The new HERO 5 GOPRO BLACK is out on the market since early October 2016, and you either have it already (like me), or you don’t. If you DON’T have it, there must be a reason. You might be thinking about whether it is worth it to upgrade to the HERO 5.
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Here are some considerations you can use to help you decide.
Is Upgrade to GOPRO HERO 5 Black Worth It?
REASONS AN UPGRADE TO GOPRO HERO 5 IS WORTH IT (most important first)
- VOICE COMMANDS. These make the upgrade absolutely necessary and worth it. I mean, touchscreen is nice, but you know what’s 10x better? Voice commands. I hate dorking around with menu systems. Give me three word commands ANY DAY. Even if I must say them clearly and in the same way all the time to make the camera work – I DON’T CARE – I NEED VOICE COMMANDS for everything. I use voice for chat on Facebook messenger 90% of the time. It’s a life-saver. I’m starting to really enjoy tech gear now! Thanks GoPro just for this one feature that blew me away. And still, it isn’t perfect, but it’s just so useful.
- TOUCHSCREEN LOVELINESS. If you didn’t have a touchscreen before, it’s a REALLY NICE feature to have, especially because GOPRO has made it considerably easier to use. It’s still a bit hokey, but I have been able to eventually get it to do what I want. Reading the manual helped to show exactly what should be done when swiping. Read the frickin’ manual!
- SOUND IMPROVED x3 TIMES. There are 3 microphones on the outside of the camera, and they, to coin an Apple phrase – “JUST WORK.” They help a lot – whether you’re filming in wind, or trying to tell the camera to turn on or off, the microphones work very well. Of course it helps that there is no waterproof external case in the way. I appreciate the better sound quality and this definitely adds to the idea of making the GoPro Hero 5 upgrade worth it.
- WATERPROOF EXTERNAL CASE – NOT NEEDED. Waterproofing built in is very cool. I love that there isn’t another piece of glass in front of the coated piece of glass that is ALREADY in front of the lens. Less glass the better.
- IMAGE STABILIZATION WORKS! Works pretty good to stabilize videos. Room for improvement. It’s a good reason to upgrade considering the old GOPROs without it – sucked in this area.
- BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL, FUNCTIONAL, and HIGH QUALITY. The new camera is nice to look at with smooth corners for everything. It is grippy rubber on the top and sides. It has file-type diagonal marks to aid in gripping the unit on the side and bottom (plastic). The black GoPro Hero 5 is more easily hidden than the others – being completely black. The camera is built solidly, it is definitely the toughest feeling GoPro on the market. Whether that is factual or not, we’ll see as time goes on and people either marvel at how unbreakable they are, or start breaking them like spaghetti sticks.
- MUCH HIGHER ISO. Upgraded from 800 to 6400 ISO. Low light levels have always been GoPros achilles heel. Well, they STILL are, but it’s getting better. I definitely love the low-light quality advances made with this camera. I am selling my crap iPhone 6s and using the GoPro for all night time rainforest snake photography and videos.
- RAW BABY! Raw images and sound capabilities gives better pro-level recording options for people who need it. We’ve been crying for this forever, and finally – we’ve got it. Raw means the ability to capture images and sound without any manipulation of the data collected before it is written to memory stick (micro-SD). It is better to use the high powered software editing capabilities of Final Cut Pro or ADOBE or something else. Higher quality results.
- BEEP FINDS LOST PHONE. This is a bit gimmicky because it isn’t all that loud a beep, but using your phone you can set the camera to beep so you can hopefully find it. If it’s in a car, or between floors in your house – you won’t hear it.
- DISTORTION FREE SHOOTING. GOPRO introduced “Linear FOV – field of view” shooting now in certain modes. What it means is, it corrects all the wide-angle distortion resulting from the very wide angle of the GoPro camera. It corrects it not only in your images and videos – but IN CAMERA through the touchscreen! Cool, right? It’s quite nice. The processor power on these new GoPro Hero 5’s is quite good now.
- CASEY NEISTAT SAID HE’D UPGRADE JUST FOR THE TOUCHSCREEN. I’m not sure he even knew he could do voice commands because he didn’t do any during the test, and never mentioned it. But yeah, the touchscreen is nice, but the voice commands are THE BEST FEATURE FOR SURE.
REASONS UPGRADING to GOPRO HERO 5 MAY NOT BE WORTH IT
- BATTERY LIFE STILL SUCKS. I’d take a little bigger camera to get 3-4 hours of battery in one of these stinkers. How about you? Of course you would. This whole emphasis on super small stuff – is done to the detriment of good battery life. I don’t like it. Oh, AND the batteries you have for your older GoPro Heros – won’t work with the Hero 5. Sorry.
- IMAGE QUALITY IS NOT THAT MUCH DIFFERENT. Casey Neistat did a nice side-by-side test with the GoPro Hero 4 Black and the images and videos look very similar. There is more range in the GoPro 5 – so, easier editing, better editing will be possible. Raw file shooting is possible, which might make it more worth it to you to upgrade. Raw shooting is only available in WIDE mode.
- BUGS TO WORK OUT. There are always some with a new release, so waiting a couple months would help you there. Still, who can wait if you’re keen on it now?
- YMMV VOICE CONTROL. Your Mileage May Vary. You may experience more problems than I did. I have a really clear voice and I try a lot to speak the right way when talking to my iPhone, MacBook, or GoPro.
- SLOW CHARGING. Takes around 1 whole HOUR to charge this little battery. No fast option exists yet. Batteries are buggy – couple complaints listed online already.
- IF YOU GET A DUD. GoPro’s website is slow, can you imagine what their customer support looks like during this huge launch? Can you imagine what it will be like in a month when they launch the new Karma Drone? Right… if you have the patience, go for it. If not, wait it out, say February might be a better time to buy.
- BUYING KARMA DRONE? WAIT! Wait to buy the separate GOPRO HERO 5 because it definitely won’t be worth it to buy separately. Buy together with the drone and get the Karma Stick with gimbal too. That is a very good deal all-together. Dumbo me couldn’t wait and already bought the camera for too much money.
Obviously there are many considerations that go into buying a tech gear item that is more than a couple hundred dollars. Some of the above will be more important to you than others.
If your job requires it, like if you’re a YouTube phenomenon, you might need to get the latest and greatest just ‘because.’ I bought the new GoPro Hero 5 Black immediately for a couple reasons – 1. I was the first one in our province to have one. 2. I wanted to review it here. 3. I am dying for the Karma Stick – a selfie stick with the 3-axis gimbal from the drone so I can do walk around smooth videos without using my extremely heavy GlideCam and DSLR Nikon. It’s an absolute game changer!
So, is the new GOPRO HERO 5 BLACK WORTH IT FOR YOU?
Let me know in the comments!
More images of the GoPro Hero 5 Black below:
Is the GOPRO HERO 5 BLACK Worth It? – Video: