Consuming expectations

Yes, this happens, but it is not about food, it is not about what we expect, it is where our expectations lie and here I found myself in a weird stage. Due to lockdown events I have became an international man of mystery (sorry Austin Powers) by watching city walkthroughs. Places I had visited like Rotterdam, Stockholm, Munich Chicago, London, more London and places I had never seen before Monaco, Montreal, Toronto, and many more places. As such I became more and more interested in the Hero by GoPro. I wrote about this earlier, and over the week (yesterday and today) I saw a lot more on the Hero 10. Yet in all this, I also saw a few anti Hero 10 video’s. Most of them seemed to be people lacking expectations, some were people pushing a few weird limits two stood out, one was an Italian giving us why he did not recommended the Hero 10, but the reasoning was quite interesting. He gave us that the Hero 10 was an amazing great system, but compared to his Hero 8 overpriced and particularly as his Hero 8 was doing well above what he needed. I liked that. Yes, at times it is always about getting more whilst what we have is just fine. The other one is the one I want to focus on, it was all about the system being so expensive, He was a day 1 buyer of the Hero 7, Hero 8, and now the Hero 10. This is important because we need to consider what was and what we have now. 

I am a photographer. I was never much of a film geek. My first film camera came in 1998, it was the JVC GR-DV1, it had 100 times zoom (almost ridiculous much) and together with the docking station, it added up to $1049 dollars. I used it in my first long vacation that year after 10 years of not having a real vacation. And the camera was nearly always there. I never regretted buying it even if I barely used it. The film seed was planted. For the most I moved on with photography and filming was never forgotten, but it was in the back of my mind. It roared its head in 2010 when I was offered a really nice deal in 2010 with the Sony Handicam and I went for it, for two reasons, I was interested in filming, but I wanted digital video and the Sony offered it, it costed me $1100 with all the bells whistle’s and extra’s and I could afford it. There was also the added benefit that I could export to memory and edit it. I did not have the software, but overall the Sony was a leap forward, so now 12 years later there is the GoPro Hero, version 10. I missed the previous versions but there are a few parts that people seem to overlook.

The first camera only gave me 1080, it had sound but almost no smoothing, no colour settings and no frame rates. The Sony had a lot more and more importantly was able to export to USB. A few additional options, yet the larger stage was not there and we cannot blame Sony, they gave us a lot for less than the previous versions. Now we see the Hero 10 and people (quite a few) are complaining. Some places have it for a mere $499. The delivery is stated as 11 days but that is OK for plenty of people and for a system less than half the price that I paid for a system with less options, we are given 5.3K at 60 fps, 4K at 120 fps and 2.7K at 240 fps. The bundle includes a 32GB card. I looked and found a card with the same high speed and in 256GB for $40. A system that surpasses all others, has smoothing 4.0 which does things neither camera could ever do, have all kinds of colouring. And a load of extra’s that work on all Hero’s, batteries that are the same as the previous versions and we are told that upcoming software releases will give the consumer even more. And this camera is a mere 50% of my previous one. So what are people bitching about? 

We are so obsessed with getting things for free that we forget that compared over time a lot of electronics have become to that lowly priced. PC elements are pricing annual more and more, all whilst camera’s are in some cases the same, we seemingly get more and more for less. I am not digging into the wisdom of it, but consider that a GoPro cameraman can close to equal a TV News film crew and upload almost as quickly, so how long until someone sets that stage? As we see it in many places, the news is outdating itself more and more by going for the emotional story so that they do not need to report on things that matter. So when people figure out that one GoPro person can deliver equal to 5 news teams, how long will their future remains? 

This is not about the news, it is not about people and skills. It is about people and their expectations, or perhaps it is the expectations that are fed to them. I do not know, what I do know is that there are makers that drive creativity and that is always good. Where it ends we do not know and that is good too. Because as I personally see it, the creativity we never expected is the one that makes us smile and I do believe we need to find a reason to smile, even if it comes from a piece of hardware.

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