GoPro is dipping its toes back into the drone market by sticking to what the company knows best … the camera. The GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones is part of GoPro’s new initiative to create custom-made camera platforms for niche markets and meets the needs of drone operators looking for a tough, yet light first-person camera to fly their drones with.
FPV, or first-person view, drone cameras utilize the wireless video signal coming from the drone’s high-definition camera to provide the drone operator with the same view as if onboard flying the drone directly. The FPV segment of drone piloting is very popular with drone racers, and pilots looking to improve performance while keeping the drone under control and safe at higher speeds and in difficult locations like a forest or a flight path filled with obstacles to fly around.
Most of these drones are custom-built, and as such, need a custom solution to maintain an FPV camera signal. Most have repurposed aging Hero 6 and above, stripping them down to their lightest components and literally soldering them into the drone system itself to provide power.
This is where GoPro has seen a potential market and has designed the Hero 10 Black Bones to provide just such a solution. To say that the Hero 10 Black Bones FPV camera is minimalistic would be an understatement. It’s essentially the camera, lens, and little else.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones isn’t a plug-and-play solution, however. You’re not going to buy this thing, put it on the mount and hit record. There isn’t even a battery. Instead, GoPro has opted to provide three wires for power, and ground with which to wire the camera into the drone itself.
That way, the drone powers the camera as it flies, thereby keeping the camera extremely lightweight. In fact, it’s the lightest GoPro ever at just 54 grams. This makes the camera a perfect pairing with smaller lightweight drones in the 3” class or larger.
The Hero 10 Black Bones captures the same 5.3K cinematic video in 4:3 at 40 frames per second, or 4K at 60 fps, and 2.7K at a super slow 120 frames per second. Black Bones users also have the benefits of GoPro’s HyperSmooth image stabilization, which can be made even more stabilized through the use of GoPro’s ReelSteady desktop app through the GoPro Player software.
Other features include:
- Powered by GP2 image sensor shooting in 5.3K60 to 4K120 video
- Lightest GoPro ever: weighs only 54 grams – perfect for 3” class and larger drones
- Well-ventilated, semi-durable enclosure: promotes continuous airflow cooling for long captures or flights
- Bring your own battery: compatible with existing drone batteries within spec (2S-6S, 5-27V)
- Multiple ways to control: use two physical buttons on the camera, the Quik App, GoPro Labs QR Codes, GoPro’s The Remote, or a drone’s transmitter
- Easy to set up: easy to mount on drones with a single screw boss, plus comes with an optional in-box adapter for the GoPro mounting ecosystem; Utilizes standard FPV industry connector for quick setup
- Replaceable Lens Cover: in the event of a crash, the lens cover is replaceable; also compatible with third-party HERO9 Black and HERO10 Black ND filters for reducing the camera shutter speed to cinematic levels
- GoPro’s HyperSmooth Image Stabilization, plus ReelSteady Stabilization license for ReelSteady stabilization and other premium features in the GoPro Player + and the ReelSteady desktop app included with purchase
GoPro’s Reel Steady Desktop app takes much of the image stabilization capability of HyperSmooth and puts it in an app for post-production processing of your action footage. The app enables content creators to remove wide-angle lens curvature as well as create smooth full quality stabilization in most shooting modes, including HyperSmooth.
Moreover, there’s a batch export feature that enables users to queue up multiple video clips and export them while applying different settings to each file. Users can even transform 360 footage from the Hero Max into cinematic videos.
The GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones is just the beginning of a new line of custom-built, niche-oriented camera solutions, that GoPro believes will continue to dominate the action camera market by providing a custom solution for a unique need. And with its award-winning Hero 10 design and HyperSmooth image stabilization, they just may be onto something.
Available starting today for $399, with a one-year GoPro subscription included, which, to be honest, seems a bit pricey considering it’s a stripped-down model that doesn’t even have an LCD touchscreen or come with a battery. But if you have a custom camera need, it may be a solution worth considering.
An additional license for ReelSteady is available separately for $99.99.
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