GoPro’s latest action camera, the Hero 6 Black has been reintroduced and boasts many impressive features. It could be the company’s saving grace right now. How does it compare to the HERO 5, its predecessor? These are just a few of the questions we answer in this comparison.
GoPro Hero 6 Vs 5
Housing and Exterior
The HERO6 Black vs HERO5 Black has the same casing. The HERO6 Black and HERO5 Black have the same size and shape. They also share the same matte gray finish.
You can’t really tell the difference from the outside. You can tell the difference by small details, such as the lock lever on the new frame housing’s arrow and subtle visual tweaks to its touchscreen user interface.
The HERO6/5 housing design has one key feature: the camera’s case is also the housing. If you want your HERO4 model to be waterproof, you will need separate housing.
The waterproof case for the HERO5 Black and HERO6 Black cameras is now available. Without the need for separate housing, they are waterproof to 33 feet (10m). You might consider adding a Super Suit housing to your camera if you want to take it deeper for Scuba diving.
The new case design has one drawback. It cannot be used by itself with the GoPro mounting system. There is no place on the camera case to attach. It comes with a Frame, which doesn’t offer much protection but does provide the mounting point at the bottom. The frame is included in the package.
It measures 2.6×1.8×1.4 inches or 6.5×4.5×3.5 cm. The camera is 4.2 ounces and 118 grams when it is unmounted.
Macro shooters should be aware of some interface changes. We love GoPro’s constant innovation, but it seems that they forget about SuperSuit housing customers.
The GoPro Hero5 Black’s narrow field of view allowed us to take macro shots without any need to use special editing skills. We are disappointed that the GoPro Hero6 no longer uses the “Narrow” setting. Instead, it uses a touchscreen-only slider cropping control.
The same 1220mAh battery can be found under the cover, while the connectivity ports are located on the opposite side. The protective lens can still be removed and replaced. The small print at the side of your camera is the only way to tell the difference.
GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO 6 Black: Controls, Interface
Both cameras have identical controls and interfaces. Both cameras have the exact same buttons. With a few minor tweaks, the on-screen menus work essentially the same. Both can be connected to the Remo, Smart Remote, and GoPro mobile apps in the same method.
Both cameras offer voice control, which works in the same way on both cameras.
The Hero 6 Black now has touch zoom, which lets you digitally zoom. This may reduce image quality when compared to optical zoom, but if you want to go closer to the action without placing yourself in danger, it will be a great alternative to have.
However, this is not a new technique. Zooming in on an image changes the view field to the previously removed ‘Narrow‘ option. This is GoPro’s claim to be more intuitive. A slider adjustment means that incremental zooming will be possible, something that was not possible before.
GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO 6 Black- Battery Life
Unfortunately, this is an area that hasn’t seen any improvement. They were virtually identical in battery usage when I tested them side by side in identical shooting modes.
Depending on the shooting conditions and what features are turned off, you might get as much as two hours of shooting if you’re really lucky. If you use features such as wireless, previewing through GoPro’s app, or GPS logging, your time will be shorter.
They both use the same 1220mAh batteries, so you can reuse your current batteries. They can be mixed and matched without any problems.
GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO 6 Black- LCD Touch Display
The back screen is used to view live and playback, and it is also one of several methods that can be used to navigate the menus or settings.
Both models have the same screen size and resolution. The user interface has been slightly redesigned, and the screen appears slightly brighter. However, HERO5 Black users will instantly recognize the new model.
The preview on the new camera’s display is brighter and less contrasty than the predecessor. This has been a positive thing for me. If your scene contains dark areas, the contrast of slightly less contrast will help to increase the shadows and make them more visible. Although it isn’t a huge change, I think it makes a difference.
The new screen has a warmer color balance. It has more yellow and less blue than the old version. GoPros are known for their preference for cool (blue), but the new version is more neutral and appears natural. Although it’s not obvious until you compare them, I do prefer the newer one.
GoPro HERO5 Black vs HERO6 Black: Shooting Video
The HERO6 Black features new 4K60, 1080p240 modes at the top. These modes allow for faster frame rates. The HERO5 Black’s top two modes are 4K30 and 1080p120.
There is a lot of overlap between the models in terms of video capabilities, aside from those two main features. There are some key differences.
Sizes. The camera has a new top and lower end, with some new modes. The lowest video mode is now 720p60. There are no 480p and 960p sizes available on the HERO5 Black.
You can also get a larger format, 4K 4:3. This produces video at 4000×3000. The HERO5 Black’s standard 4K is 3840×2160.
Stabilization. In-camera stabilization was first introduced in the HERO5 range. It’s also available in the HERO6 Black. I have found it to be much better in my side-by-side testing. I am currently putting together detailed side-by-sides from real-world shooting.
