video editingEdit

The company developed GoPro Studio, a simple video editing software to edit camera footage.[49] It was reported that GoPro intended to also become a content provider, also with a new app for the HERO5 called GoPro Quik to share, and edit videos easier.[38] You can also edit and shoot photos and videos using the GoPro app released in 2015.

In 2020 Gopro canceled their GoPro Quick software support for Windows and MAC, leaving it just to mobile devices. [2]

In April 2014, GoPro was listed by Adweek as one of the "Top 10 Best Brand Channels on YouTube" based on a combination of views, shares, comments and overall engagement.[50] Content is uploaded daily, an additional source of revenue for the company.[51]

As part of its transformation to a media company in 2014, GoPro created additional channels with GoPro content on YouTube, Virgin America, and Xbox Live.[37] This was extended to the PlayStation Network in 2015.[52]

GoPro has more than 36 million followers across all social media platforms [53]

ProductsEdit

The GoPro was originally designed for surfing and capturing pro camera angles, hence the name.

HERO camerasEdit

Early GoPro HERO cameras (2005–11)
Model 35mm[54] Digital HERO[55] Digital HERO3[56][57] Digital HERO5[58] Wide HERO[59] HD HERO[60] HD HERO 960[61] HD HERO2[62]
Generation Film Digital (1st) HD (2nd)
Angle of View 75° (28mm lens) 54° 170° 170°
127° (1080p)
170° 170°
127° (1080p or 720p)
90°
Aperture fixed f/2.8
Dimensions ? ? 2.60 in × 1.75 in × 1.25 in (66 mm × 44 mm × 32 mm) 2.4 in × 1.6 in × 0.9 in (61 mm × 41 mm × 23 mm) 2.4 in × 1.6 in × 1.2 in (61 mm × 41 mm × 30 mm) ?
Weight 7.2 oz (200 g) ? 4.5 oz (130 g) 4.0 oz (110 g) 3.3 oz (94 g)
5.9 oz (170 g)[a]
?
Video modes N/A 240p (10s) 384p30 (4:3) 1080p30, 960p30, 720p30/60, 480p60 960p30, 720p30, 480p60 1080p30, 960p48/30, 720p60/30, 480p120/60
Still image resolution N/A VGA 3.0MP 5.0MP 11/8/5MP
Photo burst N/A 1 3 10
Connectivity N/A USB USB, phono USB 2.0, component USB
Notes
  1. ^ With housing

35mmEdit

 
35mm GoPro Hero in waterproof case attached to wrist strap.

The 35mm camera (model #001) became available on April 13, 2005. It had dimensions of 2.5 by 3 inches (64 by 76 mm) and weighed 0.45 pounds (200 g). It included the camera, a clear case with quick release, a camera strap and ski glove adapter lash. It could pivot "on the fly" and be functional to a depth in water of about 15 feet (5 m). It was described as a "reusable wrist camera" and included a roll of 24 exposure Kodak 400 film.[54]

Digital (1st gen)Edit

The first generation of Digital HERO cameras (2006–09) were powered by conventional AAA batteries and included a rugged housing and wrist strap. Models were distinguished by their still image resolution and shot video in standard definition (480 lines or lower) with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

The original Digital HERO (DH1; 640×480 still resolution, 240p video in 10-second clips) of 2006 was succeeded by the Digital HERO3 (DH3; 3-megapixel stills, 384p video) and Digital HERO5 (DH5; same as DH3 but with 5-megapixel stills). All three of these had a 54° angle of view. A variant of the DH5 was released with an extreme wide-angle lens with 170° of angular coverage on the diagonal as the Wide HERO; the Wide HERO had a different housing than the other first-gen cameras (DH1/DH3/DH5) to accommodate its larger lens.

Digital HEROEdit

The Digital HERO released in 2006 (Model: SQ907 mini-cam) had a 640×480 camera and shot QVGA definition 320X240 (10 fps) video for a maximum of 10 seconds. The Digital HERO1 had 32 MB internal memory without SD slot.[55]

Digital HERO3Edit

The Digital HERO3, released on February 21, 2007,[63] had a 3-megapixel camera and shot standard definition 512×384 video. It was rated up to 30 m (98.4 feet) in depth.[56][57][64]

Digital HERO5Edit

The Digital HERO5 was first introduced in 2008. It had a 5 megapixel still photo sensor and supported standard definition (512×384) video capture. It ran on two AAA batteries, had 16 MB of internal memory and could function with a 2 GB SD card. Its housing was rated to 100 ft/30 meters depth. Its dimensions were 2.6 × 1.75 × 1.25 inches (66 × 44 × 32 mm).[58] The camera is not designed to work with the newer HD HERO line of housings, although the standard screw mounts are indeed compatible.

