GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion 2023: Which Is Better For You

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion 2023: Which Is Better For You
  • HanJin

The article compares the two different GoPro cameras and compares which one is better. It will discuss and compare the features and performance of the GoPro Fusion and GoPro max. The GoPro Fusion and the Gopro max are two different types of cameras that offer high-quality video and can take immersive photos. They were designed for different purposes and suited the specific needs of the user.

GoPro Fusion Vs Max

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GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion – Design

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion - Design

  • GoPro Max: 64 x 69 x 24, 154g, 5ATM
  • GoPro Fusion: 74 x 75 x 40 mm, 220g, 5ATM

The Max is smaller than the Fusion, and the differences are even greater in person than the numbers. The Fusion looked a bit out of place strapped to handlebars or bike helmets, but the Max is not much different from a Black camera.

The internal mechanisms of the Fusion have also been simplified. According to Pablo Lema, GoPro’s Vice President for Product Management, the Fusion comes with two SD cards. It is “two cameras back-to-back“, as it effectively has two SD cards.

The Max only has one, a MicroSD Card. The Max has one, a microSD card. This raises the issue of bitrate as the Max must write data from two cameras to one pipeline. The Fusion’s maximum bitrate is 120Mbps, and Max’s 78Mbps. This applies to flat footage shot at 1440p. There is a middle ground. Instead of MP4, Max uses H.265 instead.

The cameras are water-resistant to 5ATM, which is enough to withstand submersion as well as snorkeling. However, their lenses can cause distortion underwater, so they require better treatment than the GoPro Black series.

The 180-degree lenses stick out of the casing making them more vulnerable to damage. GoPro sells tiny plastic domes for Max that can be clipped onto each camera for more dangerous shoots.

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion – Display

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion - Display

  • GoPro Max: 1.7-inch colour touchscreen
  • GoPro Fusion: Monochrome LCD

The GoPro Max features a 1.7-inch back screen and a front screen. You can flip the camera over to create a vlog by turning it upside down.

This display is critical to one of Max’s greatest changes: You can now shoot non-360 video.

The Fusion doesn’t have an LCD screen like a regular LCD. It has a monochrome LCD screen that displays the mode, battery life, and how much space you have left on your SD card. The Fusion doesn’t allow composition. You can only point a lens at your subject to ensure it is in the sharpest area of the frame.

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Next, notice the new touchscreen at the MAX. It is similar to other Hero cameras and makes it easier to adjust settings and change modes.

The Fusion lacks a touchscreen. Instead, it has a small LCD screen that displays basic information and the video mode.

The Fusion is more difficult to switch between shooting modes and change settings because you need to use the shutter button and mode buttons to move between menus, much like the Hero 4 series.

The Max has a touchscreen that allows you to control the camera and can also view the playback.

On the Fusion, playback is only possible during the post-production phase using the GoPro Fusion Studio software that requires a powerful computer due to the large files the Fusion creates.


GoPro’s reputation for being tough and rugged has been built on its action cameras. It is no surprise that the Fusion and Max 360 have this same level of design. Both cameras can be waterproof to up to 5 atm water pressure. This corresponds to a depth of approximately 16 feet. The cameras come with shock-resistant casings, but the Fusion increases the shock proofing factor with its rubber-lined body.

Although the Insta360 OneX is tough enough to be used for a camera, it’s not waterproof. You will need an accessory like the OneX Dive Case which can be rated up to 30 meters. We aren’t sure if the OneX is shockproof so it’s not a good idea for capturing your whitewater paddling trip or rough hike with this 360 camera.

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion- Shooting modes

Gopro Fusion vs max- Shooting modes

  • GoPro Max: Up To 5.6k 360, up to 1440p (1920×1440) flat
  • GoPro Fusion: Up To 5.6k 360

If you look at their raw 360-degree capture specs, the Max and Fusion appear very similar. The Max and Fusion can capture 360 videos at up to 5.6k resolution, 30 frames each second, and 3k resolution.

The new Max version of GoPro gives you a lot more options. TimeWarp is a time-lapse video mode that was introduced with the Hero 7 Black. There are also four non-360 camera views that are comparable to Black cameras.

