What’s the haps, Reddit? Nick Woodman, here. Last year, I had so much fun catching up with you all and I hinted at some awesome things we had in the works, like HERO5, VR, flying machines and editing tools that don't suck. Today, I’m stoked to talk about all of the above with you since we've finally launched a ton of it.

But first, a huge thank you to all our fans around the world. We recently announced HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session, and "don't call it a drone" Karma with its detachable stabilizer and included handgrip. And more! Much more. Check out our launch video here and then let’s dig in.

Thanks again for having me!!

Hi5 – Nick

Proof: https://twitter.com/GoPro/status/783783796588048385 More Proof: http://imgur.com/a/aXz2f


Thanks for having me, Reddit! As always, we appreciate the love, laughs and lashings as they all help to make GoPro stronger. We do this because we love it and we want everything to be as perfect as you do. Know this...we're on it.

Hugs and love from all of GoPro!!!! - Nick

Comments: 322 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

Adventurer173205 karma

Why do you think it’s ok that you sold GPRO stock before all of your employees? You weren’t allowed to sell shares before December 2014, but you paid JP Morgan a hefty fee to give you a special exemption which they did, and you sold shares in October tanking the stock before anyone else could sell it. Stock was down 25% from the $85 price you sold before anyone else could touch it, and is now worth less than 1/5th it was when you sold. And don’t say it’s because it was a charitable gift, the “Jill + Nicholas Woodman Foundation” you created for this purpose gave away 0 dollars in those 2 months you FRONT RAN employees with no plans in place for giving and being a legitimate charity. You gave yourself a Trump level tax exemption where you’ll never have to pay taxes again, profiting hundreds of millions of dollars from this “charitable donation”. Please explain yourself.

NickWoodman180 karma

Here we go ;-)

1) We didn't pay JP Morgan a fee of any kind for an exemption to transfer shares for the formation of the Jill+Nicholas Woodman Foundation and the Foundation didn't sell shares until later in 2015. The Foundation has gone on to fund causes supporting women and children and will continue to do so!!!!

2) I personally haven't sold a single share since November 2014.

3) Since 2015, I've consistently purchased GoPro stock by paying my taxes on vested shares in cash and holding vs. selling. I'm a believer.

4) 1500+ GoPro employees and I are passionately working our tails off to continue making GoPro great...as you can see from all of the awesomeness we just released.

Next? ;-)

2eZ4J29 karma

What do you think about the Dji Mavic?

NickWoodman56 karma

I think it's a sweet drone. DJI did a really nice job and should be stoked with what they've accomplished. Personally, I'm partial to Karma because I want more than just aerial footage...I want amazingly smooth, sick footage of everything I do...not just buttery shots from the sky. Karma lets me capture "drone-smooth" footy from my chest while I'm skiing, in my hand while I'm chasing my crazy kids around the skate park, and yes...in the air when that's the shot I want. Being "more than a drone" is what Karma is all about...but in the area of drones specifically, DJI did a great job.

deployant17 karma

Hi Nick,

Long time user here (ever since the original HD Hero). My question is why don't you focus more on photography? It seems like every iteration of the camera in recent years has seen all sorts of gains in terms of video performance/resolution but the still photo quality has stayed the same. I currently have a Hero3 Black and a Hero4 Black and the still photo quality is near identical. I will most likely hold off on buying the Hero5 Black because I imagine the photo quality will be nearly the same.

I feel like in this age 16mp should be the benchmark for still photos.

Sorry for the rant! - love the products, but a little annoyed by some of the updates

NickWoodman18 karma

We are SUPER passionate about photo but it can be hard for photo-related features and performance to compete with video features. We'll work on that. But check this out:

Linear Photo Mode (fish eye free) Tappable Exposure Control WDR Photos RAW Photos Night Photo (available in HERO4 but still awesome!)

For a more in-depth look at HERO5's photo performance check out Abe's blog at http://www.abekislevitz.com/gopro-HERO5-Black

OnTheRicky15 karma

Hi Nick! Will you bring out software/hardware improvements to Karma, like being able to track the user while moving or obstacle avoidance/detection?

NickWoodman18 karma

We will introduce updates to Karma to enhance its performance and what you can do with it. Karma already has a lot of hardware features built into it that we're not exploiting yet, so expect more radness to come. We know everyone is excited to learn more and we promise to share more as soon as we can. Thanks for the stoke.

nesben14 karma

How do you decide when to stop adding new features and release a new camera?