The DH5 was marketed with a basic camera and housing as the Wrist HERO,[65] or bundled with accessories as the Motorsports HERO.[66]

Wide HEROEdit
 
Wide HERO (note optical viewfinder)

The GoPro Wide HERO was the first model with a 170° wide-angle lens. It was released in 2008 alongside the Digital HERO5 and had the same 5MP sensor (2592 x 1944), capable of 512x384 at 30fps video with sound recording (up to 56 min. on a 2GB SD card), 5MP Photos, 10s Self Timer, 3X sequence still photo burst and Auto "Photo every 2 or 5 seconds" mode. It was powered by 2 x AAA batteries (not included in the box).[59][67]

The Wide HERO was marketed with the basic camera and housing alone,[68] or bundled with accessories (as the Surf HERO,[69] Motorsports HERO Wide,[70] or Helmet HERO Wide).[71] The camera was later renamed the SD HERO 170 to emphasize the differences with the succeeding HD HERO second generation cameras.[72]

HD (2nd gen)Edit

The second generation of the HERO cameras (2010–11) were branded HD HERO for their upgraded resolution, now offering up to 1080p high-definition video.

HD HEROEdit
 
HD HERO mounted on bicycle stem/handlebars

The basic HD HERO was marketed either with a basic set of accessories (case and mount) as the "Naked", or in bundles with additional accessories named for the intended purpose (such as the HD Helmet HERO, HD Motorsports HERO, and HD Surf HERO).[73] For all HD HERO variants, the camera shoots a maximum of 1080p video with a reduced field of view (127°) on its 5 MP sensor.[74] Alternative resolutions for the HD HERO included 960p30, 720p60, 720p30, and 480p60, with the same wide-angle (170°) view as the previous-generation Wide HERO.[60] It was first listed on January 25, 2010.

HD HERO specifications:[73]

  • Sensor size: 1/2.5-inch (5.75 mm × 4.28 mm)
  • Pixel size: 2.2 μm
  • Image formats:
Mode Size fps FOV
R1 848 × 480 60 170°
R2 1280 × 720 30 170°
R3 1280 × 720 60 170°
R4 1280 × 960 30 170°
R5 1920 × 1080 30 127°
Photo 2592 × 1944 0 170°

The HD HERO also offered an expansion port on the camera's rear panel, branded the HERO Bus. Optional accessories included the LCD Bakpac, which offered a small monitor that displayed and played back video, and the Battery Bakpac, which doubled the battery life of the camera.[73]

HD HERO 960Edit

HD HERO 960 was a reduced-cost version of the HD HERO that shoots at a maximum video resolution of 960p30[75] and is not compatible with the electronic accessories for the HD HERO because it lacks the proprietary HERO Bus expansion port, although the camera is compatible with all GoPro mounts.[61] It was first listed on August 6, 2010.[76]

HD HERO2Edit
 
HD HERO2 in housing

The HD HERO2 was launched on October 24, 2011. It has a 1/2.3" 11 MP image sensor, improved low-light capability and records at up to 120 fps.[62][77] It was sold with three different accessory packages as the Outdoor, Motorsports, and Surf Editions.[78]

HERO3 (White/Silver/Black)Edit

HERO3
White
Black

In late 2012, GoPro announced the HERO3 line of cameras.[79] These cameras came in three editions: black, silver and white, denoting the relative capabilities of each camera, in descending order. Externally, the model is distinguished by the ink used to print the number "3" on the front of the camera.

All three versions of the HERO3 come in a 30% smaller and 25% lighter package, with WiFi built in. The change of the physical dimensions of the cameras compared to the previous generations (HD HERO and HD HERO2 were physically identical) means that some accessories for HD HERO Original and HERO2 are not compatible with HERO3, so GoPro made new versions of those accessories specifically for HERO3, which mostly also were compatible with HERO3+, see below. Those new versions of accessories are usually not compatible with older Hero camera generations. However, a lot of other accessories are compatible with all HD Hero camera generations.

The HERO3 Silver and Black cameras have significantly less battery endurance than the HD HERO Original and HERO2.[80] For example, in 720p resolution with 25/30 fps, while HD HERO Original and HERO2 have a stated battery runtime of 3 hours, HERO3 Silver Edition has a stated battery runtime of 2 hours, and HERO3 Black Edition has a stated battery runtime of 1.5 hours (the Black Edition's "most economical" setting is 1080p/30 fps, so this also partially contributes to its poor battery runtime).

