GoPro has just unveiled its new Hero 6 Black flagship camera. We reveal what’s new and whether it’s worth upgrading from the Hero 5 Black.
When Trusted Reviews reviewed the GoPro Hero 5 Black we called it GoPro’s ‘greatest hits action camera’ in the sense that it brought together the best component pieces from GoPro’s previous cameras with a smattering of new useful features.
The Hero 6 Black therefore builds upon some strong foundations, but is it worth the upgrade? Let’s dive in and find out.
GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black – Design
We can keep this one short and sweet. Visually, the two models are identical. That means they both feature that slightly ruggedised rubbery exterior and built-in waterproofing to 10m without the need for a separate case. There’s still dual microphones, too.
This is good news if you’ve picked up any Hero 5 Black-specific mounts, third-party gimbals, the Karma drone or Karma Grip as they’ll still work just fine. Of course both models also work with the wide range of standard GoPro mounts out there, too.
GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black – Resolution and framerates
This is where things deviate. The GoPro Hero 6 Black’s major upgrade is internal and that comes from the GP1 custom processor. This is used to unlock higher resolution and frame rate options compared to the Hero 5 Black.
The Hero 5 Black tops out at 4K resolution at 30fps, whereas the Hero 6 Black can now shoot 4K at a slick 60fps. It’s a similar case for slow-motion footage. The Hero 5 Black could only shoot 240fps slow-motion video at a reduced 720p frame rate. With the Hero 6 Black, you can now shoot 240fps at a much sharper 1080p resolution. Both of these are pretty big upgrades if you want smooth high-resolution footage or sharp slow-motion. On top of that, there’s 2.7K at 120fps if you don’t want to drop the resolution quite so much but still want some flexibility around slow-motion.
GoPro has also said the GP1 processor will allow for better dynamic range and low-light performance. Until we can put it through its paces it’ll be difficult to see how much of an improvement this will be. But certainly the resolution and frame rate options give the Hero 6 Black an advantage.
GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black – Controls and stabilisation
Both models still support voice controls in 10 different languages and include a touch screen. New for the Hero 6 Black, however, is touch zoom, which allows you to digitally zoom. This will be at a detriment to image quality compared to optical zoom but if you want to get closer to the action it will be a useful option to fall back on without necessarily putting yourself in harms way.
Both models support electronic image stabilisation but GoPro has said the Hero 6 Black features its most advanced image stabilisation yet, again courtesy of that GP1 processor providing extra grunt for the software stabilisation.
GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black – Price
The GoPro Hero 6 Black will cost $499/£499. Slightly surprisingly, the Hero 5 Black is going to remain on sale for £399/$520 as a cheaper alternative.
GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black summary – What’s the difference?
For a quick breakdown of the differences between these two action cameras, here’s what you need to know:
Design: Both models are identical in terms of design. This means both are compatible with the Karma drone and Karma Grip.
Resolution and framerates: The Hero 5 Black tops out at 4K/30 and 720p/240 slow motion; the Hero 6 Black can shoot 4K/60 and 1080p/240 slow-motion. The Hero 6 Black reportedly has better dynamic range and low-light performance, too.
Controls and stabilisation: The Hero 6 Black supports a new touch zoom feature and has more advanced electronic image stabilisation.
Price: The price of the Hero 6 Black is $499 /£499. The Hero 5 Black remains on sale and has an RRP of £399/$520.
Really, it’s the resolution and frame rate boosts that separate the two models, so you’ll need to consider this when deciding which camera is best for you. If you’re non-plussed by slow-motion video, you might not appreciate the upgrades quite as much.
The enhanced image quality might make a real difference but we won’t know how big until we can get the Hero 6 Black in for a thorough review.