GoPro Gets a Little Cheaper — and Fancier — With New Hero4 Camera

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

GoPro hoisted its high-end offering further into the age of high-definition video with the introduction of the Hero4, its latest line of participant-sports-oriented video cameras. The company also lowered the price of its cheapest camera to $129 from $200, and freshened up parts of its entire lineup.

Action-sports enthusiasts are flocking to GoPro video cameras by the millions: The devices’ image-stabilization technology and wide lenses, mounted on helmets, sticks or boards, can produce a sleek, professional look unobtainable with hand-held smartphones.

Starting from zero a decade ago, the company is on pace to ship more than 3 million cameras this year and near $1 billion in annual revenue. The company went public in June at a $3 billion valuation.

GoPro cameras are designed to be used in wet, rugged environments. But the cameras have typically cost more than $200, limiting their appeal.

The new GoPro Hero, which shoots high-definition video, will cost $129 when it goes on sale Oct. 5, making it more of an affordable item.

At the mid-range, the company is attempting to broaden its appeal by putting a touchscreen on the back of GoPro camera for the first time. Normally, users connect their GoPros to smartphones to program them. For the higher price, buyers of the $399 Hero4 Silver get better video quality and photo-shooting abilities on par with the best smartphone cameras.

For $100 more, the Hero4 Black targets GoPro’s most serious users. It can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second, rivaling professional camcorders. High-quality frames can be pulled from the video footage. The new $499 price tag for the Black is a departure from the $399 price its predecessor launched with two years ago.

GoPro said all of the cameras are getting upgrades that improve low-light capture and audio recording. A couple of new accessories will hit the market next week, as well, including a remote control for the Black and Silver that works from 600 feet away.

Shares of GoPro, already up more than 52 percent between Labor Day and Friday’s close, shot up another 10.8 percent, or $8.84, on Monday, to close at $90.94.