When it comes to action cameras, there’s one brand that sticks. GoPro has established its position in the consumer electronic industry, particularly in the sports department. Promising improved image quality and stabilization, the recently unveiled GoPro Hero6 Black is a small package full of surprises.
Aesthetically speaking, I didn’t find any differences at all from its predecessor. Everything from the placement of micro-HDMI and USB-C ports on the left side up to its record, power, and mode button which all sit at the top and lower right part of the sports camera has been retained. The presence of the status screen in front next to the camera sensor is likewise identical to its previous version. A laser-engraved “HERO6” is located on the left panel. Its greyish black shell made of sturdy rubber proves the Hero6 Black’s waterproof capabilities. If you are already a GoPro owner, you get to save bucks since it is most likely compatible with the former Hero 5 Black peripherals. Also, the free black plastic frame allows users to place it on various camera mounts. Compact and lightweight, this brand new flagship sports cam is a match made in heaven for photography enthusiasts who hate bringing bulky camera bags full of lenses.
Inside the case is the manufacturer’s GP1 Processor that analyzes visual scenes and sensor data ability better than the old models. It is the first product by GoPro to include a customized chip that is designed with the firm’s partner, Socionext. This upgrade gives the device ability to shoot 4K video at a smooth 60 fps. It also allows 1080p Full HD footage at an impressive 240 fps. Now, it’s possible to produce stunning and stable video clips in slow-mo even in low light conditions. I tested it out during a late night road trip and it works great! It projected sharp and vivid details of the road even more while in superview.
Another key feature that the Hero6 proudly boasts is its 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity which makes transferring of media files through the GoPro app 3x faster. As expected, this little fella is waterproof up to 33 feet which makes it a worthy investment. After all, this is why action cameras are a hit since the majority prefer small yet efficient cameras. There were also some slight improvements that should be recognized like the camera’s three LED indicators and microphones which give highly audible sound.
Let’s proceed to its battery life.
Surprisingly, its removable 1220 Li-ion battery took me about an hour to charge using its USB-Type C cable. Using the 4K 60fps mode on continuous shooting in low light, the Hero6 lasted more than 60 minutes. Due to its limited battery capacity, you would really need to carry an extra battery or bring a power bank in your bag to enjoy its maximum potential.
User Experience: 4.5/5
Upon testing, I discovered a lot of things that this little device can do. It only took me four minutes to be familiar with its user-friendly interface which is another achievement for me as a first-timer to action cameras. Seeing the variation of ISO and White Balance settings under the Protune option means wider freedom in manipulating raw images for users. Its digital status screen that indicates the current battery level, storage space, and resolution of the GoPro is also very useful even for newbies. Basic settings such as the mode, image quality, and field of view are placed at the bottom of the touchscreen for easier adjustments. The all new touch zoom feature that works for both may be confusing for photos since it’s not an optical one that I usually encounter on camera lenses. However, it makes sense in terms of keeping the resolution consistent on videos. Another thing that is noteworthy in the Hero6 is the HDR mode and advanced video stabilization. It works wonders by giving smoother and cinematic results when used correctly.
I’ll not beat around the bush. If you are willing to spend around PHP 27,000, then the Hero6 Black should be your choice. Improvements which mainly focus on the hardware and image recognition justify its hefty price. Great for travel and outdoor activities, this mini camera gives you an immersive experience and captures memories in the best possible way.
Epic action camera crafted for greatness.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2018 Issue.
Reviewed by Jewel Sta. Ana