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.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei P30 Pro: Camera shootout
2019’s early flagship Androids
Now that Samsung and Huawei have released their respective flagships for the early part of 2019, it’s time to compare them in the funnest way we know how: a blind camera shootout.
Both brands make it clear that they’re proud of what their premium phones can achieve in the imaging department. While the Galaxy S10+ is incredibly versatile with its triple-camera setup and host of software tricks ranging from Live Focus to intelligent scene detection, the P30 Pro boosts its hybrid zoom and night mode game with a total of four rear cameras.
They rightfully deserve their scores at the top of DxOMark’s rankings, but what does the general public think about their camera output? With this shootout, you have your chance to analyze each photo and pick the better of the two without bias.
As always, every photo is shot in auto mode with default settings unless a category needs specific options applied. No post-processing was done except for resizing to keep the file sizes down. You may find the answer sheet at the end of this comparison.
#1 — Architecture
#2 — Building facade
#3 — Flower macro
#4 — Low-light indoor
#5 — Food close-up
#6 — Landscape
#7 — Ultra-wide landscape
#8 — Portrait
#9 — Colors
#10 — Food
#11 — Selfie
#12 — Dynamic range
#13 — Details
#14 — Nighttime outdoor
#15 — Nighttime indoor
Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14A, 15B
P30 Pro: 1A, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14B, 15A
Like past premium shootouts, the results here can often go either way. The Galaxy S10+ seems to shoot a little wider with its ultra-wide lens and tends to raise exposure more in certain situations; the P30 Pro, meanwhile, is slightly better at retaining detail in daytime and controlling light in dark areas.
Redmi Note 7 vs Realme 3: Camera shootout
A true budget battle!
We love pitting premium phones against one another to see which ones rule the mobile camera space, but every now and then, we need to see how well the budget options perform with their entry-level shooters.
For this installment of our long-running series, we’re comparing the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3, which are undeniably the most popular phones in the sub-US$ 200 segment. Being affordable doesn’t mean performing cheap, however; they have surprisingly good image sensors on them as proven in our reviews.
To make this interesting, we’re presenting yet another blind shootout so you can play along with us. Everything is shot on auto mode and no post-processing was applied except for resizing to keep the file sizes bearable.
You can find the results at the end of this article. Let’s begin:
#1 — Detail
#2 — Moving animals
#3 — Macro
#4 — Portrait mode
#5 — Selfie
#6 — Food
#7 — Landscape
Redmi Note 7: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A
Realme 3: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B
There’s no doubt that both phones shoot well at their price points, and some of the rounds could go either way depending on individual taste.
If we were to nitpick, we’d say that the Realme 3 provides more detail and produces better dynamic range, while the Redmi Note 7 is smarter when it comes to background blur and has more realistic colors on subjects.
What do you think? Connect with us on our social media channels and let us know which phones you’d like us to compare next.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Camera shootout
Wide, regular, and zoom!
We’ve come to a point wherein three rear cameras on a smartphone are becoming the norm and all three must serve an individual purpose.
That’s the case with the Galaxy S10+ and Mate 20 Pro, which are Samsung and Huawei’s most versatile camera phones to date. They both have the ability to go wide and zoomed in, on top of their regular high-resolution shooters.
As always, we’re turning this into a blind shootout so you can play along. The order of each round is random, and everything has been shot using auto settings to give both phones a fair chance to shine. The results are found at the end of this article.
#1 — Flower
#2 — Building
#3 — Graffiti
#4 — Ultra-wide
#5 — Regular
#6 — Zoom
#7 — Background blur
#8 — Backlit
#9 — Bright sky
#10 — Moving subject
#11 — Macro
#12 — Landscape
#13 — Dynamic range
#14 — Portrait
#15 — Sunset
#16 — Artwork
#17 — Twilight
#18 — Food
#19 — Vegetation
#20 — Nighttime
#21 — Total darkness
Galaxy S10+: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9A, 10A, 11B, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16B, 17A, 18A, 19B, 20A, 21B
Mate 20 Pro: 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8B, 9B, 10B, 11A, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16A, 17B, 18B, 19A, 20B, 21A
How do you feel about the results?
Truth be told, it’s as close as you’d expect from the two top mobile camera performers on DxOMark (for now, of course). Each round could go either way, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference — like if you prefer warmer tones or greater contrast in your photos.
Let us know which smartphone you think won in the comments section below.
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