GoPro announced their first drone, the GoPro Karma, at Photokina 2016. We get hands on with this highly-anticipated foldable drone right here at the show. GoPro Karma – The Foldable Drone The GoPro Karma has been designed to make it as easy as possible to use and fly straight out of the box, whether just using the stabilizer or for aerial filming. Within a few minutes, the foldable drone can be unfolded, powered up and linked to the remote that conveniently includes a screen. It has a number of automated features including auto shoot paths where the GoPro Karma will orbit between two points, a reveal path, flying up or away from the start point, and cable camera mode. The controller has a built-in touchscreen, and has been simplified to make it as easy as possible to fly straight out of the case. Simulation tutorials will be available soon to aid in learning to fly the drone. In terms of batteries, the GoPro Karma has a plug and play style removable battery that allows for 20 minutes of flying time, while the remote battery lasts for 4 hours and can be charged on the go. Learn more about the GoPro Karma, GoPro HERO 5 and the new GoPro eco system in our launch article. The GoPro Karma will be available form the 23rd of October, with the full package including the drone, GoPro Hero5 camera, stabilizer, grip, controller and batteries for $1099. For the GoPro Karma foldable drone alone, the pricing will be around $700.Read more
GoPro 360-degree camera solutions are expected to usher in the next big step in the world of digital video. At this year’s CES, YouTube CBO Robert Kyncl held a keynote explaining how this platform is situated in a world of abounding digital video. It truly is an interesting watch. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, we recommend you take a look – you might have to go to YouTube to see it as there seems to be some content restrictions in some countries for the embedded version: In the framework of this discussion, GoPro is positioning itself as a big player in the innovative field of 360-degree video. We have known since last year about the Odyssey, where the Google Jump video assembler works in tandem with the 16-camera GoPro array. This is pricey and only available to a select few of those who apply online. However, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman hints that the company is already working on a smaller 360-degree video solution that reduces the rig to a simpler, consumer-friendly format. Unfortunately, there is no information available about the product, except that it will incorporate 6 GoPro cameras and will come in 2016. The question that springs to mind is whether this decision to branch out into other markets will play to GoPro’s favour. The emergence of many competitors at lower price points capitalizing on the popularity of action cameras has understandably translated into a big hit for GoPro. Also, the company’s latest action camera—the GoPro Hero4 Session— has seen big price drops since its release, after a starting price of $399 failed to convince consumers. Factors like these seem to have caused a loss of confidence in investors, with recent reports revealing that the company share prices have plummeted up to 70% in the last year. As a result, a significant number of their employees are being let go, and the company has suffered severe losses due to restructuring, as well as price-protection, manufacturing and excess inventory costs. But the world of video is advancing, with the mass adoption of newer technologies such as 4K and 360-degree video clearly dictating what the next steps will be. And this company is showing that, with their new GoPro 360-degree camera arrays and the recently announced GoPro Karma drone, they are not afraid of stepping outside of their comfort zone in the way to innovation despite the bumps along the way. Large names are clearly positioning themselves to facilitate both creation and consumption of a new kind of video experience. With products by household brands like GoPro, support from the YouTube platform, and simple solutions like Google Cardboard, the adoption of this relatively new medium seems imminent. And when these tools become available to everyone everywhere, it will be interesting to see what it will mean for the future of video, and for us as creators. What kind of project would you do today if you had access to an affordable, compact 360-degree video capture solution like the GoPro 360?Read more
GoPro just announced the introduction of its new entry-level camera, the GoPro Hero+ LCD, which is the first GoPro offering with a built-in touchscreen. This is not the next generation of the Hero4, which shoots up to 4K video, it’s the new version of its entry level camera that shoots up to 1080p60, which is usually fine for the average user (non-professionals). Having a built-in touchscreen on a GoPro is a nice feature considering how fiddly operation can be without a screen, and also a bit of a guessing game of what’s going to be in shot (unless you check via the Wifi connection on your phone or tablet). The so-far optional touchscreen is drawing quite a bit of power though, and I don’t expect it to draw less power on the new version – so be advised it’s better to turn it off when you don’t use the screen, it can give you so much more running time out of one battery if you operate the camera without the screen. GoPro also added a trim feature to the camera, which is nice for casual shooting and allows you to trim and tag shots right on the camera. Considering the size of the screen, again, this will be a bit of a challenge to do accurately, but for casual non-professional shooters it’s definitely a “nice to have”. The new GoPro Hero+ LCD will be available for a mere $299 from B&H, shipping starts in July.Read more
GoPro have released a firmware update for their HERO4 Black camera adding great new capabilities to a camera that has been in the market for about one year now. With the latest firmware update, it can do 240fps in 720p (Narrow Mode only), which clearly expands its usefulness for fast-paced sports action, one of GoPro’s biggest selling points. I stuck a GoPro HERO3 Black on a rocket for a documentary once (see here), using the 120fps in 720p on that camera – 240fps would have made the rocket blast look even better as it did.Read more
Here’s a Kickstarter campaign that I can see having no problems fulfilling its goal. The MOTA Wireless Charger is a docking station for the Hero 3 and 4 that also charges an additional GoPro battery as well as phones and accessories via USB ports. The neat design of the MOTA Wireless Charger allows you to charge your GoPro by simply docking it in the device. The wireless pad taps into the USB port on your GoPro, and sits between the camera and its casing. This is great for use in the field, saving hassle by alleviating the need to remove the casing to charge your GoPro. The MOTA also offers a dock for an additional GoPro battery and adds further charge support via USB and micro USB for your phone, GoPro BacPac or other USB accessories. The MOTA wireless charge is lightweight, has a capacity of 6000 mAh and has LED status lights to keep an eye on your charge levels. Their goal is a timid $15,000, with over 20 days to go and half the funds already confirmed, I can’t see this having any problems becoming a successful project. Limited Early Bird packages are still available, which will get you a MOTA Wireless Charger for $55. More info can be found on the Kickstarter page.Read more
The much-rumored GoPro Hero 3+ has been released. Boasting a new lens, sleeker design, increased battery life and better audio (amongst other features). It’s available in both Black and Silver edition and retailing for the same price as previous respective GoPro Hero 3 models. That’s it in a nutshell, let’s have a look at the features in more detail:Read more
At NAB we talked about GoPro’s Technicolor-Certified “ProTune Mode” that adds 24p and 35Mbps data rate to HERO2 cameras. This announcement has finally become a reality. Key Features: – 24fps frame rate, enabling GoPro HERO2 content to be easily intercut with other sources without a frame rate conversion; – 35Mbps data rate for the industry’s highest quality compressed image with virtually zero artifacts; – Neutral color profile, allowing for greater flexibility in a color correction workflow; – Log curve encoding, offering more detail in shadows and highlights; – Reduced sharpening and noise reduction for improved flexibility in professional post- production and color design workflows. GoPro offers a software that helps organize and match footage in your color process: Using Protune with GoPro CineForm Studio Premium and GoPro CineForm Studio Professional provides additional benefits, offering extensive color correction controls and customizable presets to create professional, cinematic looks from the GoPro HERO2 captured content. Non-destructive 3D LUTs provide even more flexibility, enabling users to further tweak their images, manipulate saturation and contrast and color correction controls to create highly stylized content. On the left you see a comparison between a technicolor 5D mark III and GoPro ProTune image. More info on that in the video below. GoPro Protune mode is available as a free firmware upgrade and you can download it here:Read more
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