These non-360 modes have the highest resolutions at 1920×1080 and 1920×1440, partly due to the large sensor crop. Non-360 footage does not have 4K.

GoPro said that the sensors and lenses of both cameras are very similar. However, the maximum resolutions of their stills were actually different. The Fusion can take 18-megapixel photos and the Max 16.6-megapixel photos. However, Fusion can also shoot RAWs. Its JPEGs still have 16.6MP.

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Powerpano is a new feature on the Max. The camera is placed in the right place by taking a 360-degree photo with a 3-second timer. Powerpano captures the entire scene, except the part with you in it.

The Max supports H.265 (HEVC encoding), whereas the Fusion relies on H.264. H.265 is a more efficient codec. This is due to Max’s use the GP1 processor. It has been used in Black models ever since the Hero 6 Black.

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion – Stabilization

  • GoPro Max: Hypersmooth 2.0, Horizon Levelling
  • GoPro Fusion: Fusion Stabiliation

Both Max and Fusion have the perfect recipe for perfect stability. Because they record everything around you, there is no limit to how much movement buffering they can provide. This scope is made excellently by GoPro’s software.

The only limit is the blurring of frames during motion. This can be a matter of weighing the advantages of lower ISO against noise incurring from faster exposures in lower lighting.

These cameras are great for stabilization, but the Max offers another trick. Horizon Levelling is a technique that keeps your footage straight, even though the camera isn’t. This effect can be applied in posts by Fusion users, but the GoPro Max will do the job. Although this isn’t required, it can be turned on or off via the shooting settings menu.

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion – Audio

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion - Audio

  • GoPro Max: Six surround mics (no external).
  • GoPro Fusion: Four mics planar (no external)

Any handheld camera can’t record audio. The majority of internal microphones are poor at recording spatial audio and are susceptible to noise.

Four microphones are built into the Fusion to capture planar audio, which is sound from around the camera but only on one plane. GoPro added two additional cameras to capture “360-degree audio“.

But where are they? One mic is on the Fusion’s front and three on its top. Max has two mics at its top and mic grilles on its front, back, and one side. This means that Max may have an additional microphone in the front grille, which could replace the mic on the mic-free side.

Both cameras lack a 3.5mm microphone input and neither camera supports the USB-C adapter for Hero Black. This is a little disappointing considering that the Max uses the same GP1 processor platform and Hero 8 Black.



The workflow wasn’t as promising back when the Fusion was first released. The early Fusion Promos showcased amazing editing and showed off the potential for 360-degree capture.

OverCapture was the idea that allowed you to do this. However, you had to tilt your phone and pinch-zoom during playback in order to capture the editing sweeps or zooms you desired. These changes are now in effect, but they will impact Max and Fusion, owners.

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Reframe is the new OverCapture version. It uses keyframes instead of a “live performance” of your camera moves. This is the same approach that you would use if you were editing Fusion footage in pro video software using a plugin.

This is great news if you don’t have the time or desire to spend hours editing your edits and need dramatic, polished results in a matter of minutes.

Battery Life

GoPro Max vs Gopro Fusion - Battery life

  • GoPro Max: 75min (360) 108m (1440p), 1600mah
  • GoPro Fusion: 75min (360), 2620mAh

Although the Max may not look very different from the outside of it, its new internal design allows the camera to use a smaller battery.

The 2620-mAh battery was necessary to power the Fusion for up to 75 minutes of video recording. At the same time, the Fusion has a 1600mAh. The battery’s life expectancy isn’t much different.

The Fusion takes 75 minutes to capture 360-degrees straight at maximum resolution. The Max lasts 78 minutes. You also have the option to shoot standard action with the Max. This mode lasts 110 minutes.

This is significantly more than the Hero 8 Black’s time of 81 minutes. This is a noticeable difference that you can feel when out shooting during the day.

Although the Max can also use older Hero Black batteries, it has a higher maximum discharge rate and is required for certain modes. You will lose some of the most important features if your Hero 7 Black battery is used.