The Black Edition[81][failed verification] has a new 12 MP sensor that can capture 4K UHD digital video at 15 fps, 2.7K video at 30 fps, 1440p at 48 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 960p at 100 fps, 720p at 120 fps and WVGA at 240 fps.[82] The Black edition also includes the WiFi Remote. The Black Edition cannot record at 25/30 fps in 720p and WVGA resolutions; it can only record at very fast frame rates in those resolutions. This is a deliberate firmware limitation, as the manufacturer does not expect that this high-end camera model will be used at these lower resolutions and frame rates.

The Silver Edition uses the same 11 MP sensor as the HD HERO2,[83] and the White edition uses the same 5 MP sensor as the HD HERO Original.[84]

HERO3/3+ models
Model HERO3 White[84] HERO3 Silver[83] HERO3 Black HERO3+ Silver[85] HERO3+ Black[86]
Sensor Size 1/2.5" 1/2.3" 1/2.3" 1/2.3" 1/2.3"
Aperture f/2.8
Dimensions 58.4 mm × 38.1 mm × 20.3 mm (2.30 in × 1.50 in × 0.80 in)
Weight 74 g (2.6 oz) 74 g (2.6 oz)
136 g (4.8 oz) with case
Video Modes 1080p30, 960p30, 720p60, 480p60 1080p30, 960p48, 720p60, 480p120 4k15, 2.7k30, 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100 720p120, 480p240 1080p60, 960p60, 720p120, 480p120 4k15, 2.7k30, 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100 720p120, 480p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264)
Stabilization no
Loop Recording yes
Still Image Resolution 5 MP 11 MP 12 MP 10 MP 12 MP
Photo burst 3 fps 10 fps 30 fps 10 fps 30 fps
Connectivity WiFi
Battery replaceable 1050 mAh, Li-Ion
Wired Connectors Mini USB, Micro HDMI
Water Resistance 60 m (200 ft) (with case) 40 m (130 ft) (with case)
Touchscreen optional, when equipped with LCD Touch BacPac
Audio Port 3.5mm (via USB adapter)
Launch Price (USD) $199.99 $299.99 $399.99 $299.99 $399.99
HERO3+ (Silver/Black)Edit
A timelapse recording one frame every 10 seconds with a GoPro HERO3 camera mounted on a bicycle helmet during a bike ride in Chicago. Note how the wide angle lens allows for the rider to capture wide images.

In October 2013, GoPro released the HERO3+, available in Black and Silver Editions,[87] replacing the HERO3 generation.

The HERO3+ camera models claim dramatically improved low light performance and have a waterproof enclosure which is 20% lighter and 15% smaller than the HERO3's, according to the GoPro website. The HERO3+ camera housing is 20% smaller than the HERO3. The cameras are claimed to have improved image sharpness (close focus down to 7" vs about 3 ft on the HERO3, at the expense of distant focus which is slightly less sharp[clarification needed] with HERO3+), and better audio functionality with wind noise reduction. Battery life is claimed to be 30% longer than for the HERO3 model (both through better efficiency and a higher-capacity battery of the same dimensions).[80][88]

The Black Edition has video modes of 1440p48,[86] 1080p60, 960p100 and 720p120 as well as 4K15 and 2.7K30 and can shoot 12 MP stills at up to 30 fps. The HERO3+ Black Edition also offers an optional function in firmware (called "SuperView") which increases the field of view. It has additional functions, including dynamic low light situation adjustment, higher-quality recording modes (higher bitrates, no white balance applied, etc.) etc. The Black Edition continues to include a Wifi Remote. It does not have the ability to record 25/30 fps in 720p and WVGA modes (it can only record at very fast frame rates in those lower resolutions). This is an intentional firmware limitation. The battery runtime of HERO3+ Black Edition is significantly longer than HERO3 Black Edition but 30–50% lower than the battery runtime of the older HERO2 and HERO1.

The Silver Edition has video modes of 1080p60 and 720p120 and can shoot 10 MP stills at up to 10 fps.[85] In contrast to the Black Edition, the Silver Edition can record at 25/30 fps (or higher) in all supported resolutions. HERO3+ Silver Edition also has about 25%–50% longer battery runtime during recording than HERO3+ Black Edition (they both use the same batteries).[88] The difference in runtime depends on the resolution/fps combination, and whether WiFi and GoPro mobile application are used during recording. The difference in runtime increases as the fps is lowered and the additional functions are deactivated on both cameras. The battery runtime of HERO3+ Silver Edition is similar to the battery runtime of HERO2 and HERO1.

