What's Next for GoPro: What We Might See in a Hero4

What's Next for GoPro: What We Might See in a Hero4

From selling belts out his van to inventing one of the most popular cameras of our day – it must be surreal for GoPro founder Nick Woodman to look back at his companies growth. Not only is GoPro the go-to for the filmmaking community, but Woodman has successfully spread into a much wider market. In the same way that the iPhone has spawned an entirely new generation of photographers, GoPro has empowered athletes to become their own camera men. The popularity of the GoPro is only strengthed by relationships with almost every brand imaginable. As millions watched Red Bull dropped Felix Baumgartner from space, the footage was courtesy of the unmistakable grey box strapped to his chest.

http://youtu.be/FHtvDA0W34I?t=54s

Owning The Market

As the brand continues to grow, so does their technology. The most recent camera, Hero 3, exceeded expections by introducing wi-fi compatibility, 4k video (albeit at 12fps) and excellent low light capabilities. Woodman not only created the action camera market: he is intent to rule it. Competing company “Contour” went bankrupt earlier this year as a result of GoPro’s quality product and aggressive marketing.

Contour Co-Founder Marc Barros had this to say:

“Despite making what many thought was the best product on the market, the gap between us and GoPro wasn’t shrinking, it was increasing. With each incremental dollar in revenue they gained, the gap widened as they plowed that money back into marketing, forever separating the recognition in consumers’ minds.”

Make Way For The GoPro Hero4?

It’s been a year since GoPro launched their Hero3, and many are wondering what could be next. It’s far from official, but Ambarella may have answered that question. Ambarella, the company responsible for creating GoPro’s current SoCs, launched their latest A9 4K Ultra HD Camera SoC earlier this year. Here are the specs:

4K Ultra HD H.264 Encoder

° High Profile with B-frames for high efficiency

Super High Frame Rate Modes

° 1080p120 and 720p240 for action videography

Advanced Imaging

°700Mpixels/s oversampling performance
 ° Multi-exposure HDR and WDR tone mapping ° Electronic image stabilization (EIS) 
° Improved MCTF with advanced sharpening

Advanced Imaging

° 700Mpixels/s oversampling performance
° Multi-exposure HDR and WDR tone mapping

Wi-FiTM Connectivity

° Remote viewfinder, playback
° Upload pictures and video to social media

(The rest of the product brief can be viewed here)

While a GoPro Hero4 is far from official, it's inevitable that a new Hero is coming. Rumors are only strengthened as GoPro’s website is offering sizable discounts on the Hero3.

Although the Hero 3 is an unbelievable bang-for-the-buck, I’m really hoping that a newer model can solve issues like weak battery life and poor wifi range.

What would you love to see in the next generation of GoPro Hero cameras? Let us know in the comments below!

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47 Comments

Matthias Edling's picture

- Capture RAW stills might be a start. That would be realy a step up for TimeLapse mode... or a, let's say 5fps, RAW burst...

GoPro is a sick, evil company that will do anything to squash any bad publicity. Looking forward for the day they fail.

Jeroen Rommelaars's picture

But you've got to admit that their camera's are pretty damn sweet! :)

Henry Young's picture

I feel like I have heard someone else say that before but I'm not sure what you mean. could you give us an example?

Dave Wallace's picture

And to play devil's advocate... GoPro's response:

"The letter that was posted next to the review on DigitalRev was not sent in response to the review. Obviously, we welcome editorial reviews of our products. This letter was sent because DigitalRev is not an authorized reseller of GoPro products and they were using images and had incorrect branding and representation of our product in their online commerce store. As part of our program – we ask merchants who are selling our product to use authorized images. That is why DigitalRev was contacted. But – our letter did not clearly communicate this and that is something we will correct."

I call Bull$&it to their response. They screwed up, got caught and tried to back pedal. They have yet to apologize.

They are too big and they think they can't do no wrong. Other companies are slowly catching up and soon they will feel the heat from competition.

Dave Wallace's picture

You're probably right about the back-pedalling.. but I disagree with other companies catching up.

Sony Action Cam is the only real competition I've seen, and it hasn't wowed me. Am I missing something?