Fields of View. Both offer the same wide view in all modes. However, they also have Superview and Linear FOVs in certain modes. Narrow and medium FOVs are also available on the HERO5Black in certain modes. These have been mostly replaced by a new zoom function.
Digital Zoom. The digital zoom is not optical and can be controlled with touch using a slider on your back screen or on-screen if the GoPro app is used. The zoom doesn’t zoom through the lens, so the quality of zoomed-in footage can be less sharp. These frames show you the zoom results.
H.265 (HEVC). The MP4 container holds the video files from both cameras. However, there are differences in what is included in that container. The HERO6Black’s top video modes use the H.265 (HEVC), codec which can provide better quality at a lower compression rate.
It is only used to support these video modes:
- 4K60 / 4K50
- 4K(4:3) 30/25/24
- 2.7K120 / 2.7K100
- 1080p240 / 1080p200
All other video modes can be encoded using an older AVC codec, which is more compatible.
Protune. Protune video options are very similar between both models. The HERO6 has additional manual white balance, shutter speed and ISO settings.
GoPro HERO5 Black vs HERO6 Black: Shooting Photos
Overall, the HERO6Black has a better image quality. Although the differences aren’t significant, the photos I’ve been taking with the HERO6 Black have shown me better results. They are natural and less contrasty and show more detail across the tonal range. Although the results won’t be the same as those from larger stills cameras, the HERO6 Black is a step in the right direction.
Sensor. Both cameras have 12MP sensors and produce images measuring 4000 x 3000 pixels.
Lens. The same lens is used by both, which produces the distinctive fisheye effect. It is rated as a lens of 3mm, which is equivalent to 15mm in the 35mm/full-frame format.
RAW Format. You can choose to shoot in RAW (GoPro’s.gpr) or JPG. Some functions, such as burst mode and continuous mode, HDR/WDR, and HDR/WDR, are restricted to JPG.
Protune. Protune’s options are almost identical. You still have the ability to adjust exposure compensation (plus/minus two stops), choose a color mode, and limit the auto ISO range.
One minor change is that ISO 3200 can now be selected instead of ISO 1600.
HDR. New photo modes were introduced by the HERO5 to help recover details from shadows and highlights. It was called WDR by GoPro for its wide dynamic range.
The HERO6 BLACK takes this a step further, replacing WDR with a more traditional HDR (high dynamic range) name.
The HERO6Black’s HDR mode is a lot more aggressive than WDR. It recovers more detail in highlights and shadows. Although it adds saturation to some images, I find it looks much more natural than WDR on the HERO5Black. I was always disappointed by WDR’s muddy results.
ISO 3200. The HERO6 Black increases the ISO range to 3200, which is an increase of 1600 from the HERO5 Black. Although the image quality at higher ISOs is still quite poor, there are still some issues such as grain, color shifts, and loss of detail. However, the image quality at high ISOs is slightly better in the new model.
The burst mode on both cameras allows you to take several photos at once. There are many options:
- 30 photos spanning 1, 2, 3, or 6 seconds
- 10 photos spanning 1, 2, or 3 seconds
- 5 photos in 1 second
- 3 photos in 1 second
The HERO6Black also features an Auto Burst Mode that can take up to 30 frames per second. This is not explained in the instruction manual so I have provided a detailed explanation and examples.
GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO 6 Black- Time-Lapse Video / Time Lapse Photo
There are two ways to make a time-lapse with both models.
Timelapse Photo. The traditional method involves taking a series of still images and downloading them to your memory card. Once you have downloaded the images, you will need to stitch them together using the software. The intervals for both cameras are the same: 0, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds.
Timelapse Video. The camera can also compile the video automatically to create an mp4 timelapse video. While this saves time and effort, it does mean that you lose some control and flexibility. It provides the same intervals and flexibility as the time-lapse photo method.
They can output timelapse videos at 4K, 4:3, and 1080 resolutions, respectively.
Night Lapse Photo. Both the new and old models come with Night Lapse Photo, which offers additional intervals and shutter speeds that are better suited for low-light shooting.
GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO 6 Black- Sound Quality
Both models have the same audio features. Both models have microphones built in that can record sound onboard. Both can be used with an external microphone (with an adapter sold separately)
Both offer Protune options to enhance the audio track of the video captured. This can be extremely useful.
- You can choose to create a raw audio track that will create a WAV file of higher quality separate from the video file. You have the choice of using the raw audio track for low, medium, or high in-camera processing.
- An auto mode option allows you to set it up in a way that minimizes wind noise.
They also support line-in, which is useful for connecting soundboards or guitars directly. You will need to use a microphone adapter.
