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GoPro's Hero5 Camcorders All Set for Commercial Launch

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GoPro, Inc.’s (GPRO - Free Report) first significant update to its flagship line of action cameras in two years − the new Hero5 camera, and the smaller, cube-shaped Hero5 Session − are all set to go commercial today. The Hero 5 Black is priced at $399, while the smaller Hero 5 Session will cost $299.

The company showcased both the Hero5 and Hero5 Session cameras at an event in Squaw Valley, CA on Sep 19 amid much enthusiasm. Both the cameras are powered with a host of new, impressive features.

Both cameras come with an integrated waterproof casing that’s resistant in depths of up to 10 meters, and are also capable of 4K video capture at 30fps. Also, they are equipped with integrated voice control and microphones, which will add active noise cancellation.

The Hero5 will also feature a 12MP sensor while Hero Session will come with a 10MP. Further, the Hero5 is powered with a bigger battery which charges through USB-C, and image stabilization pre-edit, which can ensure smooth footage at break-neck speeds. The Hero5 cameras can auto-upload photos and videos to GoPro’s cloud-based subscription service, making it easy to access, edit and share GoPro content.

GoPro has been striving to expand its user base, and one feature that has proved challenging for the everyday user is the complexity of its former cameras. The Hero5, which comes with a 2-inch touchscreen on the back, and simple settings, goes a long way toward solving these concerns.

Software has been another problem for GoPro. In order to tackle that, GoPro unveiled an app named Quik, which will enable users to instantly edit GoPro footage on their phones and create short videos for networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.

GOPRO INC-A Price and Consensus

GoPro also launched its first drone – Karma – at the event. Karma is a compact, sleek quadcopter, with props that fold into the device. It has one button for takeoff, landing, and returning to home, and comes with four pre-programmed shots: dronie, cable cam, reveal, and orbit.

GoPro is also offering a "passenger app" that allows another person to see the live video feed from the drone and even control the camera position. A distinctive feature of the camera is that it easily detaches from the drone and attaches to a handheld gimbal. The drone can be hooked up to Hero4, Hero5, and the Session cameras.

GoPro’s drone – which comes with a backpack and controller – can be packaged with the Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session for $1,099 and $999, respectively.

With Karma, GoPro is veering outside its core video-capturing devices, and its success or failure is likely to shape the company’s immediate future. We believe, as the first drone from an established brand with a huge, loyal fan base, Karma will draw huge attraction from consumers.

GoPro’s last action camera upgrade – the Hero4 – was outrageously successful, and drove a spike in sales and record profits. However, the craze eventually died away and the company’s attempt at a new design – the Hero4 Session – faltered. GoPro has had a tough time of late, with ill-timed product missteps & delays, strategic pricing errors, and intense competition from Sony Corporation (SNE - Free Report) and China's Xiaomi.

However, the action camera maker has done a great job of clearing out channel inventory and streamlining its product portfolio. It has also taken huge strides in developing content distribution and software recently.

Some analysts are quite optimistic about the new Hero5 series, the focus on cloud connectivity and software, GoPro’s reduced channel inventory and the quadcopter Karma.

It will be quite interesting to track GoPro’s stock price movement, as consumers absorb and decide whether Hero5 cameras and Karma are good enough to transform this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock’s fortunes.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader consumer discretionary sector include Electronic Arts Inc. (EA - Free Report) and Hasbro Inc. (HAS - Free Report) , both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Electronic Arts is an entertainment company with an impeccable earnings history, with average surprise of 32.2% over the trailing four quarters, beating estimates all through.

Hasbrois a worldwide leader in leisure time and entertainment products and services. The company has a striking earnings surprise history over the trailing four quarters, having beaten estimates in each of them, with an average of 18.8%.

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