For answers, Miroslav Djuric, chief information architect at iFixit, took apart a GoPro Hero3 to find out what makes these digital camcorders tick.
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Djuric says GoPro has packed several high-quality microcomponents into the camera, which has successfully differentiated it from other camera and electronics manufacturers.
At the heart of GoPro's advantage, he says, lies a Sony image sensor.
"Really, what makes them shine is that they were able to take all these components and put them in a very attractive package and be able to give to people in a specialty niche market that really didn't exist previous to them," Djuric said in an interview with CNBC.
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And while Sony supplies key components to GoPro, it also is a GoPro competitor with its own action camera, which costs around $200.
Take apart a GoPro, Djuric said, and you'll also find chips from a variety of vendors, including Texas Instruments and Qualcomm as well a chip from Ambarella, a little known company whose stock is up over 90 percent in just the last 12 months.