Can a small package really pack a greater punch? Well, GoPro keeps proving it can, every single time! And GoPro Hero 5 Black has made this stand even more firm.
With the rising number of audio-visual content generators, vloggers and YouTubers, the demand for high end photographic equipments are rising. Action cameras are part of this trend, as they come in handy for the travel as well as auto-vloggers, who have a tough job recording their activities.
In fact, it is useful for all those content producers whose work involve placing their cameras in tough spots, using them under water or while engaged in some strenuous activity. In the fiery market of portable action cameras, GoPro has managed to create a niche for itself. A job well done I must say, because the brand is thought to be synonymous with action cameras today.
They are known for bringing out high-end cameras, which have great build quality and best in class shooting capacity. GoPro cameras do not only exude power, but are built to sustain a lot of environmental stress and all this with no compromise in terms of picture quality!
They had launched the GoPro Hero 5 Black in 2016, a product packed with several improvements over its predecessor, the GoPro Hero 4 Black. In fact, in the promotional video of this camera the company’s CEO, Nick Woodman stated, “This is the GoPro we always wanted to make” thereby, succinctly summing up the virtues of their latest release.
This camera was designed with several new features, like leading-edge voice controls, image stabilization and 4k recording at 30fps (providing the best possible slow motion recording in 4k). Now in 2017, ditching their previous pattern of the two year release cycle, GoPro launched their latest camera, the Hero 6 Black and voila! . Now you can shoot at 4k using a 60fps! . The earlier Hero 5 shot 1080p videos at 120fps, while now the GoPro Hero 6 does it at 240fps.
However, today we will review GoPro Hero 5 Black in detail and see if the apparent improvements in GoPro Hero 6 makes it an ideal buy or still GoPro Hero 5 is worth all your money? Keep reading till the end..
But before reviewing GoPro Hero 5 in detail, let’s look at what all you get out of the box:
- Hero 5 Black Camera
- One Frame
- One Rechargeable Battery
- Curved Adhesive Mount
- One Flat Adhesive Mount
- One Mounting Buckle
- USB Type-C Cable
Review of GoPro Hero 5 Black India
It’s all in the build!
The GoPro Hero 5 Black is one of a kind in terms of its build. Unlike any action camera, the GoPro Hero 5 Black is capable of shooting underwater up to 10 metres without a waterproof protective casing. This ensures better picture quality because the lens does not need to be covered by another layer of plastic, which might affect the images that it is trying to capture.
In sync with the build quality of GoPro cameras, Hero 5 Black is sturdy and compact, so much so that it can fit easily in your pocket or conspicuously on top of your motorcycle helmet. The camera is specifically designed to be compatible with most of the traditional GoPro accessories, including the Karma Drone, which allows you to take pictures from a bird’s eye view.
The casing has two waterproof doors, one for different connection ports and the other for the battery and a SD card. The removable battery is an advantage in my opinion, for it allows you to use a backup battery in case the device runs out of juice in between action. The fact that the Hero 5’s exterior, casing and even the battery design and backup is almost the same as the Hero 6 makes it a viable buy!
The at par picture quality, with high resolution and frame rates.
The Hero 5 Black is a very powerful camera with a prodigious processor. It can shoot both at extremely high resolutions and frame rates, which should be able to satisfy the needs of most content producers because not many people actually shoot at 4k to avoid the extra hassle on the editing table.
The possible extreme options on this mini monster are: 120fps on 1080p on a wide field of view or 240fps at 720p on the wide or superview setting. Moreover, the camera comes with a 12MP sensor, which is pretty exceptional and works fine even for still photos.
The wide and super-view modes can give a considerably expansive view, which in turn lends a groovy feel to the images you capture, primarily because you can feel the curvature of the lens. However, the camera does run into problems while stitching the images quite often.
In terms of low light shooting, the GoPro 5 is not a very competitive performer. As a matter of fact, it even loses out to some of its cheaper competitors. This is where the GoPro Hero 6 takes the trophy home for its enhanced low light shooting, thanks to its new custom processor.
For it can ace the stills!
