GoPro’s Hero6 cam­era re­ally can hold steady

Video comes out sta­ble in al­most all our tests

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TECH - Jef­fer­son Gra­ham Fly­ing over the Golden Gate Bridge in a sea­plane was cap­tured eas­ily and with­out shakes by a GoPro Hero6 cam­era.

and one not fully re­al­ized with the Hero6. It is a tiny GoPro cam­era with­out a gim­bal, af­ter all. Sure, there are still shakes, like in those mo­ments when I ran across the dock by the sea plane or even walked slowly on it. But for more nor­mal sit­u­a­tions — like pan­ning the wall of ice cream posters or sit­ting in a pool of sprin­kles at the ice cream mu­seum and hav­ing them thrown at the cam­era — the re­sults are ev­ery­thing you’d wish for. The cam­era comes at an im­por­tant time for GoPro. Since go­ing pub­lic in 2014, the com­pany has been hurt­ing, as in­vestors worry that the ac­tion-cam­era crowd bought their GoPros and saw no need to up­grade.

The stock is down from its 52week high of just over $17.68, clos­ing at $9.88 on Fri­day. It opened at $31.34 in its 2014 de­but.

But in a Talk­ingTech pod­cast in­ter­view with USA TO­DAY, GoPro founder Nick Wood­man said he be­lieves that there’s lots of up­side for the com­pany and that his au­di­ence of cam­era users will feel the need to up­grade to the Hero 6.

“Be­cause of the im­age sta­bi­liza­tion, your shots look much more pro­fes­sional and ac­com­plished than they did on our pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion of cam­eras,” he said.

And that will ap­peal to both con­sumers and pro­fes­sion­als, Wood­man said.

Be­yond the stead­ier images, GoPro added a new pro­ces­sor to the Hero6 that makes off-load­ing clips from a GoPro to the smart­phone three times faster, the com­pany says.

The goal at GoPro is to stop peo­ple from run­ning to their com­put­ers to im­port footage and in­stead to use the GoPro app. The new Quik Sto­ries app will make an au­to­matic movie for you on your phone.

GoPro has a long way to go there. The app is cute, but af­ter us­ing the tem­plates once or twice, the auto movies can get a lit­tle stale.

And at a time when smart­phones have got­ten bet­ter than ever with state-of-the-art cam­eras that can shoot in ul­tra-high 4K res­o­lu­tion, why buy a GoPro at all, Wood­man was asked at the event.

“You can’t surf with an iPhone, and you can’t ski with one,” he replied.

Be­yond the Hero6, GoPro is also in­tro­duc­ing a con­sumer 360de­gree vir­tual re­al­ity cam­era, the $699 Fu­sion, at a time when con­sumers have shown lit­tle in­ter­est in pre­vi­ously re­leased VR cam­eras.

The Fu­sion is an ex­pen­sive buy, but Wood­man said he thinks he has a shot thanks to his soft­ware, which of­fers con­sumers the best of both worlds — 360-de­gree and flat views.

With the “Over Cap­ture” plugin, com­ing later this year, con­sumers can shoot in vir­tual re­al­ity and use the soft­ware to pull out a flat ver­sion that can be shared to so­cial me­dia.

The Fu­sion will be avail­able in Novem­ber.

The Hero6 has a new pro­ces­sor the com­pany says makes off-load­ing clips to a smart­phone three times faster.

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