GoPro is one of the biggest names in sports videography and is a name that first comes to mind when the need for a portable, easy-to-set-up camera arises. Although, the past couple of years were a bit hard for the company as sales plummeted, and after introducing their first-ever drone, some literally fell from the sky.
Still working hard on making another hit, GoPro has returned with their latest action camera, the HERO 6 Black, and it boasts some pretty impressive features. Will it be the saving grace the company needs right now? How does it fare compared to its predecessor, the HERO 5? We answer those questions plus more in this comparison.
On the outside, nothing has changed with the new action camera at all. It’s made of the same robust, rubbery material that’s designed to go underwater for as deep as 10 meters without needing an extra waterproof case. Button placements are carried over — one up top to start recording and another one on its side to switch between shooting modes.
Underneath, the same 1220mAh battery is stored while connectivity ports are on the other side. Even the protective lens is still removable and replaceable. There’s virtually no way of telling the two apart except for the small print on the side of the camera.
The biggest upgrade of the HERO 6 has more to do with output. It can now shoot up to 4K resolution at 60fps, whereas the previous HERO 5 topped out at 4K 30fps. It might seem like a small detail but having the option to shoot smoother video is always a good thing.
Another difference is frame rate. The HERO 5 Black can capture videos at a speedy 240fps but resolution is limited to 720p. The newer HERO 6 Black, on the other hand, can shoot the same 240fps rate at a clearer 1080p resolution.
For more flexibility, the HERO 6 can also shoot at 2.7K at 120fps so you get nice slow-mo video with the ability to resize or re-scale your footage if the need arises. Other features that differentiate the new action camera from its predecessor include better low-light performance and dynamic range.
Of course, all this means nothing if we can’t see for ourselves. I brought both cameras during my travels and you may refer to the embedded video below (starting at 2:46) for some sample video comparisons.
You can easily see that the sky from the HERO 6’s shots is more vibrant than the pale blue color from the HERO 5. There’s also a noticeable difference in exposure. The HERO 5 has darker blacks which, in this case, worked well since it was able to bring out more details on the snowy mountain.
Although both are set to auto white balance, footage from the HERO 5 still turns out to be warmer as seen in the indoor shoot.
In terms of stabilization, the new HERO 6 really stepped up its game to remove unwanted jerks and jitters. The difference is day and night, and it’s impressive how the HERO 6 almost looks like it was mounted on a gimbal thanks to its electronic image stabilization.
Don’t get us wrong, the HERO 5 also has its own EIS, but just not as good as the new flagship’s.
One more thing to notice when the camera’s EIS is turned on is that the HERO 5 needs to crop the image by 10 percent to achieve a smoother shot, while the HERO 6 has improved this and only crops about 5 percent of the original image.
Additionally, stabilization on the HERO 5 can only be used until 2.7K resolution at 60fps, while the HERO 6 supports stabilization until 4K. The only limitation here is that EIS maxes out at 30fps with no support for the higher 60fps.
Onto low-light shooting: Footage taken with the older HERO 5 couldn’t achieve the same level of clarity shot on the HERO 6. Colors are also livelier and digital noise has been reduced significantly on the latter.
Although there were instances, like when we went ice skating, that we preferred the color and details shot by the HERO 5. It looked more natural and the ice on the floor is still visible, unlike the one shot by the HERO 6.
We now look at some photo samples from both action cameras.
This photo was taken at Italy’s oldest shopping mall and shows a good balance between light and dark areas. We like how the HERO 5 has a higher contrast which added detail to the metal structure of the mall.
While waiting for a train, we see the sun lighting the Swiss Alps from behind with a dark and shaded station in the foreground. Again, we see a more vibrant blue sky from the HERO 6 with good details.
But look closer on the warning sign in front of you and the HERO 5 was actually able to deliver a better, more legible image. Even when you crop them to 100 percent, the smallest details seem to appear better on the HERO 5.
At night, both proved to be capable shooters, but the HERO 6 showed more details by effectively capturing the cracks on the floor. One thing that I had been complaining about with my HERO 5 is that it easily overshoots light flares, creating an unwanted glow and losing details.
It’s very much distracting here since it washed out the person’s face. Meanwhile, we’re happy that it was addressed on the HERO 6 as it’s clearly the better photo.
