As a passionate action sports junky I am always looking for a way to capture my stunts and somewhat dangerous activities. Growing up my friends and I would use digital cameras like the ones offered by Kodak and Cannon. Realistically we wanted to film these activities and although the pictures offered by these digital cameras were all right, the short films and distance of the pictures were inadequate as we became more creative. That’s when I noticed the company GoPro rising in popularity. From their commercials I noticed the ability to mount their tiny camcorder devise to my helmets, boards, and ski’s, which was to my absolute delight.
GoPro has an interestingly unique marketing scheme. I don’t know if any of you have seen their commercials but they are awe-inspiring. GoPro sells a “lifestyle” rather than selling themselves as an atypical video camera company. With the slogan “Be a Hero” GoPro urges its customers to film their creativity with their hands free devise. GoPro established itself in 2004 and from that point on they corned and controlled the personal/action camera market. GoPro’s are small, weatherproof, and able to be mounted on equipment giving the user a hands free video camera. This allows the user to film themselves or from their perspective.
Part of GoPro’s success lies in their ability to affiliate themselves with other top action sports brands such as Red Bull. On October 2012 in a largely publicized Red Bull event Felix Baumgartner of Austria travelled to the edge of space and sky dived down to earth with nothing but a GoPro to film his free fall. The GoPro video of Baumgartner’s decent made its way to YouTube where it has been seen by over 12 million.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYw4meRWGd4 (Video Red Bull Stratos)
Although GoPro has become the most prominent personal/action camera they still remain a privately traded company to many peoples dissatisfaction. Aside from Foxconn’s 9 % stake in GoPro due to a 200 million dollar investment made in 2012, GoPro has held strong and has not released an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Foxconn valued GoPro at the time of their investment to be around $2.25 billion but until the company actually releases an IPO their true value will remain unknown.
GoPro’s are certainly the way to go if you are really trying to capture an event that no other camera could possibly handle. With that being said they realize there in a position of power and have used this leverage to set a high price tag on their most current Hero 3 recorder. They range anywhere from $200-$400 given the model and specs, which is the hardest thing to justify when purchasing a GoPro. From my experience you have to really want to watch the videos to purchase one. I personally attribute my progression in some of these sports to the ability to re-watch video’s and see mistakes, which is the main reason I believe GoPro’s are the top action sports camera on the market.