When you think of action cameras, the first thing that comes to your mind is GoPro. Even though there are good brands that are becoming more and more popular, such as Akaso and DJI, GoPro is basically a synonym for an action camera.
GoPro is a leading brand for a reason, not only because it’s a pioneer when it comes to action cameras, but because their quality is still unmatchable on the market. Action cameras are used mainly to record various extreme sports, and GoPro also provides various accessories and equipment to help you shoot.
History of GoPro
GoPro was founded by Nick Woodman in 2002. By. He was inspired by a surfing trip with his friends, thinking about how he could use a tiny camera that’s waterproof and durable. GoPro started humbly like many large companies everyone has heard of today. The first camera system was sold in 2004. And it used 35mm film.
Over the years, the brand has gained many die-hard fans, which was not common in the world of cameras and photography. Today, there are websites solely dedicated to everything GoPro, including reviews, tutorials, and news, such as GoPro Zone. Such devotion from the fans is what catapulted GoPro to the status it has today, and what allowed the brand to survive over the years, even when it’s fallen upon tough times.
Here is how GoPro evolved over the years :
GoPro HERO 35mm
This is where it all started from, HERO35mm was the first camera in the Hero series. Since the main inspiration for this camera came from surfing, it was waterproof up to 15 feet (or 4.5 meters).
GoPro Digital Hero
This was the first digital GoPro camera, it had mixed reviews since it didn’t have audio recording capabilities. It had a 0.3 Mpx camera.
GoPro Digital HERO3
An upgrade from the GoPro Digital Hero, with a 3mpx camera and the ability to record in 640×480 resolution, it was a great improvement over the last GoPro camera.
GoPro Digital HERO5
Digital HERO5 brought in many important technical improvements, but it also expanded the hobbies in which GoPro could be used by allowing users to mount it on various surfaces. It included a wide-angle lens, 5-megapixel sensors, burst mode, and the ability to record 54 minute long videos with sound.
One of the most important features HERO5 introduced was image stabilization, which introduced a plethora of new possibilities for high-velocity extreme sports enthusiasts.
GoPro Hero HD
Released in 2010, this camera provided GoPro with 64 million dollars of revenue. It had a wide-angle lens and it allowed recording in 1080p which was a great improvement.
Released in 2011., this camera was an improved version of Hero HD, it was capable of recording 11mpx 1080p videos at 30 FPS. Besides simply having a better camera, it had a low light feature that only made GoPro a great choice in more circumstances.
GoPro available Today’s Market
Today, GoPro’s biggest challenge is staying relevant in the market saturated by cheap smartphones that are waterproof and have high-res cameras built-in. However, the brand is still going strong thanks to its many features perfectly suited for professional audiences that can’t go by using a phone for filming.
Here is the contemporary evolution of the leading action cameras in the world that are currently being sold by GoPro on their official website.
GoPro HERO9 Black
HERO9 Black is the absolute best among GoPro cameras. Its features and specifications are far better than any GoPro camera. It is capable of recording in 5K resolution and streaming in 1080p. A minor downside is that HERO9 Black is 10% larger than HERO8, which is something that the fans didn’t take lightly.
GoPro HERO8 Black
Before HERO9, HERO8 was the best GoPro could offer and it truly was a great camera. It is capable of recording in 4K60, it can be used in combination with many different GoPro accessories and it’s the first GoPro camera that has built-in mounting.
Even though it’s already a few years old, this camera is still expensive for someone that is only interested in amateur filmmaking. However, it is feature-rich and it allows you to record 360-degree videos, which makes it a unique pick.
It has 6 microphones and it can record in 2.4k60. If you are looking for a high-resolution video, then GoPro MAX may not be a good choice for you.
GoPro HERO7 Series
HERO7 came in 3 different variants, Black, Silver, and White. While HERO7 Black was the real deal when it came out, the other two HERO7 variants were supposed to be budget versions that can easily be handled by a beginner. A detailed comparison might be helpful if you like the concept of these budget variants.
GoPro Compared to Other Brands
As mentioned earlier, other brands that are considered cheaper alternatives of the GoPro are DJI and Akaso. We will compare GoPro with these brands by certain things.
When it comes to specifications, there aren’t many differences. All three brands have different models that offer similar key features. However, a professional will always tell you that the GoPro camera has a sharper picture even though it shares specs with an Akaso Camera.
All in all, for the price you pay for these alternatives(For example, Akaso V50 and HERO7 have the same resolution in which they record yet Akaso V50 is 3 times cheaper), they aren’t that bad.
Even though GoPro touch screens and controls may be buggy from time to time, they are much more reliable. GoPro Cameras also have sturdy bodies that will always live up to their standards, controls are generally more responsive.
GoPro is simply unmatchable when it comes to features, with each camera they provide the user with more possibilities and reliability. For example, HERO8 has Voice commands, 8x slow-motion live streaming in 1080p, TimeWarp, Live Burst, Super photo, GoPro Mods, etc…
Its rival only has 8x slo-mo, voice controls, and shooting settings, however, it does have a front display, which no GoPro has. The most similar thing a GoPro has to a front display is HERO8 and HERO9 Display mods which cost a fortune.
GoPro cameras are always more expensive than their rivals and more suited for professional use. But, for an amateur, a cheaper brand like Akaso or DJI may pay off more, they are still great cameras, but they aren’t as good as GoPro.
Should you buy a GoPro?
If you are someone who is on a tighter budget, GoPro alternatives are probably the best choice for you, they are doing a great job even though they are much cheaper than the GoPro. On the other hand, if you are looking for quality and reliability, you should go with a GoPro.
GoPro cameras are among the leading action brands for a reason, and with each new model, there are always many improvements. GoPro mods are introduced with HERO8 and for an additional cost, they offer many improvements. We can only expect better mods that provide you with even greater capabilities in the future.