With the release of multiple cameras this fall we were ones to get excited over the new and improved features for the GoPro Hero5 Black. Of course we go it as soon as possible, and unwrapped it. You can watch the video below to see how the Hero5 came in package.


Now that we’ve got it open! Let’s talk about the new and exciting specs!

Let’s start with overall specs about the camera itself.

For those of you with older GoPro cables, we are sorry to say that they no longer work which is a bummer. Instead of a micro-USB we now use the USB-C cable, maybe this will make for faster charging or more efficient, I’m not entirely sure at this point. That being said, it’s a little tricky to open the compartment that houses the ports for this cable. There is a button on the side you push in, then slide over in order to release the area. This can also be used to charge the Karma/drone that will be coming out October 23.

Hero5 also has new batteries. These seem to have the same life as the old batteries. I’ve even bought cheap knock-offs which seem to last the same as the originals. So make sure to stock up on batteries if you are going to be out and recording a bunch.

Another neat feature is that the entire camera waterproof, without a case, much like the Hero4 Session, it’s even made out of the same hard rubber material on the outside. That being said the waterproofing is only good for up to 30 feet (10m). So if you do want to take it on long dives, you will want to look into a better case.

More general features include the voice commands. This is cool, and it’s helpful for when you have a GoPro Hero5 tied up somewhere where it’s difficult to reach. One can say, “GoPro start recording.” and it will. There are about 10 other voice commands you can use to start or stop something. Whether it’s changing modes, or entirely turning the camera off. You can see how the feature would be nice and allows you to be hands free while filming, which if you are doing anything extreme that is a nice tool.

There are two different ways to turn the camera back on. If you are wanting to start recording instantly simply push the record button, the camera will start to record and turn on at the same time. No more long delays. The second option is the front button, the way it’s always turned on. Voice command doesn’t work to turn the GoPro on. Sadly, I tried.

Finally, something everyone is talking about, the touch display. It’s very similar to the Hero4 Silver but there are some changes as to where the location is. It seems slightly easier. There is a down side where me with bigger fingers, it was hard to push the right area of the screen. I’m sure this will just take practice, or I’ll make my girlfriend push all the buttons on the screen. Only time will tell.

This screen is great for choice of video quality, as it only displays the FPS that are compatible with the resolution. This makes it anyone who doesn’t know much about video get the chance to have wonderful footage and in 4k, the footage is wonderful. It’s a harder screen to use after it’s been in the water, or if my fingers are wet, so it makes it more difficult to control the exact settings you want during that time. If you are under water and expecting to use the touch screen you may want to revert to the buttons as those are guaranteed to work whereas the touch screen is harder.

And of course, it’s always awesome to see what you are shooting at, so even if everything didn’t work on the touch screen, it’s nice to know where I’m pointing and be able to frame my picture without having to connect my phone.

Within the touch screen you are able to control the other features such as Image Stabilization, and advanced audio. Both of these can come in handy however neither of them worked exactly how I expected. For instance, the image stabilization is of course electronic and therefore works more on shrinking the footage by 10% which cuts the border to your video and seems to smooth over the footage. This will work well in certain aspects and not in others, so it’s up to you to choose what works better for you. However if you do decide to flip your camera upside down, the image will automatically flip as well, so it follows the target better. All of these settings can be found under image stabilization.

Then the advanced audio is a cool feature that once again gives you control over camera and what you want your end result to be. What is really cool is the ability to control the native audio file through whichever microphone. There are controls of low/medium/high based on whats going around you, this works great as a noise reduction. We tried it and the audio was crisp and clear, however the background noise was still very much there (crazy wind).

When it was announced there was going to be GPS on the GoPro Hero5 Black, many were excited, however sadly, this GPS works more as a tracking device to state where you took your picture. If you were in  travelling France, the tag would say taken in Paris.

The thing I personally was most excited for was RAW photos. We all know that with RAW it gives you more movement within colours after post, and because my drone takes RAW pictures I’m excited something a little more ground level can do the same. In the past I would usually use my iPhone more so than my Hero4 when it came to pictures, but now with the quality and RAW I can honestly say I will be using the Hero5 Black more.

Under the photo settings it also gives you a change to change the perspective of the camera. To me I didn’t see a huge difference but there is more control with your pictures, so it’s not always a wide angle. Then there is white balance and a few other features that can help taking pictures. Once again these only work when other settings are correct, so if you don’t know much about pictures, it kind of walks you through what will work and what won’t.

Anyways, overall I’m pleased with the camera in comparison, however depending on what you do with your GoPro Hero4 or Hero5 there may not be a huge reason to upgrade. The new features are nice, however when it comes to quality of footage, durability of camera, and other tasks, they are basically identical.

Check out our video below!!