- 4K 60FPS maximum resoluion
- EIS @ 4K 30FPS
- Good battery life
- Exceptional build quality
- Value 5
- Microphone too sensitive on wind
Getting the GoPro Hero 6 in 2018 will give you much better experience compared to the first months of availability of the camera! A lot of reviewers have branded it as a “flop”, without understanding the tremendous efforts from GoPro to bring innovation for the first time in years!
Unboxing and accessories
Unboxing experience is good! The box is beautiful and it is obvious that inside we have a decent performer. To be fair, we have seen cameras with even more attractive boxes – and we can point to most of the Eken’s cameras. Quality and performance-wise they are of course way below the GoPro.
The Hero 6 model is conveniently placed in a frame and it is a matter of seconds to dismount it from its original location.
Before focusing on the camera – let’s have a quick look at the accessories – I am used to get many from the Chinese competitors and … well – that’s it – USB type-C cable, the frame and two mounts with double sided tape. Thank God I have a cupboard full of others! And accessories sets you can easily buy online at reasonable prices. The camera is well designed. GoPro are keeping most of the specific lines of the hero 5 body. And that is not the only component that they share with the 5th generation. The battery, for example is the same too. The build quality is the best on the market. The camera is waterproof without a case, and except the bottom side – sides are rubberized for better grip.
Design and features
The company been partnering with Ambarella for years, and this entirely changes with Hero 6, where they have created a custom-made chip together with the Japanese chip-maker Socionext.
Building an in-house solution is time consuming and at the same time – very challenging. And it was clear that GoPro will have a tough launch with plenty of issues to fix. According to many reports, most of the initial issues have been corrected with the February firmware patch.
As for the image sensor – looks like intentionally GoPro are not disclosing the exact model – we know it is 12MP CMOS sensor.
On the side we count on a USB Type-c and mini HDMI port. On the top – the shutter button and one of the microphones. The other mics are on the right, together with the mode button. Bottom is for the battery and you will notice the microSD slot too. The body of the camera is waterproof. You do not need a case to dive underwater if it’s going to be no deeper than 10 meters.
Navigation, menus and performance
The overall navigation feeling was much better than what I expected. Those of you who closely follow the channel know that I am not a big fan of touch screens, and the one ion the Hero 6 has pretty much revised my opinion. I felt very comfortable switching between modes and choosing the different options. There’s almost nothing that you cannot intuitively find and switch – from resolutions, to frames per second. There is a nice tutorial at the start – modes and settings are at the bottom, advanced settings you get by swiping left, and swiping down gets you to the preferences. If you do a swipe right – that will open the library.
Among the many settings, I will highlight the quick capture – the only other action-cam that I have reviewed and can do it is the GitUp F1. But it is more FPV-oriented. There is dual-band wifi, a ridiculously good choice between resolutions – starting from 4K at 60fps and going down to 720p 240fps. Interestingly 1080p is also possible at 240fps, and on top of that you can run the stabilization when shooting at 120 – that is almost unbelievable. For high-demanding fps the camera automatically switches to HEVC – also known as h.265 and we have talked a lot about it in previous reviews. There already are other action cams that support it – like the Rexso Explorer K and MGcool’s Explorer 2. Essentially you get the same video quality at a much smaller video size. And it is a matter of time until more devices adopt this technology as a default.
Let’s go to real life feedback. If I may start with the basic user experience: If it is just the camera – I loved the easiness of switching between resolutions. And I was somewhat skeptical at the start and had my doubts whether GoPro is superior to most of the good budget models like Firefly 8s, SJcam SJ7, the Yi 4K and so on. Well – it is. After the past months I can feel how much more important it is to have the right menus and good user experience. Think about it: if you are not able to switch between shooting modes quickly, you may miss a perfect moment that no one can give you back.
In my deep dive reviews I usually test how long it will take to get some support – with GoPro it was within several hours and I got someone to help me. This is slightly better than what I got last year with the GitUp Git 2 support. GoPro’s whole ecosystem is brilliant. The Camera is not picky on microSD cards – every U3 model I’ve tried was working fine, even some just class 10 cards
Battery performance is quite outstanding: took it exactly 98 minutes until the battery was completely empty by recording 4k at 30 fps. This is NOT a real-life test, because the image stabilization needs a lot of power, so does the screen and it always switches on when you begin or stop recording. And a real estimation would be around an hour of intensive work. Make sure to get spare batteries – and there is no good reason to waste money on copycats. You may buy original for less than 20 dollars.
Firmware and software
Firmware updates can be applied via the app- which is the second possibility for configuration and in some ways you will find it even easier than the touch screen.
The GoPro feels good on a gimbal, but considering its outstanding stabilization – you won’t often need one, especially if the footage has to feel more natural and dynamic. There is no car mode – and while you can charge and record at the same time – operating as dash-cam is a huge waste of the GoPro’s resources.
If price is not the leading factor when picking your next action camera – then the GoPro is perhaps the best on the market! Right now it costs less than 400$, which is more than 20% cut compared to the initial release price. The Hero 5 is also a brilliant choice, right now at 299.