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Some photos appeared online in several forums and Facebook showing images of an upcoming GoPro Hero8 black. I usually saw leaked images around this time of the year as GoPro released their latest cameras in September/October in recent years. No wonder as Christmas shopping season is around the corner. There were also some specs rumoured and I want to give my two cents

GoPro Hero8 black leak - a new housing for accessories (external microphone, LCD screen, LED lights)

GoPro Hero8 black leak – a new housing for accessories (external microphone, LCD screen, LED lights)

GoPro Hero8 – rumoured specs

These are the specs, I believe one site posted and everyone else copied:

  • GP2 chip, being capable of
  • 4K video at 120fps, full HD (1080p) video at 480 fps
  • Improved lens and  image quality
  • New design with optional housing and new accessories (mic, LED light, screen, etc)

 

My two cents

Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro announced in May that he is happy to share that they’re planning an exciting refreshed lineup at all price points in Q4. There is no info on a new chip or specs announced so far. Even if these specs are true, they will affect only few people I guess. In other words it means better slow motion capabilities. But it seems everyone is talking about 4K 120fps.

Regarding the photos I have two hypotheses I want to analyse:

Hypotheses 1 – Vlog Camera:
The most questions I get, regarding GoPro cameras, are how to optimize it as vlog camera or how to optimize for motorvlogs. There are several 3rd party cases/cages that can hold accessories, microphone,… (the vlog case being a good example, that is quite popular at the moment). If you check out some GoPro User Groups on Facebook you will see how many use them more as vlog camera rather than action camera. Seems like GoPro is stronger targeting vloggers with their new camera and trying to get a larger portion of accessory sales.

Hypotheses 2 – Accessory sales
It appears the camera itself will have the same form factor as previous cameras. In addition there will be a cage/case around the camera to offer several options. This seems viable so there is compatibility of Hero8 with existing accessories. As well as the other way round: The housing could be used for Hero7, gaining accessory sales from existing GoPro users.

  • On of them being an integrated, enhanced microphone facing forward, which could replace the 3rd party vlog case. As well as the need to buy the USB-C to 3.5mm microphone adapter.
  • The housing also offering 2 hot or cold shoe mounts on top and side for further accessories. One being a LCD screen that can be mounted facing forward – ideal for vlogger.
  • Or you can use the shoe to mount a LED light, also not yet being offered by GoPro itself.

Expanding the accessory line around the GoPro seems like a good idea. Users are shopping accessories mostly from 3rd party suppliers. And most of the users don’t use their GoPro as real action camera, but as small tough camera for various situations. Diversification, entering new product segments, didn’t seem to work. GoPro Karma Drone was already discontinued.

This hypotheses is disproved by several comments stating that GoPro Hero8 is a bit smaller, no frame being used anymore but the mount being integrated in the camera itself (similar to GoPro Fusion) and some items being moved around (placement of port, mic,…).
Although I think it is a good idea to boost accessory sales and building an ecosystem around the camera we saw in the past that GoPro doesn’t seem to pay much attention to accessory sales, but upgrading user to the best and latest camera. Even tough many request an external mic, the adapter doesn’t work for Hero7 silver & white as well as Hero (2018). Similar with the underwater case supersuit – also not compatible with Hero7 silver or white. These two cams also have integrated batteries, so no interest in selling additional batteries.

 

This of course are just assumptions and we’ll see what happens next. Stay tuned, I expect the new camera to be released in September. Alongside with GoPro Max, a successor of GoPro Fusion, their 360° camera.

Here you can compare Hero7 series specs with previous models

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