It’s pretty easy to film things now-a-days. With the invention of quality cell-phone cameras, you only need a free hand to capture everything from a double rainbow to a war on the other side of the world.
Now technology has evolved to a point where hands aren’t even necessary to catch the world around us.
Or above us.
Welcome to the world of the Go-Pro Camera.
What is a go Pro Camera
The concept of the Go-Pro Camera has revolutionized the way people capture the world around them.
From capturing daring events, to spotting undiscovered species, this camera attaches to a variety of items. Want to document your surfing expedition? The Go-Pro can attach to the nose of your surf board. Want to see what an eagle see’s while its in flight? Well…
For such a simple concept, a hands free camera, the video these cameras produce is quite simply, extraordinary.
Cost and Profits
At the risk of this article sounding a bit like an advertorial, I’ll put a disclaimer in here. I do not own a Go-Pro and I’m going to get no profits from writing about it. What I am is a Youtube junkie (as a social media manager I kind of have to be), and I spend a few hours a day going through the latest uploads.
Over the last few years I’ve noticed a disproportionate amount of those videos being filmed using a Go-Pro camera, or something similar. It’s pretty easy to recognize its handiwork; as it creates a unique filming style. The Go-Pro has become so popular, that the name Go-Pro has come to refer to ANY hands free action camera, not just that particular model.
Indeed, the Go-Pro has become the standard alternative for any videographer or photographer (amateur or otherwise) looking to avoid expensive equipment
A standard Go-Pro costs less than $400 and films in high definition, takes photographs, records time lapse and slow motion. The newer models can even be controlled using a Wi-Fi remote.
As for ease of access – well, it’s user interface is so simple, even a Fox can use it.
In the decade of its existence, the Go-Pro doubled in sales every year to become the number one best-selling camera in the world. The Go Pro company is valued at $2.25 billion.
The company IPO’d in June of 2014, and its stocks were exploding the next day.
GO PRO HISTORY
Where and when did all this begin?
The company is the brain child of Nick Woodman. According to him, he was inspired to start the company after being unable to get quality footage after a 2002 Australia surfing trip.
Hiring amateur photographers wouldn’t work, as they couldn’t get close enough to capture good shots while he was surfing, and purchasing some quality equipment was just too expensive for him.
In short, he couldn’t find an affordable quality camera he could use for his needs; so he built one.
Woodman started raising money for his company by selling bead and shell belts out of the back of his van. Each belt sold for under $20.
It was while making the belts that he had the idea of providing a fashionable strap to attach a camera.
In 2004, he sold its first camera system—a 35 mm film version.
As time went on and the popularity grew, the cameras evolved. Eventually, they became digital and started recording 10-second clips. From there, they became the beasts they are today.
On June 4, 2014, the company announced the appointment of former Microsoft executive Tony Bates as President reporting directly to Nick Woodman.
The World Around Us
Want to see all the neat ways the Go-Pro has changed our lives? Check out the ideas below.
Ever wanted to know what your dog or cat sees from their perspective? Fetch allows you to strap the Go-Pro camera to your furry companion.
Fetch, designed by GoPro itself, is designed to give dogs a comfortable, collar- and water-friendly harness to hold the camera, with adjustable fit for dogs of any size from 15 all the way up to 120 pounds.
When a camera is always on recording adventures, it’s amazing what will pop up. Or under you.
Christian Yellott decided to film his trip on his GoPro camera as he took a high speed jet ski ride through the incredibly narrow canyons of Lake Powell on the Colorado River. This footage would have been impossible to get without hands free cameras.
Some species are incredibly shy and secretive, but small cameras that can record for long periods of time shed light on animals that have been notoriously shy in the past.
Now, whether or not that creature sees the camera back….
What makes the GoPro success so interesting is just how dominant it is in the market despite all that competition. As I said before, its brand dominance is so strong that it has become synonymous with “action camera”.
One of the reasons for its success, according to Woodman, is that the brand has had a far-reaching impact with its Facebook page and other social media channels — including those of individual GoPro owners. Everyone shares the footage they capture, which keeps the fires buring with free publicity.
There is some competition though, and we list some of them below.
Sony: In 2012, Sony launched the Sony Action Cam HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15 cameras. They have the added benefits of being with Sony’s smart watch, and including GPS.
Garmin: A year after Sony’s product launch, GPS device-maker Garmin launched its 1080p waterproof cameras to compete with GoPro. They are also GPS friendly.
Others: Other popular action cams include JVC GC-XA2, Drift HD Ghost S, Polaroid XS7, MHD Sport Wi-Fi Action Camera, and Contour+2, Liquid Image Ego, The Neo Sport Camera and the Veho muvi action cameras.
The Go-Pro is continuously growing and becoming more and more high tech – I can’t wait to see what comes next with this technology!