UPDATE 21-09-2017: The release date of the critical GoPro Hero 6 action camera is nearing, and ValueWalk has all of the latest information about this intriguing device.
And the first thing to note about the GoPro Hero 6 is that it will play a vital role in the future of GoPro, after the innovative start-up that became a major company experienced some financial travails. From a peak value of over $80, the share price of GoPro has tumbled in recent years, on the back of concerns that the revenue streams for the camera and drone manufacturer were less than sturdy.
GoPro needs the GoPro Hero 6 to be a big success, and thus it is interesting to look at the latest information on what will be included in this action camera.
Firstly, a tweet from Konrad Iturbe, a key leaker who spilled the release date of last year’s Hero cameras, indicates that a major unveiling event will take place on September 28. This will announce the new action camera to an expectant public, but what will be in included in the makeup of this device?
It is heavily suspected that GoPro will announce the flagship Hero 6 Black alongside an updated Karma drone stabilizer. But there has been media speculation that the manufacturer could also take the wrapper off a Hero Session release as well, with a second-generation drone also being floated in some quarters. This would add up to an impressive array of products, and undoubtedly make the unveiling event more significant and newsworthy.
Nonetheless, the primary device of interest will be the GoPro Hero 6, and it is believed that the recording capabilities of this camera will be significantly improved. With 4K resolution having established itself as a mainstream technology by now, it is believed that delivering this resolution will be a real focus of the GoPro Hero 6.
Thus, the predicted specs for this action camera are that it will record 4K video at 60 frames per second. This is undoubtedly an attractive proposition, but the faster slo-mo capabilities of the camera are also set to impress. It is rumored that the action camera will deliver this functionality at a staggering 240 frames per second, providing some outstanding shooting in this department.
The previous GoPro Hero release offered only 30 frames per second in 4K resolution mode, so this can be considered a significant breakthrough.
Rumors also indicate that the GoPro Hero 6 will be driven by a custom-designed GoPro GP1 processor. There haven’t been too many details regarding the precise specifications of this unit, but it is expected to be significantly beefed up compared to the previous GoPro Hero generation.
Although action cameras are not primarily purchased for photography reasons, the ability to capture still images remains a central feature of such technology. It is interesting to note then that the GoPro Hero 6 will deliver a 12-megapixel snapper with optical image stabilization, ensuring that the device takes pictures as good as many commercial cameras. When coupled with HDR functionality that is expected to be included, this means that the GoPro Hero 6 will be an excellent snapper as well as action camera.
The stability of shooting is obviously particularly key for action cameras, and thus it will be interesting to see what GoPro delivers in this department. While an electronic image stabilization system will certainly be provided by the GoPro Hero 6, it is debatable whether it will be possible for 4K resolution shooting to benefit from this intensive technology. It would certainly impressed consumers is GoPro was able to deliver 4K resolution at 60fps and also offer stabilization functionality. But this is, frankly, unlikely.
GoPro Hero 6 will also deliver the GPS functionality that was introduced in the GoPro Hero 5 generation. There will be significant tie-in functionality with the drone range that has become central to GoPro operations, and GPS will play a major role in the system.
Another interesting rumor has emerged over the last couple of weeks, thanks to leaked images of the retail packaging for the device. This information not only revealed the actual release date of the device to be September 28, but also that the GoPro Hero 6 will be capable of shooting 1080p at 240 frames per second. Once again, this represents a doubling of the capabilities in comparison to the Hero 5 Black, and suggests that the action camera will be an extremely nifty performer.
Early indications on the pricing for the GoPro Hero 6 suggest that the device will cost $499 in the United States when released. Other territories can expect to pay more in relative terms, with the price being floated as $649 in Canada, while Britons unfortunately may have to pay £499. It is also worthwhile for keen bargain hunters to keep an eye on the price of the GoPro Hero 5 generation, as it is highly likely that this range will benefit from a price cut when its replacement is revealed.
Learning from the last generation
When the GoPro Hero 5 was released, the critical community and users alike praised the voice-activated camera controls and improved video and image quality. Additionally, the ease of use and quality of editing applications was also considered to be particularly impressive. The Hero 6 will be expected to build on these strengths, while also addressing some of the common criticisms of the previous series.
