The GoPro camera was originally designed by current CEO Nick Woodman as a compact means to capture photos and videos of him surfing. While the devices are often still used for this purpose, the company has come a long way in the 15 years since its initial inception, and GoPro cameras are now used by all manner of extreme athletes and adventurers, in addition to more casual users.
How do I protect my GoPro?
Linear mode, the setting that removes any lens warp in real time, is now available in 4K. (It only worked up to 2.7K previously.) You can also combine Linear mode with HyperSmooth for stable, unwarped video at the highest resolution -- a sort of "greedy boy" mode, but it likely will crush the battery life. There's also a new Narrow mode, which GoPro says is akin to the field of view you might be used to recording with on your phone.
Boost mode, on the other hand, needs to be used judiciously, I feel. I tested it while hiking, for example, and the lack of lateral movement almost makes your video feel like it's running in slo-mo. It's useful for situations where there's a lot of high-impact, sudden movement. Or, conversely, minimal movement (like blogging or talking to camera), but for certain activities, it might make the action feel muted. There's also that crop I mentioned earlier to consider -- if you need the wide field of view, which action sports generally do, you're losing some here. Either way, it's nice to have the option.
This digital ghost town extends to the mobile app, where, again, you’re given the illusion of having more options than you actually do. For example, put the camera into time-lapse mode and you will see what looks like the option to change the shooting interval. However, bringing up the interval menu reveals the default, 0.5-second option as the only option. It’s the exact same story in burst photo mode: You can open the burst rate menu, but 10 fps is the only setting you’ll find.
One small thing I noticed is that sometimes the camera doesn't sit perfectly horizontal when you connect it to a pole or mount. It's easy enough to fix -- manually set it level again and tighten the screw a little more -- but it tripped me up a few times in the beginning. In short, add a mental note to check that right after you check your lens for drops of water or dirt before shooting. There is a new "horizon lock" mode in the app that will fix lopsided video, but it's always better to get the shot right the first time.