It’s finally here! GoPro have been teasing the release of their much-anticipated Hero5 for months. Actually, there are two new models. And a drone. First comes the Hero5 Session, which is, essentially, a refined version of the 2015 Hero Session with a few new features. It’s new, pretty, packed with features, and comparatively affordable.
Second is the big one – the one GoPro fans have been dreaming of – the Hero5 Black. One of the biggest upgrades the Hero5 Black has over the previous Hero4 model is that it’s now waterproof to 33 feet and it doesn’t need a separate expensive housing for waterproofing, either. It’s reliably waterproof to 33 feet right out of the box. The rugged durability of the camera’s shell is also significantly improved over previous models. Formerly, if you wanted to take your camera underwater or out onto the beach, or even if you were particularly demanding and tough on it, you’d have to seal it inside a rugged polycarbonate case. While that wasn’t a deal breaker, as such, it was rather inconvenient, and it added significantly to the cost of your kit. With the Hero5 Black, it already has a rugged, waterproof shell, so it can withstand all your adventures. If you want to go deeper than 33 feet, you can always purchase GoPro Super Suit dive housing.
The controls of this camera have been simplified and you now get a 2-inch touchscreen with a single button. If you’ve used a GoPro before, you’ll notice a distinct improvement to the user interface, including streamlined menus.
Like all action cams, GoPro has suffered from wind noise. After all, when you’re recording while engaging in intense movement outdoors, wind noise is bound to be a factor, and there isn’t much to be done about it. However, to improve sound quality as much as possible, the GoPro Hero5 Black features three separate microphones. Cleverly, the little action cam switches between the three mics to provide you with the best possible sound clarity with the least wind interference. It’s still not perfect, but it’s a definite improvement. Having sound clarity is also crucial because the Black uses voice commands. You can use these spoken commands to do a whole range of things, including starting and stopping recordings, capturing photos, and tagging clip highlights. The command library continues to grow, and the introduction of the Remo remote control further expands the voice command capabilities.
This action camera offers 4K video capture at up to 30 frames per second, so you can play back your videos in Ultra HD. You can also capture stunning 12MP RAW images and make use of a high dynamic range, called WDR on GoPro, to bring even greater detail to your photos. There are a few other useful image capture features, too, including 30fps bursts, which is great for capturing action shots, and time-lapse modes when you need to set up that perfect image. The linear-view mode helps to eliminate image stretching or distortion when capturing wide-angle images and videos. Video stabilization minimizes camera shake, although if you’re engaging in seriously intense activity, or your bump-bump-bumping on an off-road mountain bike trail, you’re still bound to experience some image shake. Built-in GPS makes tagging your location easy.
Consumers have raised the issue of overly complex or inadequate sharing capabilities with previous generations of GoPro, but the Hero5 Black helps to simplify the process. However, there is a cost associated. You’ll need to buy a monthly subscription to GoPro Plus, which is essentially a cloud service. When you connect your Hero5 to its charger, the camera will automatically upload all your captured content to the cloud. You can then access, edit, and share it from your smartphone or tablet. Other features of this service include access to licensed music tracks that you can slip into your videos, along with offers like 20 percent off GoPro mounts and accessories.
To make editing easier for the average consumer, GoPro now offer two editing apps; Splice and Quik. They are available for Android, Apple, and desktop devices. Quik has an auto-edit function that analyzes your content and edits out the boring stuff, only keeping what it thinks is the most exciting bits. It also adds smooth transitions between the edited frames and syncs them to the beat of the music you choose to drop in. If you’re not happy with the results, you can make further edits yourself, too.