Review | GoPro Hero6 Black action camera

Action camera giant GoPro has taken the leap to the next level with the GoPro Hero6 Black – a follow-up of last year’s GoPro Hero5 Black with improved technical and software specifications.

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The GoPro Hero6 now wears the crown jewel in the field of action cameras by beefing up its image quality department and overall features. And before we get into the review, let us give you a sight of Hero 6’s key specs:

  • GoPro custom-designed GP1 Processor
  • Advanced electronic stabilization
  • All-new touch zoom
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Waterproof to 33 feet without case
  • Compatible with existing GoPro mounts
  • Improved dynamic range
  • RAW and HDR modes
  • Voice control

Design and Packaging

To those who own the Hero5, it will be hard to tell the difference between the two as the Hero6 did not alter the original design for GoPro action-cam series. Even when you’re shopping, you won’t identify which is which until you look at the packaging.

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We love the grip of the Hero6 thanks to the rubberized material used for its coating. The body has also become chunkier than the earlier GoPro action cameras, which could make its old accessories difficult to fit. Also, some of the local shops have begun selling newer accessories, which means this could be a start of the company’s new era.

The layout for the Hero6 stays the same, too. On top is the recording button; at the sides are the power/mode toggle, USB Type-C port, mini-HDMI socket; and the bottom houses the battery and the microSD card.

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Lying on the back is Hero6’s 2-inch touchscreen that is slightly larger than the Hero5’s, opposite to the protruding camera and a small indicator in the front. The most convenient part of the former would be the gesture, in which several functions of the action camera can be accessed by just sliding through the corners.

Since this is a waterproof action camera, the touchscreen could be a little harder to use once soaked in water. Nevertheless, it produces sharp and vivid live previews – which works for us.

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As usual, the Hero6 comes in GoPro’s trademark display box without a charging dock, which you should purchase separately. A protective and waterproof case, extra grips, and an adhesive mount for your extreme sports shooting are included in the bundle, too.

The GoPro Hero6 also uses a USB Type-C socket helping the action camera transfer your videos and photos faster.

Performance

An aspect we enjoyed the most is Hero6’s higher resolution options in the hood. The Hero6 can shoot 4K videos at 60 frames-per-second (fps), 1080p at 240fps, 1080p at 120fps, and 2.7K at 120fps. Although these high-ranking tools automatically turns to mediocre shooting when placed under difficult times (like low-light environment), it’s still jaw-dropping how these small cameras can provide such capabilities.

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These capabilities are brought by GoPro’s custom-designed GP1 processor allowing the device to control how it process images, compute advanced imaging, and house an intelligent chip inside.

We also love the electronic stabilization. Most of the time, we didn’t use the bundled grip but we captured smooth and stabilized shots surprisingly. Unfortunately, the electronic stabilization had to slow down our frame rates when used during night time or low-lit areas.

The thing we like the least would be the voice command function. During our hike in Masungi Georeserve in Tanay, Rizal, the strong winds made it hard for the Hero6 to recognize our voice and we think this could be improved in the next installment of the series. Using the voice command in a quieter place, interestingly, worked like a charm. But who would use the voice command in a comfortable situation, right?

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Using its WiFi and Bluetooth, the Hero6 can tap your smartphone so you can control the camera or transfer its files to your devices through the GoPro app. It comes free in Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

The last but not the least: the battery. There was a time when I accidentally switched on the Hero6 unaware. Apparently, it had been recording for 32 minutes already, and it managed to stay alive an hour after that. While we were impressed by Hero6’s battery, it was bothering to know that we can actually switch it on while inside our pocket. That incident could be a blessing in disguise to test out the battery and that small glitch.

Check out how the Hero6 nailed our Ford Southern Adventure Drive vlog:

Conclusion

Summing it up: the GoPro Hero6 Black has joined our list of essential camera every videographer should have. It is light, shoots great videos on fast frame rates, and flexible enough to connect to your personal devices. However, it is priced at P28,990 ­– a steeper price than its older brother Hero5 when it was launched last year.

The Good

  • Flexible connectivity
  • High resolution on faster frame rates
  • Responsive touchscreen

The Bad

  • Voice command
  • Low-light struggle

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