Fans of the GoPro Hero series are currently awaiting the latest release in this range, the GoPro Hero5. Unquestionably, the GoPro series of action cameras has established itself as the market leader in this niche. However, the action camera market is experiencing a phenomenon which has also been applicable to many other marketplaces, namely diversification. Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer, has recently announced plans to work on a similar device, and to stay ahead of the competition the GoPro Hero5 will need to up its game from previous iterations in the series.
The news regarding Xiaomi is significant as the Chinese manufacturer is particularly renowned for producing higher-quality devices at an extremely affordable price. Obviously the Chinese marketplace benefits from relatively small labor costs, and this is the primary motivation for huge consumer electronics companies such as Apple basing their supply chains in East Asia.
Thus, murmurings regarding this new competitor in the action cam market suggest that the Chinese manufactured device will retail for around $65. This must be somewhat intimidating news for the manufacturers of the GoPro Hero range, as the entry-level device for the existing GoPro Hero4 is set at a $130 price point. If the company is going to ask consumers to pay double the price for a particular product, it goes without saying that it needs to deliver outstanding quality.
With this in mind, it is therefore interesting to examine the rumors and leaks that have emanated regarding the GoPro Hero5.
GoPro Hero5 4K resolution
The most enticing rumor about the GoPro Hero5 thus far is that this new action cam will record 4K video at 60 frames per second. This is double the frame rate of the previous GoPro Hero4, and will ensure that recording in acceptable quality at 4K resolution becomes a serious proposition for consumers worldwide.
Perhaps it is reasonable to describe 4K as a marginal technology, as the resolution has not really received mainstream acceptance yet. However, smartphones and video cameras are now moving towards this resolution, and there are a few more sources and places to post 4K video emerging. Netflix is beginning to stream some 4K content, while YouTube also now offers users the opportunity to stream 4K videos as well.
So although this is still very much a niche feature, it is one that does have increasing practical applications, and this seems certain to attract new users to the GoPro Hero5.
GoPro Hero5 improved frame rate
Although the quality 4K resolution shooting will get a lot of attention, it is also worth noting that this improvement in resolution will also have a knock-on effect on other filming modes. Thus, we can expect both 1080p and 720p recording to feature higher FPS recording rates. The GoPro Hero4 featured the ability to record 720p video at 120 frames per second, but this could now be extended to 1080p shooting with the GoPro Hero5.
GoPro Hero5 and the GoPro channel
GoPro has recently been diversifying into several new areas, and one of the most interesting of these is the GoPro channel. This is being featured on numerous sources, including Xbox 360, LG smart TVs and Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment systems. GoPro has also entered into an interesting collaboration with the Marriott hotel chain, and evidently intends to push its new channel for video content quite strongly.
It is therefore obvious that the company will want his new flagship action camera to have significant compatibility features with this new channel. So expect the GoPro Hero5 to collaborate with the GoPro channel in some new, interesting and innovative ways.
GoPro Hero5 – A10 chip
In order to drive its new 4K capabilities, to GoPro Hero5 will feature a brand-new A10 chip. The increased processing capabilities that this chip will give the action camera will ensure that it is the most powerful videographic camera available on the market.
GoPro Hero5 – Battery life
The extra frame rates delivered by GoPro Hero5 will necessitate a significantly improved battery. Enhanced resolution inevitably ensures that battery life is seriously diminished, so it will be essential for GoPro to upgrade the battery in the GoPro Hero5. Thus, analysts predict that the GoPro Hero5 may feature a 2,800 mAh battery. This would be a pretty impressive upgrade from previous iterations of the diagram series, as the GoPro Hero4 was powered by a 1,160 mAh unit.
GoPro Hero5 – Dual-lens
Recent rumors have also suggested that the GoPro Hero5 will feature a dual-lens setup. This is an extremely voguish suggestion, as Apple’s flagship smartphone, the iPhone 7, has also been linked with similar camera technology. This is particularly intriguing in the case of the GoPro Hero5, though, as the inclusion of dual-lens technology would potentially enable 3-D shooting.
GoPro Hero5 – Improved waterproofing
Underwater shooting is a feature of the action cam series already, but it is also predicted that GoPro will ensure that the latest device in its range offers superior functionality in this department. It is therefore suggested that the GoPro Hero5 will be waterproof up to 60 metres underwater, ensuring that keen divers can grab some pretty spectacular videos with this device.
GoPro Hero5 – price and release date
One disappointing aspect of the GoPro Hero5 is that it has been reported recently that this action camera will be significantly delayed. Thus, we should probably expect the GoPro Hero5 to emerge towards the back end of 2015. Analysts currently predict that it will retail somewhere between $400 and $500. But considering the fact that the action cam market has been thrown wide open by the development of devices in China, this price could be somewhat inaccurate. Certainly GoPro will need to consider the price point of the device extremely diligently.