Camera Shootouts

GoPro HERO 6 Black vs HERO 5 Black Comparison

Which is the action camera for you?

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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.

Design

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.

Features

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.

Video Sample

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.

Photo Samples

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:

Battery Life

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.

Conclusion

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.

Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera Shootout

Which midrange contender comes out on top?

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Two brands that impressed us this year with their unconventional take on the borderless design are OPPO and Vivo. These two are always neck and neck when it comes to performance, design, and even cameras. So in this video, we set out to find which of these midrange contenders takes better photos.

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone XS vs Pixel 2: Camera shootout

Which smartphone camera comes out on top?

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As the iPhone XS starts to roll out to more markets across the globe, we’re doing another camera comparison here at GadgetMatch to see whether Apple’s best offering has what it takes to compete against one of the best smartphone cameras today: Google’s Pixel 2.

This year’s upgrades are merely incremental. But, while reviewing the iPhone XS last week, we noticed how much better it already is compared to its predecessor, the iPhone X. It has a bigger image sensor that should help with low-light performance.

In terms of hardware, the iPhone XS has a slight advantage over the Pixel 2 as it has two main cameras — one wide angle and one telephoto — but in this comparison we only used the main cameras of both phones to level the playing field. The iPhone XS also uses both lenses when taking portraits, while the Pixel 2 uses computational photography, which is possible thanks to the amount of data Google has collected over the years.

This is a blind test so get your pen and paper ready! Do note that all photos were taken on Auto or Portrait mode (when applicable) and have only been resized for faster loading times. They are labeled Photo A and Photo B randomly. Swipe left to see the photos in full and take note of your picks!

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Are you ready to see which phone took your picks? Here’s the answer sheet:

#1
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#2
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#3
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#4
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#5
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#6
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#7
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#8
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#9
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#10
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#11
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#12
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#13
A: iPhone XS
B: Pixel 2

#14
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#15
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

#16
A: Pixel 2
B: iPhone XS

There’s no denying how close the performance of both smartphones are. Even at almost a year old, the Pixel 2’s photos look just as good compared to those of the new iPhone XS.

One new feature that Apple is not hyping so much, but everyone is raving about, is Smart HDR. In the comparison, we can see this at work in backlit photos featuring our Chief Content Creator Michael Josh, and in low light. Google has a similar technology called HDR+, although the iPhone XS’ Smart HDR works slightly better.

When it comes to the portrait mode, the Pixel 2 does cutouts much cleaner, although in the photo featuring our Her GadgetMatch editor Isa, it thinks that the pillows behind her are part of the subject. The iPhone XS also produced a warmer image here. In the selfie portrait, it’s the Pixel 2 that produced the warmer image, making the blue wall behind me look less blue than in real life.

What do you think of this comparison? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Camera shootout

The rivalry is on!

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OPPO and Vivo’s newest midrange contenders are now in the market, and as usual we’re here to pit them against one another.

The OPPO F9 sports a bigger display and what OPPO calls the water drop notch, but with similar internals as its predecessor, the F7. The Vivo V11 also gets the smaller notch treatment, but boasts a higher-end processor and in-display fingerprint reader compared to the V9.

What we’re curious to see, now that we’ve reviewed both devices, is which one takes better photos. We took the F9 and V11 with us as we sought to find out what the city of Berlin, Germany has to offer.

Get your pen and paper ready because we’ve prepared another blind test here at GadgetMatch. All photos were taken in Auto Mode and have only been resized for faster loading times. They are labeled Photo A and Photo B randomly. Swipe left to see the photos in full and take note of your picks.

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Are you ready to see which phone took the photos you picked? Here’s the answer sheet:

#1
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#2
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#3
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#4
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#5
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#6
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#7
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#8
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#9
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#10
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#11
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#12
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

#13
A: OPPO F9
B: Vivo V11

#14
A: Vivo V11
B: OPPO F9

In most instances I prefer Vivo V11’s photos better than those of the OPPO F9’s. They’re more detailed, vibrant, the camera’s HDR capabilities do really well in backlit scenarios — something I also experienced on the Vivo NEX — and portrait cutouts are also more precise.

The OPPO F9 also visibly struggled to take clear shots compared to the V11 in scenarios without bright sunlight. If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the V11, it’s the way it tends to oversaturate scenes that it detects as “food” or “flower.”

What do you think of this comparison? Are you upgrading to any of these devices? Let us know in the comments below.

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