Finally, my new GoPro HERO5 Black camera has arrived! Today, I want to share the whole story with you. I made a special storytelling video so you can have a little fun. Expect more than just typical boring unboxing and review of features. We’ll discover a surprise waiting in the package, check the key features of the camera and see how well it worked during the first tests.
Unexpected Unboxing and Review Video
Several days before the box arrived I was already very excited. But I was also thinking intensely how to show you this new camera. I knew I will not be the first one to make an unboxing video and I will not be the best looking and best-speaking person. There are already hundreds of unboxing videos on YouTube right now.
I decided to create a video about HERO5 Black in the form of an original story, in a totally unexpected way. I warn you, it is a little bit silly, but I wanted to make people laugh and still show the key features and tests. Don’t worry, you will get all expected details here on the blog. But first let’s see the silly story video:
What Is in the Box
Let’s see what was in the HERO5 Black package. Here is the content of the box:
- camera HERO5 Black
- basic mount with safety rubber
- cable USB-C
- 2 adhesive mounts (flat and curved)
- papers & stickers
I am glad that the classic housing known from the previous version of GoPro is gone because HERO5 Black is fully waterproof. You will still need a housing for deep diving if you go more than 10 meters or 33 feet under the water level. For regular activities, you need only this tiny frame.
It was quite tough to get the camera out of the frame – I had to push harder. The frame has several holes on the sides for 3 microphones, shutter button and access to USB and HDMI ports.
I discovered that the frame didn’t fit 100 % to my 3-Way arm. The frame’s connection seemed to be short or 3-Way was too long.
I contacted GoPro support and they sent me a new 3-Way end section. It fits a little bit better but it turned out that the problem was probably too short frame connection. However, my frame works fine with all other mounts I own. So I solved the problem by shortening my 3-Way (sand paper worked great, easy adjustment). I asked other GoPro enthusiasts and nobody had this problem.
The package contains basic mount with a screw which might be clicked, for example, to adhesive mounts, chest mount etc. There is one new thing on it – a safety rubber. This prevents accidental unclicking the camera from the mount. You need to raise the rubber up first and then you can unclick the camera.
There is a different type of a battery than was used in HERO4 camera. I am not happy about that because I need a lot of batteries for our trips and now I have to buy all of them again.
Just a note aside, memory card from my HERO4 Silver camera works fine with HERO5 (it wasn’t part of this package).
The cable (USB-C) is also different from the cable used for HERO4 cameras.
You’ll get only basic start guide but it is enough for first time users’ shooting. Actually, I didn’t even read it before I started using my camera. If you need the full manual to explore more advanced features download it here.
Settings and Camera Tour
When you turn on the camera for the first time it asks you to set few things like a date, time, language etc.
Then comes a Camera Tour showing you how to control and set the camera. You can access this tour anytime if you swipe down on a touch display and tap on Preferences.
In Preferences, you can access and set all sort of other things:
- camera info and updates
- date and time
- voice control
- GPS (serves only for tagging the location, not for tracking)
- beep volume
- default mode
- auto off
- touch display – screensaver, brightness, auto-rotation
- video format – NTSC or PAL
- HDMI output – monitor, media or live
- format SD card
- setting camera defaults or factory reset
A short press of Mode button on the side of the camera powers on and long press powers off the camera. It switches between video and photo modes. This button also serves for adding HiLight tags during recording.
Shutter button on the top of the camera captures a video or a photo. When your GoPro is off and you press the shutter, it will power on and start recording immediately. The short press is for a video and long press for a time lapse photos. This feature is known from earlier as Quikcapture.
GoPro significantly changed controlling and setting the camera using the touch display. The key settings (camera mode, resolution, frames per second and field of view) are directly accessible at the bottom of the screen. I like how easily I can change these features just by tapping on them.
I can see the change during choosing already, before submitting it. For example, when I want to change the field of view, as I go through all the options, the image on the screen is changing too so I can immediately see what will be the best fit.
This is very convenient, much better than with HERO4s. In case you didn’t have earlier GoPros – you had to submit the change first and then look. If it wasn’t the right choice, you had to go through all the settings options again. And in the meantime, the perfect shot was already gone…
Except tapping on a touch display, you can also swipe from all 4 directions to access all other settings.
