Action Photography Today : GoPro
Most people who have interest in camera will remember the Flip video by Cisco Systems, which is one of the first pocket camcorders in the market. It was a golden moment for pocket camcorders, but as many cellphone manufacturers started to include HD video cameras in their products, the pocket camcorders market quickly faded, but not disappeared completely, GoPro is one of the main reasons why that market still exists.
GoPro is a brand of small cameras and pocket camcorders that are built for rugged outdoor environment. Since they launched their products in 2002, GoPro has gained a reputation as the maker of adventure cameras and their products continue to thrive until today, even when the other pocket camera brands have lost their market, the demand for GoPro cameras are still high.
This brand is owned by the Woodman Labs Inc., a company based out of Half Moon Bay, California. This company was founded by Nick Woodman, an amateur surfer who also has interest in photography. At first he just wanted to get some great looking photos of his surfing, but he couldn't because amateur photographers don't have the equipment to do so and they couldn't get close enough to take some decent shots. Then he had an idea of creating a camera system that could capture the professional angles of his actions, that's also what inspired the "GoPro" name.
Initially, Nick was simply aiming to create cameras that are highly durable and small enough to be carried on his surfing trip with his friends and able to take some great shots of their actions. Most people that he talked to about his camera ideas said that they didn't really want to buy such camera, but they did like the idea of someone being able to film their actions. That's what inspired Nick to perfect his adventure camera, he designed camcorders that could be mounted to all kinds of gear, the basic idea was to make the camera wearable as well as hands free so it won't get in the way of the activity. It was really a fantastic idea that became the main selling point of GoPro camcorders, you can attach them to almost anything from a surfboard to a helmet and record all your thrilling adventure moments.
When GoPro products were finally launched, they quickly grabbed the attention of the outdoor sports community and adrenaline junkies all over the world. However, in recent years there has been a quite unexpected market expand to profession videographers. It was actually quite surprising because even though GoPro cameras do have the ability to take high quality photos and videos, these products are not exactly designed and marketed for professionals. But obviously the people in the film industry saw some potentials of these cameras to be used in their productions, because of their low cost and excellent durability in extreme situations. Today, GoPro digital compact flash cameras have been used on a lot of TV shows all over the world, including the famous ones like The Deadliest Catch, Myth Busters and many others.