  • The Both the MAX and Fusion can capture stunning 360 videos
  • Both cameras can shoot time-lapse in both photo and video modes.

The new GoPro MAX has many improvements. The HERO mode on the MAX lets you shoot 360-degree videos. Standard video can be shot in either a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio. The 4:3 aspect ratio is intended for HDTVs, while the 16:9 is only for smaller screens. If you need this feature, in particular, make sure to get it on the Fusion.

Slo-Mo can be used with both cameras. However, each camera has a slightly different implementation. Slow-motion videos can be captured at 60fps on the GoPro MAX using the HERO mode. MAX cannot capture slow-motion videos at the highest frame rate. HyperSmooth, which is available in the MAX, allows for smooth and stable slow-motion videos. Because there are no other modes for the Fusion’s camera, slow-motion is limited to 360 videos.

Both GoPro models have a built-in stabilizer. The updated stabilizer on the GoPro Max uses MAX HyperSmooth. This makes videos look almost like they were shot with a gimbal. The Fusion can produce videos that aren’t shaky due to the full stabilization technology. However, it is noticeable that MAX HyperSmooth provides more stabilization than Fusion’s standard technology.

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Normal Video Resolution

The MAX also features the Hero Mode, which allows you to take normal videos (non 360), and it is a significant improvement over the previous version.

There are two resolution options: 1440p (1920×1440) with an aspect ratio 4:3, and 1080p (1920×1080) with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The 4:3 aspect ratio applies to screens that are not wide and 16:9 for HDTV or large screens.

The Fusion cannot take normal videos and can only capture 360 videos.

Frame Rates

Both the GoPro MAX (and the GoPro Fusion) have the same frame rates (30fps). However, they have different resolutions.

Thirty fps are available with the spherical 6K for the MAX and the Fusion spherical 5K. 60fps is possible with the Fusion 3K, Hero mode 1440p, and 1080p on MAX.


Bitrate refers to the amount of data required to record 1 second of video. It is measured in megabits per second (Mb/s).

GoPro Fusion uses lower bitrates than GoPro Max. 78Mb/s as opposed to 60Mb/s

Even with higher bitrates, Fusion files will still be smaller than Fusion files. The MAX uses H.265(HEVC) encoding, which allows for more video compression but doesn’t compromise on quality.


The video codec is another key difference between both cameras.

Both cameras can save files in.MP4 formats even when they are not connected. Fusion uses the H264 (AVC codec) to compress videos and a dual-fisheye method to encode any pixels that are not used.

GoPro Max also offers two types of encoding, both done in the camera. The Google EAC is used to convert internal. Three hundred sixty format files to.MP4 videos.

EAC does not need to be used for unused pixels in Fusion. This will result in smaller files and less space.

MAX also uses the H265 codec (HEVC) to further compress the videos. MAX will create smaller videos but provide better video quality.


Both cameras can do slow-motion videos at 60fps. MAX can only record slow-motion videos in Hero mode (non 360) and at 60fps, as this is the highest frame rate these cameras are capable of capturing.

MAX uses HyperSmooth for slo-mo in order to ensure that your footage does not get shaky or is as smooth as possible.

Slow-motion on the Fusion works with 360 videos because 360 is the only option available. Also available at 60 frames per second.

Both can capture approximately 2x more footage than the Hero 8 Black, but it is still better than the Hero 8 Black.

Horizon Leveling

Horizon Leveling is another nice feature that only GoPro MAX offers, and it’s only available in Hero Mode.

Horizon Leveling will maintain the level of your video footage even if it is flipped upside-down. It’s an awesome feature that will protect your footage from being ruined by any unexpected changes to the orientation of the camera.

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Because the Fusion cannot shoot in Hero Mode, this feature is not available.


  • Photo resolution: GoPro Max: 16.6 MP, Fusion: 18 MP (jpeg, RAW)

While both the Fusion and GoPro MAX can take sharp still photos, only Fusion can save them in RAW format.

Surprisingly many people use GoPro’s range of cameras for still shots. The MAX and Fusion differ in their photosensors. Both cameras have a resolution of 18MP in 360. Only the MAX can shoot in HERO mode, where the resolution is reduced to 5.5 Megapixels.

