NEW YORK – New action cameras from GoPro and Polaroid target different segments of the market, with GoPro seeking a little action from active sports users while Polaroid aims its sights on families.
GoPro will expand its action-camera lineup to five models with the July 12 availability of a $399-suggested GoPro Hero4 Session, the company’s smallest and lightest camera to date. For its part, Polaroid licensee C&A Marketing of Ridgefield Park, N.J., plans August availability of its next-generation cube-shaped action camera, the $149 Polaroid Cube+.
GoPro’s Hero4 Session is 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than the company’s best-selling $499 Hero4 Black and $399 Hero4 Silver cameras, but it offers many of the same features, including SuperView, Protune, automatic low-light recording, one-button operation and underwater use. It’s rated for use in up to 33 feet of water, while the other two are rated for use in up to 131 feet of water. Super- View records a tall 4:3 view to let users capture more of themselves and their surroundings, then stretches the content to 16:9 for widescreen playback. Protune captures minimally compressed video for professional productions. Auto low light mode automatically adjusts frame rates according to lighting conditions for enhanced low-light performance.
With one-button operation, consumers press the shutter button quickly to power the camera on and start video recording. A long press powers the camera on and triggers time-lapse photo capture. Pressing the shutter button again saves content and power the camera off.
Hero4 Session is compatible with existing GoPro mounts.
The company’s two other action cameras, which are not part of the Hero4 series, are the entry-level $129 Hero and the $299 Hero + LCD, which was launched in June.
Unlike the larger Hero4 Silver and Black, the Session lacks Ultra HD 4K video recording, though it offers 1080p and 720p recording. It captures 8-megapixel photos instead of 12-megapixel photos. It also lacks time-lapse video, simultaneous photo/video capture, and MicroHDMI port. It comes with a 1,030 mAh battery instead of a 1,160 mAh battery.
Like the two other Hero4 models, however, it features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to enable control from a GoPro App and to share content. It also accepts 64GB MicroSD cards like the other two Hero models.
Hero4 Session captures 1080p60, 720p100 and 1440p30 video, and its camera takes photos in single, burst and time-lapse modes.
An expanded set of controls and settings can be accessed when using the GoPro App or Smart Remote.
For its part, C&A Marketing plans August availability of its next-generation cube-shaped action camera, the $149 Polaroid Cube+. The new model retains the original Polaroid Cube’s cube-shaped form factor and choice of colors. It was launched last year at $99 to target everyday consumers and families rather than extreme sports enthusiasts.
Both models offer 1080p video capture, 124-degree field of view, 90-minute video-record time, and choice of colors. The new model, however, adds Wi-Fi, image stabilization, enhanced low-light performance, 1080p capture up to 60 fps instead of 30 fps, and increased memory capacity with the ability to record onto 64GB MicroSD cards, up from the Cube’s 32GB. The Polaroid Cube+ also captures 8-megapixel still images, up from the Cube’s 6 megapixels.
Wi-Fi enables users via the Polaroid Cube+ app to sync camera content with an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, use the app as a remote viewfinder to frame shots, control settings, begin/ end recording, capture stills, and edit, save, print and share videos and photos while on-the-go.
Though water-resistant, the Cubes require an optional clear case for underwater use. Different mounts are also optional.