NickWoodman18 karma

Really good question. Our approach is to envision a "total solution" rather than think about each new GoPro as a "product". Products are standalone things. We want to build solutions that help solve problems for people. So, when deciding which features to included in a new GoPro, Karma, or any new software we think about the total solution and experience we're creating for our customers and not as much about the individual product itself. Hope this makes sense.

nesben12 karma

Do you plan to continue the GoPro Awards? I was lucky enough to win one and it made my year ( I also made a video about winning it ).

Related, how does one become a filmmaker for GoPro?

NickWoodman13 karma

GoPro Awards is at the heart of why we started GoPro: to celebrate awesome experiences shared by awesome humans. We're all about helping people capture and share their passions because we know this motivates others to go out and live a bigger, more fulfilling life. GoPro Awards is our way of supporting and promoting all of you who contribute to this positive movement that is GoPro. So yes, we're going to keep it going! And congrats on your win! Please share a link to you winning shot!

edraven8811 karma

I’m very excited about the Karma. Being able to take the same camera from being mounted on an object, to being handheld and stabilized, to flying in a drone is very compelling.

There’s one thing keeping me from a day one sale though, the current No-Fly-Zone scheme. It’s been said on your community forums that it’s likely going to be a blanket ban on flying within a 5 mile radius of airports, with no exceptions. Ironically a thread on the forums shows that would ban flight at your own HQ, not to mention half of the Bay Area: http://i.imgur.com/03WVDWP.png

Since it’s perfectly legal to fly within 5 miles of an airport if you’ve notified the tower, or if you have a 107 license, will you pledge that GoPro will provide a way to unlock flight in those cases? If you can promise this is something GoPro will have for launch, or shortly after launch, I’ll buy on day one! Thanks!

NickWoodman12 karma

There's been some misunderstandings about this, so let's clear it up. Here's our approach to keeping it safe for our airports:

If you're attempting to fly within the range of 1.5 to 5 miles of an airport, Karma's controller will ask you to confirm that you have taken the necessary steps to be allowed to fly in that area (notified the tower, followed the correct part 107 procedures, etc). If you confirm YES, you'll be allowed to fly right then and there. Currently, flying within 1.5 miles of an airport won't be allowed for safety reasons. All of this is something we're continuing to refine and improve for our customers as we understand everyone's desire is to "do good" and capture awesome footage. Remember to always check your local rules and regs and fly safe!

vultureshadows11 karma

How do you feel the Karma holds up against recent drone industry competitors such as the DJI Mavic and the Yuneec Breeze — especially considering the difference in price point?

NickWoodman15 karma

I may be biased ;-) but I think Karma shreds...especially for $799! It's amazing that you get the drone, the removable stabilizer, the handheld grip, the touch display controller all together in the backpack for that price. A couple of years ago, all of this would have been $10K! We are living in the future.

MuggleWizard7 karma

Hi Mr. Woodman! What is the best GoPro footage you have shot yourself?

NickWoodman10 karma

My family footage is always my favorite but if we're talking about just me, personally...well, getting barreled brah! Like most surfers, it's tough to top the tube shot as a favorite! I'll post a link! Hehehee...

synthsrule17 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA, Nick! Huge fan of your company and the emphasis you put on your customers. I use your cameras to shoot my university's marching band. My question: what instrument would YOU be interested in seeing / do you play a musical instrument?

NickWoodman8 karma

I play a mean conga...or at least I try to. You've inspired me to make a video to share. I'm on it! Conga is sorely underrepresented in GoPro world! No longer!

greensbu7 karma

Hey Nick, asked this last AMA but figured I would give it another shot. Planning to document a road trip down the West coast and documenting things on a HERO 5 and KARMA, If I roll through SF, can I get a high five as I pass through?


NickWoodman4 karma


CasualCocaine6 karma

Yo Nick, I just want to say I love your cameras they are idiot proof. I have taken thousands of photos during backpacking trips thanks to you. Cheers brother.

NickWoodman6 karma

Hugely appreciated, dude. Hugs back to you.

stoicka6 karma

Mr Woodman, big fan of the cameras! Thanks for doing this. How do you see the Karma line evolving from here?

