GoPro makes some great hardware. The Hero9 is the best action cam going right now, and the Max is a solid 360 camera. Where they’ve often lagged behind is on the software side. Their apps routinely let down their hardware. Even now other companies offer more features in their apps.
Which is why this feature dump is so interesting. None of these new features are world changing, but that there’s so many is notable. As a group they expand not only how you use the camera, but how easy it is to use. GoPro even lists some of these as “experimental,” and I’m all for experimental features on existing cameras.
Here’s a look at what the new features are, and why they’re interesting.
Camera Motion Triggers: This lets you set the camera to only record when the camera is in motion, and then stop when it stops moving.
Motion Detection Enhancements: GoPro claims to have improved motion detection, which is now supported in all video modes. This apparently includes 360 detection with the Max, which is cool. This is for if you want to set your camera somewhere and have it record when you walk into a room, for example.
USB Power Triggers: This is an interesting one. It lets you set the GoPro to start recording when it detects USB power, then stop when the power stops. The example GoPro uses is as a dashcam. I’ve been thinking of rigging a 360 camera as a dash cam, which would let you record the road and yourself at the same time on the same camera.
New QR Code Controls: This is a feature I haven’t used but I think I’m going to try. It was released last year. It lets you create a QR code that, once shown to the camera, automatically adjusts settings and shooting modes. More features have been added this year.
Single-Setting/One-Button Mode: This is a simplified mode that locks out other features and settings. If you want to, say, give the camera to your kid for some activity but don’t want to risk them accidentally (or on purpose) messing with the settings, this locks them out.
New Exposure Modes: Some new modes for longer exposure times (good for low light photography) and shorter shutter speeds for video, which might reduce motion blur in low light scenes though at the expensive of image brightness.
Hopefully GoPro will continue to add new features to current and older cameras. That’s a trend I can get behind.
You can learn more about these new features, and download the firmware to activate them, on GoPro’s Labs page.