Camera maker GoPro has released a new $200 version of its Hero6, but is it still worth the price tag? It has all of the key features, full HD video recording and it's shockproofing and waterproofing that made the cameras famous, but leaves out features like 4K, slow-motion options, and 3.5mm audio input.
GoPro has had a hard few years. After exploding onto the scene with its revolutionary action camera, the company has had a few missteps, including a failed drone, as well as competition from other camera makers, and has found themselves in trouble in terms of sales and cash flow.
The new camera is meant to appeal to the more casual video producer who may not want to spend upwards of $1,000 on a camera -- particularly an action camera. However, the divide between professional equipment and casual equipment is shrinking quickly. Many of the features left our by GoPro, like 4K and slow-motion, are features that every creator and producer wants to make their videos look professional. As access to cameras become wider, more and more people want to be able to make professional video with less equipment, and the reality is that in many cases they can.
Chances are, that the smartphone in your pocket, or sitting on your desk, is capable of producing professional quality video, with many of the features that you would get with the more expensive GoPro, or even a top of the line DSLR camera. Most of them shoot in 4k, they have slow-motion options, they work well in low light, they are lighter than GoPros, and are increasingly more durable (with new shockproof and waterproof models coming to market. Additionally, using apps like Filmic Pro, you can get just as much manual control as a DSLR and create the cinematic look desired by many producers.
Our advice, don't buy another camera again, just stick with your smartphone. You'll be amazed by the results. Ultimately, it isn't about the gear you use, it's about your skills as a video producer. As long as whatever camera, or smartphone, you use can shoot in HD (or 4K), gives you manual control of focus and exposure, and can capture good clean audio, then you don't need to worry about equipment.
It's really about the shooting, storytelling, and editing. If you can master those, then you can create professional video, and make money with it. Learn how with our training here at TheVJ.com and for your smartphone producers check out our new course on Filmic Pro.