NickWoodman9 karma

Thanks Stoicka! Call me Nick! Mr. Woodman makes me feel old. I'm only 41 (and still 18 in my mind)! Karma is off to an exciting start and as you can imagine there's a lot of opportunity to evolve, enhance, and extend it as a platform for capturing insanely smooth footage be it in the air, in your hand, or mounted. Some of these enhancements will come as firmware updates to the current Karma and some will come down the road in new versions. I can't share more, but know this...Karma has only just begun!

stoicka6 karma

Also, why can /u/abekislevitz never start in time with product reels (I saw he practically didn't sleep last month ;)? And did you ever fear a product reel wouldn't be 'finished' in time?

NickWoodman2 karma

Abe and the rest of our media team are wizards. In the early days I had fear...we all did! Now? None...this team is the best in the world, as you can see. They are amazing and I and the rest of GoPro are grateful.

jalop6 karma

As someone who uses the camera for night photos, will the lens replacements mechanism turn into different modular ways to attach things like ND filters or perhaps a zoom without placing it over the lens like previous models, so its fixed on the camera?

What is your personal favorite setting on the camera, and what activity do you use it for most frequently?

super stoked on the placement of the gimbal on the karma. finally no more blades or chop. No question here….just…good job

Love seeing the advancement of GoPro, your team is full of amazing people.

NickWoodman7 karma

Being able to swap out different lens filters on HERO5 Black (in addition to replacing the clear filter if you break yours) is a big plus and will over time allow for more creative uses of your GoPro. I'm stoked you like this feature and even more stoked for the props you give to our team. GoPro really is full of amazing people who work their TAILS OFF to make the radness happen. Comments like yours really fire everyone up, thanks Jalop!

Mackin-N-Cheese5 karma

How many of the "I found this GoPro at the bottom of a river" stories are actually viral marketing?

NickWoodman8 karma

They are all legit. You think we could script that many??!?!

sbonev4 karma

Hello Nick, why didn't gopro change the sensor in hero 5,and why you blocked the use of 3rd party batteries? And why should I pay for gopro plus when I have Google photos which is totally free and unlimited and exists for quite some time and works perfect, something I wouldn't say for any of the gopro software so far?

NickWoodman4 karma

Solid questions:

1) HERO4 was such a good camera we decided to keep the same sensor and tune it for maximum image quality while focusing the brunt of our engineering efforts on making HERO5 cloud-connected and easier to use. Voice control, in-camera video stabilization!!!, waterproof without a housing to 33' (10m) (and yes, there's a separate dive housing called SuperSuit available), and more. HERO5 takes everything HERO4 was and makes it just SO MUCH better. You only have to plug it in and have it auto-upload your footage to GoPro Plus once to know what I'm talking about!

2) HERO4-era 3rd party batteries caused a lot of problems for our customers and frankly often sucked. Poor quality, low capacity and inconsistent voltage levels that often resulted in buggy camera experiences for our customers. In addition to wasting our customers' time and money, 3rd party batteries also caused us a ton of wasted energy on customer service. We decided enough was enough and made our batteries proprietary. It's not about the money (that's why we only charge $19.99 a battery!)...it's about ending the madness that resulted from 3rd party quality.

3) Having your HERO5 auto-offload to GoPro Plus (or your HERO4 via our desktop app)...is magic. It's GoPro as you've always wanted it. You're footage available on your phone anytime, anywhere. And a BIG difference between GoPro Plus and something like Google Photos are the video editing tools. Quik for mobile and desktop make editing fast and fun and the results are amazing thanks to the epic music library and how edit auto-sync to the beat. Now even I can make rad edits like Abe. Ha! And that's just where we are at today. Now that we have version 1.0 of this experience out, expect things to keep getting better and better. This is the future of GoPro.

And I'm happy to say that GoPro is now AWESOME at software!!!!!!!

bpenfieldj4 karma

Hello Nick.

Big fan of your cameras. Have you ever considered making any that are not fish eye? Basically just very small durable video cameras.

Would love to get my hands on that new karma gimbal, but i am poor. Maybe one day!

NickWoodman14 karma

Good news! HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session both shoot in a fish-eye free setting called "Linear". No distortion, straight horizons, exactly what some of you are looking for.

For those of you with HERO4 cameras, you can also achieve a fish-eye free look by shooting in MEDIUM or NARROW field of view instead of wide. Pretty much all distortion is eliminated in those field of view modes.

