“Shipping to the U.S. and Canada on June 7. Shipping globally on July 12, the GoPro+LCD”. When I read the news coming in today I immediately got exited, because GoPro just usually does exiting things. So like Pavlovs dog, I wagged my tail and went online to check out the new product. But then it hit me, GoPro already has a GoPro with and LCD screen, its called the GoPro Hero 4 Silver Edition and has been ons sale for over a year now, retailing at $429,99 (similar pricing in euro’s). So what’s up with this new product, which sports an LCD as well and retails at $299,99. In an earlier post I expressed my doubt as to the sense of a LCD screen on an action cam. (Dutch post). I made two main points:
- I use the GoPro in a POV way, so holding the camera myself or mounted to equipement I am using. I am not going to be looking at a screen mid-action; taking my eye of where I am going will get me seriously hurt. So what’s the use of a screen. If you use the GoPro enough, you get a feel about the framing of your shot without needing an LCD screen anyway.
- The LCD screen will drain your battery. Fast.
GoPro obviously doesn’t agree with me, and obviously there is a real market out there otherwise they would not develop this product.
And so we have to LCD toting GoPro camera’s. So where is the Hero+ LCD different than it’s more expensive brother, the Silver Edition? We made a comparison between the two:
Hero 4 Silver Edition vs Hero+ LCD
- price: $429,99 vs $299,99
- 4k at 15fps (not very useful though) vs no 4K
- 1080 at 60 fps both the same
- 720 at 120fps vs 720 at 60fps
- LCD touchscreen vs LCD touchscreen with new navigation menu’s
- Photo resolution 12MP vs 8MP
Audio specs are the same, battery life seems comparable.
Missing link in GoPro line-up
So in effect, what GoPro has added a model which fits snuggly between the basic Hero camera ($139,99). The technical specs are right in between this entry level camera and the Silver Edition. It brings a slight upgrade in specs and an LCD screen to the table for still an afforadble price. Seeing the gap there was in specs and price between the entry level Hero and the former midlevel Silver Edition, I understand this step. The pricing and the steps for a consumer are more logical:
- Hero $139,99
- Hero+LCD $299,99
- Hero 4 Silver Edition $429,99
- Hero 4 Black Edition $529,99
It is comparable to Apple’s strategy, where a lower line product is added (5c) and the high-end product increases in price (6 and 6-plus). The top of the line GoPro used to be about $400 dollars/euro’s, and look where the price has gone to. Admitted, the performance and specs have increased as well. But as technology and production efficiency improves that should counter a raise in price. It should be able to offer better specs without raising the price all the time.
I’ve always gone for the best GoPro on the market in the past, but next time I loose my present GoPro (which I will invariably do at some point) I probably will think twice. The best is just getting too expensive, so then the intermediate models will probably be what I choose. And perhaps that is what GoPro is aiming at.