Professionally, I often use GoPro cameras to capture behind-the-scenes footage and time-lapses of pipeline builds for clients. Personally, I use it as my primary dive camera, at least until I settle on a pro dive rig. For the price, form factor, image quality and general ease of use, it is hard to beat the GoPro for many applications.
Still, I have a couple of things I would love to see delivered with the Hero4. Much is made of the possible camera specs, especially 24fps 4K from the Hero4, but my wishlist is simpler, more practical and, I think, easier to deliver.
- Subfolders: When offloading my cards, it would be really useful to have video, timelapse and burst photos saved into subfolders on the card. And, in the case of timelapse and bursts, have the individual sequences in their own folders as well. This is a simple software fix that could be solved by formatting the card with the master subfolders and building sequence subfolders when the mode is selected and used. This would help organize archiving and post.
- Custom Profiles: One of the the things I love about my DSLR is the ability to create a custom profile I can quickly switch to for common shooting situations. Digging through the menu to tweak settings prevents me from reaching for the GoPro in some situations. Again, this is mostly a software solution. Within GoPro Studio, I’d like to see a Camera Profile Editor that allows me to create specific shooting profiles that preset things like Field of View (FOV), Resolution, FPS and Timelapse Interval. These profiles would make it easier for shooters to develop a consistent style for their footage, simplify switching between shooting modes while still reflecting that style and allow those profiles to moved to new cameras or replicated to multiple GoPro cameras to match footage.
- Named Cameras: Speaking of using multiple GoPros on a shoot, it would also great to assign each of my GoPros a name (ie. CAM1, GP2) in GoPro Studio. That name would be displayed on an about screen on the camera LCD and would be used in the root folder name when formatting the SD card. That name would be stored in firmware until changed in the Studio software.
- Return of the Naked Option: If you are like me, you have more than enough accessories, many of which are aftermarket replacements for stock GoPro rigging. When I upgrade the camera I don’t want or need a whole new set of bits and pieces. I just want the camera. So, give us an option. If it is an issue of economy of scale in retail packaging, offer the Naked Hero4 only on Amazon as “frustration-free packaging.”
- A Pro Housing: I get that part of the appeal of the GoPro is the the simplicity of their accessories. And, I am sure accessories sales are a big chunk of their business plan. Still, the various aftermarket and kickstarter attempts at a pro housing illustrate the demand for something as simple as a 1/4-20 mounting option. And no, the tripod adapter does not count in my book. Of all of my wishlist items, this is most unlikely to happen as it is a physical product which likely requires a new manufacturing pipeline.
All of the other bells and whistles from the rumor mill are nice, especially geotagging via GPS, but these items are relatively simple fixes which would further cement the GoPro’s position as the iPhone of action/POV cameras.