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GoPro HERO 5 Black Review
GoPro action cameras have been around for more than 10 years and a lot has changed. The first Hero camera came out in 2004 and the latest Hero camera came out on October 2nd. Along with the Hero5, GoPro also launched the Hero5 Session. The Hero5 is touted as the best action camera ever by GoPro and they’ve incorporated some great new features. We’ll go through each of these in this in-depth review of the Hero5 Black and how it fares against some of the other competitors in the market.
A new trend that we’ve seen in 2016 is that almost all of the action cameras use top-end hardware that produces amazing shots. There is very little that separates them and it all comes down to the user’s requirements. Whether you want to take a lot of underwater shots, shoot 4K video or simply take pictures, there is a different camera for you. Without further ado, let’s dive into the review of the GoPro Hero5 Black.
Design and Hardware – Compact and Rugged
Following the footsteps of the Hero4, the Hero5 Black is rugged and compact. It is small and fits in your hand perfectly well. At the front, the majority of the space is taken up by the lens. There’s a tiny display that shows a few settings like the quality of the video, recording duration, battery, etc.
One of the biggest surprises lies behind the Hero5. As you turn around to the back, you can see a 2-inch touchscreen. A touchscreen was one of the most awaited features on the GoPro. This is the first time that they’re incorporating this feature, and there are a few flaws. The screen is not the most sensitive and there are times when it freezes without any response. But these are isolated incidents and it is actually really helpful to have a touchscreen. On the top, there is a button which offers one-button control. When switched off, a simple press of this button will switch on the camera and start recording video.
The GoPro Hero5 Black is compact and rugged and has some really cool features
The audio recording capabilities on the Hero5 is also pretty good on paper, compared to its competitors. There are three microphones on the camera and we’ll discuss more about the quality further down in the review.
Features and Performance
Straight out of the box, the Hero5 Black is waterproof. Yes, you heard that right. The Hero5 Black is indeed waterproof and it can stay under 10 meters of water without any external housing. You can even get a dive mount for the camera among the hundreds of other accessories that you can buy. If you’ve been using GoPros for some time, you can use all your accessories with the Hero5 as well.
The camera is also compatible with the latest Karma drone which was launched a few days back. The 2-inch touchscreen of the camera is a great addition. It can be used to change the settings and browse through other options. But there are times when you’ll have a tough time selecting the right option. The screen also froze rarely, which required the camera to be restarted.
The Hero5 Black can take some great shots underwater and is the first GoPro to have this feature
The audio recording quality on the Hero5 Black is better compared to its competitors, but it is almost same as the Hero4. The three microphones supposedly process the audio and selects the best output, but the sound of the wind was pretty evident during tests.
One vital feature that sets apart the GoPro Hero5 Black from the rest of the action cameras, is the support for voice commands. Now you can capture all your favorite moments with your voice. Due to the presence of three microphones, the voice commands have outstanding range.
The camera can take 4K video at 30 frames per second and the videos turn out great. There is image stabilization which helps a lot when it comes to taking shots on moving vehicles. One thing to note here is that the Yi Action Camera has slightly better stabilization results, but it is just a whisker’s difference. The Hero5 Black adapts well to change in lighting conditions and has a slight improvement when it comes to low-light photography.
Software, Connectivity and Battery Life
On the connectivity side, the Hero5 is a winner. There is support for Bluetooth to reduce the battery consumption. Wi-Fi is also present and this can be used to connect the camera to your smartphone. The GoPro app can be downloaded from the App Store. A great little feature is the ability to control the camera from your Apple Watch with the app downloaded on it.
One button control and three microphones for great audio
Apart from taking stellar videos, the Hero5 can also take 12MP still shots. There are other modes like Time Lapse Video, Time Lapse Photo and Night Lapse. The camera uses a Type-C port for charging and there is a 1,220mAh battery under the hood. The battery is different from the one used in the previous models and it is not compatible with the Hero5.
If you’re a pro who takes a lot of 4K videos, underwater shots and have all the features turned on, the camera will last for around 45-50 minutes. If that is not your thing and you take 1080p videos with most of the features turned off, you’ll get around 2 hours of battery life.
The GoPro Hero5 Black is the best GoPro ever. But it might not be everybody’s piece of cake. If you’re a person using the GoPro Hero4, it’ll be hard to recommend the Hero5, just because there are very few improvements. Being waterproof and having a touchscreen will cater to a specific section of people. These are not features that you can’t live without. But for someone who wants to take a lot of underwater shots, amazing 4K videos and use voice commands, the Hero5 would be your best bet. This compact little beast has its drawbacks, but it is hard to take bad shots with this one.
The 2-inch touchscreen on the Hero5 Black is a first for GoPro
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- The GoPro HERO 5 Black is manufactured by GoPro and was added in September 2016 in the Action Camera section
- This product has a rating of 4.0 out of 5
- The best price of the GoPro HERO 5 Black in Australia is $347.00 at JGadget4U
- In Australia this product is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
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