GoPro’s Hero camera line

What you need to know before you buy

Ettore Fantin-Yusta, Editorial Contributor

Releasing the Hero 4 series is GoPro’s first big move after their initial public offering earlier this year. This series includes three cameras, at very different price points. They include the Hero 4 black, Hero 4 silver and the Hero. The Hero 4 black edition is their most top of the line camera priced at $499 (the most expensive GoPro camera of all time). It films 4k video at 30 fps, which is a step up from the HD Hero 3 black + edition’s 4k at 15 fps. It takes 4k video to a framerate that we can actually watch and perceive as continuous.

Next up is the Hero 4 silver, which is priced at $399. It is very similar to the black edition, except it is taken down a notch in terms of video quality. The silver edition cannot shoot in 4k quality, which is not a big deal for a lot of consumers since the majority of them do not own a computer screen or TV that is 4k quality. This may not seem like a step up from the Hero 3 black edition, which costs less and can shoot in 4k, but the Hero 4 silver and black editions both include built in screens. A detachable screen was required for the Hero 3 series, and it would not fit when the camera is in the waterproof casing. Taking that screen into consideration, the Hero 4 series is more affordable than the previous product.

GoPro new Hero line
GoPro’s new Hero line

Last up in their new line is the ultra competitively priced GoPro Hero. Priced at $129, this camera does not include a screen in the back nor can it shoot video in 4k or shoot video in ultra slow motion. This camera is targeted towards those who want to record action video for personal and recreational use while the other two can be used at a professional level. This camera is also ideal for those who believe they may lose their camera, since it will make less of a dent in your wallet.

Two things GoPro has put emphasis on with this series is low-light shooting as well as improved microphone quality. GoPro shots historically look amazing in outdoor extreme sports with great lighting, but lacked quality when it came to indoor shooting. GoPro seeks to expand their market from extreme sports to more tame indoor use. One use that they focused on in their marketing for this series was for musicians. GoPro is not ideal for musicians to record their gigs due to the better low light filming and increased microphone quality.

Overall, GoPro has taken a drastic change in terms of expansion. They were previously known for just releasing one specific camera type, but now they aim to tackle the industry like a business and expand their market share. GoPro continues to raise the bar for action camera quality and the industry will surely follow.