Gear

GoPro’s Hero6 Black is Here

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It’s official. There’s a new GoPro in town – the Hero 6 Black.

Not that it wasn’t spotted coming; leaked specs have been pretty accurate, but there are some juicy new details, too. And GoPro has also launched the Fusion, a waterproof, mountable 5.2K spherical camera, new mounts and accessories. Let’s dive in…

Priced $499.99 and closely resembling the previous camera in design, the Hero6 and has pumped up on the inside with increased processing power from its GP1 processor. This gives not only improved image quality, but also faster frame rates from the old model.

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Frame rate improvements include those at 4K, 1440p and Full HD 1080p resolutions. The previous model hit the ropes at 30fps in its 4K mode, but the Hero6 doubles down for a maximum 60fps, giving ultra-high definition video a much smoother look. At 1440p this rises to 120fps and in 1080p there’s an ultra-slow-mo 240fps.

Keeping to the super smooth theme there’s improved electronic image stabilisation – GoPro’s ‘most advanced yet’ – to compensate for vibration and give what’s promised to be gimbal-like steadiness.

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For sound recording there are three built-in mics, which the Hero6 can switch between for optimum results. For example, in windy conditions the camera analyses where the interference is coming from, and biases the recording away from that. A number of Field Of View options – effectively a digital zoom – crop the regular view and remove the usual barrel distortion of the lens, with Medium, Narrow and Linear options.

If you’re shooting stills, there’s a resolution of up to 12MP, a 30fps burst mode, time-lapse shooting, Raw files for more control in post processing and a Wide Dynamic Range mode, which should improve highlight and shadow detail in challenging lighting. General low light performance is said to be ‘dramatically’ improved.

Just as with its predecessor, the Hero6 has a rugged design with a rubberised finish. Even without a housing it’s waterproof down to a depth of 10m, and of course a housing can be fitted for even deeper applications. Of course, there’s the usual multitude of mounting options, too.

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On the back of the Hero6 is a large 2in touchscreen for menu navigation, and other aspects of the interface will be very familiar to GoPro users, with the usual one-button activation of and stopping of video. Also onboard is voice control with options to begin and end recordings, shoot a still, capture a sequence of images – it’s available in no less than 10 languages.

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And once you’ve shot your footage the Hero6 will sync with the GoPro App, processing footage into “cinematic” QuikStory videos ready for sharing online. If you want to transfer data in the usual fashion, it’s claimed to be 3x faster thanks to a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection.

So what about GoPro’s Fusion camera? Currently on pre-order, it’s priced at $699.99, and is capable of recording 5.2K spherical video at 30fps, for immersive VR videos. A lower-res 3K spherical video mode at 60fps is also available. The same digital stabilisation as the Hero6 is used to keep footage shake free, and you can use the GoPro App’s OverCapture feature to get traditional video, if required from the native 360º recording. 18MP spherical photos can also be captured. The Fusion is waterproof to 5m, works with most GoPro mounts, and like the Hero6 also includes voice control (though presumably not underwater!).

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You can find out more here.