The HERO3 HD camera was awarded the 2013 Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for its contribution to television.[89]

HERO4 (Silver/Black)Edit

 
GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition

In September 2014, GoPro announced the HERO4, available in Black Edition and Silver Edition,[76] which replace their respective HERO3+ generation predecessors. The HERO Session, a budget camera, was also announced.

The HERO4 Black Edition still has a 12 megapixel (MP) CMOS and a f/2.8 fixed maximum aperture and focus free. It adds Bluetooth connectivity, Highlight tag, Protune Available for photo and a new processor claimed by GoPro to be twice as fast as that of the HERO3+ Black Edition, doubling the frame rates in most resolutions. The HERO4 Black Edition can record 4K UHD video (3840×2160) at a frame rate of 24, 25 and 30 fps.[90] In Superview mode, 4K is only possible at 25 fps. Many other rates and resolutions are available. The HERO4 Black Edition still shoots stills at a maximum of 12 MP with a maximum burst rate of 30 fps. With Wi-Fi disabled at 4K/30, GoPro claims the HERO4 Black Edition battery life to be 65 minutes, increasing to a maximum of 1h 50' at 720p/240.[91] The HERO4 Black battery is in a different form factor than its predecessors. Initial side-by-side comparisons of HERO3+ and HERO4 Black edition video results suggest that the newer model has more detail at long range and similar performance at close range.

The HERO4 Silver Edition is basically a HERO3 Black Edition with the addition of a micro speaker,[92] built-in touchscreen display, Protune for photo and highlight tag (the first GoPro with this), a lower clocked Cortex-A9 and missing the Black Edition's integrated analog-to-digital converter which supports a wider variety of professional low-sensitivity external microphones.[93] The video modes supported by the HERO4 Silver Edition are similar to those of the HERO3+ Black, due to the higher processing speed and thermal requirements of encoding 4K video (3840×2160), but it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and contains the same[94][95] Ambarella Inc. A9[96] system on a chip (SoC) as in the HERO4 Black.

The HERO4 models maintain the H.264 video codec of previous versions and MP4 file formats. GoPro claims the mono microphone in both the Black and Silver Editions has twice the dynamic range of that in the HERO3+, and that the HERO4 Black and Silver Editions have improved low-light performance.

Model HERO Session[97] HERO4 Silver[98] HERO4 Black[99]
Sensor Size 1/3.2" 1/2.3" 1/2.3"
Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8 f/2.8
Dimensions 38 x 38 x 38 mm 59 x 41 x 30 mm 59 x 41 x 30 mm
Weight 74 g 83 g (147 g with case) 88 g (152 g with case)
Video Modes 1440p30, 1080p60, 720p100, 480p120 4k15, 2.7k30, 1080p60, 720p120, 480p240 4k30, 2.7k60, 1440p80, 1080p120, 720p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264) MP4 (H.264) MP4 (H.264)
Stabilization no no no
Loop Recording yes yes yes
Still Image Resolution 8 MP 12 MP 12 MP
Photo burst 10 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth
Battery built-in 1000 mAh, Li-Ion replaceable 1160 mAh, Li-Ion replaceable 1160 mAh, Li-Ion
Wired Connectors Mini USB Mini USB, Micro HDMI Mini USB, Micro HDMI
Water Resistance 10 m 40 m (with case) 40 m (with case)
Touchscreen no 1.5 inches (38 mm) 320x240 optional extra
Audio Port no no no
Launch Price (USD) $399 (Later reduced to $299, then $199) $399 $499
HERO (2014)Edit

In September 2014, GoPro released an entry level camera named simply "HERO", priced at $130, alongside the HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver. It is built into a waterproof housing, unlike the HERO4 line.[100][101]

The GoPro HERO (2014) can capture 5mp still images and has a 5fps burst option. It is able to record 1080P at 30 or 25fps and 720P at 60 or 50fps on to a MicroSD card up to 32GB. It has an LCD non touch display on the front and is waterproof down to 40m.

