The GoPro Revolution
The abilities of GoPro cameras extend far beyond the realm of personal use. Recently, one of these portable, lightweight cameras captured video of a school of anchovies so massive that scientists say they haven’t seen anything like it in decades. Whether used to capture natural phenomena or an extreme ride down the slopes at a ski resort, one thing is for sure- GoPro cameras allow people to see the world in ways that traditional cameras never did. And that’s exactly what their inventor, Nicholas Woodman, aimed for when he conceptualized the versatile device.
Building the GoPro Enterprise
Now the company’s CEO, Woodman explains on their website that “GoPro helps people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others—to celebrate them together.” His vision panned out quite successfully, to put it mildly- this brand is now America’s fastest-growing digital imaging company and has made 39-year-old Woodman a billionaire. It is safe to say that these cameras have already made camcorders of the past irrelevant. Surfer Kelly Slater, one of the many GoPro-sponsored athletes astutely observed “they’ve quickly monopolized the idea in a way Band-Aid or Q-tip has where everyone refers to these types of shots as GoPro shots or expect it must’ve been shot with one.”
Despite the idea that these unique cameras have rendered camcorders obsolete and monopolized this niche, other companies are attempting to break into the market and compete as well. Sony shipped its first action cameras last September and says it is positioning itself as a “strong number two” with features like image stabilization and stereo sound, which GoPro currently lacks. The case could be that Smartphones will one day replace GoPro cameras as well, as they are currently replacing traditional cameras. Michael Hession, author of an article on gizmodo.com, disagrees with this notion, however.
GoPro saw its stock dive this morning, after some bad press predicted that its action cams are destined to go the way of the dodo thanks to smartphone cameras. Untrue! Smartphones shoot video, sometimes of very high quality. But what GoPro affords its users is a compendium of small advantages that add up to a unique experience. Saying smartphones will replace them is like saying the army will someday replace tanks with sedans.
Giovanni Tomaselli, founder of iON Worldwide, a company manufacturing similar cameras, says Woodman “deserves to be a billionaire” for his invention and concedes that iON had “taken a leaf out of [GoPro’s] book,” yet strongly does “not believe this category is one-size-fits-all.”
Accessories that Enhance the Experience
The possibilities a GoPro can capture seem endless. Sports enthusiasts strap the cameras to their heads, helmets, or other piece of equipment to capture their most extreme adventures. And it’s not just athletes who have fallen in love with GoPro cameras. Musicians, Hollywood directors such as Michael Bay, law enforcement agents and even the United States military all put the devices to practical use in their industries.
With the myriad options of GoPro cameras available, selecting the correct one for your personal needs can be a daunting task. Thankfully, a beneficial page included on the company’s website aims to guide buyers in the right direction. The page categorizes the perfect camera and accompanying accessories for a number of activities from aviation to scuba diving to film and music to radio control.
One of the most appealing aspects of GoPro cameras is their affordability. The prices of the cameras themselves range from just $129 for the basic model to $499 for the camcorder with the most features. Even the most affordable option, the New Hero, boasts impressive features such as professional-quality video up to 1080p30 and 5MP photos at up to 5 frames per second. All GoPro cameras are waterproof to boot.
The selection of mounts ensures they can be used for almost any purpose. These include chest harnesses for adults and children, helmet strap mounts, and wrist straps to name a few. The camera mounts are also surprisingly affordable, ranging in price from $9.99 to $69.99. The official GoPro site also sells numerous accessories from chargers to lens replacement kits and everything in between. They also offer free shipping on all orders.
Only time will tell the degree of prominence of the role of GoPro cameras in the coming years. However, the immense impact they have already had on capturing events that could never have been captured before is undeniable.
Marisa graduated in 2011 with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from CU and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue further education in Journalism and Media Studies at UCLA. She loves to travel, cooking, seeing movies and of course, writing!