On the right side of the display you can enable various advanced settings for that mode, such as ProTune, Image Stabilization, and Audio Control:
All of this is of course waterproof as well. Though, it won’t work underwater. For that you’ll need to use the push-buttons on the top/side of the camera to change modes.
Speaking of a wet display, in general I found it doesn’t work well when wet either. Especially if your fingers are wet, it all goes to crap and fails to respond.
You can turn this option on/off, and it’s available in seven languages. Also, if you have the Remo accessory remote, that’ll accept voice commands too in the event the camera is out of range of your voice.
But…it’s not perfect. I found that it works most of the time when standing still. But once you start moving I found both it and the Hero5 Session actually perform worse than Garmin does. At about 10MPH (15KPH) I find the ability to give commands pretty much dies no matter which way the camera is facing. Whereas with Garmin it’ll continue working above that speed as long as the camera is facing you.
Video & Audio details
Ahh yes, video time. No better place to start diving into features than video modes. In many ways the Hero5 is similar in these modes to the Hero4 Black. After all, it too has 4K @ 30FPS and 720P @ 240FPS, the two ends of the spectrum that people often talk about. The footage looks beautiful in 4K – no doubt.
So what’s new and notable here? Well we’ll start with the video stabilization. Technically this is ‘electronic image stabilization’, which works by taking a larger resolution video clip (i.e. 4K) and then smoothing the video by offering a reduced resolution rate while stabilized (up to 2.7K). By doing this it essentially stabilizes by cutting the edges off the corners to make the video appear smooth. It’s the same thing that Garmin does on their VIRB Ultra 30 (but the Garmin is limited to 1440 vs the higher 2.7K), but is different than what Sony does with their new X3000R, where they use optical image stabilization. That’s better because it doesn’t crop any of the image.
To enable image stabilization, you’ll simply swipe from the right. It’ll warn you about cutting about 10% of the field of view:
For cases where you’ve got some light chop in the roadway, or even for hand holding the unit, image stabilization can dramatically improve things. Though, that’s at the sacrifice of resolution. If your final output product’s 1080p, then it’s largely a no-brainer. Do note that it generally works better when you’re shooting something that has a large portion of the image facing one direction constantly. Versus on a helmet mount, it can get a bit wonky as you move the view around a bunch.
What’s even more interesting though is the ability to record the native audio files from each microphone separately. If you enable ProTune, you’ll see a new option to do this. Within that you have three levels:
All of these were simply taken at room temperature; obviously aspects like environmental temperature will impact things considerably, as will other modes and increased frame rates. But those give you some basic bounds to work within.
While the Hero7 Black doesn’t offer any more resolution than the Hero4 Black did, it does offer a number of substantial photo-focused features. First, the basics though. To get into the photo mode you’ll go ahead and tap the mode button until you see photos. Or, just tell the GoPro to take a photo using voice commands.
Now there are technically different photo modes, including the ability to take a burst photo, a series of photos as a timelapse, or night photos. Note that this photo timelapse is separate from the video timelapse option. This produces a crapton of photo files, whereas the video timelapse produces a single video timelapse file.
That’s the basic differences. Again, both cameras are very good, you won’t go wrong with either. For me, I prefer the Hero5 Black because I like to be able to see and frame up what I’m taking a photo/video of. Whereas the Hero5 Session it’s shoot and pray that you’ve got it lined up. Sure, you can use your phone for certain shots – but most of us won’t do that.