Full GoPro WIDE with some fish eye effect is awesome for immersive shots, but agreed there's a time and place for distortion free footage as well...and now you can choose and capture as you like!

gopro_user4 karma

Hey Nick. Just wondering if GoPro staff still scours the internet to discover cool GoPro videos? Other than tagging the #gopro, what else would make videos more noticeable to you guys? Having a share from GoPro could really boost a YouTube channel

NickWoodman7 karma

We do! One of the most satisfying parts of working at GoPro is seeing the great footage you all share. But it can be overwhelming to find the best stuff since there's so much of it. That's part of why we created GoPro Awards...to make it easy for you to share your sweetest moments with us through a program that helps us actually see it and PAY YOU FOR IT when we use it in our ads or on the GoPro Channel, etc. We think of GoPro Awards as a way to sponsor you when you capture and share killer footage. Together we rise!

egzaaa3 karma

Is the new GoPro Plus a way to increase recurring revenue instead of relying solely on product release cycles every two years?

NickWoodman7 karma

GoPro Plus is how we make it easy for you to auto-offload footage from your HERO5 camera to the cloud so you can later access it and edit it on your phone...on the go. You can also plug older GoPros into our new Quik desktop app and your desktop will upload your footage to GoPro Plus. Yes, Plus will generate more revenue for GoPro but I think what's most exciting is how much easier it makes offloading, accessing, and editing your footage. It's a new world!

btfleming43 karma

Was it a difficult decision to take "Be a Hero" out of the new logo? What is the biggest factor in making that change?

NickWoodman7 karma

Be a HERO is still part of our brand, marketing and daily mantra at GoPro. We wanted to soften our voice a bit and leave "GoPro" more open to interpretation and we felt that "GoPro" is strong enough of a message alone. I think the updated logo is fresh...clean. I hope you all dig it, too! And importantly, it looks sick on the side of a race car or spacesuit :-) But never, ever stop Being a HERO.

jfo143 karma


NickWoodman4 karma

The originally stated range of 1km was a nod to safety and keeping Karma within line-of-site. But we realized after launching Karma that everyone wanted to know the actual technical spec of Karma's range capability, so we updated our published spec to more accurately reflect what Karma can do. Up to 3km, baby.

donutroller2 karma

Are yall working on anything for racing? High vibrations tend to break my mounts about once a month.

NickWoodman2 karma

We have sweet new aluminum mounts out. Check them out! GoPro still races, too!

RedBettyScrambler2 karma

Hey Nick, went to jr high (remember Lenny?) and high school with you. Glad to see you've done so well. Question - how did you manage to get on the home shopping network all those years ago?

NickWoodman1 karma

Lenny our headmaster, yes! Who is this?

QVC it was. I saw they had an audition for an INVENTOR SEARCH so I bought a plane ticket, flew to PA and stood in line to audition. I made it on the show! Another example of blind optimism paying off.

Wilburcat42 karma

Hey Nick! Longtime GoPro lover here. As a successful entrepreneur, what is your best advice for someone just starting out on entrepreneurial ventures?

NickWoodman6 karma

I'm repeating myself here so you see it:

1) Find a problem to solve that matters to you, personally. If it's personal it won't be work...it'll be passion.

2) Make sure you can tell a short and powerful story about the problem you are solving and how you are going to do it. This will help others understand and BELIEVE.

3) Find the best of those who believe and together, as a team, go kick the crap out of that problem. Understand it will take time to be successful, but if you follow above steps success will come.

4) And remember...nobody works for you. They work WITH you.

5) Shred it and have fun!

Oohwee272 karma

Hi Nick, big fan of Gopro (had 3 cameras already). I have Gopro hero 4 silver, do you think its time for an upgrade?

NickWoodman2 karma

YES! But your HERO4 Silver is sweet :-O

buhhboyy2 karma

I know it really helps to be optimistic and remain positive when starting a new company but did you really expect to expect the GoPro brand to blow up and become as successful as it is today? & thanks for making amazing products!

NickWoodman3 karma

If I knew then what GoPro would become and how much it would take to get here...I probably would have been too freaked out to get out of bed in the morning. But this is where the power of blind optimism kicks in. Think it, see it, do it and don't worry about the risks. Leave that to everyone else and you'll wake up one morning successful at whatever it is you're focused on. Phew!