HERO+LCDEdit

In June 2015, the company started to sell the GoPro HERO+LCD, which provides video recording at 1080p at 60 fps and 8 megapixel photos. The HERO+LCD is also built into a waterproof housing.[102]

GoPro HERO+LCD has a touchscreen to preview the shot to frame the scene and letting the user navigate the menu.[103] A new feature in the camera was instant camera editing. GoPro HERO+LCD is waterproof, because it is built directly into a waterproof case (waterproof to 131 feet (40 m)). The device also includes a feature HiLight Tagging and built-in video editing function, which allows the user to put a label on the main points while shooting video or in the process of view, which makes it possible to quickly find desired footage later. It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and user-friendly modes like QuikCapture, SuperView and Auto Low Light.

HERO SessionEdit
 
HERO Session

The HERO Session, released July 6, 2015,[104] is 50% smaller and 40% lighter compared to other versions of the GoPro HERO4 camera.[105]

HERO+Edit

In October 2015, GoPro released its third entry level camera: GoPro HERO+.[76][106] This camera is the same as the previous HERO+LCD with its 1080p 60 fps / 720p 60 fps video resolution, 8 MP / 5 fps burst photo resolution, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, waterproof up to 40 m and other modes like Superview, Auto Low Light, QuikCapture and Timelapse mode which automatically captures photos at set time intervals from 0.5 to 60 seconds. However, it does not have an LCD built-in touchscreen display and it is slightly lighter than HERO+LCD. The HERO+ weighs 123 g whereas the HERO+LCD weighs 127 g. The housing also remained the same.

HERO5Edit

 
A GoPro Hero 5 Action Camera. Powered on, not recording

HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session were introduced in September 2016.[107] They are waterproof up to 10 m, support 4K video recording at up to 30 fps and 1080p at up to 120 fps, automatic upload of footage to cloud and voice controls.

Model HERO5 Session[108] HERO5 Black[109]
Sensor Size 1/2.3" 1/2.3", Sony IMX177[110]
Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8
Dimensions 38 x 38 x 36 mm 62 x 45 x 33 mm
Weight 73 g 118 g
Video Modes 4K30, 2.7K30, 1920x1440 @ 60p, 1080p90 4K30, 2.7K60, 1080p120, 720p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264) MP4 (H.264)
Stabilization yes yes
Loop Recording yes yes
Still Image Resolution 10 MP 12 MP
Photo burst 30 FPS 30 FPS
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery[111] built-in 1000 mAh, Li-Ion replaceable 1220 mAh, Li-Ion
Wired Connectors USB-C USB-C, micro HDMI
Water Resistance 10 m 10 m
Touchscreen no yes
Audio Port no no
Launch Price (USD) $299 $399

HERO6Edit

The HERO6 Black was introduced on September 28, 2017.[112][113] The camera is waterproof up to 10 m, supports 4K HEVC video recording at up to 60 fps and 1080p at up to 240 fps, automatic upload of footage to cloud, voice controls and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. It was the first GoPro with sporting GoPro's custom system on a chip (SoC) the GP1.

Model HERO6 Black[109] Hero (2018 edition)[109]
Sensor Size 1/2.3", Sony IMX277[114] 1/2.3"
Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8
Dimensions 65 x 45 x 35 mm 65 x 45 x 35 mm
Weight[115] 117 g 117g
Video Modes 4K60, 2.7K120, 1080p240 1920x1440 4:3 @ 60p, 1080p60 16:9
Video Formats MP4 (H.264 / H.265) MP4 (H.264)
Stabilization yes yes
Loop Recording yes no[116]
Still Image Resolution 12 MP 10 MP
Photo burst 30 FPS 10 FPS
Connectivity 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, no GPS
Battery[111] replaceable 1220 mAh, Li-Ion Removable 1220 mAh, Li-Ion
Wired Connectors USB-C, micro HDMI USB-C, micro HDMI
Water Resistance 10 m 33 ft (10m)
Touchscreen yes yes
Audio Port no no
Launch Price (USD) $399 $199
HERO (2018)Edit

The HERO (2018 edition) was announced on March 29, 2018[117] intended as an entry-level camera alongside the HERO6 Black.[118] The new model offers some similar features and functionality to the HERO5 Black and HERO6 Black, including a touchscreen and built-in time-lapse video mode, but with slightly lower resolution and frame-rate, and lacking the GPS functionality and exposure control; because the hardware is identical to that of the HERO5, the firmware can be modified to include the GoPro HERO5 Black's capabilities.[119]

HERO7Edit

The HERO7 White, HERO7 Silver and HERO7 Black were announced and released in September 2018, as the seventh-generation action camera series from GoPro.[120]

The HERO7 White was intended as the entry-level camera, featuring only 1440p resolutions for video and time-lapse video functions and a lack of WDR or HDR in its photos. The HERO7 Silver was intended as the mid-range camera, featuring 4K resolutions for video and time-lapse video resolutions and WDR in its photo mode. Initially, both the HERO7 White and Silver defaulted to a video resolution of 1440p with 1080p only available by cropping.[121] This was met with considerable criticism, of which GoPro responded by releasing software updates to both cameras to allow for change in default resolution to 1080p.[122] The HERO7 White and Silver use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 624 image processor and use a firmware based on Android.[123] In contrast to the HERO7 Black, these cameras lacked most time-lapse photo modes, ProTune, wake-on-voice capabilities, H.265 formats and live-streaming.

