Action camera footage is everywhere. You've most probably seen some of the first-person view, wide-angle shots of extreme sports athletes performing stunts, taking you right smack to where the action really is. Or maybe you've seen the middling shots of your friends on their vacations doing nothing particularly exciting.
The point is that high-quality video from these small, durable action cameras is now so mainstream, simple and affordable, that anyone could join in on the fun. And what is the name synonymous with action cameras? GoPro.
Now, GoPro aficionados have even more reasons to get excited.
The company officially announced yesterday the newest members of the GoPro company - the much-awaited Hero5 Black, the Hero5 Session, and their very own GoPro branded drone called the Karma.
GoPro Hero5 Black
The flagship model, the Hero5 Black will feature a 12-megapixel sensor, a two-inch rear touchscreen, and like previous GoPro models, it can shoot 4K videos at 30 fps. It will also come with built-in GPS for instant location tagging and image stabilization for steadier footage.
However, the best improvements of the Hero5 Black over previous models are waterproofing and voice controls.
Hero5 Black is waterproof to up to 10 meters (33 feet) without the need for the separate waterproofing case that came with the older GoPros. This is great for any water-oriented activities since the case will be one less thing to worry about.
Another new Hero5 Black feature that should be extremely useful is the built-in voice control. Now, you can just say "GoPro, start recording" or "GoPro, take a photo" to start a session without the need for a remote or the phone app.
The Hero5 Black will cost $399.99.
GoPro Hero5 Session
The Hero5 Black's cheaper counterpart is the Hero5 Session.
Like the 5 Black, the 5 Session will likewise be waterproof, will do 4k video at 30 frames, will have image stabilization, and can be controlled by voice. However, it won't have the rear touchscreen and the battery is not as robust.
If you don't really care for the screen and you'd rather just point-and-shoot, the Hero5 Session may be the one for you since it's cheaper at $199.99.
Both Hero5 Black and Session models' ports have also been upgraded from Micro USB to the newer USB-C type connector.
We've reported a few years back about the rumor that GoPro is developing their own camera drone. Finally, it is now a reality.
Together with the new Hero5 models, the company also unveiled their very own drone called the Karma.
The Karma sports a foldable design that can easily fit into its included backpack. It can be controlled with its clamshell-shaped remote control with a flippable touchscreen display and two joysticks.
It will work with the Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session and the Hero 4. GoPro says that the Karma was designed to have the camera positioned on the front as opposed to being hung underneath. This should eliminate the inadvertent shots of the drone's rotors while shooting footage.
The Karma will cost $799.99 for just the drone package, which will include two batteries, the backpack, and a handheld stabilizer. With a Hero5 Black, it will be $1,099 and $999 if you opt for the Hero5 Session instead.
The Hero5 cameras will be available starting October 2 and the Karma will arrive on October 23.
Together with these exciting new products, there's still this one thing that could invigorate the GoPro scene once again - the software.
GoPro Plus, their cloud-based subscription service, aims to make video management, editing and sharing as convenient as possible. With a subscription, the Hero5 cameras will automatically upload videos and photos to this cloud service. You can then access and share your videos from anywhere. Access to GoPro's library of licensed music is also included to sweeten the deal.
Also with GoPro's Quik desktop and mobile editing software, you can also edit your videos in seconds, complete with transitions, effects and even music syncing.
With this combination of exciting hardware, cloud-based services and easy to use software, GoPro is set to take the action camera limelight once again.
To read more about these announcements, check out GoPro's official press release.