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

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OPPO Find X3 Pro: Camera shootout

Camera smackdown between the ‘Pro’ and the ‘Ultra’

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As new smartphones slowly dominate the 2021 tech scene one by one, we get more chances to compare their camera capabilities side by side.

The new OPPO Find X3 Pro promises improvements in camera performance — but is this ‘Pro’ flagship enough to compete with Samsung’s ‘Ultra’ behemoth?

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.

#1 (Wide)

#2 (Zoom)

Saturation

Most of the time, color accuracy is one factor that differentiates one smartphone from other models.

#3

#4

#5

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.

#6 (Outdoors)

#7 (Indoors)

#8 (Shade)

Zoom

There’s totally a big difference between two telephoto lenses versus one.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (5x Zoom)

#11 (30x Zoom)

Food

For those appetizing and scrumptious, IG-worthy food shots

#12 (Wide)

#13 (Zoom)

#14 (Low-light Zoom)

Faces

A dedicated section for people who love taking portraits, body shots, and selfies — whether day or night.

#15 (Zoom)

#16 (Selfie)

#17 (Portrait Mode)

#18 (Low-light)

Night 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.

#19 (Ultra-wide)

#20 (Wide)

#21 (Zoom)

#22 BONUS (Wide)

Results

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

Conclusion

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.

SEE ALSO: Find X3 Pro vs Mi 11: Camera shootout | Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera shootout

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Camera Shootouts

OPPO Find X3 Pro vs Xiaomi Mi 11: Camera shootout

Which 2021 Chinese smartphone takes better images?

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Find X3 Pro Mi 11

Other than Xiaomi’s latest flagship Mi 11, OPPO has also launched the Find X3 Pro, their best smartphone yet with several improvements in the camera department.

Just like any other camera shootout in this site, photo samples were captured using Auto Mode in each phone’s respective camera app. Only three post-processing techniques were done which are putting them in a simple collage, applying basic texts, and resizing. Photos are completely shuffled so you have to write down your picks on a piece of paper or some sort.

Without further ado, let’s start the camera duel between two of the latest Chinese smartphones!

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.

#1 (Wide)

#2 (Zoom)

Saturation

Most of the time, color accuracy is one factor that differentiates one smartphone from other models.

#3

#4

#5

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.

#6 (Outdoors)

#7 (Indoors)

#8 (Shade)

Zoom

You have to be keen-eyed in order to see the differences between each zoomed shot.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (5x Zoom)

#11 (30x Zoom)

Food

For those appetizing and scrumptious, IG-worthy food shots

#12 (Wide)

#13 (Zoom)

#14 (Low-light Zoom)

Faces

A dedicated section for people who love taking portraits, body shots, and selfies — whether day or night.

#15 (Zoom)

#16 (Selfie)

#17 (Portrait Mode)

#18 (Low-light)

Night 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.

#19 (Ultra-wide)

#20 (Wide)

#21 (Zoom)

BONUS #22 (Wide)

Results

Check out your picks below to see which smartphone, for you, has a better camera performance and overall image quality.

OPPO Find X3 Pro

1B / 2A / 3A / 4B / 5A

6A / 7A / 8B / 9B / 10B

11A / 12A / 13B / 14A / 15B

16B / 17B / 18B / 19A / 20B

21B / 22A

Xiaomi Mi 11

1A / 2B / 3B / 4A / 5B

6B / 7B / 8A / 9A / 10A

11B / 12B / 13A / 14B / 15A

16A / 17A / 18A / 19B / 20A

21A / 22B

Conclusion

The camera competition is quite close but if you’ll all look closely, OPPO’s Find X3 Pro is a tad better in producing shots that are more color accurate with the right amount of detail, contrast, and dynamic range.

Find X3 Pro Mi 11

You’ll barely see the differences among daylight shots but the Find X3 Pro truly outdid the Mi 11 in night shots and portraits. OPPO’s processing technique produced brighter, warmer, and more detailed portraits and selfies regardless if it’s against the light or taken during low-light scenarios. Speaking of low-light, OPPO’s camera magic worked wonders at night — not too bright (unlike most Android smartphones nowadays) yet has less motion blur while taking night shots for several seconds.