They GoPro Hero 5 was considered to be a little less sturdy than previous releases, while the touchscreen system didn’t work as well as would have been desired in wet conditions. There were also problems with the editing suite’s compatibility with desktop platforms, with some considering this aspect of the action camera to be a little clunky.
It is excellent news that GoPro has made a commitment to improve the recording and photographic qualities of this device, and this should add up to an excellent GoPro Hero 6 release if the company can also deal with some of the aforementioned foibles.
Action camera maker GoPro has been going through a rough patch since last year. The Hero 5 production issues, the recall of Karma drones, and poor sales have prompted many Wall Street analysts to question CEO Nick Woodman’s leadership capabilities. The company’s stock has tumbled from $86 in October 2014 to just about $8 today. Woodman has slashed hundreds of jobs and shut down the entertainment division to return to profitability, but the company’s revival will depend largely on the success of the upcoming GoPro Hero 6.
Woodman has confirmed the existence of GoPro Hero 6
During the company’s quarterly earnings call earlier this year, Nick Woodman confirmed that the company would release GoPro Hero 6 action camera later this year. There was a two-year gap between the Hero 4 and Hero 5 launches, so JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster wanted to confirm whether the Hero 6 would arrive in 2017 or 2018. Due to various issues facing GoPro, there were speculations that the Hero 6 launch could be pushed back or canceled.
Woodman told Coster that the company was working to release new cameras and accessories this year “and the new camera being Hero 6.” He didn’t reveal its features, pricing or release date. At this point, it is anyone’s guess what new features the action camera would bring. However, the GoPro CEO has talked about a spherical GoPro camera at the CES this year.
GoPro Hero 6: 360-degree content, VR support
In a conversation with Engadget, Woodman said the company was developing a novel way to record 360-degree videos with the multi-lens camera. A large number of GoPro customers already use the action cameras to capture 360-degree content. The GoPro CEO referred to the spherical camera as the “ultimate GoPro.” The rumor mill suggests that the Hero 6 would also offer virtual reality support.
According to PC Advisor, the 360-degree camera coupled with VR-ready focal point will allow the spherical videos to look as vibrant as the reality. GoPro needs to make the Hero 6 as innovative and exciting as possible to revive its fortunes. The action camera maker thrives on brand value, and the Karma recalls and Hero 5 production problems have affected its brand.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Woodman said earlier this year that he wanted to make it easier to share content. The company was working on a feature that would let the GoPro Hero 6 upload photos and videos automatically to your smartphone. A quick app would then tweak the content and seek the user’s permission to upload it to various social networks for them.
There have been reports that GoPro was working on its own chip that could power the Hero 6. The company is also expected to launch new accessories that will be sold separately after the Hero 6 release. It would be interesting to see whether GoPro embraces 8K resolution with the upcoming action camera. 4K would have become mainstream by the time Hero 6 comes out, and consumers would love it if GoPro could leap forward to 8K.
Among other things, the GoPro Hero 6 is expected to offer at least 4K resolution, 60fps video recording, and a slimmer design. The current Hero 5 weighs 118g. GoPro may also decide to pack a bigger battery in Hero 6 to let users record footage for longer periods. We expect the GoPro Hero 6 to feature a 1,500 mAh battery for the first time. And of course, it will be waterproof just like its predecessor.
GoPro Hero 6 release date
Let’s admit it, GoPro hasn’t delivered a blockbuster action camera since the Hero 4 in 2014. The Hero 5 wasn’t a great success. The California company is under immense pressure to give a hit product in the form of Hero 6. We expect the Hero 6 to arrive in the second half of this year. The company will most likely bring it ahead of the crucial holiday season to capitalize on the holiday sales.
The GoPro Hero 4 was released in September 2014 and the Hero 5 came out in September last year. Going by that trend, the Hero 6 should become available in September. It is unclear how much the Hero 6 would cost, but considering the financial hurdles the company is facing, the product could have a competitive price tag. The current Hero 5 costs $399, though its price was recently slashed by $100. The Hero 6 is unlikely to cost above $400.