Xiaomi recently announced the $64 Yi Action Camera and based on the first reviews, GoPro has plenty of reasons to be worried.
The Yi closed several of the gaps between the GoPro and the cheaper action cameras, and now poses a serious threat to the dominance of the Hero4. GoPro however won’t give up without a fight and hopes to further distance itself from the newest rival with the release of the Hero5.
The original release date was estimated to be sometime around September, but rumor has it that the date will be pushed back. Either way, GoPro will have to respond to the Chinese by the end of 2015.
So what features and improvements are in stock for GoPro fans? 4k and 8k video recording and improved battery life, to name a couple.
With 4k becoming increasingly common on cell phones and video cameras, GoPro will have to come out with 8k video for a real “wow” effect and to distinguish itself for the competition.
Obviously 4k video isn’t going anywhere and therefore it will have to be upgraded. The Hero4 Black is capable of recording 4k at 30 fps so it seems logical that the successor will boast 4k video at 60fps, making it a much more enticing option for serious users.
With HD video still being the bread and butter, doubling the frame rate for 1080p and 720p will most likely be the next step. The new frame rates are expected to be 1080p/120fps and 720p/240, to the joy of slow motion fans around the world.
Clarification: At the moment 1080p/120fps is only available in ultra wide and narrow fields of view, not medium or Superview. 720p/240fps is available in narrow FOV only. Also, we might see frames rates even faster than this.
All these improvements should be possible with the new A10 chip, also rumored to be incorporated in the new camera.
Battery life has been another issue with the Hero4, and probably every other version before it, and this is also expected to be drastically improved in the upcoming replacement. Some reports suggest the current 1160 mAh battery will receive an increase of up to 150%, rocketing the battery’s juice to somewhere around 2900 mAh.
One thing to remember about the battery, though, is that a battery 2.5 times more powerful will not last 2.5 times longer. The 8k recording and the other upgraded frame rates will suck power like it’s going out of fashion. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hero5’s battery will last just as long as the current battery.
Another improvements is expected in the camera’s underwater performance, with rumors of the Hero5 being waterproof up to 60 meters deep.
The current 40 meter limit is more than enough for the vast majority of GoPro users who actually dive, but while only a handful of users will actually benefit from the upgrade, GoPro will be able to tout another best-in-category feature.
Two interesting speculations that come up in regards to the new Hero are price and camera variations.
One suggestion was that the Silver model, which is currently the only one that has a touch screen, will be incorporated with the Black model. This will lead to one awesome camera with all the best features.
It only makes sense that the basic Hero model will continue to be offered for those who are looking for a much cheaper option.
Despite Xiaomi’s camera being available in very limited numbers outside of China, GoPro is well aware of the risk it faces by the high-quality, low-price camera the Chinese have introduced.
So on the one hand the Hero5 could be an incredible camera aimed at blasting any competition out of the water, but at the same time it could be priced the same or even a bit lower than the current flagship model.
The basic Hero model might also see a price drop as it becomes harder for GoPro to justify being twice has expensive as the competition.
Time will tell just how much Xiaomi’s camera will impact GoPro’s plans and products, but one thing is already obvious – GoPro is feeling the heat.
[via Tech News Today]
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