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GoPro is a brand of high-definition personal cameras, often used in extreme action video photography. They are known for being lightweight, rugged, wearable or mountable in unusual places such as outside planes, cars, or boats.
The company that makes and markets the cameras is privately owned Woodman Labs of San Mateo, California.
The company was formed by Nick Woodman. Woodman said he was inspired to start the company following a 2002 Australia surfing trip in which he was hoping to capture quality action photos of his surfing, but could not because amateur photographers could not get close enough, or obtain quality equipment at accessible prices. His desire for a camera system that could capture the professional angles inspired the 'GoPro' name. The parent company includes financing by several venture capital companies including Steamboat Ventures (affiliated with the Walt Disney Corporation), Riverwood Capital, Sageview Capital, Walden International, and U.S. Venture Partners.
Woodman initially raised money for his company by selling bead and shell belts out of his VW van. Each belt sold for under US$20. While making the belts, he came upon the idea of providing a fashionable strap to attach a camera. At the time most straps were rubber wrist straps that some reviewers found to be awkward, painful, or easily broken.
In 2004, the company sold its first camera system—a 35 mm film version. The cameras evolved, going from 35mm to digital, where it started recording 10-second clips, to 3-megapixel digital cameras, to its current configuration of fixed-lens HD video cameras with a 170-degree angle. Two cameras can now be paired together to create 3D video. The cameras have branched out from the surf crowd to be used for auto racing, skiing, and bicycling as new adapters are created.
On March 30, 2011, GoPro acquired CineForm. In particular, the acquisition brought the CineForm 444 Codec into its control. The codec (which was used in the film Slumdog Millionaire) according to the press release "makes HD and 3D editing faster and more convenient without sacrificing image quality". It was used to roll out the 3D HERO® System shortly after the acquisition.
In March 2013, GoPro issued a DMCA takedown notice to a site (Digitalrev.com) that had posted a review of its product, citing trademark use as a breach of copyright. This notice was retracted 10 days later citing "erroneous enforcement".
HD HERO cameras
GoPro sells three fixed-lens cameras, all without viewfinders. A 2-bit LCD on the front of the camera allows access to its menu system, which is controlled with the front and top shutter buttons. The cameras have dimensions of 1.6” x 2.4” x 1.2” (42mm x 60mm x 30mm) (HERO2). The range for capturing still images is 5 to 12 megapixels. The cameras are bundled with a clear polycarbonate HD Housing (with glass lens) that is rated shockproof and waterproof to 180 ft/60 meters. The housing consists of a quick-release buckle on the top and threads at the bottom which can be used with a special screw to connect to all of the GoPro mounts. The housing has metal buttons which are synched to connect to the camera's controls. The housing has a "skeleton" backdoor option to allow better capture of audio in situations where it is not necessary for the camera to be water tight or shock proof (but wishing to take advantage of the mounts)
In addition to the usual camera features, the cameras also include an upside down mode to make the photo/video appear upright when played; interval shooting of every 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds allowing the camera to continuously shoot unattended; 3 photo burst; and self-timer. The camera spec sheet notes they have a proprietary 1050 mAh lithium-ion battery (HERO3), Aperture: f/2.8, and rated >1.4 V/lux-sec in video mode.
In October 2013, GoPro released the HERO3+, available in Black Edition and Silver Edition. The Black Edition ($399) has video modes of 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100 and 720p120 as well as 4Kp15 and 2.7Kp30 and can shoot 12MP stills at up to 30 frames per second. Along with the increased resolution, the HERO3+ Black Edition also increases the field of view (called "SuperView"). The Black Edition continues to include a Wifi Remote. The Silver Edition ($299) has video modes of 1080p60 and 720p120 and can shoot 10MP stills at up to 10 frames per second. Both have "dramatically improved" low light performance, and a new waterproof enclosure which is lighter and smaller than the HERO3 (20% and 15% respectively, according to the GoPro website - the Hero3+ camera itself is identical in size to Hero3) and are also claimed to have improvements in image sharpness (close focus down to 7" vs about 3ft on the Hero3, at the expense of distant focus which is slightly less sharp with Hero3+), battery life improvement (both through better efficiency and a higher capacity battery in the same size) and audio performance to include wind noise rejection.
