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GoPro imitators abound at CES

7
The GoPro booth at CES showed off the action camera and displayed videos users have taken using GoPro.

The first GoPro clone I saw at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas stopped me in my tracks. The Ace Electronics Enterprise camera made me fantasize about a cheaper version of the ultra-rugged HD camera. Then I found four more HD video cameras with near identical specs and tough capabilities. Sure, some stood out more than others, but the digital imaging booths at the show were downright inundated with GoPro-y cameras. 

GoPro’s viral marketing of its HD video camera has made the brand synonymous with high quality, DIY, extreme videography. One of the only drawbacks for many would-be customers is the device's high price tag ($199.99-$399.99) for standard HD video recording at 1080p—the same as the iPhone 5. GoPro's wide angle videos are great for recording sports as the fisheye-like view makes skateboarders look like they are jumping higher and surfers look like they're riding even bigger waves.

Companies from around the world were offering GoPro alternatives at CES complete with helmet mounts and waterproof cases. Some like the MagiCam, Iron X Action Cam and HP’s Action Camcorder were GoPro-like in appearance. Others had a more unique look—the Fujita Xtreme HD Pro was bullet-shaped while the QBiC looks more like a cube. Many of these products are not widely available yet in the U.S. and Europe, so it is unclear if any will emerge as a GoPro challenger.

The Iron X camera has a 170-degree fisheye lens, waterproof case and records 1080p video.
The HP Action Camcorder only records 720p, compared to GoPro's 1080p HD cameras.
QBiC offers a 135-degree wide angle lens, 1080p video recording and is waterproof to 7 meters.
The Fujita Xtreme HD Pro has a 170-degree fisheye lens, records at 1080p and is waterproof to 10 meters.

Comments

Total comments: 7
hindesite

GoPro cameras use an Ambarella imaging chipset; it is possible that GoPro and Ambarella have worked together to get the results that they are currently getting, but the same or similar chipsets are available to other manufacturers, and have been for some time.

The camera basics are all pretty much determined by the chipset, and the manufacturers can differentiate themselves putting together a package that includes a case, viewfinder display, battery, media storage, controls and a decent lens.

Some of the cameras coming direct from China now are reasonably good, considering they are a fraction of the price of the GoPro, use almost the same chipset and you don't even have to pay extra just for a normal tripod mount.

These so called "imitators" are hardly new, and are a key part of Ambarella's market.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

Oh, we're talking about cameras now, on DPR CONNECT?
This is new...

0 upvotes
AdventureRob

GoPro's biggest advantage was being first to market, and hence everyone wanting this sort of camera using them by now.

There is a few competitors here in Japan too. Notably JVC have one with a mini screen on the side so you can playback instantly too which looked very good.

I think GoPro's market share (of 100%!?) will start to decline if they don't start innovating and building upon their great start. I'm sure Panasonic, Sony & Canon will want a piece of the pie soon too all having a good rep with video.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
tharealmb

they weren't the first to the market. they were first to have good video quality in the action camera market. And the first to really market the action cam.

0 upvotes
Rbrt

GoPro has a long way to go. It's cameras still lack basic functionality like the ability to show a time/datestamp on the screen during video replay. Right now, GoPro's major advantage over the swarm of video cameras out there is its mounting hardware

0 upvotes
asdf photographer

"recording sports as the fisheye-like view makes... surfers look like they're riding even bigger waves."

Sure about that? You might want to check this gopro video of the largest wave ever ridden:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAluocUocdw

0 upvotes
ConanFuji

Inappropriate headline.

2 upvotes
Total comments: 7
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