GoPro’s New Hero Cameras: More Power, Cheaper Starting Price

GoPro GPRO -2.88% refreshed its Hero camera line on Monday with higher-end models that shoot higher-quality photos and video at faster frame rates, along with an entry-level camera that’s far cheaper than any previous GoPro.

You can read a full review of GoPro’s new cameras from WSJ’s Geoffrey A. Fowler, or just scope the technical details here:

Hero: The big deal about the new baseline GoPro—yup, just called the Hero—is its $130 price tag. Aside from that, it’s pretty much the same as what we’ve seen in GoPros from the year’s past, priced at $200 or more. The Hero delivers 1080p video at 30 frames per second, or 720p video at 60fps. Still photos top out at 5 megapixels with a 5 frames-per-second burst mode. GoPro says the new model will offer 2.5 hours of recording time.

Hero4 Silver: The $400 mid-range model’s bragging right’s over last year’s Hero3 Silver are faster frame rates and new touch-screen controls on the back—a first for a GoPro camera. (Certain earlier GoPro models are compatible with the LCD Touch BacPac, an $80 add-on accessory, however.)

The Hero4 Silver can shoot 1080p video up to 60fps and 720p video up to 120fps. It can even shoot 4K video, but only at 15fps. Still photos are 12 megapixels, with a 30fps burst mode option.

GoPro didn’t offer up a specific claim on battery life for the Hero4 Silver, but the company said that both the Silver and Black versions of the Hero4 will offer about the same battery life as the Hero3 Silver and Black did before.

Hero4 Black: Sitting at the top of the new Hero lineup is the Hero4 Black. Unlike the Hero4 Silver, the Black doesn’t have a touch screen—it uses the same physical button operation GoPro owners are used to. That’s because the Black is targeting professionals who are already kitted out with GoPro rigs. It’s a big upgrade in cinematography: It shoots 4K video at 30fps, and 1080p video at 120fps, good for slow motion. Like the Silver, it can do 12 megapixel photos in bursts of up to 30fps. Touch screen or not, that extra video talent is what brings up the price: Hero4 Black is the most expensive GoPro you can buy, coming in at $500.

The new Hero and Hero4 cameras live up to GoPro’s reputation for ruggedness, and can withstand ocean depths of over 130 feet when used inside their (included) protective shells.

The introduction of the new cameras—which go on sale Oct. 5—comes at an important time for GoPro as a company. Last week, the stock hit record highs, more than tripling its June IPO price of $24 per share. On Friday, the company’s stock closed at $82.10 per share.

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