Spy Black's picture

The new JVC camera looks promising, but really it's how a company markets, which was Marc Barros point. Contour may not have had the resources to pump money into marketing the way GoPro has, but companies like Sony and JVC do. However it comes down to how much they give a shìt about doing so. Nick Woodman lives and breathes GoPro, so he gives it his all. Sony and JVC market hundreds, if not thousands, of products, and how much priority they want to give to any one is a mystery at best. Do they want to rule the action cam market, or do they want to rule in flat screen TVs?

I posted what you said without even reading your comment
Pretty much word for word on same thoughts
I had a Sony, is was useless to me
The GP4 on paper looks amazing, lets hope they get it out
I just bought a GP3 BE 2 months ago, really impressed, but GP4 looks much more powerful

Jaron Schneider's picture

Speaking from experience of working at a large company, sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something. The internet is ruthless and no matter what they did, they would be crucified. At least saying nothing didn't make them top headlines in the news again.

- Exposure lock
- Create new folder per timelapse
- 16:9 photo mode for timelapses
- Laser pointer
- Image stabilization
- Better battery life
- Less lag when using GoPro app on smartphone

That would be all :)

Dave Wallace's picture

Awesome list. What's with the laser pointer?

Aids in composing the shot without looking at the screen (for example mounting it to the back of a snowboard and making sure that both you and the snowboard are in shot)

Dave Wallace's picture

Interesting idea. Would have to be a pretty bright laser :)

Definitely! I can see how a laser can be problematic though in terms of safety concerns so it's not really something I think we'll see. With regards to the others, it would be nice if the first 3 (especially exposure lock) are introduced as a firmware update (after all ProTune was also made available to the Hero2).

Your laser pointer idea is good, but they also have apps now, so you can check on your smartphone if the FOV is right.

Green Lasers. Somewhat safer with direct eye shot-.. And much easier to track, IE Find it. That would definetly help with mounting, Aiming. Unless you have the lcd backing, or using your smart phone to Aim. (To see Cam POV), you are just hoping you got what you hope.

Sweet list.

Spy Black's picture

Besides the company's dubious practices, from my perspective the camera itself really needs two things, one is a streamlined shape. The lens should be on the side of the casing, not the front where the whole thing acts like an air brake. For some sports that not an issue, but on motorcycles it's a drag. The new JVC camera looks interesting in that respect.

The other thing it needs is something other than the super-wide angle/quasi fisheye lens it has. When shooting motorcycle rides for instance, everyone just looks like an ant in the video. You can't see much of anything other than ants riding down the road. A lens with a narrower field of view would give a better perspective, so perhaps a simple 2x zoom would be nice.

You are aware that you can change the fov on the gopro - and that its not a digital zoom?

Spy Black's picture

No, I wasn't aware of it. What is the rate of change, and does anyone know how it's accomplished? Is it a simple magnifier over the lens (crude), or something a little more optically accurate?

You change it in the Gopro menu. This guy, Abe, explaines it very well.

http://abekislevitz.com/understanding-your-new-gopro/

Spy Black's picture

Digital crop. It is a type of digital zoom because you're using a smaller sensor size, don't be fooled by the terminology used. You wind up in the same place. Because the sensor is greater res then most target resolutions, it will look good for some reductions, but not others. The intermediate crops are pixel-binned (and obviously some bin sizes look better than others), but as you get down low there's nowhere left to go.

I certainly not see it as a variation. By digital zoom, i think small consumer cams, pocket cams, iphones, and the option where you're able to zoom further - than the optical zoom "allows". Creating pixels that is not present/existing. Trying to create a 2K video from a 1K sensor. On the Gopro everything is native readouts - not digitally created.

Spy Black's picture

If that were true you wouldn't see the differences created by the different pixel-binning processes. I suppose it's a stretch to call it digital zooming, but you're still dealing with reprocessing image data, and occasionally it's not coming out so well. Personally I'd prefer an optical solution.

I like the post, but again please have someone proof the writing. There have been mistakes all over the site lately. It didn't always used to be that way. I'm not trying to hate. I just thought pointing it out would get it some attention. Thanks. And I honestly love the site.

.... and rolling shutter again?

I'd like to be able to use the GoPro to Live Stream events on Youtube! Think multiple action cameras linked by wifi network

A product that's been thoroughly tested and works 100% of the time before being released to the general public.....

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