It’s fair to say GoPro have had a bit of a rough ride over the last couple of years! Their much-anticipated drone, the Karma, didn’t do too well; and although still the dominant name in action cameras, the flagship Hero 6 wasn’t enough to stop a big revenue slump!
In an effort to reverse this trend, GoPro are focusing on the entry-level of users and have just released the new Hero (2018).
GoPro Hero (2018)
In 2015, GoPro released the Hero Session, a no-frills camera aimed at new users to their ecosystem. But with so few features, and controls, the Session was only ever good for the hardcore GoPro user who wanted a cheaper second, or third, camera!
Back to the drawing board they went, and what we have now is a much more user-friendly, cheaper, go anywhere action camera that might just tempt some travellers to make a purchase!
There is a growing trend in the entry-level camera market, to be more like a smart phone! Or, more specifically, to be operated more like one. Modern day, or flagship, smart phones are immensely powerful, and although I always complain about the current lack of innovation in that market, with every new device does come a better main camera.
The new range of Canon cameras, for example, are very user-friendly with touchscreen controls and guides, designed to tempt people away from their smart phone and on to their product. GoPro have seen this and followed suit with the new Hero.
The 2 inch touchscreen display shares many gestures most of us are used to with our phones, so adds a feeling of familiarity. And, if that is not easy enough there is also voice control. Ask GoPro to take a photo, record video and power off all seem easily obeyed from the demo videos!
When you compare the new Hero to the rest of the GoPro range you can see where they have saved on specs to keep the price down, but this should not put you off! Instead of 4k recording the Hero can only capture 1080p video. This is still perfectly ok for most people posting their content to social channels!
And to take the battle to the smart phone market, even posting your content is made easier thanks to Quik Stories. The Hero has WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity, and with the free Quik app (Android | iOS) on your phone, the Hero can move your videos and images over, help you edit and then share online.
Images are captured with a 10MP lens which is only slightly lower than the Hero6 Black, currently the top GoPro on the market. The 10 frames per second (fps), for bursts of images, is also slightly down, but again this should not make a huge difference to new users.
The big win for the Hero though is its waterproofing. Unlike GoPro of old, you won’t need an additional case, and out of the box the new Hero is waterproof to 10m (33ft)!
Which brings me on to the biggest annoyance for many with GoPro. Accessories! Any and every GoPro owner no doubt has a case or bag with plenty of them! I know I do. The Hero does work with almost all official mounts and housings on the market and with the current other models (Hero 5/6).
In the launch video (below), nearly every user has a handle, a mount, or a floaty attached to it. All of which are extras you need to purchase separately! Although when it gets to the point to demonstrate the touchscreen display, all of those are gone and the Hero is held and used like a mini DSLR!
For the price, brand reliability and strong app offering the new Hero is well worth considering if you are off on an adventure this summer!
- 1080p HD Video Recording
- 10MP Photo Capturing
- Waterproof up to 10m
- Compatible with over 30 GoPro Accessories
- 2″ Touchscreen Display
- Video Stabilization
- Stereo Audio
- WIFI & Bluetooth Connectivity
- HDMI Video Out Port
The Hero (2018) is available direct from GoPro for £199/$199/€219. If you are a Prime customer you can get free next day delivery with the Hero also priced at £199 on Amazon. You will need a MicroSD card.
Don’t forget to always keep an eye on the GoPro Refurbished Product page for a bargain on some of the other devices they offer!
Connect with GoPro