Zooming in to 100 percent shows that the green motorcycle has a livelier color and less noise on the HERO 6 compared to its predecessor. Here are more sample photos:
As mentioned earlier in this video, the HERO 6 Black carries the same 1220mAh battery capacity as the HERO 5 Black. So it should technically last for the same amount of time right? Well, no.
We conducted a battery test on the two at full capacities, same video settings, and started recording until they both drained their batteries. After more than an hour and a half, the HERO 6 actually gave up first at 1 hour and 42 minutes while the HERO 5 continued on and reached 2 hours and 5 minutes. That’s 23 minutes of difference and could go a long way in real-world shooting.
Responsible for this result might be the HERO 6’s newer custom processor. Yes, it could produce better dynamic range, low light shots, and stabilize the camera really well — but at the cost of a more power-hungry chip. That’s definitely a trade-off to consider.
So the question here is this: Should you upgrade to a HERO 6 Black from a HERO 5 Black?
Well, you first have to ask yourself the question: Will you be using it to shoot serious action scenes with really fast movement? Are you after the best quality there is? Or are you more of a casual user who just uses a sports camera to document your out-of-town trips?
Because if it’s not for professional work, the HERO 5 Black is more than capable to document all your trips. It’s also worth every penny since it just dropped its price to US$ 299, making it a really attractive offering — not to mention longer battery life.
Although if you plan to use your action videos for broadcast and want to have a lot of flexibility in shooting and editing, then you can’t go wrong with the HERO 6 Black at US$ 399.
Galaxy Z Fold3 vs Z Fold2 vs S21 Ultra: Camera shootout
Battle of Samsung’s flagships!
Yet another shootout is here! Last time, we had a camera smackdown featuring the Galaxy Z Flip3, Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This time, we’ll be showcasing a camera fight between the Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy Z Fold2, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Can the Galaxy Z Fold3 perform better than its predecessor? And can it square up with Samsung’s flagship camera powerhouse? Like our other shootouts, the photos were only collaged, resized, and labeled for a faster preview. No other edits have been applied. Now, let’s start the fight!
Note: All photos labeled A were taken using the newest Galaxy Z Fold3, while photos labeled B were shot on the Galaxy Z Fold2. On the other hand, photos labeled C were captured using Samsung’s other flagship smartphone — the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Even with the same set of camera lenses, both the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Fold2 have different chipsets and software processing. The former tends to be overexposed and there’s an increase in highlights, while the latter produces images with vibrant and rich colors.
But if you observe it closely, the Galaxy Z Fold3 tends to have a good grasp when it comes to exposure and color calibration, especially when it’s not a backlit shot. The Galaxy S21 Ultra still held out like a champ, keeping its shots close to what it looks like in real life.
The only thing that might set others off would be its portrait shot — where the Galaxy Z Fold2 looks better for those who prefer it bright, and the Galaxy Z Fold3 looks better for those who want more details. All without looking like a cutout pasted on a blurred background like the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s shot.
The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G can take on its predecessor and Samsung’s flagship powerhouse. The only difference would be the cameras’ grasp on exposure, which might vary depending on the lighting condition.
Nonetheless, the color calibration and the processing of the photos captured are nearly the same to the untrained eye and to average consumers. Especially those who just need to capture their day-to-day and upload on social platforms.
But for those who want to have more control over their photographs, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the way to go.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Z Flip 5G vs S21 Ultra: Camera shootout
Battle of Samsung’s flagships!
We’re back for another shootout!
Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Z Flip3 and we’re stoked to compare its camera performance. One fine weekend, we brought out its predecessor — the Galaxy Z Flip 5G — and Samsung’s top flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
In this shootout, let’s see if the Galaxy Z Flip3 can serve your needs for a smartphone camera. As usual, the photos were only collaged, resized, and labeled for a faster preview. No other edits have been done.
Now, let’s start the camera fight!
All photos labeled A were taken using the newest Galaxy Z Flip3, while photos labeled B were shot on the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. On the other hand, photos labeled C were captured using Samsung’s other flagship smartphone — the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Notably, the Galaxy Z Flip3 uses the same camera modules as its predecessor. Although, the Galaxy Z Flip3 is equipped with a Snapdragon 888 chipset, and comes with upgraded software. This means better processing for the image captured.
If you observed it closely, you’ll notice that the Galaxy Z Flip3’s photos are slightly brighter than the other two smartphones. Shadows aren’t as strong as they used to, and its cameras have a better grasp when it comes to brightness and contrast.