By contrast, the HERO7 Black was introduced at the high-end level and primarily encompasses the features of the HERO6 Black with major improvements. The HERO7 Black introduced a heavily improved electronic image stabilisation known as "HyperSmooth" video stabilization, which GoPro has advertised heavily as "Gimbal-Like", as its primary improvement.[124] This feature has resulted in a new time-lapse video feature known as "TimeWarp", essentially a hyperlapse mode, although the original time-lapse video mode continues to remain. The HERO7 Black also introduced a live-streaming feature that would live-stream content, in 720p, directly from the HERO7 Black to the user's social media account, provided the user keeps a nearby internet-connected device.

During its release, the HERO7 Black largely competed with rival camera and camera accessory manufacturer DJI which released the DJI OSMO Action, which also introduced a similar enhanced stabilization feature.

On February 28, 2019, GoPro released HERO7 Black in a new "dusk white" color. This is a limited edition and it has the same specs as in regular version and differs just in color.[125]

Model HERO7 White[126] HERO7 Silver HERO7 Black
Sensor Size 1/2.3", Sony IMX458[123] 1/2.3", Sony IMX458[123] 1/2.3", Sony IMX277[127]
Aperture f/2.8 f/2.8 f/2.8
Dimensions 62.3 x 44.9 x 28.3 mm 62.3 x 44.9 x 28.3 mm 62.3 x 44.9 x 33 mm
Weight 92.4 g 94.4 g 116 g
Video Modes 1440p60, 1080p60 4K30, 1440p60, 1080p60 4K60, 2.7K120, 1440p120, 1080p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264) MP4 (H.264) MP4 (H.264 / H.265)
Stabilization Standard Standard HyperSmooth
Loop Recording No No Yes
Live Streaming No No Yes
TimeWarp Video No No Yes
Still Image Resolution 10 MP 10 MP 12 MP
Photo burst 15 FPS 15 FPS 30 FPS
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery Built-in Built-in Removable 1220 mAh, Li-Ion
Water Resistance 33 ft (10m) 33 ft (10m) 33 ft (10m)
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes
Audio Port No No No
Launch Price (USD) $199 $299 $399

HERO8Edit

The HERO8 Black was announced as the successor to the HERO7 Black on October 1, 2019, alongside the GoPro MAX that offered 360 degree capture.

The HERO8 Black essentially contained the former features of the HERO7 Black, however improved on certain functions. Most notably, the "HyperSmooth" feature introduced in the HERO7 Black was improved on and named "HyperSmooth 2.0", also resulting in an improvement of the TimeWarp feature introduced in the HERO7 Black. The HERO8 Black also improved the image quality, improving the HDR functions of the camera to allow HDR to assist the SuperPhoto function of the camera that automatically chooses what image processing to use such as high dynamic range (HDR). GoPro also reintroduced the field-of-view (FOV) functionality as, "Digital Lenses" which retains the original SuperView, Wide, Narrow, Linear FOV settings. Moreover, live-streaming now streams in 1080p instead of the HERO7 Black's 720p and the RAW imaging functionality has now been expanded for all photo modes.

The HERO8 Black largely introduced several new functions into the camera. Physically, the HERO8 Black now incorporates the connecting prongs that are used to connect accessories, directly onto the camera. Originally, the cameras would only be able to access the prongs if the cameras utilised either the frames (for cameras HERO5 to HERO7) or the protective cases for HERO4 and before. Moreover, the GoPro logo moved under the LCD screen to make way for extra microphones. More additions to the camera most notably were part of the software aspects of the camera. These included an option to switch between various settings presets, including standard, activity, cinematic and action shots and adjusting on-screen shortcuts of the user interface. Most notably as part of software, was the introduction of the night-lapse video, which similar to the time-lapse video mode, automatically stitches the frames captured by the camera at set intervals, however with the addition of improved low-light performance.

