GoPro Hero 6 Black: Worth an Upgrade?

GoPro launched the Hero 6 Black in the fall of 2017 with some incremental upgrades to its flagship device. YourTechDose took a thorough look at the external hardware and there were hardly any noticeable differences between Hero 5 Black & Hero 6 Black on the outside. The only obvious difference is the Hero 6 branding next to the lens cover. Other than that, everything is identical (including all ports).

While GoPro completely overhauled their Hero 5 Black in 2016, they adopted a rather subtle strategy for 2017. GoPro Hero 6 Black features the same body but adds much more fluidity to its UI (User Experience).

However, GoPro has completely revamped its internals for sheer performance & superb image quality. Here’s what has changed from the inside of Hero 6 Black:

  • Custom GP1 Processor (Say Goodbye to touch-Lag)
  • 4K @ 60FPS (Bumped up from 30 FPS)
  • Amazing EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
  • Better Dynamic Range & Low Light Performance

Improvements in GoPro Hero 6 Black

Hero 6 features an entirely new processor called the GP1, which is custom-made for the camera itself. Needless to say, when it is used alongside the Hero 5, it is significantly more responsive. Not only the touch animations have improved but the “Voice Commands” takes much less time to execute. In essence, the user experience has vastly improved on the Hero 6 Black.

Moving on to other incremental bumps, Hero 6 is now capable of capturing 4K resolution videos at 60 FPS. This makes it a perfect go-to action-cam for some crisp videos. Similarly, it’s slow-motion capabilities have also improved, which means that it can now capture FHD videos at 240 FPS (up from 120FPS in its predecessor).

GoPro has also improved the Dynamic range in the Hero 6, which captures more details and vivid colors than before. Similarly, the Low-light picture quality has also improved, although it is still not comparable to latest smart-phone cameras.

Zoom Feature on GoPro Hero 6

 GoPro has also introduced the Zoom feature in their Hero 6 Black. Before you get all excited, know that It’s a digital zoom which means that the camera software crops the original image to achieve the required focal length.

For starters, Hero 5 & 6 uses the following focal lengths for each of its modes:

Wide FOV= 17.2mm | Medium FOV=21.9mm |Narrow FOV=34.4mm(Source)

Although the Zoom Feature is exclusive to Hero 6 but it is only available till a maximum resolution of 2.7K, not available at 4K! Is it good? Well, its far from ideal as it compromises the image quality but still good to have, especially when other FOVs are not working for you!

Electronic Image Stabilization: “Gimbal Like”?

GoPro showcased their latest EIS at their Keynote by saying that it is almost as good as using a gimbal. According to our tests, Hero 6 has improved a lot when it comes to EIS. There are 2 main aspects in which Hero 6 takes EIS to another level:

  1. In Hero 5 black, EIS only worked at the maximum resolution of 1080P at 30FPS, Hero 6 is capable of stabilizing 4K footage recorded at 30FPS as well as 1080P at up to 120FPS. That deserves an applause!
  2. EIS has improved exponentially as compared to Hero 5 Black, it is much more stable and utilizes the GoPro sensors in a much effective way.

However, when we put it aside the Hero 5 mounted on FieyuTech G5 stabilization gimbal, the stabilization on the gimbal was relatively better. Nonetheless, the stabilization on GoPro Hero 6 works really well and it’s a major improvement over the Hero 5 Black.

Battery Life of Hero 6 Black

Hero 6 Black utilizes the same battery as the Hero 5 Black. It’s a 1220MAH battery which lasts about 1 Hour & 30 minutes with GPS turned on and about 2 Hours with GPS off (Recording 1080P @ 30FPS). Recording at 4K drained the battery much faster, we managed to get about 50-minutes of recording time from a single battery (GPS off). It charges via USB-C port which was introduced with Hero 5 Black in 2016.

Reasons to Upgrade to Hero 6 Black

This is where the Cost-Benefit Analysis comes handy! GoPro Hero 6 is currently retailing for $399(Amazon).Whereas, the Hero 5 Black retails for $100 less. To justify the extra $100, you get an amazing 4K stabilized footage with better Slow-motion quality and a fluid user interface.

The Plus side of upgrading to Hero 6 from Hero 5 is that you can keep all your accessories, mounts and even extra batteries and just upgrade the camera itself. Here are the Top 5 GoPro accessories according to YourTechDose!

Let us know in the comments what you think?

Our Verdict

GoPro Hero 6 is undoubtedly one of the best action-cams available in the market. From it’s usability to specs, everything is class-leading. The camera performs like a 2018 flagship should! During our extensive tests, we thoroughly enjoyed shooting with it, although it got a bit too hot at times!

 

Final Score: ★★★★★ Highly Recommended by YourTechDose

 

 

 

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