GoPro has just announced a new lineup of its clever and tiny and expensive action cameras, which have somehow managed to become even cleverer, even tinier, and best of all, cheaper.
You've heard of GoPro, right? Yeah? No? Hrm. Well, go find a slightly hipper rock to live under, but GoPro makes tiny little video cameras that have only two buttons and no displays and are designed to be able to be placed anywhere and withstand the physical and emotional punishment associated with extreme conditions and not being paid attention to while they're recording. In other words, you can just stick one of these little things somewhere, like on your car or bike or skis or surfboard or spaceship, and let it run while you do try not to fail at doing whatever cool thing it is you're trying to do, like this stuff:
Let's face it: 99.999% of us do not have lives that are as interesting as the people in that video. But it really doesn't matter: GoPros are versatile enough that even normal, boring people like us can find clever ways to use them. And the GoPro Hero3 makes that better and easier in three different ways:
- It's smaller. About the size of a matchbox. It weighs just 2.6 ounces. That's easily small enough to carry around with you without feeling like you're carrying a video camera around with you.
- It's got built-in WiFi. The biggest downside to using a GoPro has always been that you don't really know what it's pointing at. I mean, you can point the thing, and thanks to its huge field of view (like 170 degrees), you won't miss much. But the integrated WiFi, previously only available as a hardware add-on, lets you preview what the camera sees (and control the camera as well) using your smartphone.
- It's somehow cheaper. The base model Hero3 will run you $200, which is $100 less than the Hero2. Why? I don't know. It's crazy. Yes, you can pay up to $400 for a fancier Hero3, but the only thing you're really losing out on is some accessories, different video modes that you'll probably never use, and the ability to take high res stills, which isn't what this camera is all about.
I guess it's worth mentioning that the top end Hero3, the Black Edition, is technically capable of recording 4k video at 12 fps. That's video where each frame has a resolution of 4096 x 2160. Your TV can't handle that, and neither can your computer monitor. It's cool, I guess, but ultimately useless, at least for now.