GoPro has all of a sudden officially unveiled its next-generation Hero 6 action camera with 4K video recording capacity after weeks of rumors and even photo leaks about an impending release. We’re happy to say that the new model at least lives up to one major spec that was claimed in said leaked photos, which we previously covered. This is of course the camera’s 4k video recording capacity at 60 frames per second. This is a crucial feature for a next-generation ultra HD video recording device of any kind and it definitely goes a long way towards justifying the new GoPro Hero 6’s hefty $500 price tag.
The Hero 6 action camera comes with the same exterior body design as its predecessor the excellent GoPro Hero 5 Black, which we reviewed here and this includes the waterproofing features of the 2016 model. However, the new camera is highlighted by the above-mentioned increased 4K frame rate, overall higher frame rates for other video recording modes and overall better image quality and speed thanks to the new model’s superior, custom processing engine. Again, more reasons for wanting to buy this camera even though it costs a solid $100 more than its predecessor.
The 4K @ 60FPS feature of the Hero 6 is definitely its single biggest divergence from the previous model (or any other 4K-capable GoPro Hero camera) and it’s also this action camera’s single biggest selling feature. Several generations of GoPro Hero models have come with 4K UHD video recording but this is the first time that any model exceeds 30FPS recording speeds, and the difference between 30 and 60 frames is a major one as far as video quality goes. Most importantly, it means smoother, cleaner video and far superior performance for action footage in particular. 60FPS also allows for a certain degree of slow motion recording in 4K resolution, which is a related first-ever feature of the Hero 6.
The new camera is also invested in higher frame rates across the board, not just in 4K resolution. 2.7K video can now be shot at a very speedy 120FPS and 1080p HD video can be recorded at a truly excellent 240FPS, allowing for some downright excellent slow motion recording at this specific standardized resolution, to the tune of 10x slowdown without worrying about video stutter. The camera can of course also handle more standardized video frame rates of 24 or 30FPS as needed by a user, so pretty much all major bases are covered like never before in GoPro’s new Hero 6 in other words.
Moving on to other specs, the new 4K action camera from the best-selling manufacturer features a 5GHz W-Fi connection for easy transfer of even 4K UHD videos wirelessly, and also comes with improved image stabilization technology, though disappointingly this particular feature is still digital instead of being optical, in contrast to the image stabilization found in some of Sony’s otherwise slightly less rugged 4K UHD action cameras.
The Hero 6 action shooter also delivers basic photo shooting specs that are similar to those of its predecessor but slightly superior overall. These include the same 12-megapixel photo resolution in wither JPEG or RAW formats but in the case of the GoPro Hero 6, low light performance for these photos will be better than it was in the Hero 5 Black 4K camera. GoPro is also promising improved overall image quality for the new model.
Other specs in the Hero 6 are the same as they were in the Hero 5 Black. These include the same level of heavy-duty waterproofing down to 33 feet right out of the box, GPS, a 2-inch LCD touchscreen for easier control and settings manipulation, and voice controls.
What image and video improvements the Hero 6 4K action camera does offer or at least promise are largely due to the presence of a new and highly robust GP1 custom processing core, which has been made specifically to work optimally with GoPro’s lineup of 4K action cameras. The new chipset has been under development for at least three years and represents a major shift ahead of the company’s previous chipsets for older Hero cameras. Most importantly, the new GP1 chipset is an in-house development by GoPro itself, in contrast to its predecessor chipsets in older Hero models. Speaking speculatively, this level of attention to the GP1’s design means some superior capabilities, such as remotesvoice control and auto editing
The new GoPro Hero 6 4K UHD action camera with 60FPS 4K recording is now available for immediate shipping from major retailers, courtesy of GoPro and can be bought online directly from its manufacturer or a number of online retailers like Best Buy and BH Photo Video for $499.99.
Story by 4k.com