Hey its Christmas time so there’s a new Gopro camera out and a new promo video to go with it, and as usual it looks amazing.
A few years ago I wrote about my negative opinions of GoPro. The synopsis being that the Gopro is not a good camera for most cyclists. I’ve been looking at the new GoPro hero5 and I’m starting to think that they finally got it right. One of my biggest complaints about the older GoPros was their design. It was horrible. The cameras were designed to be mounted on something, and hit record. The interface was like Timex would put on a 90s era digital watch, the glass lens stuck out so you had to use the big awkward plastic case at all times, which fogged up half the time, and the lack of a LCD made it impossible to review images until you got home. Oh and most importantly the video sucked.
The original Hero cam, this was a photo for ebay.
The GoPro was of course updated several times to try and fix these problems, but it seemed like they just tried to band aid a crappy design, like a removable add on screen. Despite all the other issues with the camera my biggest knock against it was that most cyclists just don’t need a single minded action cam. Extreme riders and racers could use one to make interesting video that someone might want to watch, but the rest of us are better served with a point and shoot still camera to take pictures of our bikes leaned against stuff.
So here’s what I like about the new Hero5. They redesigned it and fixed all my complaints. First off it’s waterproof and the lens is protected, so no lame plastic case, it has a screen to review images and control the camera. From the tests I’ve watched the user interface looks awesome now. So now the gopro can function as a camera you drop in your pocket and use in just about every situation. Besides that they’ve added some good looking image stabilization.
So why you still maybe shouldn’t buy it? It’s not cheap, it’s about 400 dollars. At the same time the cost of this technology has plummeted. You can get what appears to be a decent GoPro clone for around 50 dollars. I’m sure it’s lacking in the features department, but it does 4K video or 1080@60 fps.