The First GoPro Was This 35mm Film Camera

When you think of GoPro, you probably picture a neat, compact digital action camera, but the original GoPro was actually a 35mm film camera. Here’s a 7-minute video by Thirty Five Studio that takes a look at the camera and shows what it can do.

So how did it all start? Being a surfer himself, GoPro’s founder Nick Woodman wanted to work out how he could use his camera while riding waves.

“I figured there must be an easier way to carry and use a camera, so I came up with the Hero design,” said Woodman on a TV sales channel when first promoting his product.

So the first GoPro product was actually the “Ultimate Camera Strap,” and was a device that fixed cameras onto the wrist. Here’s Woodman with his first prototype:

But the camera didn’t live up to his expectations. Not being able to rely on a shop-bought camera, Woodman turned his attention to creating something more robust. After a couple of years spent looking for the best camera for the job, Woodman eventually wired $5,000 over to a factory in China that built the first GoPro Hero camera back in 2004.

The camera was on sale from 2004 through 2006 for just $20, and it cost just $3 to produce in China. You can still buy this original GoPro camera on eBay, but now it’ll cost you around $40.