The GoPro Hero 5 Black camera offers top-notch image stabilization options. This feature however, does not work on 4k, which could be a let down for some. But as for many of the fast-paced content generators shooting in 4k is a cumbersome task in itself, this shortcoming does not really matter.
Further, the image stabilization feature is one of the most useful attributes in a camera if you are an amateur content generator and even quite useful if you a pro. It would add a more professional feel to your videos by taking out the extra jerks, for instance from the bike handle or from all the running that you might do in pursuit of a secondary subject.
The company claims that this feature gives the videos a more realistic feel almost like the human eye, as it is able to filter out jerks. But how far that analogy is accurate is a different matter altogether because although it does a pretty good work at stabilizing images, it is not quite as competent as a ‘Gimbal’ and is far from a human eye.
The image stabilization feature in the GoPro Hero 6 is slightly improved, again thanks to the more advanced processor- GP 1 one, which is designed and produced by the company specifically for its cameras.
Making the RIGHT sounds!
Coming to the sound quality of the GoPro Hero 5 Black, the camera does manage to impress us. It is contrived to include three microphones amongst which switches the processor to allow for wind sound reduction thereby, making it literally the most indispensable action camera.
Most cameras fail to deliver perfect results on this front, a fact not true about the GoPro Hero 5! Even the GoPro Hero 4 Black, which had dual microphones to reduce wind sound, had failed to deliver as per expectations in the past. The company has countered the problem efficaciously in the GoPro Hero 5 black, the wind sound reduction feature of which is much closer to perfection.
User Interface and Connectivity:
What does the interface and usability of the camera tells you?
In the previous GoPro(s), the primary problem had been that of connectivity, a major shortcoming because after all we click pictures to be able to share them. The Hero 5 Black camera can upload the images to a cloud account, which can be conveniently accessed through your smartphone or computer. Isn’t this cool?
The camera also packs under its hood a wifi and Bluetooth connection. It can even synchronize with your smartphone with the help of an app. Added to these are the voice command, one-touch recording and the innovative 2 inch touch display, all of which are pretty user friendly.
The voice command allows the user to take pictures, start recording or change modes simply by saying it. Also, its true that a display in an action camera is for the most part futile in terms of viewing recorded videos, but in terms of ease of use it does wonders. Especially, for a beginner, the interface is quite ideal, as it allows for a hassle free navigation through its multitude of features and settings.
It is fairly easy to surf between different resolutions, frame rates and view and capturing modes, like time lapse etc. The Hero 5 device also has a GPS feature, which reflects your location, movement speed etc. on the screen. That’s not all … It also allows for editing and the seamless streaming of videos to your phone or cloud directly from the device!
GoPro Hero 6 Improvements over Hero 5
Talking about the connectivity with phone and streaming videos directly from cloud. In this regard, the new GoPro Hero 6 Black has certain improvements and additions. The 3 times faster ‘quick story’ feature in GoPro Hero 6 allows instant sharing of photos and videos. Quick Story feature, uploads the recorded footage automatically from the camera to the smartphone via the GoPro app. It then creates a high end video out of it and allows you to share these quick stories with your contacts. The feature is a life saver for casual users who do not want to spend hours trying to edit footage and make videos out of it.
Quick story feature is also available in GoPro Hero 5, it’s just that Hero 6 is doing the thrice faster
GoPro Hero 5 Black or GoPro Hero 6 – Which one is better?
Who takes the trophy home?
Well, if you are looking to buy a camera which can provide you stable videos at 1080p, at pretty incredible frame rates and gives you best in class slow motion shooting options, then GoPro Hero 5 Black is good enough for you, as it performs almost equally well and even saves a few grands.
The price difference between the two models is quite significant. So, if you do not need to shoot 4k videos at 60fps, you don’t need the GoPro Hero 6 black. Also in case of the Hero 6, there have been complaints about grainy pictures, which make it a risky buy at a higher price. As for the additional features, like zoom and better low light shooting, the decision totally depends on your specific needs. Are these features really worth your extra 10k? If your answer is in the affirmative, then you can go for the latest GoPro 6, if not, then the GoPro Hero 5 Black would be the best pick and value for money deal.