The GoPro Hero6 Black: Your New Hero
Made its debut last September 2017, the Hero6 Black is GoPro’s latest flagship action camera as of date. Looking at the Hero6 Black, it’s almost impossible to tell it apart from its predecessor, the Hero5 Black. And that may not be a bad thing as the changes under the hood is what’s making a mark. Let’s see how the Hero6 Black can be your new Hero.
The familiar looks and sturdy design hasn’t changed between the Hero6 Black and the Hero5 Black. This consistency in design assures that the Hero6 Black will be compatible to those mounts and accessories used in previous models. The 2-inch touchscreen is clearer and more responsive and now features a more intuitive pinch-to-zoom gesture. The device is still waterproof up to 10 feet but anything beyond that, you’ll need a Supersuit.
The most profound improvement of the Hero6 Black is GoPro’s new GP1 processor which doubles the performance from the previous model. The latest action-cam is now capable of shooting high-resolution, ultra-HD at higher frame rates. It also made great strides on image stabilization, file compression, and overall image quality. The faster 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection speed tries to alleviate the transfer time that seems to take forever especially now with 4K.
The Hero6 Black's design and form is identical to its predecessor.
With the GoPro’s new GP1 processor, the Hero6 Black can now shoot silky-smooth 4K at 60fps, and buttery-smooth slow-motion 1080p videos at 240fps. The GP1 also analyzes information from the camera’s various sensor and helps the Quik app push out compelling edits on its own.
Electronic image stabilization for the H6B is now available when shooting 4K at 30fps and 1080p at 120fps. A significant improvement from previous models which can only utilize EIS at the expense of the frame rate setting it a step down. Still, if you want a more pristine shot you can always opt for a gimbal like the Karma Grip which is great in capturing super-stabilized videos.
The GP1 also uses HEVC or High Efficiency Video Codec for compression. As the name implies, this means files can now be compressed smaller which is great especially when shooting at ultra-HD and higher resolutions. The only downside is that, since HEVC is new, it may not play nice with your older devices.
Image and Video Quality
Video and image quality improved greatly. One of the most noticeable upgrades was its dynamic range. Notably, images has become more lively and vivid. Colors now pop out and are more prominent in the shots.
The H6B can now produce better shots even at low-light situations which has been GoPro’s weaker suit. It also improved on auto-exposure adjustments - this means quicker, better transitions from dark to bright environments. Gone are those momentary blindness due to overexposure when going out.
Capturing stills has been improved as well. The 12 megapixel camera of the H6B still uses the single, burst, or time-lapse shooting modes. The upgrade is mostly the full High Dynamic Range for the H6B which was only Wide Dynamic Range for the Hero5 Black. Stills are now sharper, crisper, and looks better exposed.
The Hero’s Villains
This Hero is not without its villains and this one comes with trade-offs. Starting with a hefty price difference of about 6000 pesos as compared to the Hero5 Black.
With its new GP1 silicon, 4K shooting capabilities, electronic image stabilization, and faster 5GHz connectivity to name a few, it’s bound to drain your batteries faster. Although to be fair, battery life is at par with its predecessor when compared to shoot at similar modes. This is expected as it uses the same batteries as the Hero5 Black. This is great because these cells are readily available.
The new HEVC is great but somewhat early for its time. Older devices are either not ready or downright cannot support it. Unless you’re using a 6th-gen Intel powered computer, you’re going to have trouble playing back your 4K videos smoothly. But if you’re quite savvy and up-to-date on the devices that you’re using, those 4K vids will look pretty sweet.
The GoPro Hero6 Black: Your new Hero
Which One to Get?
Are you a Pro or a regular Moe?
Still can't make up your mind? Maybe our Hero5 Black review can help!