GoPro to live up to its name and take on “Pro” camera market with two new product types in 2022

Feb 7, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

GoPro to live up to its name and take on “Pro” camera market with two new product types in 2022

Feb 7, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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GoPro recently announced their Q4 2021 report and along with it, GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman announced that they want to produce more specialised cameras aimed towards the professional market. Now, this isn’t going to be as simple as splitting up the Hero into “White”, “Silver” and “Black” models like they used to. Instead, it seems like they might want to want to take on the likes of Sony’s RX0 II.

Despite facing another challenging year, Woodman said that GoPro generated a “record year-end cash balance of $539 million” and that 2021 revenue was $1.16 billion – a 30% increase over 2020, bringing the company back up to pre-pandemic levels. But they’re not stopping there, with a target of having four distinct product types by the end of 2022.

Exactly what is to come is unclear, but Woodman says that they want to offer a “broader portfolio of hardware products and software solutions to address new customer use cases”, stating that their roadmap for the future is “accordingly robust, tailored for consumers and professionals”. In short, they plan to create “derivative cameras” targeted towards specific uses rather than the “do everything” ethos of the GoPro Hero.

As I already mentioned, the plan isn’t to simply go back to the “White”, “Silver” and “Black” offerings of previous GoPro models. That’s something GoPro scrapped a while ago and today offer not only their Hero 10 Black, but also the previous Hero 9 Black and Hero 8 Black models instead – with those last two essentially replacing the “Silver” and “White” models in the old lineup.

We believe offering a broader portfolio of hardware products and software solutions to address new customer use cases and needs will enable us to expand our TAM. Our product road map is accordingly robust, tailored for consumers and professionals whose digital imaging needs require the types of solutions GoPro is uniquely positioned to provide. In just the past week, GoPro was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with our second Emmy Award, this time recognizing our industry-leading HyperSmooth video stabilization. Our two Emmys are testament to GoPro’s thriving culture of innovation and incredibly talented people.

At the end of 2022, we plan to increase our hardware offering from the two product types we have today, HERO and MAX, to four distinct camera products. And we expect to expand that further by the end of 2023. This is in addition to the aggressive road map we have planned for software, including new cloud capabilities and an all-new subscription-based desktop application. To the GoPro team around the world, congratulations and thank you for delivering such impressive results in 2021.

– Nick Woodman, GoPro Founder & CEO

It sounds like that “end of 2022” date is a pretty firm goal, with GoPro expecting to expand their product range even further by the end of 2023. Given that the new products seem to be based on their own existing tech, it will be interesting to see exactly what they come out with and how they differentiate the new releases from the GoPro Hero and GoPro Max 360° camera product lines.

Could we see more higher-end GoPro cameras with features that cater specifically to more “serious” filmmakers, TV and movies? Given the mention of the Emmy wins and user needs, it certainly seems to be the logical assumption. What features those might be, though, is anybody’s guess at this point. I know what I’d like to see in a more focused GoPro style camera. Being able to connect a wired remote trigger to use it with custom triggers or to fire a bunch of them simultaneously would be a good start!

You can read the full report on the GoPro website and the complete earnings call transcript here.

The future certainly seems to be looking up for GoPro, which were already struggling even before the pandemic. Let’s just hope they’re not planning to release another drone!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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11 responses to “GoPro to live up to its name and take on “Pro” camera market with two new product types in 2022”

  1. Davide Avatar
    Davide

    a bigger sensor could be a good start-

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Yeah, it would be nice to see them go with a 1″ like the Insta360 ONE R and Sony RX0 II!

      1. Davide Avatar
        Davide

        And an ois!

    2. Matthias Avatar
      Matthias

      Bigger sensor means less depth of field, not sure whether that’s really what you want for the kind of things you do with a GoPro. Trade off to consider in any case.

      1. Kaouthia Avatar
        Kaouthia

        Bigger sensor means it can get a shallower depth of field, but not necessarily. It depends on the aperture. The trade-off might be losing a stop of light on the max aperture, not necessarily shallower depth of field. Depending on what you’re shooting, that might not even be an issue. And given how people already complain that MFT has too much depth of field and “the GH6 will fail! buy full-frame!”, I think a 1″ sensor would be plenty enough depth of field for most, even at a decently wide aperture. Having a 1″ sensor hasn’t done any harm to the Insta360 or Sony cameras I mentioned. :)

        1. Matthias Avatar
          Matthias

          Of course you can increase depth of field by closing the aperture, but then you lose the advantage of the bigger sensor collecting more light. Maybe I am mistaken there, but gopros are things people attage to themselves when bunjee jumping or riding their bikes down a mountain, not studio portrait. I really can’t see much attraction to shallow depth of field for that kind of use. At least I wouldn’t want it, even if I sure appreciate teh possibility for plenty of types of photography. But maybe I don’t see the whole picture.

          1. Kaouthia Avatar
            Kaouthia

            You lost me at “bigger sensor collecting more light”. They don’t.

          2. Matthias Avatar
            Matthias

            For the same field of view, with the same aperture and shutter speed, a bigger sensor collects a larger total amount of light. Per surface unit it does not – 1 square centimeter of MFT sensor at 1/60th second and f/2 will see just as much light as 1 square centimeter of medium format sensor at 1/6th second and f/2.

          3. Kaouthia Avatar
            Kaouthia

            What?!?! How does that make ANY sense at all? How does a handheld light meter manage to give the correct reading regardless of whether you’re shooting 8×10 large format or an MFT sensor? It knows nothing of your sensor size. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

            For the same field of view, the same scene sends the same amount of light into the front lens element regardless of the size of the sensor. Smaller lenses just focus THE SAME AMOUNT OF LIGHT onto a smaller space. :)

          4. Matthias Avatar
            Matthias

            No, the lightmeter indeed knows nothing of your sensor size. Take your piece of large format ISO 100 film and photograph your scene at f/5.6 and 1/60th of a second. You can photograph the same scene with ISO 100 film at f/5.6 and 1/60th second with a 110 camera and get the right exposure. That would most certainly not be true if the 110 camera was concentrating the same amount of light on that tiny patch of 110 film as what comes on the large format film. But in average, 1 square centimetre of that 110 film sees the same amount of light as the 1 square centimetre of the large format film, which is the reason why you don’t need to bother about film/sensor size when choosing exposure parameters.
            I suspect you are not considering the physical size of the iris in your considerations. A 25mm MFT lens at f/2 will capture the same scene as a 50mm FF lens at f/2, but the iris’ area is 1/4 as large, letting only 1/4 of the light through, and projecting it onto a sensor 1/4 of the area so that, again, the exposures parameters are not affected by sensor size.

          5. Kaouthia Avatar
            Kaouthia

            I haven’t had enough coffee to deal with this yet today. You win because I give up.