The Mi 11, on the other hand, isn’t that horrible. It’s just that most results were a little bit underexposed, less color accurate (more on the cooler side), and worse, blurry, especially when using Night Mode. But again, it’s just me being nit-picky. The Xiaomi Mi 11 is still a decent camera smartphone overall — it’s just that the Find X3 Pro performed better in most (if not all) scenarios.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Find X3 Pro: Camera shootout | Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera shootout

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Camera Shootouts

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera Shootout

Camera duel between 2021’s newest smartphones

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Just recently, Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 outside China. We quickly tested it against Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra — which is one of the newest smartphone flagships around.

Again, this is a blind camera shootout with photos completely randomized. Someone in the comments section pointed it out and yes, it’s as clear as the sunny skies that this is like an examination where you have to jot don your picks on a piece of a paper (or through your notes app) and find out the answer at the latter part of the article.

As usual, no additional post-processing was done aside from compiling and resizing the photos. Let’s dive right into this camera battle!

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Comparing shots taken with natural light may look easy, but it’s harder than it seems — especially if we compare each phone’s HDR capabilities.

#1 (Ultra-Wide)

#2 (Ultra-Wide)

#3 (Wide)

Auto White Balance (AWB)

Some sensors might be created equal but when it comes to AWB, there are phones that accurately depict the scene you see in real life — and some that take it too far.

#4 (Daylight)

#5 (Sunset)

Saturation

AI and computational photography either make or break a photo’s saturation level.

#6 (Wide)

#7 (Wide)

#8 (Zoom)

Zoom

This is to test the limits of Mi 11’s zoom capabilities with one telephoto lens against the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s telephoto pair.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (10x Zoom)

Macro

Although there are no dedicated macro lenses for both smartphones, taking macro shots was possible thanks to zoom.

#11

#12

Food

There’s always a better food shot between two different phones — and it clearly shows.

#13 (Wide)

#14 (Zoom)

Night Mode

To test both phone’s camera prowess, these were taken in a scene without sufficient lighting other than the night city line.

#15 (Ultra-Wide)

#16 (Wide)

#17 (Zoom)

Faces

A comparison for people who shoot a lot of selfies and portraits.

#18 (Selfie Portrait Mode)

#19 (Portrait Mode)

#20 (Night Portrait Mode)

Results

Have you made your final photo picks? Check out the results below:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:

1A / 2A / 3A / 4B / 5A

6A / 7A / 8A / 9A / 10B

11B / 12B / 13B / 14B / 15B

16A / 17B / 18B / 19A / 20A

Xiaomi Mi 11:

1B / 2B / 3B / 4A / 5B

6B / 7B / 8B / 9B / 10A

11A / 12A / 13A / 14A / 15A

16B / 17A / 18A / 19B / 20B

Conclusion

Even if we all have our preferences in choosing the best photo, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has proven its advantage in the smartphone camera department.

Other than the accurate White Balance detection, it’s also able to preserve the right amount of details, contrast, saturation, and even performs well under harsh daylight (HDR) or low-light scenarios. Not to mention, all lenses have wider Field of View (FoV) versus its competitor.

Its better AI processing and camera software algorithms also make better foreground and background segmentation. Producing creamier bokeh while being able to keep the details (even fine hair strands) intact.

Mi 11’s camera quality isn’t horrendous. Although it has AWB and autofocus inconsistencies, it was still able to keep up especially with shots taken by its main (wide) 108-megapixel sensor. While these two smartphones rock different sets of cameras including the 108-megapixel sensors (Galaxy S21 Ultra with ISOCELL HN3 / Mi 11 with ISOCELL Bright HMX), Xiaomi still delivered great and promising photos. For someone who wants to get a smartphone with great set of cameras at the fraction of the cost of the S21 Ultra, this is still a solid option.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera shootout | Xiaomi Mi 11 vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera shootout

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