As the oldest player in the action camera industry, GoPro still triumphs over all of its competitors, especially after the release of its latest flagship product, GoPro Hero 5 Black. Aiming to refresh the already aged Hero 4 Black, this action cam introduces a number of fresh improvements including a completely waterproof body and a built-in 2-inch touchscreen. Even more interestingly, it’s offered at $100 less price point than the Hero 4 Black was at the time of its initial launch. Looks like the company has become more aware of the new threat imposed by the more affordable action cameras coming from China.
GoPro Hero 5 Black Design
On a glance, you’ll be hard pressed to find the difference in the outer appearance of GoPro Hero 5 Black and Hero 4 Black. Aside from the darker matte gray finish of the former, there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable trait that separates the two. At the front, you can see a small black and white LCD that displays various info such as the recording mode and battery. There’s also a rectangular lens protruding on its top left corner. Nevertheless, once you turn the camera over, the back panel will reveal a neat-looking 2-inch touchscreen display, which is something that the Hero 4 Black doesn’t have.
GoPro Hero 5 Black Key Features
Unlike GoPro’s previous action cameras, the Hero 5 Black doesn’t require the use of external case to be waterproof. Out of the box, the camera is already submersible up to 10-meter. You can still use its touchscreen to navigate the menus under water, but expect it to be a little less responsive due to the wet surface. Speaking of the menus, there are five different FOV settings (Narrow, Medium, Linear, Wide, and SuperView) as well as 6 different resolutions each of which can be used with different sets of recording rates. Basically, you have limitless options when it comes to recording.
GoPro Hero 5 Black Performance
In spite of its diminutive dimension, this camera can capture footage in 4K UHD resolution at 30fps. It’s the highest resolution that the camera supports. As far as the image quality is concerned, you’ll be blown away with the results, especially if you’re not very accustomed to watching 4K videos. All objects within its frame look crisp and vibrant. You will hardly notice anything soft. All the lines are sharp and can be easily distinguished from the background.
Unfortunately, its software-executed image stabilization can’t be turned on when you’re recording in 4K. Also, even though it has a respectable 12MP sensor, its performance in low light setting is not as good as in broad daylight. Audio quality is clearly better than that of Hero 4 Black, but if you want to use an external microphone you’re going to need the adapter, which is sold separately for $20.
If you already own GoPro Hero 4 Black, there’s still plenty of reasons to upgrade to the Hero 5 Black. Not only does it offer fully waterproof body without external case, but also it comes with a touchscreen. Accessing your favorite recording mode is just a few taps and swaps away. It’s very easy to use yet still maintain the impressive performance, if not better. Its 4K capture and high speed recording as well as a bunch of other recording modes makes it the most complete action camera today. It’ll be a while before a better action cam rolls out, I’m sure.