In late 2012, GoPro announced the Hero 3 line of cameras. These new cameras came in three editions: Black ($399), Silver ($249) and White ($199). The Black Edition features a new 12 MP sensor that is capable of capturing 4K digital video at 15 fps, 2.7K video at 30 fps, 1440p at 48 fps, 1080p at 60fps, 960p at 100fps, 720p at 120 fps and WVGA at 240 fps. The Black edition also includes the Wifi Remote. The Silver Edition uses the same 11 MP sensor as the Hero2. Finally the White edition uses the same 5 MP sensor as the HeroHD. All three versions of the Hero3 come in a new 30% smaller and 25% lighter package, with WiFi functionality built in.
The HD HERO2 was launched on October 24, 2011. It has an 11 MP image sensor, improved low-light capability and records at up to 120 frames per second. It was sold with three different accessory packages: Outdoor Edition, Motorsports Edition, and Surf Edition.
The HD HERO Naked, released with a range of accessories, shoots a maximum of 1080p video on its 5Mp sensor. The Naked camera line forms the basis for other bundles which are differentiated by the types of mounts they have (HD Helmet HERO, HD Motorsports HERO, HD Surf HERO). It was first listed on January 25, 2010.
- Sensor size : 1/2.5-inch - 5.75 × 4.28 mm
- Pixel size : 2.2 μm
- Image format :
|R1||848 × 480||60||170°|
|R2||1280 × 720||30||170°|
|R3||1280 × 720||60||170°|
|R4||1280 × 960||30||170°|
|R5||1920 × 1080||30||127°|
|Photo||2592 × 1944||0||170°|
HD HERO 960
HD HERO 960 - shoots a maximum of 960p video and is not compatible with GoPro's electronic accessories although the camera is compatible with all GoPro mounts. It was first listed on August 6, 2010
Digital HERO 5
The Digital HERO 5 (first introduced on December 5, 2008) had a 5-megapixel still photo sensor, and supported standard definition (512x384) video capture. It ran on two AAA batteries, had 16 MB of internal memory, and could function with a 2 GB SD card. It was the first GoPro HERO camera to use a 170° angle of view, ultra-wide lens. Its housing was aggressively—and extraordinarily—rated to 100 ft/30 meters depth. Its dimensions were 2.6 x 1.75 x 1.25 inches (66.04 x 44.45 x 31.75mm). The camera is not designed to work with the newer HD HERO line of housings, although the standard screw mounts are indeed compatible.
Digital HERO 3
The Digital HERO 3 released in 2007 had a 3-megapixel camera and shot standard definition 512 × 384 video. It was rated up to 30 meters (98.4 feet) in depth.
GoPro HERO 35mm, All-Season Sports Camera
The 35mm camera (model #001) became available on April 13, 2005. It had dimensions of 2.5 by 3 inches (64 by 76 mm) and weighed 0.45 pounds (200 g). It included the camera, a clear case with quick release, a camera strap, and ski glove adapter lash. It could pivot "on the fly" and was functional to a depth in water of about 15 feet (5 m). It was described as a "reusable wrist camera" and included a roll of 24 exposure Kodak 400 film.
In August 2012, Sony launched the Sony Action Cam HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15 cameras which relatively compete with GoPro's HD Hero2 model. Sony's cameras have 16.8 MP and the HDR-AS15 has built-in WiFi. A year after Sony's product launch, GPS device-maker Garmin launched its VIRB line of GPS equipped 1080p waterproof cameras to compete with GoPro. In September 2013, Sony launched the HDR-AS30V which is smaller and lighter camera than the previous Sony AS-15. It's compatible with Sony's Smart Watch and has GPS and NFC. Other popular action cams include JVC GC-XA2, Drift HD Ghost, Polaroid XS7, and Contour+2.
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- "GO*RO H*ro 3 vs SONY HDR-AS15 - Which Action Camera should you get?".
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- HERO3+ Black
- HERO3+ Silver
- GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition review by InsideHardware.it http://www.insidehardware.it/fotografia/sportcam/3005-gopro-hero-3-black-edition-seconda-solo-a-se-stessa/
- GoPro Product Comparison http://gopro.com/product-comparison-hd-hero2-hd-hero-cameras/
- "HERO3 Cameras | More Powerful in Every Way | Most Advanced GoPro". Gopro.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "GoPro 3D HERO System - World's Smallest 1080p 3D camera". Gopro.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- "FAQ: SD HERO Cameras". Gopro.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- [dead link]
- "GoPro Digital HERO 3 Sports Wrist Camera Specs - Digital Camcorders - CNET Reviews". Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
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- Pachal, Peter. "Garmin Takes On GoPro With the VIRB Waterproof Action Camera." Mashable, 20 August 2013 accessed online at http://mashable.com/2013/08/20/garmin-virb/
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- Niels Bosch. "GoPro Hero 4", AmongTech, September 23, 2013.