Be your own hero with new GoPro

by Haadi Bakar
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It seems that more and more people are getting into action cameras these days, whether they’re into extreme sports or just casual shooting.

Unlike standard cameras, you can get a lot more out of action cams like the popular GoPro cameras. These tiny box-shaped gadgets with ultra- wide lenses are highly versatile because of the large array of mounting options available, and they come in waterproof casings enabling you to take underwater and weather-exposed shots.

The GoPro Hero series have long been the gold standard for action cameras. You see them everywhere, used by professionals, amateurs and even regular folks.

GoPro is also the only camera company that’s doing very well while others succumb to the smartphones. It succeeds in selling cameras where its bigger rivals are failing as it is taking advantage of a major shift in consumer tastes.

The company announced its new lineup of products, last Monday, hoping to maintain its loyal fanbase and lure in new users to the world of wearable cams. And, most of the stuff that were announced were really hot!

GoPro Hero5

The new GoPro Hero 5. Image Courtesy of GoPro.

The latest GoPro Hero unit is a massive up- grade with an emphasis on user friendliness. The new GoPro Hero5 Black now has a two-inch touch display with simplified controls, along with three built-in microphones that automatically adjusts to use the one that captures the best sound.

Also new to the GoPro Hero5 Black is handsfree control — you can now use voice commands Siri-style.

This is a great option as you no longer have to fiddle through the camera unit everytime to hit record or pause, especially when your hands are full.

The Hero5 Black unit is now waterproof up to 30 feet, so you won’t be needing a housing in most cases unlike the previous versions. For the first time, the Hero5 Black includes electronic image stabilisation and GPS, as well as the ability to shoot RAW and WDR (wide dynamic range) photos.

GoPro Hero5 Session

The second generation GoPro Hero Session. Image courtesy of GoPro.

GoPro’s entry-level action cam is also getting a big boost in performance. It can now shoot 4K at 30 fps, and all the goodies found on its big brother, such as voice controls and electronic image stabilisation.

Those looking for a cheaper GoPro in the past are usually left disappointed by the previous Session’s performance, but now the all new Session looks like it could hold up pretty well.

Both the Hero5 Black and the Hero5 ses- sion will arrive on October 2, at US$399 and $299 respectively.

GoPro Karma

GoPro’s new drone, the Karma. Image courtesy of GoPro.

GoPro is finally making its own drones, going against existing players such as DJI. The company unveiled its small and foldable Karma quadcopter which users can mount their GoPro units on.

Karma is easy to set up. It’s four arms (which holds the rotors) fold snugly against the body, and they snap into place quickly when you unfold them.

It comes with a flip-up touch-screen controller that resembles a typical video game controller. GoPro said the Karma is easy to use even for beginners of drone flying.

One cool feature of the Karma is the 3-axis gimbal stabiliser, which can be removed from the drone
unit. This stabiliser can work independently as a handheld gimbal for your GoPro camera, and can also be mounted on a bike, car or helmet for buttery smooth shots.

The Karma drone will be available on Oc- tober 23 for US$799. A Karma and Hero5 Black bundle will retail for US$1099.

GoPro Plus

New to the GoPro family is a subscription cloud service GoPro Plus. It lets you automatically upload your videos and photos to the cloud when your Hero5 camera is plugged into a power outlet.

This means you can access your video footage on your smartphone, tablet or PC without having to manually upload them from your camera to your devices, making your editing workflow much simpler than before.

There’s also a new mobile video editing app from GoPro called Quik, which automatically creates a video for you. You just pick your favourite segments and choose a soundtrack and the app will do the rest.

GoPro also threw in a new accessory called Quik Key, a tiny microSD reader for fast and easy transfer of videos to your smart devices. It has a carabiner-style clip and weather-resistant cover so you can always have it with you at all times.

Another new accessory is the Remo — a remote control button that clips to your shirt. It also works as a voice-activated remote so you can control the Hero5 camera in noisy environments.

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