GoPro Hero 6 Review | Stabilization, Low Light and Slow Motion Comparison

GoPro Hero 6 Review | Stabilization, Low Light and Slow Motion Comparison

GoPro Hero 6 Full Review With Sample Footage

We all love higher resolution, faster frame rates but don’t want to deal with huge files or the need to buy an expensive high capacity memory cards.

GoPro Hero 6 might just have an answer for that.

High-Efficiency Video Coding is a new video codec used in iOS 11 and the new MacOS High Sierra and now we see that in the new Hero 6. This enables Hero 6 to record certain high resolution, high frame rate videos with better quality while taking less space.

I recorded a short clip of a 4k 30 FPS video with Hero 5 and a 4K 60 FPS video with Hero 6. I compared this 30 seconds the clips and as expected they were pretty much the same file size even though the Hero 6 recorded twice the number frames with better quality.

I can stop this video right here because I am convinced this is the best GoPro yet but let's go ahead and look at few other things where the Hero 6 excels.

GoPro Hero 6 In-Camera Stabilization

Personally, I don’t use software-based video stabilization as it involves cropping the frame to remove the empty spots created after aligning the adjacent frames. The older Hero 5 used to crop 10% of the frame when stabilization is turned on and the resulting video was not that impressive. With Hero 6 you only lose 5% of the frame and on top of the video was relatively smoother when compared to the footage from Hero 5.

Just so you guys know for this entire video protune is turned off, auto-lowlight is turn on, in-camera stabilization is turned on and audio is set to automatically adjust between wind reduction and stereo.

Hero 6 Low Light Performance

Unlike the higher frame rates and stabilization, I think low light performance could have been improved in the older Hero 5 with a software update. In any case, I was floored by the low light performance with Hero 6. The camera automatically adjusts the frame rate, ISO and shutter speed to get a brighter, better dynamic range footage with minimal noise. Even though I can see some noise in these footages, I think it is absolutely usable when compared to the footage from Hero 5. There is night and day difference between the Hero 5 and Hero 6 when it comes to low light videos.

Slow-Motion Videos

With Hero 6 now you can record 1080p videos at 240 FPS to create stunning slow-motion videos. Here are some comparisons between the footage shot with Hero 5 at 120FPS and Hero 6 at 240 FPS. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do any stunts for you guys but here is some example of how even some mundane tasks like picking up milk from the local grocery store can look amazing in slow-mo.

Just note that the 240 FPS footage is being recorded using the HEVC codec so some editing tools may not support it but Adobe premier and iMovie seems to support at this point with Final Cut Pro still waiting for the update.

Audio Quality

I have my main mic, Hero 5 and Hero 6 set-up with automatic audio mode and I’m going to switch between 3 different mics to see the difference. Just for fun, I added an iPhone 8 to the mix to really compare the audio quality and show you guys what GoPro should have done with the internal mic performance. I’m doing this indoor so you can really see how the GoPro mic picks up some white noise out of nowhere when connected to the Karma Grip.

Now the Hero 6 connected to the Karma Grip. I posted a video a while ago talking about audio issues with Hero 5 and Karma Grip. Now as we switch to the Hero 6 you can tell the audio is relatively better than the Hero 5 Karma Grip combination. With Hero 6 on the Karma Grip let’s switch over to the Hero 5 without Karma Grip and then to the iPhone 8 and back to my main mic see how it sounds.

Even though the audio still sounds a little muffled with the Hero 6 and Karma Grip combination I think It’s still much better than the Hero 5.

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