The new GoPro camera is the Hero10 Black Bones — and you can attach it to a drone

When the GoPro said it was We’re building more specialized cameras this yearWe didn’t quite know what that meant. Today, it unveils the GoPro Hero10 Black Bones, a shortened version of its main camera explicitly intended for FPV drone pilots. Like the one who caught fire in that bowling alley last year. The idea is that pilots will attach one of them to their drone to shoot great shots while using a separate low-latency analog camera and a pair of FPV goggles to see where their drone is headed.

When I say cut, I mean no screens, no speaker, no door, no weatherproofing, no battery Inside This Thing: The $500 camera ($350 and $400 with subscription) is the first GoPro camera ever built that requires soldering skills, the company tells me.

Hero10 black bones.
Photo: GoPro

why? Because GoPro saw that their customers were. Previously They cut their GoPros in half to keep acrobatic film-making gadgets in the air longer, and the company realized they could do even better. “I’ve seen a rise in videos like flying into a bowling alley, or even the most recent Tesla Gigafactory video—it’s all done by people who took the time trying to make the GoPro lighter,” said Pablo Lima, GoPro Chief Product Officer. the edge in a call.

Lima says some pilots have been literally cutting their cameras to reduce weight by removing unnecessary components, but doing so can lead to overheating, especially on takeoff and landing. So bring the new Bones from GoPro Flagship Hero10 BlackSensor, lens, processor, and Impressive tall Built-in HyperSmooth mount to a ventilated barebones heatsink cam weighing just 54g.

It’s the lightest GoPro camera ever, at just over a third of the weight of the original Hero10 Black, and it’s lighter than the cube-shaped 74 grams. GoPro session That didn’t completely change the world of action cameras in 2015. Which, of course, is to be expected when you get rid of many of the things that make a GoPro out of a GoPro, including that battery.

It’s even smaller without a GoPro mount. It has a replaceable cap lens, compatible with Hero10 and Hero9 ND filters.
Photo: GoPro

Lima says about the original GoPros you know (and probably love). But now, the company is experimenting with giving niche but growing groups of customers the niche GoPros they might want. “We are in a very unique position to attack the unique sectors of image capture that other companies frankly don’t have or won’t have the appetite or technology to be able to.”

Lima says FPV is one of those opportunities, saying it has become a very important perspective for cinematographers. He also says that customers of this product will not be shy about using a soldering station; Connecting motors and control circuits is how they initially build their drones.

And that’s where Bones offers a neat trick: It has a built-in regulating circuit so you don’t have to worry about how much voltage the LiPo delivers. Anything from 5 to 27 volts will run out so you can fly regardless of whether your drone has a relatively weak 2S battery or a 6S rechargeable lithium battery. “You can solder this to the threads of your drone’s battery and it will work just fine,” Lima says.

You can also control it from the drone controller. If you don’t want to use its physical buttons, the GoPro app, or the optional remote, there’s a third wire you can plug into your flight controller and turn it on likewise. Betaflight is open source software or GoPro Open GoPro APIs. “You can develop any software you want,” Lima says. GoPro doesn’t yet offer the ability to read raw raw images from the camera, so it may not be ready for the computer vision applications you might be considering right now.

It’s a bit difficult to see GoPro entering the drone market in any way After its notable failure to launch in 2018. When I ask, Lima laughs and says no, there are no plans to make another drone yet. But it does hint that there are more purpose-built GoPros on the way for other use cases that may seem appropriate today — where if you ask GoPro users today where they need a slightly different type of camera, they’ll have an answer ready. (I’m curious If the VR video is still on the table.)

DJI recently showed that it sees opportunity in FPV as well. After this sector of drones was mostly ignored for years, it was launched FPV Racing Goggles & Its Flight Camera in 2019 Beside Complete FPV Drone in 2021. For applications that don’t use FPV, drone manufacturers like DJI have long outdone GoPro. While the original Phantoms and their promising competitors love 3D Robots Solo Designed expressly to carry GoPros, they quickly replaced them with relatively small purpose-built cameras that were easy to handle with a motorized gimbal.

Hero10 Black Bones will be available exclusively in Starting today, with no retail available, it’s $350 for existing GoPro subscribers, $400 including a one-year subscription, or $500 without it. Yes, that seems to mean that the camera costs more if you no Want a free $50 subscription that includes camera replacement and cloud backups — we ask GoPro why.

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