Interview: Rick Loughery (VP - Global Marketing and Communications, GoPro)

GoPro's pro speaks up

GoPro is committed to only action cams in this form factor at the moment… Our cameras are designed for users to capture their experience while being immersed in the action without missing a moment of it. The current form factor allows a GoPro to go places where you wouldn’t take a smartphone or a DSLR, while the rugged and waterproof design makes sure you don’t need to worry about your camera as you’re enjoying the moment. And with MAX, this opens-up the door for creative expression in ways that neither smartphones nor the traditional HERO camera can manage.

The GoPro HERO8 Black runs on an optimised 1220mAH battery... which has been designed to deliver the current draw that’s required to power the upgraded HyperSmooth 2.0 feature of the new camera. The battery also includes a new fuel gauge that has lower sleep current, which results in longer shelf life. In HERO8, we have added several high-performance modes such as HyperSmooth 2.0 that draw more energy. But even so, the new battery supports just over an hour of run time, even when in a heavy-use mode like 1080/240.

For HyperSmooth, TimeWarp and Horizon Leveling features… there is a very tight relationship between our hardware and software products.  A lot of these new features such as the HyperSmooth 2.0 and the TimeWarp 2.0 have been developed by reworking the algorithms on the GP1 chip.  In the case of Horizon Levelling for the GoPro HERO8 Black, it is applied in the GoPro App. HERO8 Black uses IMU (internal measurement unit), gyro and accelerometer on camera to collect data that is embedded into the video during capture and the App uses that information to straighten the video. Additionally, the GoPro App uses metadata such as speed, audio and smile detection to identify interesting moments of a video and selects them and includes them in an automatic video edit.

GoPro is considering partnerships with car and bike brands for integrating action cams into the vehicles entertainment or safety systems… We are in association with multiple brands around the world such as Ducati, KTM, Triumph, BMW, Polaris, etc. for integrated system which allows users to control their GoPro from the dashboard of the vehicle.

The mods we are launching to turn HERO8 into a vlogging powerhouse… are developed carefully to work perfectly with the camera. We can’t really speak about the experience of third-party mods used for the camera. Since we are not involved in the development of any third-party mods at the moment, we can’t guarantee a seamless experience.

There’s an emphasis on ensuring great still photo capability on the Hero devices, be it as a substitute to a phone cam or a stand-alone camera… There are already many situations wherein it is much more preferable to use a GoPro camera to a phone or DSLR, like using voice control with SuperPhoto while the GoPro is out of reach to capture a unique or hard to get shot. GoPro allows you to be in the moment with your hands free to focus on what you are doing without having to worry about damaging the compact and rugged camera and without having to lug around heavy photography gear. We are putting a lot of emphasis on developing the photo capabilities of our cameras – the introduction of RAW photo with HERO5 was a huge leap in that direction. You can also take control of fine tuning the photo settings for Color, ISO Limit, Sharpness and Exposure with ProTune, and take HDR and WDR photos. For anyone who prefers getting the best result automatically, we have made everything easier with SuperPhoto that has improved HDR on HERO8. If you are curious to see more, I would recommend you take a look at our Instagram channel @GoProIndia for inspiration!

Both the Hero 8 and the Max are capable of crunching a lot of data on the fly and through the app… because most smartphones made within the last couple of years will work well with The GoPro App. A list of supported and recommended phones are available on our website. The GoPro App enables you to make awesome edits with GoPro content as well as other photos and videos that are shot on your smartphone. Of course, depending on the modes they are shot in, some of the videos can be data-heavy but we have worked out a solution that doesn’t break your phone’s storage bank. Videos are first stored in the app where they take up less space (they are still compressed). With a subscription to our PLUS service, things get even easier; your footage is backed up automatically to the cloud where you have unlimited storage space.