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GoPro Hero5 Black Reviews

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   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

I wanted to review this from a motorbike angle ages ago but sadly it's taken this long to borrow one. But the Gopro Black 5 model is selling for around $150 than the new 6 so this vid may help you decide if you want to save some money. While the Gopros have improved significantly with each new model, there were major changes with the Five. From a dirt riding angle, I believe these are:

  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Waterproof without a case (smaller lighter)
  • A viewing screen on the rear
  • Voice control (sometimes)
  • Bigger battery (but features can suck it down)

That electronic image stabilization was long overdue. Gopro was definitely losing ground to its competitors by dragging its feet, but they finally got there. So well does it work on the Gopro Black 5? Better than I expected. On cheap cameras I've found electronic image stabilization can be jerky and look unnatural but the Gopro Black 5 looks almost as good as the famed optical image stabilisation of Sony Action cams. 

Ditching the waterproof case has made the 5 model lighter, smaller and the buttons a little easier to use. They say it's still waterproof to 10 metres so absolutely no problems for dirt riders. 

The viewing screen on the Gopro Black 5 rear is awesome. It's so easy to make sure your camera angle is right, and if you are filming by hand you can frame your shots perfectly. It's also a touch screen so you can work your way through the menus a lot faster than the old two button system.  The screen does put extra load on the battery but you can set it to turn off after a certain amount of time. 

In this Gopro Black 5 review we found the voice control allows you start and stop recording, along with a pile of other functions. Useful? Hell yes. But the only problem from a dirt riding angle is once your bike is revving, or there's a fair bit of wind, it rarely works so you are back to using the top button. However if you aren't riding too fast, and pull in the clutch to idle the engine, it often works if you speak loudly enough. 

A bigger battery can't hurt but you won't always get longer life over the old model, the Gopro Black 5 has so many features that now place an extra drain  - electronic image stabilization, gps, wifi, superview, and the rear screen. But turn all those off you can get close to two hours at 1080p and 30 frames per second. 

It's not a new feature but I'm so glad Gopro retained the Superview. It's a brilliant feature for dirt riders as the top and bottom of the screen increase to include the handlebars, while the left and ride edges are compressed. It chews a bit more battery but makes the video look even more immersive. 

There are other improvements with the Gopro Black 5 model which you can read about in other reviews, but those are the biggies for motorbike riders. 

So what's not so hot? Gopro claim the audio is better but I didn't feel it was better than the 4 model using the skeleton rear door, which prevented wind noise very well. The design of the case prevents wind noise at low speed, but by the time you are in fourth gear it kicks in. And while they've got a setting that reduces wind noise, it also affects the overall quality of the audio too. It's probably not a big point, I'm just very fussy about audio quality and I suspect many won't care at all. 

The touch screen is brilliant, but Gopro may need to tweak the touch screen. It works much of the time, but some strokes can be a bit hit and miss, especially if you keep your gloves on. 

All my Gopros have occasionally frozen and the only way to get going again was remove the battery and reinsert to reboot the camera, despite firmware updates. I was a bit surprised to find this still continues with the Gopro Black 5 model. Not very often, but it's an annoying little glitch I thought they would have solved years ago. 

If you're upgrading from a Gopro 4 then your batteries won't fit this model, so sell them off with your old camera. 

If you like filming at 4k resolution, remember the optical image stabilisation won't work in the Gopro Black 5 review. This doesn't worry me as I never use 4k, but real video buffs may want to go straight to the 6 model.

There you have it guys, Gopro are certainly back in the running for best action cam with the Gopro Black 5 model, and I suspect even more so with the 6 model. I'll start running some tests between the Gopro 5 and Sony Action cam and hopefully get back to you soon with a direct comparison.

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