GoPro Announces Latest Hero Camera, Details Fusion VR Camera Announced Earlier (Sep 28, 2017)
GoPro today held an event at which it announced two new cameras: the latest in its core Hero line, the Hero6, at $499; and a VR camera called the Fusion, which will sell for $699. The Fusion had been pre-announced back in April ahead of a pilot program which has been running over the last few months, but the suggestion at the time was that this was a camera for professionals, implying a price point in the thousands of dollars. However, what we’ve actually ended up with is something which – if not exactly consumer-grade – is at least within reach for serious hobbyists. The concept is very clever, combining video from two overlapping lenses to create 360° video in a unique way, which can eliminate the pole holding the camera from the shot and make it appear as if it’s floating in front of the subject. But it’s also designed to allow creators to edit videos after the effect, choosing the angle they want from the 5.2k video the camera outputs to create more conventional videos. The Hero6, meanwhile, is a more conventional device, with some predictable upgrades from earlier models, and it’s notable that it maxes out at exactly the same resolutions as the iPhone 8 – 1080p at up to 240 frames per second, and 4K and 60 frames per second – though obviously with a larger camera, sensor, and so on. As a reminder, GoPro has recently returned to growth at a rather lower scale than at its peak, and is losing money as a result, so devices that can provide new revenue streams are critical to its future. The Fusion looks like one of the more unique products it’s launched in recent memory, but at the $699 price it’s not likely to sell in huge numbers, while the Hero6 will be a nice upgrade for some existing owners but not likely by itself to pull new people into the GoPro ecosystem, something the company has anyway been de-emphasizing as a goal.
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