At present it might all be just rumour, but it’s inevitable that the GoPro Hero6 will be arriving in the not too far distant future. Jeff covered the story in July about a public agency registering the GoPro Hero6 Black in China, and for me that’s enough to spark a whole cacophony of intrigue, especially to guess the possible GoPro Hero6 specifications.
We’ve also now seen first images of the GoPro Hero6 Black appear, with the packaging indicating that it will record 4K at 60p. But little else is known.
Where GoPro is now: GoPro Hero5 Black
The GoPro Hero5 Black was a huge leap forward in terms of technological development and usability, although the visual quality, resolution and frame-rate upgrades were a little more conservative.
The GoPro Hero5 Black saw a complete redesign, which was well overdue, and the inclusion of some interesting new technologies that helped GoPro stay ahead of the competition.
Many of those developments were just playing catch-up; the loss of the waterproof housing for instance just pulled it in line with the TomTom Bandit, voice activation we’d already seen on the Garmin Virb Ultra 30 and the Yi 4K was already busting a move with the large touch screen.
That’s not to say the GoPro Hero5 Black was too late, as it was the first camera to pull all these technologies and features together into one camera, as well as throw in a few more.
Those “more” features included a vastly improved software eco system in the form of the apps; Capture and Quick enabled complete control, capture, edit and share abilities all in one slick environment.
The apps were a major breakthrough especially the new motion and GPS data handling, and these along with tagging enabled the holy grail of video, auto editing.
GoPro knew that it had to do something special and although there were a few hiccups along the way, there’s no doubt that the Hero5 is the best action camera out there and it has been joined by the Karma Drone and Grip.
The Karma Drone was affected by a few issues and as yet I’m still to give it a go, so for now this goes without comment.
The Karma Grip on the other hand looked like a loss leader when compared with the competition. The Removu S1 for example is feature packed, looks great and works fantastically well, at least until you compare it with the Karma Grip.
The Karma Grip just works, no frills just solid performance and build quality that’s hard to beat. The Karma Grip came from nowhere and now leads as the best action camera stabiliser on the market.
The GoPro Hero5 is the first GoPro to be joined by real heavyweight accessories, not just a selfie stick and sticky mount. The company has also managed to create a product that is easy to use by both enthusiasts and pros, no mean feat.
But however good something is there’s always a time for it to be upgraded, and to be honest there were a great number of users who felt let down by what the Hero5 had to offer when it came to visual quality.
Top of the list was 8k resolution or a hoped push of the 4K frame rate, but these didn’t happen, at the very least users like myself hankered after usable 1080p at 120fps or better still 240fps at 1080p, but that didn’t happen either.
The Hero5 however did happen and for all those that complained about it’s lack of video quality enhancements, it’s hard to deny that the camera is phenomenal.
What’s next: GoPro Hero6 Black
When you have a camera that’s is so well tuned to the job in hand it’s difficult to see where it can go next. But the Hero5 Black did have its failings and as the camera and its accessories have developed, so has its target audience.
GoPro Hero6 needs to make an impact and after much thought here are my top five GoPro Hero6 ideas for design and features.
1: GoPro goes fluoro
A hit back in the ’80s, and I’m sure I was told by someone that fluoro’s back. We’ll it’s summer and if I can find a fluoro zinc stick I’ll let you know.
Not a technical or even design development for the Hero6 but a colour one, basically change the colour from grey to fluoro blue, red, pink or something similarly bright.
I’m sure there’s a scientific way to discover what colour stands out best in different situations. (If not, GoPro it will only take me a year and I’m willing to travel to test out, scientifically of course, which colour is best for, skiing, mountain biking, diving or just generally holidaying for a year.)
The reason I want the colour change is that if I crash, drop the GoPro or loose it on the ground or in water because I’ve been spinning it around my head at speed, that change in colour would hopefully help me locate it quickly.
My Hero5 recently fell into some bracken, the bracken was bright green the ground below browny grey, that combination some how managed to camouflage the Hero5 Black for a good ten minutes, a bright colour in this situation would have helped.
2: Find my GoPro
Almost every smart device from phones to drones has a find me feature. I really need one in my GoPro. A simple GPS locator or like the Fitbit a BlueTooth locater would help.
Just something that pinpoints the GoPro on a map showing the last location or an alarm that beeps or shouts “help me” very loudly when activated.
Two suggestions down and so far nothing on the video quality,
3: 8k or just decent 1080p at 120fps
8K would be great and I’m told and there’s lots of people asking for it, but to be honest I’m not sold at the moment.
My Mac struggles to burn through the amount of GoPro footage I shoot anyway, 4K makes it weep and as the temperature outside breaks 30 the fans on my MacBook Pro are screaming under the strain.
If I shot 8K video I’m pretty sure that would be it for my MacBook.
Then there’s storage issue, 1080p makes big files, 4k makes huge files that required the investment of an additional EX2100 drive, so 8k would require me to remortgage the house.
Please don’t go 8K…
For me the most important factor is the usable resolutions and frame-rates. At the moment I shoot 1080p at 60fps. In bright conditions the difference in quality between 30fps and 60fps is small but switch to 120fps and the difference in quality is huge.
Resolution aspirations for the GoPro Hero6 Black would be 8K at 30fps, 4k at 60fps and 1080p at 240fps at a decent quality.
4: Wireless Communication for multi cam
I use several GoPro’s and non of them are the same generation. None of them talk to each other and at present I’m happy with that.
However when I’m using two, three or four I wish that the multi cam features could be tied together wirelessly not just in software when I’m editing. This way I could use Quick to create fast multi cam videos using the meta data without downloading and syncing clips.
Imagine you’re out mountain biking or skiing with friends, each of you has a GoPro and you film the day. Then when the GPS and motions sensors picks up a crash and tags the footage automatically you could then sit back in the pub / bar / cafe and sync your footage to watch the crash from several angles.
5: Lens choice twist and shout
I have now horrified several GoPro Hero5 Black owners by twisting off the front lens of their cameras. It’s a hidden feature that hasn’t really been explored to the fullest extent.
The design is really there so that damaged lenses can be easily replaced, which makes sense. But what if you could get a vlogger lens that enabled less distortion and was optimised for close-up to camera work.
Drones, especially the Karma Drone that uses the Hero5 Black, suffer from distortion so if the GoPro Hero6 Black could have an aerial lens it would be a phenomenal idea with less distortion and a different focal length.
Final thoughts on a GoPro Hero6 Black
These are just a few early ideas and we’ll not know the true ideas of what’s planned for a while yet. As I speak to the industry and other users I’ll bring you a few additional thoughts and ideas. If you have your own or would like to discuss any of the ideas that are in this article then please let me know.