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GoPro is the leading brand in action cams; however, recently, it seems to be suffering the competition.
Package and build
The HERO5 Black (Check on Amazon.com) has everything that an action cam should have. It is waterproof up to 10m (33ft), without the need for a case, has a touch screen display on the back, readable under direct sunlight, and also has a Type-C and HDMI port.
At the bottom, we find a large flap that contains the removable battery and the microSD slot. On the left side, beneath an airtight cover, we find the 2 aforementioned ports. On the right side, we have a physical button to switch between the various shooting modes, and on the upper side the recording button.
There is also a small LCD display on the front, which rotates with the action cam, and which quickly shows you the shooting mode and some other information regarding the action cam.
Inside the box, you will also find a USB Type-C/USB Cable and a small frame that connects the camera to the various accessories.
Functions and video quality
These are the most popular shooting modes available for the HERO5 Black.
Supported Video Formats:
- 4K@30fps ultrawide FOV, 4K@24fps Superview FOV
- 2.7K@60fps with ultrawide FOV or 30fps Superview FOV
- 1440p@80fps ultrawide FOV
- 1080p@120fps ultrawide FOV or 80fps with Superview FOV
- 720p@240fps tight FOV or 120fps with Superview FOV
- Resolution: 12 megapixel
- Burst (photo/seconds): 30/1, 30/2, 30/3, 30/6, 10/1, 10/2, 10/3, 5/1, 3/1
- Time-lapse: 0.5-1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds
Voice commands are present as always and enable you to capture content without having to touch the action camera, and there is also the electronic image stabilization, which does great work keeping your videos still.
Without a doubt, the HERO5 Black is the “pro” version of this model, the one that is capable of shooting decent video even in low light conditions, and sports a vast dynamic range, although with its own limitations.
Colors are good, not overly saturated but still very lively, although we would have liked more sharpness, especially under good light conditions, like under direct sunlight. In most cases, you will still get some good material, but there is no shortage of light/black artifacts and a little noise.
The touch display gives you fast access to every conceivable option you might need, and in spite of the small space, it is able to find room for all kinds of settings. Sadly the reaction times are not always immediate.
In addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, in order to connect to a smartphone, it is worth noting that the HERO5 Black is also equipped with GPS, that lets you geotag your content, but be mindful that all these functions have an important impact on the device’s battery life.
The most disappointing thing is perhaps the loss of quality that you get in post-production by compressing the video too much. One of the things that I enjoyed most in the previous HERO Black model was the “malleability” of its footage, which was perfect for editing, and that seems to be missing with the current Edition.
Photos are great, especially thanks to the WRD mode, which extends the dynamic range, and the possibility to shoot in RAW, which allows you to pull out much more information from your shots.
Quite good the audio, which is non-directional and thus capable to record what is going on both in front as well as behind the camera. There’s no shortage of background noise, but overall we’re at a higher level than the average action-cam.
Nothing new about the app: It’s handy and effective, although not very attractive on Android.
The HERO5 Black comes with a 1,220mAh battery gives you less than an hour of shooting in Full HD@60fps, and half an hour or even less for 4K video.
The price remains high (Check on Amazon.com), especially in relation to the competition that has risen in recent years.
The GoPro HERO5 Black is the industry standard, by the industry’s major player. It is a professional model, which will hardly disappoint its buyers, yet it is precisely in the malleability of footage in post-production that the HERO5 Black shows a flaw. The price remains quite high, especially considering the ever-growing number of rivals, who nevertheless cannot really match this HERO5 Black in quality.