GoPro announces tiny Hero 4 Session action camera

GoPro Hero 4 SessionNot content with already having some of the smallest and best action cameras on the market, GoPro has just announced a tiny new camera that is 50% smaller and 40% lighter than the GoPro Hero 4 Black in its waterproof housing.

The GoPro Hero 4 Session is a small cube shaped camera measuring less than 1.5 inches on each side, and is submersible to 10 meters without the need for a bulky case.

The Hero 4 Session shoots video up to 1080p at 60 frames per second, and like the Hero 4 Silver and Black models, has a range of different modes including slow-motion and wide angle. It also takes 8 megapixel wide angle or 5 megapixel medium photos, and has time lapse and burst modes (up to 10 fps).

However, in order to shrink the Hero 4, Go Pro has had to compromise on certain features and the specs are not as high as its big brother. Most notable is the inability to shoot in 4K like the Hero 4 Black. There’s also no touchscreen, which given its size, is perhaps unsurprising. The Session’s diminutive size also means that there are very few controls on the camera itself. Other than a button to start and stop filming, and take stills, most functions are controlled via the mobile app or remote, which isn’t included.

On the plus side, the Hero 4 Session features a new dual microphone set-up for improved audio, which works by switching between a mic on the front and another on the back when it detects wind noise.

The Hero 4 Session will go on sale on 12 July at a price of £329, which is the same price point as the higher spec Hero 4 Silver. Whether or not consumers opt for size over specs remains to be seen, but there’s every chance that a 4K capable version is already in the making.

What do you think of the GoPro Hero 4 Session? Would you go for size over spec?

GoPro to launch its own drones

Drone_with_GoPro_digital_camera_mounted_underneath_-_22_April_2013Having just released its new range of action cameras, Go Pro is now reportedly working on its own line of consumer drones. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Go Pro plans to launch its own drones towards the end of next year, priced somewhere in the region of $500 – $1000 (approx. £320 – £650).

The drones, which have been described as multi-rotor helicopters, will come equipped with a high definition Go Pro camera, and be used to take incredible aerial footage.

There are already several companies developing consumer drones designed to carry action cameras such as the Go Pro, so it’s no wonder that Go Pro want to get in on the action themselves. With DJI and Parrot both having launched new models recently, and 3D Robotics and Hexo+ set to release their versions soon, it’s already a pretty crowded marketplace, but GoPro’s reputation should give it a foot up, especially if the price is right.

Chest harnesses and helmet mounts could soon be a thing of the past!

Would you buy a drone for action photography?

Go Pro announces new Hero 4 range

Go pro hero 4Go Pro has just announced three new action cameras including two high-end models and a budget version.

Rather than replace the previous range of Hero 3 cameras, the new models are intended to expand on the current range and offer the consumer more choice, although the advanced features of the new premium models are certain to make owners of the current versions desperate to upgrade.

The Go Pro Hero 4 Black is Go Pro’s most sophisticated camera to date and is capable of capturing cinema quality 4K video at 30 frames per second, which is twice as good as its predecessor. It can also film 2.7K video at 50 fps and 1080p video at 120 fps, and has a gopro-hero4-640x0completely redesigned audio system that captures high fidelity sound with 2x the dynamic range of previous models. Other enhancements include improved image quality, low light performance and an easier to use interface.

The Go Pro Hero 4 Silver substitutes the 4K filming capability for touch screen controls that make the camera easier to use. It can record 2.7K video at 30fps, 1080p video at 60fps, and 720p video at 120fps, and has the same image quality as the Black.

The third new camera is a budget version, dubbed simply the Go Pro Hero, and is designed to target a wider market that may not previously have been able to justify spending £200+ on an action camera. The Hero can capture video at up to 1080p at 30fps GoPro-HERO-Budget-Camera-to-Be-Unveiled-Along-GoPro-HERO4-on-October-8-460243-2and 720p at 60fps, has a lower resolution camera, and generally lower specs, but is still a good little camera for novice filmmakers.

Freestyle skier Xavier La Rue and Danny MacAskill have already got their hands on a Go Pro Hero 4 Black and Silver respectively so we can’t wait to see what they produce with them!

The Go Pro Hero will be priced at £100, the Hero 4 Silver £290, and the Hero 4 Black £370. All three will go on sale on 5 October.

What do you think of the new Go Pro Range? Will you be buying one?

Hexo+ aerial drone autonomously films you in action

hexoplus-0Video edits are big business in the action sports industry these days, for both professionals and amateurs alike. While the arrival of GoPro cameras has significantly improved what can be captured, anyone who’s used a helmet, pole or chest mounted GoPro will appreciate its limitations.

If you want more than some shaky footage with handlebars, pole or weird shaped board flapping around in shot, it generally needs to be filmed by someone else, preferably from above. Previously the only way to do this has been to employ a film crew with helicopters or man-operated drones, which is fine if you happen to be sponsored by Red Bull, but makes it unobtainable for us mere mortals.

However, Californian start-up Squadrone System has invented an ingenious aerial drone that will follow you as you move, without the need for a filming partner.

hexoplusThe Hexo+ is designed to carry a GoPro camera and tracks its subject via a smartphone app. The six-rotor device is capable of travelling at up to 45 miles per hour and can track and film its subject within a range of 164 feet. You can also programme the drone to film you from a precise distance and angle.

The device does have its limitations. Firstly, it only has 15 minutes battery life, which means no time for endless retakes. It also has no capacity for obstacle avoidance, which is fine in the open mountains, but might be a bit problematic if you want it to film yourself mountain biking down a forest trail.

However, this hasn’t proved to be a deterrent to the huge number of supporters who’ve already backed the project. Hexo+ was launched on Kickstarter on Saturday (15 June) and smashed its $50,000 target within only 2 hours. At the time of publication it had reached a massive $548,000 of backing with 27 days still to go.

hexoplus-2It also has the some of the biggest names in action sports behind it, including 3 times world champion freeride snowboarder Xavier de la Rue, who like many others, sees it as having the potential to revolutionise the world of action sports filming.

Early backers can get the Hexo+ for $599 (£353) on its own, or $699 (£412) with a GoPro Hero 3 White Edition camera, and are expected to receive the device in May 2015. When it goes on sale it will cost $899 (£530) without the camera.

What do you think?