Home / Cameras / Camera / GoPro Hero 5 Black

GoPro Hero 5 Black review

By

Updated:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 20

GoPro Hero 5: Review
  • GoPro Hero 5: Review
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black
  • GoPro Hero5 Black

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Superb image quality
  • Effective electronic image stabilisation
  • Great microphones
  • Waterproof without a case (10m)
  • Additional still image functions
  • Improved design

Cons

  • Old batteries incompatible
  • No EIS in 4K
  • Touchscreen responsiveness

Best Deals for GoPro Hero 5 Black

  • amazon
  • ebay

Key Features

  • 4K/30fps maximum resolution
  • Waterproof to 10m without a case
  • Dual microphones
  • GPS
  • Electronic Image Stabilisation
  • 2-inch touchscreen display
  • RAW photography and Wide Dynamic Range
  • Manufacturer: GoPro
  • Review Price: £350.00

What is the GoPro Hero 5 Black?

The Hero 5 Black is the GoPro camera option for those who want the best action cam available right out of the box. You can almost think of the Hero 5 Black as GoPro’s "Greatest Hits" compilation. It takes the best features from previous generation GoPro cameras and combines them together in a single unit – and adds a smattering of new functions too.

What's the recipe for the best GoPro camera? Take the same 4K resolution, 30fps video of the Hero 4 Black, throw in the touchscreen display that was a feature of the Hero 4 Silver (and only an optional extra for the more expensive Black), and mix in the built-in waterproof capabilities and improved audio performance of the original Hero Session.

Top this lot off with electronic image stabilisation (finally!), useful voice controls and GPS, and you have one superb action camera – and the best one GoPro has ever released.

Related: GoPro Hero 5 Session review

GoPro Hero 5 Black – Design and Accessories

Putting aside the outlier Hero Session, the Hero 5 Black sees the first drastic re-design to GoPro’s main range of cameras, which is both good and bad; mainly good, however.

It retains its familiar rectangular shape, but the Hero 5 Black is now coated in a grippy, rubberised material. It’s far more rounded at the corners, too.

WATCH: GoPro Hero 5 Black video review

The dimensions of the camera have changed, which could mean it might not play well with a select few older accessories and mounts. The handheld gimbal I used with the Hero 4 Black, for example, can no longer hold the Hero 5 Black since the frame obscures the camera's lens slightly.

This is because the Hero 5 Black is a few millimetres bigger in all dimensions than the Hero 4 Black when outside of its waterproof case. Most noticeable is its depth, especially when you take into account its protruding lens.

Related: Best Waterproof Cameras

GoPro Hero5 Black

The reason is understandable, though: there’s now a 2in touchscreen display on the rear. The Touch BacPac was an optional accessory for the Hero 4 Black and added to its size.

In addition, the Hero 4 Black was waterproof only in the dedicated case, whereas the new camera is waterproof without the need for any additional housing. It’s safe to take the Hero 5 Black to depths of 10m without a worry. If you want to go deeper, then there is a waterproof housing available as an optional extra.

To keep the internals of the camera free of water, GoPro has more greatly reinforced the battery, microSD and connection port covers compared to previous models to keep them sealed. A little effort is required to access the micro-HDMI and new USB Type-C charging port in particular, since you need to depress a fiddly release button on the side to open the catch before sliding it open.

GoPro Hero5 Black

And yes, you read that right. Having waited this long for GoPro to finally embrace micro-USB ports in place of mini-USB, the company has now moved onto USB Type-C instead. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good move – especially if you have a newer smartphone featuring USB Type-C – but it just tickles me that it happened so rapidly after an initial long wait.

Removing the need for the waterproof case in most shooting scenarios is a big deal. Not only is it more convenient, and makes for a smaller camera, but the audio-capture performance is much improved now that the microphones aren’t encased.

Like the Hero Session, the Hero 5 Black features dual microphones, front and back, which the camera can swap between for the best performance – especially in windy situations. If you’re on a bike, for example, the camera can intelligently swap to the rear microphone for less wind noise.

Related: Best cameras round-up

As a bonus, the Hero 5 Black weighs about 30g less than the Hero 4 Black in its case, which will make it slightly less noticeable if you have it attached to a helmet or on your body.

