Hero6 black review: GoPro just got better

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By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
THE NATION

With the Hero6 black, the sharp-eyed little camera becomes a better adventure companion than ever

THE POPULAR GoPro cameras continue to appeal with the Hero6 Black, just as deft as its predecessors at capturing top-quality fast-action video and photos, even underwater.

New in the Hero6 Black is a touch-screen user interface and the ability to take voice commands for improved convenience. It can also be wirelessly linked to a smartphone so you can use the phone as a viewfinder.

Effective stabilisation technology adds to the quality of videos and the camera is fully waterproof. You can dive underwater 10 metres with it and no for any special housing.

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You’re good for 4K video, meaning the recordings really capture your adventures for posterity in startling detail and colour when viewed on a 4K UHD TV.

Full HD 1080p video is also doable at 240 frames per second, great for watching the action in stunning slow motion.

Photos are captured at 12-megapixel resolution and you can count on excellent low-light performance.

The Hero6 Black is compact, comfortably held it in one hand. There’s a mounting frame provided for attaching various kinds of mounts, two of which are in the package for cyclists’ and bikers’ crash helmets.
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Other mounts include a head strap, chest harness, hand and wrist strap, dog harness, and a pro bike-seat-rail mount.

GPS is built in for recording the location where video and photos are shot, and an all-new GPI chip doubles this camera’s capability over its predecessor, the Hero5.

The touch-screen interface keeps control buttons to a minimum, since most controls are done on the touch-screen. There are only two buttons – the power button on the lower right and the shutter on top.

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The power button doubles as a mode switch, flicking between video, single-shot photos, photo bursts and time-lapse photos.

The USB-C port is under the seal door on the left and the battery and microSD card are underneath.

Up front is a camera-status screen displaying current settings, including camera mode, number of files stored, video duration, remaining storage and battery status.

Controlling the camera with touch display gestures is easy. Tap to select an item or turn a setting on or off. Press and hold on the display to access exposure controls.

 

Swipe left to access advanced settings for current mode and swipe right to see thumbnails of your clips and photos. Swipe down to open the Connections and Preferences menus.

To use specific voice commands, tap the icon and bark away, prefixing each command with “GoPro” (except the command to add a highlight tag to a video during recording, in which case you say, “That was sick”).

Sample voice commands are “GoPro turn on” for powering up, and “GoPro start recording” and “GoPro take a photo” depending on whether you’re shooting video or stills.

 

Once mounted on a helmet, bike or car dashboard, you can use the GoPro app on your phone to adjust settings, start and stop recording and take photos.

The GoPro app invites along the QuickStories app, which automatically copies video and photos to your mobile device. Then the GoPro app prepares an edited video, complete with music and effects, in a “QuickStory” you can share with friends online. This can be saved, edited further or deleted.

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With the GoPro app installed, swipe down on the home screen to automatically move content from your most recent session to your phone for QuickStories to edit. When the edited QuickStory is ready, you get a notification on the phone.

Videos can be shot in either Video or Looping mode. The first is traditional style, with 1080p 60 Wide, stabilisation and auto low light as the default settings. Resolution choices are 4K, 2.7K 4:3, 2.7K, 1440p, 1080p and 720p.

Looping allows you to continuously record a video, as is customary with dashboard cams. Choose an interval of five, 20, 60 or 120 minutes. If you select the 20-minute interval, the previous 20 minutes of video is saved when press “record”. If you don’t press “record”, the camera will record a fresh 20-minute interval over top of the previous 20 minutes.

 

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For still photos, you have options of Photo, Night and Burst modes, each photo is captured at 12MP resolution.

Photo is for single shots, Burst for up to 30 photos in one second, and Night for dim light or darkness. For Night mode, a tripod is recommended, since the shutter remains open longer and you could otherwise get some shake.

Other options for still pictures are wide field of view and linear field of view. The first is the default setting, which results in a fish-eye look, especially around the edges of the scene. Linear FOV doesn’t have that effect, so it’s good for aerial shots and similar views with a more traditional perspective.

The Time Lapse function is available for videos and photos by day or night. You get to choose how long an interval between shots or frames, such as every half-second, and on video, no sound is recorded.

Lacking a bike mount, I held the Hero6 in one hand during a long walk. The video quality was sharp and not shaky at all and the stills equally good.

The GoPro Hero6 Black has a suggested retail price of Bt14,500.

GoPro Hero6 Black Key Specs

– Maximum video resolution: 3,840×2,160 pixels at 60fps

– Photo resolution: 12MP

– Image recording format: JPEG, RAW

– Focus adjustment: Focus-free

– Navigation: GPS receiver

– Protection: Waterproof up to 10 metres

– Microphone: Stereo

– Camera display: Touch-screen LCD

– Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

– Dimensions: 44.6x62x32.7mm

– Weight: 117 grams

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