Last week, GoPro unveiled some advanced tools for the more ambitious content creator. Today, for the folk that just want to snorkel in the Bahamas, or jump off a cliff there's a new member of the GoPro camera family to consider: the Hero+ LCD. If you're familiar with the company's naming conventions, you've probably figured out that this is a revision of the bare bones Hero that was introduced last fall (and that yes, it has an LCD). The new camera has a few significant revisions over the original Hero though, including a decent bump in the price.
The key feature is, of course, the built-in touchscreen LCD. This was something exclusive the the Hero 4 Silver until now. The LCD was one of our favourite features on the Hero 4, as it makes menu navigation, shot setup and viewing back videos so much easier than your previous best option -- using the GoPro app. Unlike the Silver, the Hero+ LCD can't be removed from its waterproof case, and this means accessing the display will always require opening the rear door (it's unclear if the doors can be swapped to one with a cutout for the screen like the Hero 4 has).
The LCD is joined by a some decent improvements to the actual camera, too. The first Hero could record video up to 1080p at 30 frames per second (or 60fps at 720p). The Hero+ LCD can record 1080p at 60fps, and take 8-megapixel stills (compared to 5MP on the original Hero). Other upgrades include built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, something sorely lacking last time, and there's HiLight tagging too, another feature inherited from the higher-end members of the GoPro family.
There's even a new feature that's not been seen on any GoPro before, and that's in-camera video trimming. Now, you can snip duff footage at the beginning or end (usually a close up of your mug after you pressed record), and have a clip that's (more) ready to share via the app. Don't expect this feature to remain exclusive to the Hero+ LCD for long though.
New features come at a new price, and that's $300. That's over twice what you'll pay for the standard Hero ($130). For perspective, GoPro will still sell you a Hero 3+ Silver for $300 which gives you more shooting modes (960p etc. plus 10-megapixel stills), more time lapse and burst modes and an HDMI port. It's also not bonded to its housing, so you can fit it in more accessories. The Hero+ LCD is trading that off for the convenience of the display, and a few software tricks. At this price, the Hero+ LCD goes up against tough competition from the likes of Sony's nearest equivalent with a similar feature set, but the display is a wearable accessory, or the excellent Drift Ghost S (also with 1080p/60fps and a built-in LCD). The Hero+ LCD will be available in the US this weekend (7th), internationally by the 12th.