Instead of having to use the waterproof case from older cameras for mounting, the Hero 5 Black now comes with a plastic frame that wraps around the edge, with the standard GoPro mount on its base.

GoPro Hero5 Black

Since there’s an exposed cut-out on the side of the frame, you can actually remove the USB port cover – just remember to reattach it if you intend to use the camera in water. This means you don’t have to remove the camera from the frame to charge it, or if you need to power the camera for a long period – for a lengthy time-lapse video, for instance – while keeping it mounted.

A standard adhesive mount is included in the box, but the Hero 5 will work with practically all standard GoPro mounts that aren’t based on the specific size of the Hero 4 Black – as was the case with my aforementioned gimbal.

Related: Best GoPro accessories: Must-have mounts and accessories to improve your footage

Overall, I love the new design of the Hero 5 Black. The rubberised exterior makes it great to hold and it helps the camera when it comes to shock-proofing, too. Where I never really felt comfortable using the Hero 4 Black without its protective case even when out of water, the Hero 5 Black feels solidly constructed.

Having now used the Hero 5 Black for a few months, its build quality has largely stood up to the bumps and knocks in use. The front display of my review camera has picked up a scratch and there are a few marks on the edge of the lens' housing, otherwise, all things considered, it's done pretty well.

Not needing a waterproof case for all but the deepest depths is also a real benefit.

Best Deals for GoPro Hero 5 Black

  • amazon
  • ebay

Fatty

November 2, 2016, 9:50 pm

I might actually upgrade to GPH5 I still have the 3rd gen

Pit Bull

November 10, 2016, 2:06 am

Camera gets hot! battery life kinda sucks, otherwise its great!

sardinops

November 18, 2016, 12:26 pm

Can you superimpose a speed readout on the video?

Richard Easton

November 21, 2016, 5:19 pm

Following the recent update to the Quik desktop software, you can now!

Alex London

December 14, 2016, 4:20 pm

1. Go pro5 has the major design flow - the usb door snaps off and gone.

2. Each time it happens GoPro cons into buying a replacement door from them for £20

3. The 4k resolution is not available at 60 or even 50 fps. Only with 24 PAL or 30 NTSC - the same as the old GoPro

4. The formats between 4k and HD with a better fps are not supported by tv.

5. The image stabilizer does not work with 4k, only with some old HD formats, same as the old GoPro4

6. Camera overheats and stops recording after just 20 seconds recording. Not suitable for longer clips.

7. The battery is wasted on the heat production and one can literally see the charge indicator unwinds

8. GoPro customer service. Initially they promised to send a free replacement door as I pointed them the design flow. They requested my personal details, receipt, pictures of the camera, but after a month wait they did nothing and told me if I was in a rush I could buy it from their shop for another £20.

9. There is no value for money as the competitors sell the same capability for under £100.

10. The external mic has now USB-C.

11. Be warned about the design problem with the USB door and attach some safety cord?, so when the door snaps off it is not getting lost, at least. GoPro has to recall the product.

Gil Amorin

January 20, 2017, 6:44 am

Dear future GoPro Hero 5 Users,

I’m writing you to communicate and share my huge deception and terrible experience with your last GoPro Hero 5 product I recently acquired.

I bought this product thinking it was I great video recording system to take with us on our honeymoon trip; easy to carry on and above all, WATERPROOF.

Just right after our arrival, and literally at the second time of using it underwater — I use it no more than 10 mins, at 1 meter depth —, the camera completely stopped working.

That is very frustrating to buy a product that is supposed to be waterproof, and discover at the actual practice that in fact, it is not.

I’ve been working in fashion photography and video for many years, and I’m very careful and handle with and extreme care all my technological material.

And so I did with your product, watching very carefully that all the lock systems were very well sealed and closed before using it underwater.

It is a nonsense and very shameful to sell a product making advantage of its waterproof specifications, and see that in real practice it shows to be fake.

This already ruined the next days of our holidays, as it was the video recording system we brought with us on this trip.

I DEFINITELY DON’T RECOMMEND TO BUY A GOPRO HERO 5 BLACK IF YOU’RE THINKING USING IT UNDERWATER AS IT IS NOT WATERPROOF !!

Regards,
G.

comments powered by Disqus