GoPro has had a tough 2018.
In January, the action-camera company discontinued its drone business and continued layoffs that began in 2016, less than two years after their IPO — which started at $24 a share and now waffles around $4.60.
Their comeback plan? The new GoPro Hero, a back-to-basics camera priced at just $200.
That’s good news for anyone who’s interested in adding a go-anywhere, shoot-anything camera to their travel arsenal but doesn’t want to shell out $400 for the top-of-the-line Hero 6.
Similarly, as Gizmodo points out, part of the company’s problem is that “people buy one and rarely if ever upgrade.” So if you’ve got a banged-up OG GoPro that you don’t shoot with anymore because your smartphone takes better video, this is a time to think about upgrading, because while the features are understandably inferior to the Hero 5 and 6, they’re still light years ahead of older offerings.
For starters, the new Hero includes a touchscreen display on the back, waterproofing up to 30 feet, low-light capabilities and compatibility with QuikStories, a feature which moves footage automatically from the camera to the GoPro app for an easy shoot-to-share experience.
That leaves us with what’s missing, the most important being the lack of 4K video and high frame rates of 120/240fps — you’ll have to make do with 1440p or 1080p resolution and 60 or 30fps.
For comparison, the iPhone X is capable of 4K video at 60fps, and 1080p HD at 60fps. But that's probably a moot point, considering that most people aren’t going to strap their smartphone to their head while jumping off a cliff or out of a plane, and those who want movie-quality resolution are going to shell out for the more advanced equipment regardless.
For those seeking an affordable, hard-wearing camera that can quickly share videos of reckless firework shenanigans this summer, the new Hero will do quite nicely.