Technology

GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black [COMPARISON]

With the latest GoPro camera now released, here ValueWalk makes its GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black comparison. The new generation of the action camera is naturally intended to be a significant improvement over the GoPro Hero 5 Black, but does the latest release turnout to be worth the extra money?

GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black
Image Source: GoPro.com (screenshot)

GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black

Design

The first obvious area in the GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black comparison is the design of the two units. And that this can be summed up rather easily; they both look almost exactly the same! GoPro developed the GoPro Hero 6 Black internally, but clearly has focused on the internal components and performance rather than physical design.

Controls and Interface

This similarity between the two models also relates to the controls and interface included. Subtle tweaks have being made to the menu of the GoPro Hero 6 Black, and this help to make the action camera slightly more user-friendly. But there is no significant difference here, with even the voice control working almost identically on both cameras.

Battery life

In the GoPro Hero 6 Black versus GoPro Hero 5 Black comparison, there is also practically nothing to choose between the battery life of the two cameras. Indeed, both use the same at 1,220 mAh cell, meaning that existing owners can actually swap batteries if required. Probably some new software improvements lead to the GoPro Hero 6 Black offering slightly more battery life, but it really isn’t anything particular significant.

LCD Touch Display

The new GoPro Hero 6 Black includes some minor innovations in the LCD Touch Display that is utilized for live view and playback. This improves the user interface and ensures that the screen appears slightly brighter. The color balance of the new screen is also noticeably warmer, and this does make a difference when viewing video footage.

There are definite improvement here for the GoPro Hero 6 Black over the GoPro Hero 5 Black, but obviously nothing that would really warrant a purchase in and of themselves. However, it is in the shooting department that the new camera is really intended to score points over its predecessor.

Shooting video

Naturally this is really the crux of the GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black comparison, with the new action camera delivering a 4K resolution mode at 60 frames per second, while it is also possible to shoot full HD video at a staggering 240 frames per second. This means that the performance of the action camera is doubled in comparison to the last release in the series, meaning that the footage taken by the GoPro Hero 6 Black is massively improved over it cousin.

The new GoPro Hero 6 Black also drops 480p and 960p shooting, both of which are included with the GoPro Hero 5 Black. Whether this is really of importance is debatable, and the new action camera also compensates by including a larger format called 4K 4:3 for the first time.

Overall, the quality of image acquired from video shooting in the GoPro Hero 6 Black is significantly superior to the last generation GoPro Hero 5 Black, and definitely warrants serious consideration regarding upgrading.

Stabilisation

The GoPro Hero 5 Black included in-camera stabilization, but the GoPro Hero 6 Black really improves on this feature. Early testing of the two action cameras indicates that the stabilization of the new machine is significantly better than the last generation. This only makes a massive difference when shooting in demanding conditions, and this really makes the GoPro Hero 6 Black a more viable action camera than its predecessor.

Digital zoom

Another major front in the GoPro Hero 6 Black versus GoPro Hero 5 Black battle is the digital zoom capabilities of the two devices. In order to make improvements in this department, the GoPro Hero 6 Black features a new zoom function. Already many owners of the new release have reflected that the image quality when utilizing this feature is improved over the last generation, so GoPro certainly seems to have delivered in this area.

Video Codecs and Protune

There is little to choose between the two action cameras in either of these elements, with similar MP4 containers included in both, and the Protune options being extremely similar between the two models. However, it is worth mentioning that the GoPro Hero 6 Black adds a few more manual white balance, shutter speed, and ISO settings, which result in it being a slightly more flexible and nimble action camera.

Shooting Photos

While most people think of action cameras as video-producing machines, it is also important to consider how the GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black comparison stacks up in still photography. Clearly GoPro has given this some serious consideration, as the image quality of the photos in the new machine is certainly superior.

The GoPro Hero 6 Black delivers photographs that are more natural in coloring, with less marked contrast and finer detail throughout the tonal range of images. While the photographic results are not quite as good as a larger stills camera, the new release still represents a significant step in the right direction.

HDR

Finally, the GoPro Hero 6 Black has replaced the WDR system with a more traditionally named high dynamic range offering which is significantly more aggressive in recovering in detail in shadows and highlights. Even the increased saturation that the new system results in it seems somewhat more natural, and the overall impact of this HDR mode is certainly favorable.

Price

With the GoPro Hero 5 Black now available at $350, it is effectively $150 cheaper than the GoPro Hero 6 Black. This obviously makes the older camera a value for money offering, but should consumers opt for the improved functionality of the GoPro Hero 6 Black?

Conclusion

It is hard not to recommend the new camera overall, as virtually every aspect of its shooting is superior to the GoPro Hero 5 Black. Those keen movie makers on a budget may be tempted by the price tag of the older camera, but those wanting the best action camera experiences certainly opt for the new GoPro Hero 6 Black release.

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