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GoPro Hero5



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GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5
  • GoPro Hero5


Hands-on: First impressions of the GoPro Hero5

GoPro's recently announced Hero5 camera marks quite a significant upgrade over the previous flagship model. I managed to battle past the crowds gathered around the GoPro stand at Photokina to take a closer look at the new action camera.

Related: Sony HDR-AS50 Action Cam reviewGoPro Hero5

GoPro Hero5 – Handling

The Hero5 has undergone a little bit of a makeover when it comes to styling and looks over its predecessor. It now has a rubberised design, which gives it a classier, more expensive look – something you'll probably be grateful for considering you'll be handing over the best part of £350 for it.

As is befitting for action cameras, the dinky size of the Hero5 ensures it fits in the palm of your hand, and it appears that the company has tried to make it as easy as possible to use the camera in a variety of situations and conditions.

One of the big new features is that the Hero5 is now waterproof, minus a case, down to 10 metres, meaning snorkelers and surfers will be covered. The camera is less cumbersome, and you have the benefit of clearer sound, since there's no plastic casing to hinder the microphones.

Related: GoPro Hero 4 Session reviewGoPro Hero5

The simplified controls now incorporate a 2-inch touchscreen display, which you can use to make changes to the settings, with a one-button control design complementing it. For example, using the touchscreen you can press resolution and move between the various resolution options and frame rates; 4K tops out at 30fps. Gone are the days of having to press a combination of different buttons to get the Hero to behave how you want it to – a blessing when speed is of the essence.

In addition to the touchscreen there are two physical buttons on the Hero5. The first is the one-button control, which sits at the top of the device, to start and stop video recording. A second button on the side of the camera switches the device on and off, and can also be used to toggle through different capture options (such as stills or video).

One of the new features you'll find if you move through the various menu options is the ability to turn on raw format recording. Although this is a feature that is welcomed by many photographers, it will take up a lot of memory card space.

Voice control also debuts on the Hero5, and although I wasn't able to test the feature in the environment of a show – it should be a genuinely useful specification for those times when touching the camera itself is a little awkward. Hopefully, there will be some confirmation that a photo or video has started to record, reassuring you that the GoPro has registered your command.

GoPro Hero5

The Hero5 does offer some scope for controlling certain aspects of shooting parameters – such as white balance and Auto ISO controls – but there isn't so much to bog you down and get in the way of letting the camera just capture what you're doing.

The new Hero5 is compatible with existing GoPro mounts and, excitingly, with the new Karma drone. Attach one of these to a drone and you'll be able to capture some pretty decent aerial footage at a somewhat reasonable price point – prepare for your Facebook feed to be littered even more than it is.

When the camera is on charge, you can set it to automatically upload any images or video that you have taken to the cloud. In addition, there's an optional smartphone fob to take clips straight across for uploading to social networks. Again, this isn't something I've been able to put through its paces just yet, but it will be good to see it works in practice.

Related: GoPro Hero 4 Black reviewGoPro Hero5

GoPro Hero5 – Performance

GoPro is saying that this action cam is the best it's ever produced, and there's a bunch of new nifty features that should be appealing to those looking for high image quality from an action camera. I can't wait to see how the Wide Dynamic Range mode works out, for instance, and how much you can push those raw files.

Opening impressions

GoPro is pretty much the go-to name for action cams at the moment, and the Hero5 has created a good deal of buzz.

The latest version of the camera is easier to use than ever before, something I can see even before I've gotten my hands on a full production sample. The touchscreen makes navigating through various options so quick and simple that it's hard to imagine you'll ever become quite so frustrated with the Hero5.

The fact that it's waterproof adds further to the attraction, plus specs such as automatic uploading to the cloud and a new, more premium design suggest that this camera will be top of the Christmas list for many this year.

Keep an eye out for a full review in due course.

Jason Deck

September 24, 2016, 5:07 am

I would just like to say I was hopeful when I read the headline review of the gopro 5 but I feel that I got a first time wow factor summary of a gopro done by someone that has never really use one for any length of time. Had this been a review in the most basic form it would have mentioned the battery life as I think I could safely say that 80+% of people feel that gopro got it right with the camera and the quality back when the 3+ came out but the one thing it lacked, and always lacks and most likely lacks again is a battery life. Having a gopro that doesn't require you to carry 4 extra batteries along for a single day trip or have some sorta battery pack rig going just so you can get that extra hour or so of footage to match the amount of storage the device has would be grrrrrreat.
I do thank you for the information that was provided, however when you get to that detailed review as that seems to be the part where you will bring up the battery strangely, make sure to run the gambit so we can be wow'ed once again with the progress of gopro's lack luster battery life.

Sanket Sonavane

September 26, 2016, 3:47 am

In a couple of GoPro Hero 5 Videos i saw that the menus were slow and laggy in switching options or traversing through it or is it fast or laggy ? what did you observe ? This is an important point for me in considering the GoPro.

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