(Pocket-lint) - GoPro is back with a brand new take on a classic camera. The Hero series has been the go-to action camera for a few years now and, while it looks the same as last year, the Hero 6 Black packs a serious punch. It takes better photos, shoots better video and is what the company calls an "intelligent camera" thanks to its custom GP1 chip.
Here's everything you need to know about the all-new GoPro Hero 6 Black.
GoPro Hero6 Black: Overview and video samples
While it doesn't look like it from the outside, there are a lot of improvements in the GoPro Hero6 Black. Photos and video are dramatically improved, and you can see highlights below including some 4K and 240fps slow-motion video samples.
GoPro Hero6 Black: Design
- Waterproof to 10m (33 feet)
- Two screens: one front, one back
The short version of the design story: it looks just like the Hero 5. Very little, if anything, has changed on the outside. It's the same, small, square-ish rugged camera with waterproofing.
There's a small monochrome screen on the front, next to the camera, and a larger, colour touchscreen on the back to use as a viewfinder. This also acts as the window to the touch-based user interface that lets you quickly change shooting modes, access settings etc. It's still small enough to fit in the tiniest of pockets.
Having the same design as the previous model does offer some serious upsides. It means you can carry on using your existing mounts and accessories, which includes the Karma Drone. What's more, waterproofing up to 10 metres means you can take it underwater with you and shoot some great diving/swimming shots.
GoPro Hero 6 Black: GP1 processor, Photo and Video
- 4K at 60fps/1080p at 240fps
- HEVC video codec
- New algorithm for stabilsation
- RAW and HDR photos
While the design hasn't changed much since last year's model, the Hero 6's case is hiding a new kind of magic inside. It's called the GP1 processor. It's custom designed, and enables features that weren't previously available.
Perhaps the most important is that this new action camera can now record both 4K at 60 frames-per-second, and 1080p at 240 frames-per-second. This means you can get stunning slow motion footage at full HD, and a much smoother ultra HD image.
In tandem with that, the Hero 6 captures HEVC codec video, which means the camera benefits also from not seeing excessive power consumption, or overheating, while still having fantastic image quality at a low bitrate.
The GP1 also enables a new stabilisation algorithm. So, while the camera doesn't have mechanical/optical stabilisation, this new algorithm should produce end results that look like they've been shot using a gimbal. Or at least, that's what GoPro promises. Here's the full list of resolutions and FOVs available for video shooting:
- 4K Wide - 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 4K SuperView - 30, 25, 24 fps
- 4K (4:3) Wide - 30, 25, 24 fps
- 2.7K Wide - 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 2.7K SuperView + Linear - 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 2.7K (4:3) Wide + Linear - 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 1440p Wide + Linear - 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 1080p Wide - 240, 200, 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 1080p SuperView + Linear - 120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
- 720p Wide + Linear - 60, 50 fps
Last but not least, the GoPro Hero 6 also now shoots some great-looking HDR still photos with vibrant colour, and impressive detailing. More vitally to photography enthusiasts; the camera has more natural tone-mapping and can shoot RAW, so photos in general look closer to what the eye sees than previously.
As a bonus, there's now also a digital zoom option that you access just by touching the screen on the back.
GoPro Hero 6 Black: QuikStories
- GP1 enables advanced action recognition
- Stories offload 3 times faster
One new feature launched earlier in the year for GoPro users was QuikStories. In essence, it was the ability to automatically transfer footage to your smartphone, and then have your phone magically create a video edit, cut to music, with you not having to lift a finger.
It showed a lot of promise and is massively convenient, although not perfect. In the Hero 6, thanks to the GP1 chip, it's getting a lot better.
Firstly, footage can offload to your phone three times faster than with the Hero 5, so there's less delay. Secondly, the Hero 6 - using its processor - can use audio and telemetry cues, as well as facial recognition to better choose shots where the action is happening.
This - in the end - means less time waiting for a QuikStory to be created, and less time having to fine tune it manually to get the shots that you want. It should get close to choosing those for you.
GoPro Hero 6 Black: GPS, voice control and other features
- 5GHz Wi-Fi
- GPS, accelerometer, Bluetooth, gyroscope
- Voice control in 10 languages
As you'd expect, the new GoPro has several sensors and connectivity options. This now includes 5GHz Wi-Fi to help get those large file transfers to your phone much faster than before.
Similar to the Hero 5, you'll be able to shout commands at it to get it to take photos and shoot video. This supports 10 languages. The available commands include the following:
- GoPro start recording
- GoPro HiLight
- GoPro stop recording
- GoPro take a photo
- GoPro shoot burst
- GoPro start time lapse
- GoPro stop time lapse
- GoPro video mode
- GoPro photo mode
- GoPro time lapse mode
- GoPro burst mode
- GoPro turn off
- GoPro turn on
The last two on that list only work when activated through the camera's drop-down settings menu.
GoPro Hero 6 Black: Price
As you'd expect, with it being more powerful than the previous Hero, the cost has gone up. You can buy the Hero 6 Black for £499 in the UK or $499 in the States.
GoPro Hero 6 Black: Release date
The Hero 6 Black is available now. Stores across the globe started selling it right after the launch event on 28 September.