A couple of years on from the launch of the Hero 4, the latest actions camera, known as the Hero 5 of GoPro, is now on sale.
While keeping the camera largely unchanged, GoPro has added key features such as waterproofing, voice controls, video stabilization and also a touch screen to make this the largest upgrade in the Hero line’s history.
The Hero 5 Black offers the same video recording choices as the Hero 4 Black up; this means resolutions ranging from WVGA all the way to frame rates, and 4K Ultra HD crossing to 240 from 24 per second. The exact same limits (4K can’t go above 24 frames per second) still apply, and photos stay the same at 12 megapixels.
- Brilliant image quality
- Effective electronic image stabilization
- Great microphones
- Waterproof with no case (10m)
- Added picture functions that are still
- Enhanced layout
- Old batteries incompatible
- No EIS in 4K
- Touchscreen responsiveness
The measurements of the camera have transformed, which might mean it mounts and mightn’t play nicely with a select few accessories that were older. The hand-held gimbal I used with the Hero 4 Black, for instance, can hold the Hero 5 Black since the frame confuses the lens of the camera slightly.
This is because the Hero 5 Black is a couple millimeters larger in all dimensions than the Hero 4 Black when outside of its waterproof case. Particularly when you take into consideration its protruding lens, most noticeable is its depth.
GoPro estimates a battery life of two hours for the Hero 5 working at 1080p with WiFi, GPS, voice control and image stabilization, at 50fps away. In our own testing, we had a full battery drain in 1 hour 54 minutes which is really reasonably good, and incredibly near the official line.
With other features activated it’ll clearly be reduced, especially when image stabilization is activated, but even so, we’ve had about an hour and a half of runtime from a battery with stabilization on during a recent mountain bike shoot – that’s actually pretty commendable. Catch a few extra batteries and you’ll be set for a fairly long day out if you don’t record absolutely every second of your ride.
Controlling gadgets with voice commands is now very much a matter and GoPro hasn’t shied away from implementing a whole scope of commands (13 to be exact with seven languages supported), which means that you’ll be able to control your camera even when it’s entirely out of reach.
Picture settings and unique video ought to be dialed in before you start rolling, but in our testing, there is really little you had the wish to change mid-action that voice commands can not do – short of altering the battery and then editing footage for you.
Image quality is exceptional. At 1080p and 2.7k, the image is considerably sharper than the Garmin, but the edge goes to Garmin when shooting at 4K. Personally, I give 1080p performance more weight because that’s what I shoot 90 percent of the time, but if you understand you need to be shooting lots of 4K, that’s a persuasive case for the Virb. The GoPro’s sound is much better that the Virb, though, particularly since you don’t should put it inside a watertight case in wet conditions. The mics eject water extremely fast, in case it takes a dunk.
This is the first GoPro that’s built in GPS, but all the GPS can do is geotag the pictures you shoot. You don’t get any elaborate overlays on your own video that reveal elevation or your speed, though GoPro says its working on a software update. It’s a pity they missed it for the start since this is offered by other cameras.
4K resolution is restricted to 25fps and 24fps, but it’s a very clear, sharp picture and is greatly better in relation to the 4 K expect. I’d adore seeing at least 4K 50fps in the foreseeable future each year, and together with the manner camera technology develops, I’d anticipate to see this.
Another notable new feature is the linear field of view, which is all about exactly the same field of view as a medium but removes the fisheye effect, turning it into a bit more of a regular camera view – fine for general video or websites, but for riding, we’d advocate sticking to wide or superb view.
The Hero 5 Black gets what the Hero adds a set of truly useful attributes which will be welcomed by most GoPro users and 4 did absolutely. Where voice controls on a smartphone frequently feel as a gimmick, here they make perfect sense and work faithfully.
Waterproofing is, in addition, a helpful inclusion with a little drawback, while the video stabilization applications do an admirable job in many scenarios.
Battery life is a concern, as it consistently has been with GoPro, and at £350 the Hero 5 Black definitely is not economical. At that cost, consumers need to be completely certain they’ll make routine and good utilization of the camera before taking the plunge. If this is you, then the Hero 5 Black will be the perfect camera for the occupation.