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The massive popularity of the GoPro camera here in Hawaii and, indeed, around the world, is astonishing. It’s made the creator, 39-year-old Nick Woodman a billionaire. The GoPro product line of personal, high-definition video cameras is advertised as “the world’s most versatile camera.” With the staggering amount of footage created with GoPro camera, one would be hard pressed to dispute that claim. The digital technology also allows for brilliant stills.
The cameras are being mounted on surfboards, helmets, mountain bikes, and all manner of action sport gear for a point-of-view perspective. A friend recently released GoPro footage of him playing the saxophone in a tuxedo while surfing in Waikiki (I’m pretty sure that’s a worldwide first). The can be mounted to unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to capture unique perspectives of Hawaii’s unparalleled scenic splendor. Some of the most amazing footage ever taken of the waves at the North Shore’s Banzai Pipeline was recently captured using a GoPro camera mounted to a drone.
The cameras have also found their way into Hawaii’s visitor industry, and in more way than one. First, many tour and instruction companies offer GoPro footage of visitors’ adventures as part of the service. Kayaking tours, sky-diving, surfing, scuba: it seems virtually all of Hawaii’s favorite activities can now be preserved on high definition video safely and inexpensively from the point-of-view perspective.
Clearly, the success of the GoPro is due to the fact that you don’t need to be a professional videographer to capture high resolution video from the center of the action. And a variety of mounts are being used to explore even more unique perspectives of Hawaii’s beauty.
During this past big wave season on the North Shore, dozens of professional surfers competed for a $25,000 “GoPro of the Winter” prize using a wide variety of mounts: the “mouth cam,” the “handle cam,” the board mount, tail mount, and the “backpack.” Used to being on the other side of the lens, many of those professional surfers were able to capture stunning footage thanks to the lightweight, easy to operate technology of the GoPro.
And now we see more visitors with the cameras, preserving forever a first ride in a helicopter, a snorkeling trip, a first wave. Everything, really. And those images and footage are available instantly. That means the footage can be uploaded to social media almost immediately. The high-end model comes equipped with Wi-Fi, so you can send your friends and family on the mainland or abroad unique, high definition POV video of your adventures, while you’re having them.