GoPro Hero 6 Black Quick Review
GoPro is one of those companies that makes sure it releases a new iteration of its star product every year. The Hero 6 Black was launched back in Q3 of 2017, and boasted of taking everything great about the Hero 5, and adding improvements.
How has the upgrade cycle treated the latest GoPro? Read on to find out.
Design and Construction
To begin, let’s see what’s inside the packaging. Nothing has changed here compared to the previous GoPro. You get the camera itself, one battery, a set of stickers, manuals, two adhesive mounts, and your charging cable — in this case, it’s a Type-C cable.
Like the Hero 5, it ditches the waterproof housing in favor for a more durable body, with a simple but tough plastic frame for extra protection as well as secure mounting to accessories.
Buttons are kept to a minimum: there only being two. You have the record button up top and a power/function button on the right side.
On the left side, I/O is also very minimal. All you get is a micro HDMI out and a Type-C port for both data transfer and charging.
The microSD card slot is kept at the bottom along with the battery. It uses the same 1220 mAh Li-ion battery pack as the Hero 5.
Opening and closing the hatches for both the ports and battery/microSD feels very awkward at first. It feels like you’re forcing them open or closed, but it ends up turning out that it’s how it’s supposed to feel. It gives you some extra confidence that the seal is truly water-tight.
We usually end the design and construction section of our reviews with how the product feels when handled, but GoPro’s aren’t really meant to be held, right? Mount it somewhere!
I digress, however, it feels great in the hands. The rubber texture that the Hero 5 first adopted is still here, and it smokes the Hero 4 and the previous out of the water.
At the back is the 2-inch touch display that features good color, contrast, and brightness. Visibility outdoors is great even when the sun is really shining.
The touch functionality is decent at best, but can be unresponsive at times, and even hard to use if you have larger fingers. It also gives you the ability to touch to set exposure, which is a big plus.
The Hero 6 can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You get a live preview for all shooting modes, except when shooting in the HEVC codecs (4K @ 60fps, 1080p @ 120/240fps). You also get full manual control over settings, which is very useful when you have the camera mounted in a spot where controlling it via its touchscreen is difficult.
I personally own a GoPro Hero 4, and have used a Hero 5, and I can say that it feels like with every new generation, lag between the preview and what is actually happening is getting shorter and shorter. We have not objectively tested this, but this may have something to do with the wireless module improving.
The Hero 6 uses a brand new custom-designed GP1 processor that allows for higher resolution and higher frame rates. While the design effectively stays the same as that of the Hero 5, the new chip under the hood is what sets the Hero 6 apart, and is potentially what will keep GoPro relevant.
Needless to say, both the photos and videos we got from the Hero 6 are incredible. Images taken with the default settings are highly detailed, color accurate, and have good dynamic range, which is important for outdoor shooting.
Videos can now be shot in HEVC, which means we now get resolution-frame rate combinations like 4K @ 60fps and 1080p @ 240fps. Aside from instances where sharp bumps affect the stability of the video, image stabilization has also improved.
The Hero 6 uses the same 1220 mAh battery as the Hero 5. We were able to get a couple of hours of use out of it, taking 2-3 minute long videos at varying resolutions, and a bunch of photos. With the implementation of a new processor that can do greater things, we can also expect that battery life is slightly worse compared to its predecessor.
Charging time roughly remains the same, as we got a full charge from 0% in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The GoPro Hero 6 Black is a great choice for avid adventurers, action sports enthusiasts, and even filmmakers to hop onto. For those people who already own a previous model GoPro, the Hero 6 is a very worthwhile upgrade to step your action camera videography to the next level.
It brings amazing capabilities in a package that is less bulky than the Hero 4 series, as it is now devoid of the waterproof housing altogether. It does this, but is still built like a tank. With a product like the Hero 6, GoPro can still clearly assert its dominance in the action camera space.
The GoPro Hero 6 retails for Php23,490 locally, which is about $60 more than its official SRP of $399 (~Php20.3k).
GoPro HERO6 Black features:
Powered by GoPro’s Custom-Designed GP1 Processor
4K60 and 1080p240 Video
QuikStories Enabled, GoPro App Compatible
Most Advanced Stabilization of any HERO camera
All-New Touch Zoom
3x Faster Offload Speeds via 5GHz Wi-Fi
Waterproof to 33 Feet (10m)
Compatible with Karma and Existing GoPro Mounts
Improved Dynamic Range and Low-Light Performance
RAW and HDR Photo Modes
Voice Control in 10 Languages
GPS, Accelerometer, and Gyroscope
WiFi + Bluetooth
What we liked about it:
- Great image quality
- Built like a tank
- Good wireless connectivity
- Improved image stabilization
- Bright display
What we didn’t:
- High local price