GoPro’s new camera is the Hero10 Black Bones – you solder it to a drone

When GoPro announced that it was going to make some very special cameras this year, we had no idea what that meant. Today, it reveals the GoPro Hero10 Black Bones, the cut-down version of its main camera, which was apparently marked for FPV drone pilots who famously burned through that bowling alley last year. Using a separate low-latency analog camera and a pair of FPV goggles to see where their drone is going, the idea is for pilots to capture brilliant shots on one of these drones.

If I say cut, there are no screens, no speaker, no door, no waterproofing And no battery Within this: The company tells me that this is the first GoPro to require a $ 500 camera ($ 350– $ 400 with subscription) soldering capability.

Hero10 black bones.
Image: GoPro

Why? Because GoPro saw that its customers Already The company halved their GoPros to keep their acrobatic flying film production equipment in the air longer, and the company realized it could do better. Pablo Lema, GoPro’s Production President, says, “You ‘ve seen the rise of videos like Bowling Lane, or the latest Tesla Gigafactory video – all made by people trying to make GoPro easier.” On the edge In a call.

Some pilots actually cut their cameras to reduce their weight by removing unwanted components, but doing so can lead to overheating, especially during takeoff and landing. So GoPro’s New Bones brings its flagship Hero10 Black sensor, lens, processor and long-lasting impressive HyperSmooth built – in stabilization software to a freshly ventilated, heatsink fitted 54g barebones camera.

It’s the lightest GoPro ever, more than a third of the weight of the original Hero10 Black, and it’s lighter than the 74-gram, cubic GoPro session, which did not exactly shake up the action game world in 2015. Of course, you can expect many things to make a GoPro GoPro when you think about it, including that battery.

It is even smaller without the GoPro mount. It has a replaceable cover lens, which is compatible with the Hero10 and Hero9 ND filters.
Image: GoPro

“To create a camera where a dad could take a picture of his baby in the pool without any problems, we had to make it a little bigger and a little heavier,” says Lema of the original GoPros you know (and, perhaps, romance). But now, the company is experimenting with delivering the special GoPros they want to a population of important but growing customers. “We’re so uniquely positioned to strike unique verticals in filmmaking that there is no technology that other companies obviously do not like or do not like.”

FPV is one of those opportunities, which Lema says has become an important perspective for cinematographers. He also says that customers for this product are not going to be ashamed of the soldering station; They build their drones by connecting motors and control circuits.

This is where the bones pull an elegant trick: it has a built-in regulator circuit, so you do not have to worry about how much voltage your LiPo supplies. It can operate anything from 5–27 volts, so you can fly your drone regardless of whether it has a relatively Wimpy 2S or 6S rechargeable lithium battery. “You can solder it on the battery leads of your drone and it will work well,” says Lema.

You can also control it from your drone’s controller. If you do not want to use its two physical buttons or GoPro Apps or the optional remote, you can connect a third wire to the flight controller and run it using open source Betaflight software or GoPro’s Open GoPro APIs. “You can create the software you want,” Lema says. GoPro has not yet provided the ability to read live source images from the camera, so it may not be ready for the computer vision applications you are now contemplating.

After the failure of the GoPro to launch in 2018, it is a little surprising to see the drone re-enter the market. When I asked, Lema was not smiling and now has no plans to build another drone. But he points out that there are even more purpose-built GoPros for other application events – if you ask today’s GoPro users where they need a slightly different camera, they will have a ready answer. (I’m curious if the VR video is still on the table.)

DJI is also looking at the opportunity in FPV recently. After years of neglecting that field of drones, it released its own FPV racing glasses and aircraft camera in 2019 and the full FPV drone in 2021. Although once promising competitors such as the original Phantom drones and 3D robotics solo were apparently designed to carry the GoPros, they were replaced by smaller cameras that were quick to modify, making them easier to handle with the motor-fitted Kimball.

The Hero10 Black Bones will be available exclusively on gopro.com from today for $ 350, including $ 500 with or without a one-year subscription to existing GoPro subscribers, with no retail sales. Yes, that means the camera is more expensive if you have to Do not Need a $ 50 free subscription that includes a camera replacement and cloud backup – we ask GoPro why.

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