Focus and cutouts have improved, you’ll barely notice the bokeh produced. See photos with beer, and bao, and even Mati’s portrait shots.
Colors have more punch but are more balanced, fixing the bluish tint that the S21 Ultra has in its outputs. This is most evident in Mati’s photo in the subway station.
The only thing I didn’t like was how the selfie turned out. If you can see Michael Josh’s backlit selfie, I’d prefer the Galaxy S21 Ultra since that’s an accurate representation of that scenery. Anyone’s face shouldn’t light up and look soft like a smudged photograph. If you want better selfies, always find the right light and take your photo there.
In a way, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G struck a balance between the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s performance. It processed its photos moderately to give room for more creativity.
You can post-process your photos to fit your aesthetics, although it’s enough to upload it as it is. Especially if you’re only using it for social media.
Nonetheless, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G made a lot of strides in its camera performance. Surely, it’s still a flagship smartphone, donning just a different form factor.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OPPO Find X3 Pro: Camera shootout
Camera smackdown between the ‘Pro’ and the ‘Ultra’
As new smartphones slowly dominate the 2021 tech scene one by one, we get more chances to compare their camera capabilities side by side.
In GadgetMatch’s standards, our camera samples were taken straight out of the phone’s camera app. The only post-processing techniques applied are collaging, putting simple texts in each photo, and resizing. Just like the previous camera shootouts, photos are completely shuffled so you have to remember your picks.
Can’t wait further? Let’s start the camera smackdown!
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Outdoor shots with natural light are easy to achieve — unless they show blown-out highlights and darker shadows in a scene.
Most of the time, color accuracy is one factor that differentiates one smartphone from other models.
AWB (Auto White Balance)
While color temperature can be adjusted right after taking the photo, it’s still a nice feature for a smartphone camera to detect the right type of White Balance in a shot.
There’s totally a big difference between two telephoto lenses versus one.
#9 (3x Zoom)
#10 (5x Zoom)
#11 (30x Zoom)
For those appetizing and scrumptious, IG-worthy food shots
#14 (Low-light Zoom)
A dedicated section for people who love taking portraits, body shots, and selfies — whether day or night.
#17 (Portrait Mode)
While we’re on the topic of low-light samples, it’s time to reveal the ultimate test that makes or breaks a smartphone camera.
#22 BONUS (Wide)
Do you remember your picks? Check them out below to see which smartphone is your best bet!
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
1B / 2A / 3B / 4A / 5A
6A / 7A / 8A / 9A / 10A
11B / 12B / 13A / 14B / 15A
16B / 17B / 18B / 19B / 20A
21B / 22B
OPPO Find X3 Pro
1A / 2B / 3A / 4B / 5B
6B / 7B / 8B / 9B / 10B
11A / 12A / 13B / 14A / 15B
16A / 17A / 18A / 19A / 20B
21A / 22A
In most shots taken with natural light, both the Find X3 Pro and the Galaxy S21 Ultra produced great-looking images. But if you’ve been reading our camera shootouts for a while now, you’d clearly know which shots were taken with the Galaxy S21 Ultra — and those are the wider ones.
While a larger Field of View (FoV) contributes to wider photos, sometimes, Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera software processing goes over the limit by boosting saturation or doing too much sharpening in one scene. Those techniques heavily affect a natural-looking subject or scenario.
Also, having two telephoto lenses is a great feature in a sea of smartphones that only acquire one fixed telephoto lens (the 30x zoom shot of the S21 Ultra for example produced a clearer shot vs the one taken with the Find X3 Pro). But because of Samsung’s AI enhancements, the Galaxy S21 Ultra over-sharpened most photos — particularly shots of the coffee on a bench and the shoes inside a store.
Meanwhile, the Find X3 Pro’s image quality is actually closer to reality. The details were there, and OPPO’s software magic gave the photos the right amount of detail and contrast, as well as better AWB (Auto White Balance) detection.
During that day, my eyes only saw warm-looking subjects. Also, portraits and selfies are more natural-looking on this phone. Let the background depth segmentation in Portrait Mode speak for itself. I didn’t change the aperture value on the S21 Ultra just to stick with the default settings of the camera feature. The Find X3 Pro has cleaner cutouts — even with tiny hair strands.
I also think Night Mode shots are better on the Find X3 Pro. It’s not too bright and shabby with tolerable levels of highlights, shadows, and colors.
I’d say this was a tight camera competition.
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