For a long time if you were looking into getting an action camera there was only one choice, the GoPro. The price of admission was hefty and, almost to the point of being exclusionary; it was a camera for avid outdoors people, YouTubers, and videographers.
Since their launch, GoPro has tried to reach the everyday consumer by creating a camera like the Hero Session, which was much cheaper than its older brothers. The Session is no longer listed on their website, but GoPro has announced the Hero, a $200 camera similar in design to the hero 5 and 6, but lacking in internal features like 4k recording among other things.
In my experience, I used a Hero 5 when I went on a trip last year and never shot in 4k, or for longer than 5 minutes. I didn’t need to shoot at 60 frames per second (FPS) or use most of the fancy features it comes with. Mostly, I shot video at 1080p and 24 FPS and that was fine for me. Like most people who buy these cameras, I am not a videographer or professional. I just wanted something to capture memories at a decent quality, and to share with friends on Facebook.
For the asking price, I think the Hero is an excellent choice for anyone thinking of going on a vacation soon or simply wants an affordable recording device. It still comes with some of the premium features of the Hero 6 like a touch screen and voice control. Several modes like burst mode and time-lapse are also included, and it comes with video stabilization. The Hero shoots at a max resolution of 1440 and it’s waterproof—with no separate case—up to 33 feet in depth.
I wish this camera had been on sale last year because it really has everything that I needed and actually used. The Hero 5 and 6 retail for $300 and $400, respectively, and you do get more features like 4K, but is it really necessary? If you just want to share with friends and keep on your computer, I would say no.
From the perspective of GoPro, this is possibly a move to capture more of the market since there are so many competitors now, with some of them making action cameras at much more affordable prices. It’s no news that GoPro has struggled financially in the past year going as far as shuttering its drone division and axing the Karma along with hundreds of employees. It’s hard to tell if the move will pay off, but I think that anyone who has been on the fence about buying a GoPro will buy one now.