Swipe left to access advanced settings:
- Protune – this changes your GoPro from automatic point-and-shoot camera to manual where you can set things like ISO, color, sharpness, exposure etc.
- video stabilization – makes activity video smoother but crops about 10 % of Wide field of view
- auto low light – camera automatically lowers the frame rate in darker conditions
- manual audio control – when turned off (default), camera automatically switches between stereo and wind reduction modes for optimal sound; when turned on, you can choose either stereo or wind reduction mode
Swipe down allows you to lock your display, quickly turn on / off voice control, connect to other devices or change Preferences discussed above. Or it returns you back to the main screen.
Swipe right to view your photos and videos.
I didn’t expect to use voice control often but I quickly discovered how convenient and useful this feature is. I drove my car and saw a deer right next to the road. Steering wheel in one hand, camera in the second, there was no other way to push the shutter so I yelled:
GoPro, take a photo!
This deer photo isn’t the best ever but it wouldn’t exist without the voice control.
If you want to try this new feature turn it on first by swiping down and tapping on the icon in the right top corner. Default is off.
If you tap on Preferences it will let you access also other voice control options like language settings and list of available commands:
- GoPro start recording
- GoPro HiLight
- GoPro stop recording
- GoPro take a photo
- GoPro shoot burst
- GoPro start timelapse
- GoPro stop timelapse
- GoPro video mode
- GoPro photo mode
- GoPro timelapse mode
- GoPro burst mode
- GoPro turn off
I was afraid if it will understand my accent of a non-native speaker but it works fine, as you can see in my silly story video.
There is only one thing I am afraid of. My older daughter tries to learn these commands and she could interrupt my shooting in the best moment 🙂
I am not going to bore you by all possible settings anymore. Let’s jump into the testing to see how the camera works in reality.
We have been camping and road tripping this weekend which was perfect to test different conditions. The best would be to see my silly story video mentioned above and here I provide the comments to the tests performed there.
All shots were made in 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second, with stabilization ON. None of the shots were edited, the sound is at an original level without any corrections.
Sound in Windy Conditions
In the first test, I wanted to hear the sound in windy conditions. The camera should automatically switch between 3 microphones if the wind is compromising the sound from any of them. As you can hear, the wind is still audible in the video. But I can understand what my daughter says even she talks quietly.
Stabilization of Shaky Video
I made a few shots on the road from our car. In the past, these shots were always shaky. But this time, I tried the stabilization of my new HERO5 Black camera – make sure it is ON (swipe left). I didn’t expect much. But later at home, I compared it with my old shaky shots and I was surprised by clearly visible difference – video was smoother. I am sure it cannot beat external stabilizer, though.
High Contrast Light Conditions
Next test shows filming dark cave and directly sunlit place at the same time. This high contrast light condition is always difficult even for DSLR cameras. Note that there was a noise from a waterfall and I can still recognize what my daughter says.
Dark and Low Light
Check here the dark conditions when my daughters climbed between the rocks. Here are a bit lighter conditions when we were hanging out inside our tent. GoPros aren’t the best in low light but these shots were sufficient for me.
Transition from Dark to Sunlight
Then I tried a transition from a dark cave to a direct sunlight. As you can see, the camera needed a second to adjust to the different light conditions. A transition from a shadow to a sunlight was much smoother.
I’ll start with cons. Battery life which is pretty much similar like it was quite bothers me. Same as the fact that I need to re-buy all the spare batteries. The other con is not perfect fit with my 3-Way arm.
And here come the pros. I love to hear sounds clearly – this is what I have been waiting for! Stabilization is a nice surprise, same as the voice control. I liked the new display controls, it is faster to set the camera. Quality of the image is beautiful even without any post-processing.
Overall, I like our new HERO5 camera a lot and cannot wait to do more tests. I will surely write more detailed review about it after several months of intense use.
Let us know if you have any questions bellow in comments. Or if you already have your own experience with this camera, please share it with us!
Thanks for reading our review!
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