8 Things Your Probably Didn’t Know About GoPro | Poundit.com

8 Things Your Probably Didn’t Know About GoPro

May 08, 2018

8 Things Your Probably Didn’t Know About GoPro

GoPro Inc. has come a long way since its inception in 2002. What was once founder Nick Woodman’s redneck hack of an idea involving the attachment of already-existing cameras to wrist straps has now grown into a global phenomenon that is worth a lot of money. In fact, the California-based company earned $1.18 billion in revenue in 2017, capturing 80% and 44% of the American and European action camera markets, respectively, by unit volume during the same year.

Needless to say, GoPro cameras have revolutionized the way we take photographs and videos. Today, adventure and travel junkies take them everywhere they go, whatever they do—from swimming, surfing, diving, trekking, and cross-country cycling to skiing, skating, paragliding, BASE jumping, and sky diving.

Here in the Philippines, the company maintains an active presence on social media, with the GoPro PH Facebook page consistently featuring amazing videos and images of beautiful local destinations. You, too, can join in on the fun by purchasing GoPro products from Poundit.com. Check out our GoPro HERO 6 Travel Bundle and our GoPro HERO 6 Starter Bundle.

With the ubiquity of GoPro cameras these days, it’s quite easy to forget some of the more interesting things these little nuggets of wonder can do, as well as some of the more fascinating aspects of their parent company’s history. In this piece, we’ll fill you in on some of these.

GoPro founder Nick Woodman first financed his business by selling belts from Bali

While it is true that GoPro was later financed by capital provided by Nick Woodman’s parents as an investment to his business, Woodman first raised a portion of his initial capital by selling seashell and bead belts which his then girlfriend—and now wife—Jill Scully, discovered while they were on a surfing trip in Bali, Indonesia.

The couple ordered 600 pieces of them, flew back to California, and sold the belts in Woodman’s 1974 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper. They were able to sell most of these within 2 months before summer ended, and Woodman returned to his parents’ house with enough money to launch GoPro.

Woodman borrowed his mom’s sewing machine to make the first GoPro strap prototype

Disappointed with existing disposable waterproof cameras—the only option available in the market at that time for surfers—Nick Woodman borrowed his mom’s sewing machine to make GoPro wrist straps that can tether film cameras to people’s wrists. An inverter rigged to the Volkswagen camper’s battery powered the sewing machine, while Nick camped and sold his wrist straps.

The original GoPro HERO was a 35mm film camera

It’s true—Nick Woodman introduced his first HERO camera system back in 2004 at the San Diego Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo, and it used a 35mm Kodak 400 film. Woodman said the biggest challenge for him selling this first incarnation of the popular HERO series was trying to look like more than a one-person company, which GoPro essentially was at that time. His efforts paid off when a Japanese company bought USD 2,000 worth of cameras from him during the trade show. Watch this video of the first GoPro HERO being sold on QVC back in 2005.

GoPro cameras can survive surprisingly long periods under the sea

Through the years, many reports have surfaced about GoPro cameras being found still operational and with the media they contain still intact—many years after they were lost by their owners at sea.

In February 2014, for instance, a New Zealand couple found a GoPro camera belonging to a man, who lost the camera in February 2009 while wakeboarding in the Firth of Thames, a bay situated east of Auckland. The camera was reported to have been in “perfect” condition even after years of being underwater.

A GoPro camera has also survived a free fall of 12,500 feet without a case

In 2012, a skydiver bumped his head on the door frame of his plane upon exit, unclasping the latch of his GoPro camera case. What happened next was marketing gold for GoPro. The camera basically popped out of its holder and fell 12,500 feet (3810 meters) from the sky before finally falling on a field of grass. The best part? The camera even caught the skydiver and his buddies landing near the place where it dropped. The skydiver also noted the camera’s remarkable condition after the fall—“not one scratch on the body or lens,” he revealed. See the YouTube video for yourself.

GoPro attempted to become a media company

GoPro first laid out its ambitious plan to “become an exciting new media company” during its IPO filing in 2014. Before long, the company made a series of high-profile hires, including some top brass from Hulu and HBO. They also launched streaming video channels on platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox Live, and Playstation. However, GoPro’s entertainment division never really took off and finally folded up in 2016.

Nevertheless, GoPro does still have its influential YouTube channel, which publishes a wide array of amazing user-generated and professionally filmed videos. Today, it has almost 5.67 million subscribers and remains one of the top brand channels on the platform.

Feature films and TV shows have been filmed using GoPro cameras

While the use of GoPro has long been seen as the domain of amateurs and enthusiasts, a few feature films and TV shows have indeed been filmed with GoPro cameras. These include the several scenes of Ridley Scott’s The Martian (2015), the first-person POV action movie Hardcore Henry (2016), the indie film Face 2 Face (2018), and a few scenes of the Emmy Award-winning TV series Breaking Bad(2008-2013).

You no longer need a GoPro Omni to carry out 360-degree spherical recording

Previously, the only spherical recording solution offered by GoPro was the GoPro Omni rig, which required the user to equip each of the six sides of the cubic rig with a HERO camera. Yep, six cameras just to make it work! Fortunately for users, GoPro introduced the GoPro Fusion along with the GoPro HERO 6 late in 2017. The GoPro Fusion is an omnidirectional camera that is specifically designed for 360-degree spehrical recording. It’s also GoPro’s most revolutionary camera to date, supporting 5.2K and 3K spherical video recording and taking 18MP spherical photos. However, it also comes with a relatively hefty price tag of USD 699.

Despite the rise of mirrorless camera systems, the flurry of modern smartphones with exciting optical capabilities, and the threat posed by cheaper Asian brands of action cameras, GoPro is definitely here to stay. What will your next GoPro adventure be like?

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