GoPro HERO5 Black Waterproof Camera review

The original action cam learns a few new tricks - like how to survive underwater

Ever watched someone jump out of an airplane? Pull off a double backflip on a motorbike? Outrun an avalanche on a snowboard?

Yeah, that footage was almost definitely shot on a GoPro. This tiny, rugged action camera has literally been our eyes into the world of extreme sports since the original GoPro launched back in 2006.




That explains why it’s so popular with the kinds of adrenalin junkies that put their life on the line for YouTube views, but this latest revision ticks all the boxes for the rest of us too. Y’know, the ones that don’t have a death wish.

Say hello to the new, hugely improved, cloud-connected Hero5 Black. It’s got the smarts to make your sunday stroll look as good as BASE jumping from a skyscraper – only without the elevated heart rate.

BITE-SIZED PRO-NESS

RM1849 buys you a rugged camera you can take just about anywhere – and now you don’t have to worry about strapping it into a case before getting it wet.

That’s right: The Hero5 Black is waterproof out of the box – no wetsuit required. It’s good for a dunking down to 10m, so it’ll cope with snorkeling, surfing, and the swimming pool.

The basic shape hasn’t really changed, so you can re-use all your old mounts. The rubber finish feels reassuringly sturdy and won’t slip out of your hands, even once it gets wet.

GoPro has borrowed a few ideas from the Session, like the simplified one-touch button for recording. It’s in the same familiar position, but it’s easier to press now – even if you’re wearing gloves. The Mode button is in easy reach at the side, too. It’s a clean design, and we love it.

You’ll find the biggest change around back. There’s a 2in touchscreen here now – something only available on the Hero4 Silver before.

A touchscreen makes changing settings so much easier than before, where it was either fiddly to do on-camera or needed a smartphone companion app. Thumbs up, Go Pro – this is a big improvement.

RM1849 buys you a rugged camera you can take just about anywhere – and now you don’t have to worry about strapping it into a case before getting it wet.

That’s right: The Hero5 Black is waterproof out of the box – no wetsuit required. It’s good for a dunking down to 10m, so it’ll cope with snorkeling, surfing, and the swimming pool.

The basic shape hasn’t really changed, so you can re-use all your old mounts. The rubber finish feels reassuringly sturdy and won’t slip out of your hands, even once it gets wet.

GoPro has borrowed a few ideas from the Session, like the simplified one-touch button for recording. It’s in the same familiar position, but it’s easier to press now – even if you’re wearing gloves. The Mode button is in easy reach at the side, too. It’s a clean design, and we love it.

You’ll find the biggest change around back. There’s a 2in touchscreen here now – something only available on the Hero4 Silver before.

A touchscreen makes changing settings so much easier than before, where it was either fiddly to do on-camera or needed a smartphone companion app. Thumbs up, Go Pro – this is a big improvement.

PERFORMANCE PRO

What else is new? How about stereo audio recording, for starters. Advanced wind noise reduction is now built-in too and boy, does it help. The camera automatically switches between its three microphones when it detects wind noise, so your clips aren’t muffled when it comes to editing.

We also love the new Linear view setting for videos and photos. It uses software to get rid of GoPro’s iconic fish-eye effect, offering a magnificent sweeping view of your shenanigans on planet Earth. Plus it saves you having to do the dirty work in post-editing.

You can shoot 4K videos at 30fps, just like last year, and it’ll snap 12MP stills as well. The Hero5 captures rich colours and handles exposure brilliantly, based on the footage we’ve pulled from our demo unit.

A new wide dynamic range (WDR) mode helps balance out bright lights and darker shadows without losing detail, so your shots come out looking stunning. GoPro’s ProTune manual mode is still on-board as well, naturally.

Oh, and it’ll even do RAW photos now – so you’re free to tweak tiny details once you get back to a computer.

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