Tell this GoPro to start, stop recording

Unlike its predecessors, the GoPro Hero5 Black no longer needs a casing to be waterproof.
Unlike its predecessors, the GoPro Hero5 Black no longer needs a casing to be waterproof.PHOTO: GOPRO

The GoPro Hero5 Black is the action camera market leader's latest flagship model.

It comes with a built-in 2-inch rear touchscreen display.

Yes, you no longer need to buy an additional display adapter. It retains its front monochrome LCD that displays important information such as shooting mode, battery life and storage capacity.

The iconic front Power/Mode button is now gone. Instead, there is only a top shutter button and a side button. The side button is now used for powering up, shutting down and changing modes.

However, GoPro has something up its sleeve. Pressing the shutter button when the camera is off will start photo or video recording, depending on the mode you last used. It takes only 1sec before it starts recording.

Powering up the camera also takes 1sec, while shutdown takes around 2sec.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $590

    IMAGE SENSOR: 12 megapixels

    LENS' FIELD OF VIEW: 122.6 degrees

    DISPLAY: Built-in 2.0-inch touchscreen

    WATER RESISTANCE: 10m

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

    WEIGHT: 144g (with frame casing)


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

 

Alternatively, you can use voice control (supports up to seven languages) to start or stop recording with the Hero5 Black. You just have to say "GoPro Start Recording", "GoPro Stop Recording" or "GoPro Take a Photo". It worked quite well during tests. It was able to pick up my commands even in Mandarin.

Design-wise, the Hero5 Black is still rectangular in shape but sports a grey and black combo instead of the usual silver. It is also more curvy than its predecessors and now sports a rubberised exterior.

But, unlike its predecessors, Hero5 Black no longer needs a casing to be waterproof. On its own, it is waterproof down to a depth of 10m. Great convenience here, as no underwater casing is required.

However, you still need a frame casing (included) in order to attach those GoPro mounts.

Another downer is that the Hero5 Black uses the USB-C port for charging and file transfer instead of the ubiquitous micro-USB connector.

But, as you might expect, the 4K videos captured by GoPro are simply stunning. It is clear and of movie quality. However, the image stabilisation is not as good as that with the Sony FDR-X3000. But it is not too shabby either.

The photo quality is also sharp and outstanding. Although the colours tend to be a bit neutral, it is something you can adjust later on.

I am particularly impressed with the night stills and moving images that display some pleasing grains instead of those ugly noise artefacts.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: The GoPro Hero5 Black is a superb all-round 4K action camera with voice commands and great image quality to boot.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline 'Tell this GoPro to start, stop recording'. Print Edition | Subscribe