Are you really bombing through fresh powder, taming epic waves, standing atop a mountain or rafting down angry rapids if you haven’t got a GoPro strapped to your head to document it? Modern adventuring would suggest not, given that watching your action back from the safety of the pub has become just as integral as the action itself.
And all that adrenaline, all your embarrassingly terrified Edvard Munch-style expressions and all your sonic squealing noises are about to get a whole lot clearer thanks to the latest addition to GoPro’s adventure camera range, the Hero6.
To look at it, you’d need to be a real pedant to find any differences between this and its predecessor, the Hero5. And if you’re already familiar with the phone app you use to tinker with your films, there’s not much change there either. But just like a book or an authentic Cornish pasty, it’s what’s inside that counts. And what’s inside is nothing short of technological witchcraft.
A brand-new custom chip brings 4K video capabilities at a frankly outrageous 60 frames per second, which we proved more than enough to pull crisp frames from and use as super-sharp photographs. We were dead impressed with this frame that we dragged out of a video after exploiting a puppy on a local beach, for example.
It allows for super-slow-motion 240fps HD video too, which is not only really useful as a self-assessment tool in the gym to iron out any kinks in your technique, but also bloody fantastic for raking in the likes on Instagram, too.
That little magic chip doesn’t stop there, though. It’s also packing some serious stabilisation tech. It’ll analyse your footage and remove any user-inflicted camera shake, making it look like you’ve used pro kit to get such a smooth ride – you might even dupe your audience into thinking you actually know what you’re doing when it comes to filming and editing.
The Hero6 further cements GoPro’s reputation for producing easy-to-use cameras, with some updates that are less sexy but will make your everyday filming experience feel even smoother. Case in point: a beefed-up WiFi chip that makes the transfer of your precious film faster than ever before. Three times faster, in fact. That’s a whole lot less waiting around, and a whole lot more getting stuck into the action. Boring, sure, but brilliant.
If you’re be rolling your eyes at our gushing and wondering if we’ll find any faults, there are a couple. The spicy price is an easy target – £500 makes this an expensive toy, especially if your footage is only going to end up on social media.
And the battery life is a point of contention – we managed to drain that thing fast. Then again, we were messing around with the very cool voice commands – barking “GoPro Turn Off” and “Take Photo” a good 50 or 60 times – which sucks up power at a rate of knots. Luckily, a quick swipe and a press turns that function off.
The low-light capabilities have apparently been worked on too, but we felt fairly uninspired by the footage we got on a dreary grey day of river fishing. There’s room for improvement in that department.
But those issues fade into insignificance when considering the unbelievable quality of footage this thing can capture. And we’ve not even got started on the new HDR photo mode that makes tricky shots, such as back-lit people or sunsets, effortless. Nor have we sung the praises of the all-new touch zoom function, which allows you to get even closer to your action for the very first time.
All in all, it’s a double thumbs-up for the GoPro Hero6. It’ll absolutely be coming with us on our next adventure, so expect to see our Munch-esque face of terror on a social media page near you soon.
£499.99, buy on gopro.com