Many users were disappointed by the real-world results of the HERO5Black’s onboard microphones. Results were often noisy and muffled. Unfortunately, the HERO6Black has not made any improvements to this score. Using an external microphone will still provide a vastly improved sound quality.
Connectors and ports
Both have the same USB-C connectors for data transfer and charging. Both use the same micro-HDMI Type D port to connect video devices.
I have yet to come across an accessory for the HERO5 Black that does not work with the HERO6 Black. They share the same case, so accessories and housings that connect externally can be used. This includes mounting accessories, as well as those that attach to one port (e.g., the HERO5 frame or the Karma grip).
I have used the HERO5Black batteries in my HERO6Black without any issues.
Remote control options-REMO, Smart Remote, and the GoPro mobile application-all work in the same way on both models.
GoPro HERO5 Black and HERO 6 Black- Features
The HERO 6’s biggest improvement is its output. The HERO 6 can now record 4K resolution at 60fps. This is a significant improvement over the GoPro HERO5 black. Although it may seem small, having the ability to capture smoother video is always an advantage.
Frame rate is another difference. The HERO5 Black can capture videos at a fast 240fps, but only 720p resolution. The HERO 6 Black can capture video at a speedy 240fps but with a sharper resolution of 1080p.
The HERO 6 also has the ability to shoot at 2.7K at 120fps. This allows for slow-mo video and the possibility of resizing or scaling your footage if necessary. The new action camera has better low-light performance, dynamic range, and other features.
Slow-motion, an artistic effect in the video that makes it seem like time is moving slower, is called slow-motion. This effect is achieved by recording a video at an increased frame rate than the standard playback speed of 24fps and 30fps. Frame rates for slow-motion videos can vary depending on the camera’s capabilities. They range from 60fps to 960fps.
All this information is useless if we don’t have the ability to see for ourselves. Both cameras were with me on my trip. You can see some video comparisons in the embedded video (starting at 2 minutes 46).
It is easy to see that the sky in the HERO 6’s photos is brighter than the HERO 5’s pale blue. The exposure also shows a significant difference. In this instance, the HERO5 has darker blacks, which worked well because it could bring out more detail on the snowy mountain.
Despite both being set to auto white balance footage from the HERO5 still looks warmer than the indoor shoot.
The new HERO 6 has improved its stabilization capabilities to eliminate unwanted jerks. It’s amazing how the HERO 6 looks almost like it was mounted on a gimbal because of its electronic image stabilisation.
We don’t mean to be negative, the HERO5 also has an EIS, but it’s not as powerful as the flagship.
Another thing to note when the camera’s EIS turns on is that the HERO5 needs to crop the image by 10% to get a smoother shot. The HERO6 has improved this and only cuts about 5% of the original image.
The GoPro HERO5 black cannot use stabilization beyond 2.7K resolution at 60fps. However, the HERO 6 can support stabilization up to 4K. EIS is limited to 30fps and does not support higher speeds of 60fps.
Moving on to low-light photography: Low-light footage taken with an older HERO5 couldn’t attain the same clarity as footage shot on the HERO 6. The colors are vibrant and digital noise is significantly reduced on the HERO 6.
We preferred the color and details of the GoPro HERO5 black even though there were occasions, such as when we went ice-skating, where we could see the ice on the floor, but that was only one instance. It looks more natural, and the ice is still visible on the floor unlike the one taken by the HERO 6.
- You can check out How To Edit GoPro Videos 2022: Top Full Guide to learn more information when editing your videos for better videos
GoPro Hero 6 Black vs GoPro Hero 5 Black Summary – What Is the Difference?
Here’s a quick overview of the differences between the two action cameras:
Design. Both models have an identical design. Both models are compatible with Karma drones and Karma grips.
resolutions and framerates. While the GoPro HERO5 Black is capable of shooting 4K/30 at 720p/240 Slow Motion and 4K/60 at 720p/240 Slow Motion, the Hero 6 Black is capable of shooting 4K/60 at 1080p/240 Slow-motion. The Hero 6 Black is said to have a better dynamic range and low light performance.
Controls & Stabilisation: Hero 6 Black has a touch zoom feature, and more advanced electronic image stabilization.
Battery Life: These should be the same between models when they are used in identical modes. The same battery is used by both models.
Price: Hero 6 Black’s price is $499/PS499. The Hero 5 Black is now available at PS299.
We have already picked the two products that you can compare here. GoPro hero 6 is the most recent product in this category and comes with many improvements. If you want to buy the best action camera, you can go for it without any hesitation. However, if you don’t like the features of this model, you can also check out the GoPro hero5 black. Both the models are good and come with some exciting features.
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