GoPro’s new flagship action camera is designed to connect to a new range of hardware add-ons targeted at vloggers.
But experts suggest that other improvements are relatively minor, meaning the Hero 8 Black may be a tough sell.
GoPro remains the bestselling action cam brand in much of the world.
But the firm posted a loss in its last two quarters and is facing competition from China’s DJI, which entered the market with a rival product in May.
Last year’s GoPro launch – the Hero 7 Black – delivered a vast improvement to in-body stabilisation, leading its chief executive to claim it was a “gimbal killer “- a reference to the fact it did not require add-on equipment to produce smooth footage.
Reviewers recognised this to be a significant upgrade, and the company reported the model had achieved its strongest-ever first month sales to date.
But over the past 12 months as a whole, the firm’s cash reserves have still shrunk from $114.8m (£93.3m) to $91.2m, and its shares have dropped about 30%. One analyst warned it could face further problems if consumers do not consider the latest features to be a compelling enough leap forward.
“If retailers were unable to work through their existing inventory prior to GoPro’s new product launch, its new product launch may be cannibalised by a substantially discounted Hero 7 Black at holiday,” Alicia Reese from Wedbush Securities told the BBC.
“GoPro must continually launch products compelling enough for users to want to buy a GoPro in addition to a smartphone.
“[But in its favour], GoPro has greater mind-share when it comes to action cameras than other brands, and the company has a growing presence in the travel space.”
The Hero 8 Black’s standout feature is that users can now bolt on three optional accessories. They are:
- a shotgun microphone for improved audio
- a small light to help in dim conditions
- a flip-up screen, allowing self-shooters to frame themselves The camera body has also been redesigned to incorporate fold-out “finger” connectors – allowing it to be bolted to amount without having to first be put in a case.