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Hero6 was the hero GoPro needed as company posts first profit in two years

Daven Mathies/Digital Trends
For the first time in two years, GoPro is making a profit. In the third quarter financial results released on Wednesday, November 1, the company posted a $15 million net income, up from a loss of $104 million the same time last year, while also bringing operating costs to the lowest level in three years.

GoPro announced a restructuring plan nearly a year ago after struggling with falling sales, but the latest financial results offer a bright spot for fans of the action camera giant as well as for investors. Analysts suggested at the time that GoPro’s niche market was too narrow for the changing camera industry, but the company has since stepped up its game. The firm is now on an annual update schedule for its action cameras, helping GoPro maintain an edge by integrating some of the latest features. The Hero6, for example, records 60 fps 4K with electronic image stabilization and voice controls.

The company is also expanding beyond action cameras — according to those financial results, the GoPro Karma was the second best-selling consumer drone in the U.S. after a rocky start with a battery-related recall. Fusion, the company’s first dedicated 360 camera, is expected to start shipping later this month. Quik, the company’s app that automatically picks the best moments and creates a highlight video of the footage, has now been downloaded 18 million times.

“GoPro has turned a corner, restoring growth and profitability to our business,” said founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. “We are dedicated to growing as an innovative company, while being a vigilant steward of shareholder capital. During the quarter we generated $47 million in cash and gross margins were 40 percent.  Year-over-year, we grew revenue by 37 percent and dramatically reduced operating costs without impacting our product roadmap.  We launched our premium-priced Hero6 Black with global on-shelf availability and strong critical acclaim. We are now focused on driving consumer demand to reach our goal of full-year double-digit revenue growth and non-GAAP profitability.”

The company also increased the average sale price by 22 percent, thanks in part to a high-end price that matches the premium features of the Hero6. Before that launch, the Hero5 Black was the top-selling digital camera in the U.S. for four quarters in a row. The company also says that global sales are increasing, with more than half of the revenue from this quarter coming from outside the U.S., including key growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

While increased sales boosted the company’s profits, the restructuring plan also lowered expenses, which are down six percent from the previous quarter and 30 percent from before the restructure.

While the third quarter numbers are higher than first estimated, the company is also estimating a fourth-quarter earnings slightly lower than what Wall Street predicted, which caused stock prices to drop by seven percent. The prediction also means GoPro may or may not post a profit for the full year.

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GoPro boosts Hero 10 performance with new firmware and Enduro battery
GoPro Hero 10 Front Screen.

One of my few complaints when reviewing the GoPro Hero 10 Black was its somewhat fleeting battery life, and though I haven’t personally encountered the issue, many users have reported problems limiting recording times due to overheating. GoPro seems to have heard that message loud and clear, as they have announced a major firmware update for the camera that aims to solve the problems as well as a brand new Enduro battery.

The firmware (which will be available by the end of October) introduces three new video performance modes designed to maximize the Hero 10’s performance in different scenarios. Maximum video performance mode prioritizes high resolution, frame rate, and image quality. Extended battery mode limits resolution and frame rate to maximize recording times and battery life, while tripod/stationary video mode provides high performance when the camera is stationary, and there isn’t any airflow to cool the camera.

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GoPro is set to reveal the latest iteration of its popular action camera on Thursday, September 16.

The California-based company has just dropped a slick teaser video (below) for the Hero10 Black. The 57-second production, titled A New Era of GoPro, shows a slew of beautifully cinematic and highly dramatic action shots (you wouldn’t really expect anything less) as GoPro attempts to create a buzz around its latest product release.

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GoPro Hero 10 Black.

Images of the GoPro Hero 10 Black leaked yesterday, giving us our first look at images of the device along with specs. WinFuture, a German publication that previously leaked information about the redesigned Hero 9 Black in August last year was also the source of the latest leak.  A report on the website suggests the Hero 10 Black looks similar to its predecessor (Hero 9 Black) in terms of size, design, and external accessibility features. The only design difference so far can be seen in blue accents that spell out "10 Black." 
The major hardware changes we're seeing are improvements to processing power with the new GP2 processor and an improved image sensor that beefs up from 20-megapixels to 23-megapixels The Hero 10 Black is also expected to support 5.3K video recording at a smooth 60 frames per second (fps), 4K videos at 120 fps, and 2.7K videos at 240 fps. The last one can help you create high-resolution slow-motion clips. This is a considerable improvement over previous models that only supported 5K recording at 30 fps and 4K recording at 60 fps. 

Marketing materials seen by WinFuture hint that Hero 10 Black’s in-camera software stabilization will see an improvement to offer "gimbal-like stabilization", after being upgraded to HyperSmooth 4.0 and TimeWarp 3.0 for time-lapse videos. Users can also enjoy an auto-upload function to transfer files online at a much quicker speed. The Hero 10 Black also supports 1080p live streaming, the same as previous models. Finally, the Hero 10 Black is said to offer 10 meters deep housing, touchscreen controls, and voice accessibility. Users can also access the webcam mode along with SuperPhoto and HDR options. These features combined with the improved recording capability have the potential to be a gamechanger for streamers and on-the-scene photographers. 
The company hasn’t made a formal announcement so we don’t know how much the Hero 10 Black would cost. The previous edition, Hero 9 Black was released at $450 and is currently priced at $400 (excluding the subscription), so we can expect a number around this range, perhaps a bit higher. Given the scale of the recent leaks, the launch of the Hero 10 Black is likely to be imminent. 

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