The HERO8 Black also attempts to address vloggers who may wish to use the GoPro in such a manner. As such, GoPro has also introduced an external accessory known as the "Media Mod" which includes a USB Type-C port for supplying power to external microphones and accessories, a micro-HDMI port and a 3.5mm microphone port. Moreover, the accessory includes a mount to connect either external microphones, LEDs or an LCD screen.

Model HERO8 Black[126]
Sensor Size 1/2.3", Sony IMX277[128]
Aperture[129] f/2.8
Dimensions 66.3 x 48.6 x 28.4 mm
Weight 126 g
Video Modes 4K60, 2.7K120, 1440p120, 1080p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264 / H.265)
Stabilization HyperSmooth 2.0
Loop Recording[130] Yes
Live Streaming Yes
TimeWarp Video Yes
Still Image Resolution 12 MP
Photo burst 30 FPS
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery Removable 1220 mAh, Li-Ion
Water Resistance 33 ft (10m)
Touchscreen Yes
Audio Port No
Launch Price (USD) $399

HERO9Edit

The HERO9 Black was announced as the successor to the HERO8 Black on September 1, 2020.[131]

The HERO9 Black essentially contained the former features of the HERO8 Black, however, improved on certain functions. Most notably, the "HyperSmooth" feature introduced in the HERO7 Black and refined in HERO8 Black was improved on and named "HyperSmooth 3.0". It also features a max resolution of 5K for video and 20M for photos and adds a front-facing 1.4-inch color "selfie" screen.

The HERO9 is slightly bigger than other models.

Model HERO9 Black[126]
Sensor Size 1/2.3", Sony IMX677[132]
Aperture[129] f/2.5
Dimensions 71 x 55 x 33.6 mm
Weight 158 g
Video Modes 5k30, 4K60, 2.7K120, 1440p120, 1080p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264 / H.265)
Stabilization HyperSmooth 3.0
Loop Recording Yes
Live Streaming Yes
TimeWarp Video Yes
Still Image Resolution 20 MP
Photo burst 30 FPS
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery Removable 1720 mAh, Li-Ion
Water Resistance 33 ft (10m)
Touchscreen Yes
Audio Port No
Launch Price (USD) $449 ($349 if purchased direct from GoPro

bundled with a 1 year subscription service)

HERO10 BlackEdit

The HERO10 Black was announced as the successor to the HERO9 Black on September 16, 2021.[133]

The HERO10 Black essentially contained the former features of the HERO9 Black, however, improved on certain functions. Most notably, the "HyperSmooth" feature introduced in the HERO7 Black and refined in HERO8 Black was improved on and named "HyperSmooth 4.0".

The major changes new GP2 processor, HERO10 Black shoots 5.3K video with double the frame rate, 23MP photos, enhanced low-light performance and HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization in all modes. On top of all that, HERO10 is cloud connected—so the moment you charge it, your footage is automatically uploaded to the cloud.

The HERO10 Black is the same size as the HERO9 Black.

Model HERO10 Black
Sensor Size 1/2.3", Sony IMX677[134]
Processor GP2
Aperture f/2.5
Dimensions 71 x 55 x 33.6 mm
Weight 158 g
Video Modes 5.3k60, 4K120, 2.7K240, 1080p240
Video Formats MP4 (H.264 / H.265)
Stabilization HyperSmooth 4.0
Loop Recording Yes
Live Streaming Yes
TimeWarp Video Yes
Still Image Resolution 23 MP
Photo burst 30 FPS
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery Removable 1720 mAh, Li-Ion
Water Resistance 33 ft (10m)
Touchscreen Yes
Audio Port No
Launch Price (USD) $549 ($449 if purchased directly from GoPro

bundled with a 1 year subscription service)

Karma DroneEdit

 
GoPro drone Karma

Karma Drone became available October 23, 2016. The drone is compatible with the HERO7 Black, HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black and HERO4 Black and Silver. The Drone has 20 minutes of battery life.[135] The stabilizer can be taken out and attached to a Karma grip. The Karma grip has greater than 1-hour battery life.