The Fusion is able to save photos in RAW (.gpr) format, which is a significant advantage over the MAX. Only the Fusion can save photos in RAW (.gpr) format, while JPEG is available for the MAX. This feature can be toggled on or off according to your preference. Fusion’s RAW allows photos to be saved in uncompressed format for editing later. RAW files can be larger than JPEG, but that is something to keep in mind.

Continuous Photo Capture, if you’re familiar with the burst mode on your camera phone, is a similar feature. This mode is only available on the GoPro MAX. Simply press and hold the shutter button while in Photo mode, and the MAX will automatically take a series for you.

GoPro Max has no night lapse photo, while Fusion has Auto, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 seconds. 1, 2, 5, 30, and 60 minutes.

Live Preview

Max makes full use of the new LCD screen. It allows users to view photos and videos taken with the camera almost instantly. This is possible because the camera must be able to stitch 360 media by itself, rather than using software on a desktop.

The Fusion had a few flaws. You needed to upload files to a computer and then have the file go through a stitching procedure before you could see any media. This camera is comparable to other GoPro cameras in that you can preview your files immediately.

Only 1 SD Card Is Required

Only 1 SD Card Is Required

The first GoPro Fusion required two SD cards for operation. The new Fusion will only need one. This improves the device’s user-friendliness and makes it slightly more affordable. This dual SD card setup allowed Fusion to capture 360 videos at very high bit rates. The Fusion Max may lose some of that high-bit-rate video in favor of a simple setup.

3 in 1 Camera

GoPro has positioned the Max as a 3-in-1 camera that can be used for an action camera, 360, and vlogging camera. You can either use one of Max’s lenses to capture stabilized video like a GoPro Hero or both lenses to create a 360-degree video. To create vlogs quickly and easily, you can use the LCD screen to act as a front-facing camera. These features are not available in the Fusion.

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The GoPro Fusion comes with four microphones, while the MAX offers 6. This upgrade will improve the audio quality of 360 footage recorded using 360 videos. It also includes advanced wind-noise reduction and spatial sound.

Voice Control

The GoPro Fusion and GoPro Max both have voice control. You must enable it in your preferences to use it for basic stuff such as changing modes, starting or stopping video recording, shoot photos, and adding HiLight tags.

Voice control is not capable of changing settings. You should do this manually.

Both don’t have Wake on Voice, which I find strange considering it was on the GoPro Hero 6, which was released at the same moment as the Fusion. This feature, however, isn’t that important.

You can also use the voice command to turn off the cameras.

Buttons And Controls

These cameras can be controlled and manipulated in a completely different way.

Both buttons have Shutter and Mode buttons. These buttons are used on the Fusion to navigate through the menus or change settings.

Both can be controlled wirelessly via the GoPro app. You can frame photos, shoot videos, snap photos, and adjust settings.

Both can be controlled by voice, but neither has the Wake on Voice feature.

Problems Encountered By Users


  • Exposure levels can vary depending on whether the lens is exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Shoots poorly when you are close to an object.
  • TimeWarp quickly drains your battery.
  • Films not shot with a fisheye lens can look grainy.

GoPro Fusion

  • There may be occasional blurring between the stitched videos, especially if there are clear lines in the footage.
  • Storage space is a huge requirement
  • It takes several hours to stitch and render 1 or 2 minutes’ worth of footage. A powerful computer is required.
  • Desktop software is complicated

You can check out How To Update Gopro 2023: Top Full Guide to learn more information


The most important features of the GoPro Max are more tangible in real life than they are on paper. A-Max can do more than a Fusion and you can use it as a regular action camera.

It is not a Fusion and GoPro Hero 8 Black “in a single”, because its non-360 image quality doesn’t match the Black’s. However, unlike a Fusion, it’s all that most people would need.

The Fusion’s arrival will allow 360-degree editing to be done with the same ease and functionality as we had hoped. If you already have a high-quality, “normal” action camera, you might consider purchasing a Fusion at a discounted price. Everyone else will be better off with the Max.

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