GoPro – the action-packed video camera that’s changing photography as we know it

You may not have used a GoPro but you’ve almost certainly watched a video shot on one. Find out why GoPro cameras have taken the world by storm and what sets them apart from the alternatives.

Even if you don’t already know what a GoPro is, it’s very likely that you will have watched a video shot by one. The company of the same name has reinvented the way we shoot video, making it accessible and easy for anyone to create, edit and upload videos to the internet.

GoPros are wearable cameras which allow you to capture any moment as it happens, without having to ask someone else to film you. In the first quarter of 2014, more than 50 million hours of video shot from a GoPro camera was shared online, helping it become one of the biggest camera firms in the world. But what makes it so unique?

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Russian drivers have been using similar dash cam devices for years to catch road incidents and to prevent any attempts at insurance fraud. Everyone has access to a camera on their phone these days, too. The difference with a GoPro camera is that they are strong, competitively priced and produce high-quality images.

The cheapest GoPro, the Hero, can be bought used for about £130, while the more advanced models such as the Hero6 cost around £390. They also sell a wide range of accessories which attach to the camera, from head straps, to extendable mounts and even a leash for your dog.

In February 2018, the company announced that part of its insurance will include a device replacement if you break the camera when out on your adventures. However, GoPro Plus does stipulate you can't do it more than two times a year. 

Founder Nick Woodman started the business back in 2002 where it began in a van and was sold to surfers desperate to capture every second of their water-based activities. Instead of paying for a professional to film their skills and using expensive equipment able to withstand water, the GoPro enabled them to do it all for themselves.


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Fast forward to today and people from all walks of life are using GoPro for that special first person perspective. Breath-taking videos of sky divers and skiers are incredibly popular online, as are those cycling or simply walking.

The possibilities are endless as GoPros are small, light, waterproof and designed to take extreme environments and conditions. People have attached a GoPro to a balloon where it filmed video from space, while another stuck one on a guitar played by an orang utan.


Cyclists often use them to capture evidence if they encounter a dangerous driver and one man forgot he had his on during an attempted robbery at gunpoint.

As with anything, the more you pay the more you get. The basic GoPro Hero can shot HD video, go 40m beneath water and has a memory card slot to save footage on a microSD card. The pricier GoPro Hero6 captures even better quality video, as well as more frames per second, built-in wi-fi, Bluetooth and more. Choosing which model to buy really depends on what you will be using it for and how impressive you want the images to be.

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