On November 8, 2016, GoPro announced the recall of the Karma Drone following reports of loss of electrical power on the drone during operation.[136] On February 1, 2017, the company announced that the Karma Drone will return to stores with a redesigned battery latch.[137]

On January 9, 2018, GoPro announced that it was discontinuing the Karma drone and that it was exiting the drone marketplace.[138]

Multiple-lens and synchronized camerasEdit

3D HEROEdit

GoPro released the 3D HERO system in April 2011, which coupled two HD HERO cameras via a synchronization cable in a single housing to form a stereoscopic 3D camera.[139]

OdysseyEdit

The Odyssey is a 16-camera panoramic stereo rig designed to produce content for the Google Jump virtual reality platform by synchronizing the cameras and automatically stitching their footage together.[140] The Odyssey was originally announced at Google I/O in May 2015[141] and GoPro began taking applications from "professional content creators" in September for the US$15,000 rig, which included 16 GoPro HERO4 Black cameras;[142] limited shipments began in May 2016.[143]

OmniEdit

The Omni also was announced in May 2015, leveraging its recent acquisition of Kolor, which developed software to stitch video footage together;[144] Omni was a camera rig that synchronizes six GoPro HERO4 Black cameras, allowing users to stitch and make virtual reality 360° videos. Omni began shipping in August 2016.[145]

FusionEdit

 
GoPro Fusion

The Fusion was announced alongside the HERO6 Black[113] and released on November 24, 2017.[146] It has two cameras, each recording to a separate microSD memory card; their outputs can be stitched together using the bundled Fusion Studio desktop software as 360° Panorama video. Fusion Studio can export to several formats, including H.264 (4K), CineForm 422, and Apple ProRes 422.[147]

Model Fusion[147] Max[148][149]
Sensor Size 2× 1/2.3"[150] 2× 1/2.3"
Aperture f/2.8[151]
Dimensions 3.5 in × 3.0 in × 1.0 in (89 mm × 76 mm × 25 mm) 2.7 in × 2.5 in × 1.6 in (69 mm × 64 mm × 41 mm)
Weight 7.8 oz (220 g) 5.8 oz (160 g)
Video Modes 5.2K30, 3K60 (crop to 1080p/720p using Overcapture) 5.6K30
Video Formats MP4 (H.264) H.264 & H.265 (HEVC)
Stabilization Spherical (via crop)
Loop Recording no
Still Image Resolution 16.6 MP 18 MP
Photo burst 30 FPS
Connectivity WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
Battery replaceable 2620 mAh, Li-Ion replaceable 1600 mAh, Li-Ion
Water Resistance yes, 16 ft (4.9 m)
Touchscreen no yes
Audio Port no
Launch Price (USD) $699 $499

MAXEdit

The MAX succeeded the Fusion when it began shipping on October 24, 2019 alongside the HERO8.[152] Compared to the Fusion, MAX records to a single memory card and includes a color touchscreen that allows users to preview video.[148]

ChipsEdit

Starting from the HERO6 GoPro stopped using Ambarella SoC's and started making their own, starting with the GP1.

GoPro GP1Edit

The GoPro GP1 is their own System-on-Chip with the main task of image processing. It replaces the earlier used Ambarella SoC's and launched in the GoPro HERO6.[153] The SoC was designed in collaboration with Socionext.

The GP1 encodes video in the H.265 codec, also known as HEVC. The available resolutions are 4K60, 2.7K120 and 1080p240 unstabilized or 4K30, 2.7K60 and 1080p120 digitally stabilized.

GoPro GP2Edit

The GoPro GP2 is the second generation System-on-Chip. It replaces the earlier used GP1 SoC's and launched in the GoPro HERO10.[154]

The GP2 encodes video in the H.265 codec, also known as HEVC. The available resolutions are Video 5.3K60, 4K120 + 2.7K240 Wide FOV

Microphone supportEdit

The following cameras have official external microphone support:[155]

  • HERO10 Black
  • HERO 9
  • HERO 8
  • HERO7 Black
  • HERO6 Black
  • HERO5 Black
  • HERO5 Session
  • HERO4 Black
  • HERO3+
  • HERO3

The following cameras lack official support for an external microphone:

  • HERO (2018)
  • HERO (2014)
  • HERO+
  • HERO+LCD
  • HERO4 Session

Cameras up to and including the HERO 4 series can use a simple 3.5mm to Mini-USB adapter to connect external microphones and other audio sources. Starting with the HERO 5 Black, the digital-to-analogue converter is no longer part of the camera itself, and instead relies on an external USB-C Audio Adapter manufactured and sold by GoPro. Although simpler models exist, they do not trigger the required menu item in the camera to enable external sources, and hence do not provide an audio signal. The adapter provides an option to connect audio and power simultaneously.

While the adapter still works with HERO 8 cameras, the battery door needs to be removed to expose the USB-C port. This can lead to power loss during operation when the camera is subjected to minor vibrations. Third party doors are available that expose the port while holding the battery firmly in place. GoPro's own Media Mod also provides access to an external audio source.

See alsoEdit

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